The 2013 Base Camp Bash is almost upon us on Saturday, April 20th, 2013 from 7-10pm at Artwork Network in Denver, CO.
What is the Base Camp Bash you ask? Only the most fun and exciting event the Cottonwood Institute hosts once a year to raise money to support our programs to connect students to the outdoors and empower them to tackle local environmental issues.
- The Best Food And Beverages Denver Has To Offer: We will be featuring “S’mores Pancakes” from Snooze, Cottonwood Organic White beer from Wynkoop Brewing Company, and great wine. For just a few more bucks you can come to the VIP party from 5:30pm – 7pm before the main event and enjoy a local cocktail tasting with mixologists from Ace Eat Serve and Steuben’s featuring spirits from Leopold Bros. and appetizers from The Kitchen restaurant.
- A Fabulous Silent Auction: We have adventurous auction items, including: A luxurious 4-night stay to one of 20 exotic locations courtesy of Portico, outdoor gear from Mountainsmith, restaurant gift certificates to the best restaurants in Denver like Root Down, and much more! To check out what we have so far and to start bidding, Click Here.
What’s that? You have another commitment that night you just can’t wiggle out of? Well it better be a good excuse…But seriously, you will be missed, AND there are still two ways you can help:
- You can Pre-Bid on our amazing silent auction items until Friday, April 19th, 2013 at 5:00pm. Pre-bids will open up the bidding at the main event on April 20th, so if you can’t come and you really want something, bid high! Remember, we all need to buy gifts for friends and family, so why not shop at our auction and support a great cause?
- You can make a Tax-Deductible Donation to help support our programs for underserved students. School budgets are still being cut and the Cottonwood Institute is providing life-changing programs for underserved students in the Denver/Boulder area. All donations from the Base Camp Bash help support our high priority programs with Casa de la Esperanza, New Vista High School, Operation: Military Kids, Strive Preparatory Schools, and more.
We could not pull all this off without the incredible support of our sponsors and VIPs this year. They support great organizations like the Cottonwood Institute, so please support them!
$5,000+ Level Sponsors
$2,500 Level Sponsors:
Dr. and Mrs. John M. Church, Jr.
$1,000 Level Sponsors:
Anonymous, Dr. and Mrs. Stefan Mokrohisky, Dr. and Mrs. William Conway, Linda Bjork, Mr. and Mrs. Chris Zook
$500 Level Sponsors:
Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Waters
As we transition into fall and relish the cooler temperatures and vibrant fall color change in Colorado, our Operation: Military Kids Adventure Overnight youth and Adult Survival Overnight participants united for one amazing weekend survival program.
Cottonwood Institute loves offering our Operation: Military Kids programs because it is our chance to give back to military youth and families who sacrifice so much for our country. One student was so excited because had seen just about every episode of Survivorman and was eager to practice the skills he had seen on TV.
Adult participants had spent a fair amount of time outdoors and wanted to test themselves to see if they had what it took to survive in the mountains if they ever got caught out. Students and adults built survival shelters together and then the adults put their shelters to the test by sleeping in them overnight.
We packed a lot of skills and activities into a short weekend, including: survival shelters, survival kits, edible and medicinal plants, nature awareness and tracking games, friction fire, throwing sticks, a stargazing night hike, and we helped knock out an Action Project to help our partners at Cal-Wood Education Center with a fire mitigation project so they can sell firewood that will help support their educational programs.
One Operation: Military Kids parent stated: “Thank you to the incredible directors and organizers over at the Cottonwood Institute for providing such a great camping experience for my family! They really went above and beyond the call of duty on so many levels. They were able to make last minute arrangements to accommodate my two children on the Operation: Military Kids Adventure and they provided much of the gear they needed. A great big hug of gratitude to you both and to the sponsors who made it all possible!”
We look forward to planning more Operation: Military Kids programs in 2013! If you are interested in supporting this program, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to Matt Holzmann’s Fundraising Page. Matt is a Cottonwood Institute supporter, Marine, and veteran who is trying to raise enough money to support an Operation: Military Kids program in 2013 and he has raised 21% towards his goal!
In the meantime, check out a slide show of the action by Clicking Here.
Colorado Operation: Military Kids (OMK) is a collaborative outreach initiative between the US Military and Colorado State University Youth Development 4-H to provide support and assistance to military youth and families – on installations and those geographically dispersed National Guard and Reserve families in our communities.
The Cottonwood Institute’s 2012 Base Camp Bash was a rockin’ success. On Saturday, April 28th, 2012, Artwork Network was transformed from an art gallery into a vibrant base camp packed with outdoor enthusiasts who gathered to help raise money for the Cottonwood Institute’s 2012 programs to connect underserved kids to the outdoors and empower them to tackle local environmental issues.
Thanks to our patrons, sponsors, and attendees, we were able to raise over $40,000 to help support our projects with West Denver Preparatory Charter School, Casa de la Esperanza, New Vista High School, Lakewood High School, and Operation: Military Kids.
