School Is Not What You Think!


Military Kids Project: School Is Not What You Think!

On a scorching weekend in July, Cottonwood Institute and a group of military families from Colorado Army National Guard headed to the mountains to momentarily trade the summer heat and the stresses of city living for whispering leaves and gentle breezes of camping amidst the aspen groves at Sanborn Western Camps. Located just west of… Read more »


A Trip of Firsts for Colorado Youth for a Change Students

Colorado Youth for Change and Cottonwood Institute teamed up to create an impactful experience for ten very lucky high school students from Prairie View and Brighton high schools this summer.  We loaded up the vans and were off on an adventure to Mission: Wolf!  Students didn’t really know what they had signed up for, although… Read more »

Denver Green School


Denver Green School Students Educate Their Community About Environmental Issues

This spring Denver Green School CAP classes had an awesome and exciting semester! We explored the world around us; Learned new skills and wilderness survival; Educated ourselves about environmental issues that affect our communities; And designed and implemented community action projects to affect real change in our worlds! We began the semester by exploring our connection to nature,… Read more »


Military Kids Fire Workshop: Making Flames in the Rain

For many years Cottonwood Institute (CI) has partnered with military programs to provide outings for kids and families serving in the US Military. This year, CI is offering 3 programs as part of a series of engagements with the Colorado Army National Guard. On Wednesday July 12th, three CI instructors took a long drive to… Read more »


New Vista CAP Class Ditches the Shop for a Clothing Swap!

As summer heats the blocks of Boulder, Colorado, many flock to clothing stores and online shops for the newest summer trends. However, this constant closet revamping comes at an environmental cost. Living consciously is something ingrained in most citizens of Boulder. While most establishments contain recycling and composting bins, and the car of choice is… Read more »


KIPP NDLA CAP Class Students Work to Help Restore Natural Habitats

There is a lot of construction in Green Valley Ranch: new houses, new shopping centers and new schools. All that construction creates an unsettled feeling in people and leaves wildlife scrambling for food and shelter. The Community Adventure Program (CAP) students at KIPP Northeast Denver Leadership Academy (KIPP NDLA) looked at the neighborhood on an… Read more »

Casa de la Esperanza at Beaver Ponds


Casa de la Esperanza Students Spend a Weekend Exploring Beaver Ponds

Rushing creeks and energetic boys from Longmont’s Casa De La Esperanza housing community (Casa) crisscrossed the property of Beaver Ponds Environmental Education Center  this summer.  As part of CI’s Community Adventure Program (CAP), the boys explored the high-altitude evergreen forests, captured bugs, fed barnyard animals, spotted beavers, and made medicinal balms. At first glance, the swift… Read more »

BOCES Leadership Workshop


BOCES Students Participate in Leadership Workshop with CI!

Last month, Cottonwood Institute instructors met up with 68 middle and high school students from 15 school districts throughout northeast and east central Colorado. They spent three days at CU Boulder as part of a program hosted by BOCES. They are an umbrella organization providing educational, administrative, technological, and other services to school groups across the state of Colorado. The… Read more »