Six weeks ago a group of boys and girls from Casa de la Esperanza gathered together in nervous anticipation for the first ever Casa CAP program.
Casa de la Esperanza (House of Hope) is a residential community in Longmont dedicated to helping agricultural workers. The learning resource center at Casa provides educational and recreational services to its residents, including an onsite after-school program and academic center. Cottonwood Institute has teamed up with Casa to offer a mini version of our core academic program, The Community Adventure Program (CAP). CAP teaches students essential outdoor and wilderness survival skills necessary to comfortably and competently explore the outdoors, while providing them with the tools and resources to tackle important environmental issues affecting their communities in order to help change the world. We put these two amazing programs together to form Casa CAP.
For the next five weeks, Casa students spent their Wednesday evenings learning about the importance of community, the wonders of nature, and how to survive in the wilderness. They became leaders while understanding the importance of being part of a team. They played outside, made fires, roasted marshmallows, created educational posters, helped an injured bird, learned about gardening and seeds, and made bird-feeders. Most importantly, though, they learned that they have the power to create change.
Casa CAP consisted of many smiles and loud laughter, crayons and paper everywhere, popcorn and marshmallows galore, pine-cones and tiny little seeds, and even one gigantic parachute. It all culminated into an action project benefiting the community and its winged friends. The students worked hard creating pine-cone bird feeders giving the birds a safe place to eat and play, while giving Casa residents the beauty of bird-song. It was a flurry of activities in a short period of time that resulted in building a stronger community and an even stronger sense of purpose. It only takes a moment!
A huge shout-out to our instructors, Eric and Deb, for their ingenuity, their flexibility, and most of all, their ability to inspire! We also could not have offered this program without funding from the Brett Family Foundation and the Community Foundation Serving Boulder County.
Until next time, relive the smiles and laughter by clicking here for a slideshow of the program’s activities.