Snooze tantalized our taste buds with their delicious food and s’mores pancakes, Wynkoop Brewing Company, Mondo Vino, and Leopold Bros. cleansed our palates with their beer, wine, and local spirits, while The Cottonwood Trio set the tone for the night with their rocking’ tunes as everyone was whipped into a bidding frenzy for our amazing auction.
In addition to the Bash, we had a fabulous Patron Party on Sunday, April 22nd, 2012 for our patrons and sponsors at the private home of Stephen and Genie Waters. The Acker Jazztet played live Dixieland jazz, while we sipped on southern cocktails from Steuben’s and devoured Po-Boys, Jambalaya, and Shrimp Maison.
But it all started with the Kick Off Party on Friday, March 30th, 2012 when 5280 Magazine and Wynkoop Brewing Company hosted a fun party to kick off Earth Month and unveil their limited-edition Cottonwood Organic White beer to benefit the Cottonwood Institute and our programs.
We could not have pulled everything off without the amazing support of our donors, patrons, and sponsors, including: 5280 Magazine, Wynkoop Brewing Company, Snooze, the Taddonio Family Foundation, Colorado Business Bank, Messner & Reeves, St. Charles Capital, Climax Molybdenum, CASI, Artwork Network, and Ownership Transfer Planning, Inc.
If you were not able to attend and still want to help support our programs, please consider making a tax-deductible donation today, by Clicking Here.
To check out a slide show of all three events, Click Here.
2011 has been a phenomenal year filled with amazing accomplishments, awards, and inspiring stories about our students getting outdoors and taking action to make a difference in the community. Here are our top 10 favorite stories from 2011:
10. Cottonwood Institute Hosts Environmental Leadership Summit With Johnson & Wales
The Cottonwood Institute would like to thank all of our students, parents, instructors, board members, educational partners, donors, supporters, and cheerleaders for making 2011 such a success.
To help ensure we have an extraordinary 2012, please consider making a tax-deductible donation by December 31, 2011 by Clicking Here.
We just received the official announcement that the Cottonwood Institute won the 2011 Markham Mark of Distinction Award and $25,000 to support our programs to connect kids to the outdoors.
Specifically, funding will support our partnerships with West Denver Prep to connect low-income students to the outdoors, Operation: Military Kids to get children from military families outdoors while their parents are serving our country, and public school students from New Vista High School to attend weekend camping trips through our Community Adventure Program.
In order to say thanks, we want give you an opportunity to sample Markham Vineyards wine for yourself, simply:
- Go to our Facebook Page by Clicking Here
- Click the “Like” button at the top of the page
- On November 1, 2011, we will randomly select 4 Cottonwood Institute Facebook Page members to receive a bottle of Markham’s Merlot that you can use to help toast our victory.
- You must be 21+ year old to win
- If you do not have a Facebook account, but still want to enter the drawing, shoot us an email and we will put your name in the hat!
There are too many people to thank for helping us win, but we wanted to give a quick shout out to Kellie Grengs, Jessica Haddy, April and Ken Pishna, Ashley Nelson, James Foy, Argonaut Liquor, Fluid Coffee Bar, Prescott College, University of Denver Marketing Department, Blues Jean Bar, and Colorado & Company for encouraging their networks to vote. We could not have won without you. We are so grateful for your support and very humbled by this entire experience! And of course none of this would have been possible without Markham Vineyards, so thank you so much for empowering us to continue, “changing the world, one adventure at a time!”
This summer, the Cottonwood Institute and Operation: Military Kids teamed up for the Operation Military Kids Family Survival Skills Overnight. In July, a team of students, accompanied by a number of parents, ventured up into Colorado Lions Camp near Woodland Park, Colorado for a weekend of outdoor exploration and fun.
This trip equipped its participants with good, practical knowledge about surviving in the wilderness, and also gave everyone an opportunity to get to know each other in an environment that facilitated a sense of community and teamwork. Surviving in the outdoors alone was a new and enriching experience for most of the students and their parents. Some people seemed a little hesitant at first, but it wasn’t long before the group’s avid interest and enthusiasm for the outdoors became apparent, as well as their remarkable ability to connect and relate to one another from day one, despite having never met before.
Students, instructors, and parents alike focused their time and energy on learning new survival skills and discussing how to respect the land they were staying on. Course participants learned how to make one-match fires, and even got to try their hand at using bow drills. They also learned how to build debris shelters, an activity that some students found to be so enjoyable, they wanted to try constructing shelters in their own backyards.
For some, one of the best parts of the trip was simply having an opportunity to be alone in the wilderness. Finding sit spots, a reflective exercise where each participant finds a place to sit in the woods where they can be alone with the stillness of their surroundings, became an activity of special importance for many of the students. “My rose was the sit moments—just being able to sit and listen,” said TJ, one of the students who attended the course.
