On Friday, December 2nd, Carroll College students and leaders of the Carroll outdoor program (CAMP) went to MacDonald Pass, located in Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest, for night-time cross-country skiing and tacos! MacDonald Pass is about twenty minutes from Helena, where one of the main attractions is the cross-country ski trailhead which offers many fun trails maintained by the Forest Service. Our trip had 31 participants, including students from around the country and exchange students from Egypt, Malawi, Norway, and Germany. The majority of participants were first-year students, but there were also a variety of upperclassmen as well. Many of these individuals had never been cross-country skiing before, so it was a great learning experience and an opportunity to introduce people to a new way to get outside. 

Even though it was a cold evening, spirits were high, and everyone was excited to get out and ski. Some of us had more experience than others and could make a slightly longer loop with a great lookout over the Helena Valley. We had the pleasure of helping our beginner participants learn the ropes of cross-country skiing on a shorter circle, which challenged them with a short hill to ski down. While everyone was out, one of our outdoor leaders, Josh, fired up the grill and cooked terrific tacos. Once everyone was back from the adventure, we got to feast on the warm food and hot cocoa. 

Overall the trip was super enjoyable, and we got to meet and spend time with some incredible people from Carroll College. Hopefully, we got our participants excited to do some outdoor winter activities in the coming months, and we look forward to future National Park Trust trips!