A kid's view of EGA Retreat inWyoming


MY TRIP TO WYOMING, by Sophie Bauder age 11

Last week I was lucky enough to get to expierience Jackson Hole, Wyoming, the Grand Tetons, and Yellowstone National Park because my mom organized the EGA Retreat. Every day I did something more exciting then the day before, whether it was raising $3,000 for charity, or witnessing Old Faithful erupt.

But lets just start from the beginning, when I arrived and hopped on a raft for a day long trip... At first, I was reluctant to go on the trip, thinking spending 7 hours on a raft with only adults wouldn’t exactly be, well, fun. I was completely wrong. The people on the raft were inviting and kind. The wildlife we saw may not have been as plentiful as we had hoped, but it was still breathtaking to see whole trees brought down by beavers or watch a bald eagle soar overhead.

We didn’t see the actual beavers, though, since they are nocturnal. That is one of the many things I learned in that trip, along with facts about the park and the animals I had never even wondered. For example, have you ever seen the antler chandeliers in a hunters lodge, and assumed that many elk and deer gave their lives for it? Well, truth is, every year elk shed their antlers to make room for new ones. An easy way to tink about it is that the antlers are teeth, massive, strong teeth, and they have to lose antlers to make room for new ones to come.

The next day, since I went to Wyoming for my mom’s conference, I met with the only other two kids there, and we started working on the annual name tag decorating. It has been going on for 7 years, and we weren’t about to break the tradition. So we started decorating like crazy, looking up names and animals to fulfill requests. By the end of our first day, my friend and I had raised over $1,200. That night, as we were finishing up our last wave of name tags, a man came over and said he would match our price for $900! After some confusion, and more name tag decorating, and another $600m, we got Paul, the man matching the price, to raise his donation to $1,200! So, all in all, we raised a total of $3,232 for theNorthern Rockies Conservation Cooperative!

The next day I went on a short hike with my dad and brother. I was wary about going on that hike as well, assuming it to be boring and totally time-wasting. Instead, the beauty of it was absolutely breathtaking, watching the Snake River wind through endless forests of pine and cottonwood. The water was amazingly clear, and I found out that dumping any form of pollution in it was totally illegal.

Finally, on our last full day, we drove toYellowstone National Park. My family and I had been looking forward to this trip all week, and it was just as wehad expected: beautiful, breathtaking, and nothing short of amazing. We witnessed Old Faithful erupt, spurting thousands of gallons of pressured water into the air. Hot springs and other geysers filled up a scenic walk we took, and the colors of the hot springs were my favorite part. They were so vibrant and alive, blue and clear marking the hottest partsand a deep red marking the coolest. Smaller geysers erupted at random times and we found out that TWO-THIRDS of the worlds geysers lie in Yellowstone alone. Thats over 300 geysers. We also saw bubbling mud pools and gorgeous waterfalls flowing down towering cliffs.

On our way back home from Yellowstone, we came face to face with a herd of bison, complete with babies and huge men less than two yards away from our car.

In conclusion, that trip was definitley amazing and exciting, and I have plenty of pictures to remember it by. It was worth everything.