The Incredible Quilt


“Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quietest chambers.  The mind can never break off from the journey.”  - Pat Conroy

“Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quietest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey.” – Pat Conroy

Today was the last day of camp for the teachers. Most of the teachers will travel home later tonight or early in the morning. Kerry, Jen, and I are traveling some more, separately.

I spoke yesterday of the letters each camper was given to create a quilt square and how they were to connect them with yesterday’s adventure. This morning we shared our quilts and connections.


I – Melissa chose the word inspiring. Melissa spoke about how our hike on the glacier yesterday very much inspired her. She was inspired how none of us had ever put on a pair of crampons, but did this very well. She was inspired by the fact that none of us have hiked on a glacier before, but did this amazing, with no one complaining once.

Picture taken by Don Distell

Picture taken by Don Distell

D – Don chose the word determined. Don was determined to get beautiful pictures of wildlife. Don and his wife, Jan, took a glacier cruise yesterday in Portage. On their way back they stopped at the wildlife preserve. Here, Don had the opportunity to photograph outstanding pictures of wildlife.

I – Martin chose the word incredible. If you look close at his square you will see it appears to represent the Incredible Hulk, I love it. Martin stated that the definition of the word incredible is “too unusual to believe.” He said when he gets home to share his stories and pictures with his family; he will have a hard time. Pictures and stories cannot do his trip justice. It is just simply incredible.

DSC_1029T – Nicole chose the word teamwork. Nicole admitted she is not a hiker. She loved how the entire group that went to the glacier was always looking out for her. That is teamwork. In my opinion, she did an excellent job. Our guide, Ben, said we went out on the glacier further than any other group. That requires teamwork. We all made sure we were always together and keeping up with the group.

A – Jan chose the word achievement. Jan felt a sense of achievement on this trip to Alaska. She reached a tremendous goal on her journey to Alaska. Jan received a grant, she worked very hard to get, to attend this summer camp. Jan did some things on this trip she never has done before nor ever thought she would do.

R – Jen chose the word respect. On her square, Jen included the quote, “Leave everything a little better than you found it.” Jen related this with how much we had to respect the glacier when we hiked it. Also, think about how much Jen had to respect the many villages she visited last winter on the trail.

O – Jamie chose the word overcome. Jamie thought it was amazing how many obstacles we had to overcome yesterday in hiking the glacier. Some of us had to step out of our comfort zone to complete the hike.

D – I chose the word dream. Yesterday in my entry I explained how while standing on the glacier I realized my dream was coming true.

The teachers with their quilt squares

I’m very excited to see what the quilt turns out looking like. I am also excited to share this quilt with my school and begin working on the many lessons that can be created.

I’m glad I had the pleasure to make new friends at camp and reconnect with friends made last summer. We all came on this journey to make ourselves better teachers and create an unforgettable experience in the classroom for our students. Now that we have traveled to Alaska, our minds will constantly be wandering on how we can use our experience in the classroom.

Like the quote says, “once you have traveled, your voyage never ends.” Many of these campers will find this experience has changed them. Their voyage will never end. They will find many ways to better themselves as an educator. They will use new ideas learned at camp in their class about the Iditarod. Some of them may apply for Iditarod Teacher on the Trail™. Maybe, this has sparked an interest in coming back to visit this great state. Even though this traveling experience is over, their journey has just begun.