For others the most valuable aspect of the trip was being able to get to know other people. At the end of the weekend, one participant took time during their closing circle to mention all of the “roses,” or strengths, she had observed in each person attending the course. “Her words were a great example of how well this group got along, and they also showed how you can learn a lot from other people,” said Madeline Bachner, an instructor on the course.
“We so appreciated the opportunity to go out on a survival adventure sponsored by the Cottonwood Institute,” said Channon, a course participant, in an e-mail to the Cottonwood Institute. “Your founder and donors should be very pleased with how your organization is helping to nurture a love of the outdoors and the confidence to enjoy it as only a true camping experience can provide. My husband, who is deployed to Afghanistan, also wants me to pass on his gratitude for getting his girls up to the Colorado mountains this summer. It’s non-profit groups like yours that take up the slack when our troops are off serving and away from family.”
To view pictures from the course, click here.
People often ask me about the impact Cottonwood Institute programs have on our participants and the communities we serve, and I am reminded of a quote by Paul Loeb, the author of Soul of a Citizen, we share with students at the end of our programs:
“We never know how the impact of our actions may ripple out. We never know who may be touched. That’s one more reason why, although the fruits of our labors can’t always be seen, they matter immensely.”
Through exciting programs like our Community Adventure Program (CAP), our collaboration with West Denver Preparatory Charter School, and Operation: Military Kids, we are having a tremendous impact in the lives of our students.
Here are a few of the ways Cottonwood Institute programs impacted the communities we served in 2010:
More than 1,000 participants, including more than 375 diverse youth, logged more than 11,000 program contact hours, and completed more than 3,500 environmental service-learning project hours through our educational programs, outreach programs, and volunteer projects.
Cottonwood Institute primarily works with schools and community groups that serve low-income students. On average 53% of students were eligible for free or reduced lunch — an indicator of poverty.
Cottonwood Institute generated over $140,000 in revenue through programs, individuals, businesses, grants, and special events. 94% of every dollar raised went to direct programming activities.
To download a full copy of the Cottonwood Institute’s 2010 Annual Report, including a list of our top supporters, Click Here.
I want to personally thank all of our students, parents, volunteers, staff members, instructors, board members, donors, and supporters who make what we do possible.
The final donations are still trickling in, but we are ready to declare the 2011 Base Camp Bash a smashing success.
Because of our generous supporters, we were able to raise just shy of $44,000 to help support our 2011 programs to connect diverse youth to the outdoors. This represents close to a 110% increase from what we raised from the Bash in 2010!
The money we raised this year will help support our high priority projects in 2011, including our partnerships with West Denver Prep, Community Adventure Program, Earth Task Force, and Operation: Military Kids.
If you weren’t able to attend, you missed a phenomenal party. Gallery 1261 set the perfect scene for a fun evening out on the town and the energy was kicked up a notch with rockin’ tunes from the Tommy Shreve Trio.
Fierce cravings were satisfied by Snooze, including breakfast burritos, grill cheese and tomato soup dip for dunking. But the pièce de résistance was the smores pancakes they brought out for dessert – yum!
Intense thirst was quenched by cold beer from Denver’s own Wynkoop Brewing Company and wine from Mondo Vino. And we can’t forget our new friends at Leopold Brothers who shared samples of their impeccable Colorado spirits.
If you weren’t able to attend the Bash this year or if you want to relive the evening, check out the slide show from the event by Clicking Here.
We could not have pulled this event off without support from 5280 Magazine, Exclusive Resorts, CoBiz Financial, The Kenneth King Foundation, the Derby Financial Group, CASI, Mile Hi Specialty Foods, Scout Cleaning and Maintenance, St. Charles Capital, Whitewave Foods, and all of our patron level donors.
Till next year!
We experienced a new twist in the evolution of the Operation: Military Kids Essential Survival Skills course – family participation! 10 folks from 4 families, converged at the Colorado Lions Camp to challenge their carnivorous and cooperative edges. We learned about survival priorities, wild edibles, sustainable harvesting, camp craft, fire craft, stalking and wilderness walking. We were even treated with deer venison – Yum! We learned how to work together and make decisions as a group, and how to take these skills back to our everyday lives.
Check out our newest course: Operation: Military Kids Family Survival Skills Overnight, July 16-17, 2011 and stay tuned about what will we learn this time.
Click Here to view a slideshow of the activities and relive the adventures of the weekend!
This article was written by Jason Lawrence and edited by April Pishna.
If ‘change the world’ means bringing a positive change to some corner of the globe– affecting the lives of one, ten, a hundred, or a thousand people, then, in my opinion, the answer is yes. -David Bornstein, author of How to Change the World.
As we reflect on another amazing year at the Cottonwood Institute, we want to highlight the top ten stories from 2010 that demonstrate how we are “changing the world, one adventure at a time.”
The Cottonwood Institute would like to thank all of our students, parents, instructors, board members, educational partners, donors, supporters, and cheerleaders for making 2010 such a success.
To help ensure we have an extraordinary 2011, please consider making a tax-deductible donation by December 31, 2010 by Clicking Here.