Pagosa Springs recently saw two of its youth return from trips with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS).
Blake Irons and Sam Chronowski spent time backpacking and mountaineering in the Waddington Range in British Columbia and sea kayaking and sailing near Vancouver Island in Canada, respectively.
Irons and Chronowski received scholarships from the local nonprofit organization Giving Every Child Knowledge of the Outdoors (GECKO).
The boys look forward to one of the requirements of their scholarships, paying it forward. They will volunteer at races for the organization, including the upcoming Mountain Chile Cha Cha. They will also share their experiences with the student body of Pagosa Springs High School during an assembly in October in the hopes of encouraging some of their fellow students to apply for the same scholarships this winter.
As both students return for their senior years at Pagosa Springs High School, they are eager to carry the lessons they learned into their school lives and even further as they travel to college next year. Irons says he learned to manage his outlook more effectively while on the trip.