This summer, over 120 Rockies Rock campers ran through forests, built forts, played games, and sang (and danced) plenty of rounds of “boomerang” on Colorado Mountain College’s beautiful campus. This happened because when Get Outdoors Leadville! searched for a site to host our summer camp, CMC said, “Yes!”

In early October, when we needed a weather back-up for our outdoor community-building day with 66 second-grade students, we called CMC and they said, “Yes!”

In search of a location to host team-building experiences for local youth, we turned to CMC and asked if we could use their challenge course facilities. They said, “Yes!”

When we looked for a place to host our monthly Community Nature Connections to bring together locals who want to share how they connect with the natural world – from Marika Guthrie teaching her unique cloth-painting landscapes to Tanya Miller leading a group in the creation of a beautiful snow labyrinth – we went to CMC. They said, “Yes!”

When we revived the famous “Wilderness Experience” class (previously led by famous teachers including Dick Boggs, Clint Jewell and Jim McCall), this time offering it as a dual-enrollment course, CMC said, “Yes!” In 5 semesters of offering this course, 54 Lake County High School students have been able to build leadership and community skills while discovering their self-sufficiency and the healing powers of nature on a six-day backpacking trip in the canyons of Utah. The revival of this course simply would not have been possible without CMC.

When we wanted to develop hands-on learning experiences about water quality, we went to the Natural Resources Management program at CMC. Program Director Katy Warner worked with our high-school teachers to design several in-class labs and a half-day immersive field science experience for environmental science students. Students who loved that experience got to apply for a paid summer position working as a field scientist alongside other NRM staff and college students. CMC said, “Yes!”

Did we mention that we’re building a Community Gear Library on CMC’s campus? This facility is designed to serve the Lake County community by providing access to gear, activities, and training to enjoy experiences outdoors and the many benefits derived from time in nature. When searching for a perfect place to connect all Lake County youth and families to the outdoors, our community identified the incredible access to nature on CMC’s Leadville campus, so we went ahead and asked if we could make CMC our home. CMC said, “Yes!” What’s more - CMC embraced and shared our vision that the Community Gear Library would be sustained, in part, through innovative integration with the Outdoor Studies programs. This type of partnership involves a deep level of trust and an even more profound degree of commitment to our local community.

At Get Outdoors Leadville!, we are grateful to Colorado Mountain College for the many ways its visionary, highly-competent staff and faculty support our work and, in turn, our community.

Becca Katz

Get Outdoors Leadville!

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