Every day on GALS is slightly different, but here is a sample of what one day in the backcountry might look like:
7:00 | You wake up to a warm batch of pancakes frying on the camp stove. You pack your tent, bear can, clothes, and gear into your backpack, clean up camp, and eat breakfast.
8:00 | Two of you will be designated the Leaders of the Day, one of many rotating daily jobs. Each morning, before setting out for the day, Leaders of the Day are briefed on the route and share it with the group. Leaders of the Day are then responsible for route navigation and informing the group of the day’s activities.
8:30 | You get your brains in gear with a morning science lesson where you learn what makes up an ecosystem.
9:30 | The Leaders of the Day make sure everyone is ready to hit the trail and the group starts hiking. As we pass unique plants, animals, and geologic features, we pause on the trail to get a better look and to discuss them.
11:30 | After the morning hike, we break for lunch (hummus, cheese, and salami wraps) and another science lesson. You pull out your field notebook to write down key concepts of evolution, run around simulating a deer in a game of natural selection tag, and then contribute to a debrief conversation about the activity.
1:00 | Reinvigorated from the new scientific information, we hit the trail again to complete the 5 mile hike.
3:00 | We arrive at a beautiful stream-side campsite. The Leaders of the Day oversee tent set-up and the organization of camp (designating an area for science lessons, a cooking area, and a dining area). Then there is some free time to journal, hang out, and play games.
4:30 | Time for an afternoon science experiment where we test hypotheses about insect behavior and observe the activity of an ant hill to answer our questions.
6:00 | It’s the evening team challenge! As a group, you must work together to solve a puzzle or task. Success requires that you work as team and trust one another.
6:30 | Cooks of the Day prepare a delicious meal of back-country curry (veggies, rice, beans, chicken, and spices).
7:30 | After a science-filled day, we gather to read a newspaper article about deforestation in the region. A discussion about environmental justice develops, as we discuss who suffers the environmental and health consequences of these activities.
9:00 | Everyone heads to their tents for personal reflection or quiet chats before going to sleep.