What Went Down at the 4th Annual Throwdown

August 30, 2013 by  
Filed under Cottonwood Institute News

Nice FormIt’s been nearly a week since the Cottonwood Institute’s tournament of epic proportions – the Cornhole Throwdown (a.k.a. The Throwdown). For many players, the adrenaline, sparked from the competition and fueled by prizes and bragging rights, still pumps through their veins.

On August 24, 2013 over 150 participants and spectators showed up, including 63 registered teams at The Throwdown. The event raised over $8,300 for Cottonwood Institute programs with STRIVE Preparatory Schools, which is a new record! Bohica Boards won first place, With Our Bags won second place, and Cut the Check won third place. A big should out goes to BJ Torres from Bohica Boards for donating his Mountainsmith pack to STRIVE Prep Sunnsyside. The donated pack will help one student continue exploring the outdoors after their Cottonwood Institute program.

The day was filled with warm sun and cool shade; a perfect summer day in Denver. Tasty food from Stoney’s Bar and Grill filled bellies, and refreshing drinks from Wynkoop cooled down players in the heat of competition. A surprise pizza delivery from Sexy Pizza kept energy high during the mid-afternoon. Several stereos dotted the spectator assemblages, keeping groovy tunes in the air, ready for a dance-off at any moment. It was a fabulous way to spend a Saturday, supporting such a great cause.Registration

Now that the 2013 Cornhole Throwdown has passed, here are some ways to continue living (or re-living) the magic:

Thanks again to the 2013 Cornhole Throwdown sponsors and prize donors for their generous support and help in making this event amazing! When they do well, Cottonwood Institute does well and can offer more programs to serve more students and have an even bigger impact in the community. Please check out and support the following companies:

$1,000 LEVEL:

$500 LEVEL:

Kelly, Stacy & Rita  Wallace Scott

$250 LEVEL:

Bohica Boards  McLure Hill MegaStar Financial Mountainsmith Schneider Electric Sprouts Farmers Market UBER Warren Alloy

Fox Theater
Founding Fibers
Root Down
Stoney’s Bar and Grill
Vine Street Pub / Mountain Sun

If you have any positive or constructive feedback for how the Throwdown went down this year, please email Katie Craig at: katie@cottonwoodinstitute.org. Also, please let her know if you are interested in volunteering to help put this event together next year. Keep in touch and stay tuned for updates about the cool programs we offer to STRIVE Preparatory Schools this year!

Throwdown, Bags, and Bagpipes

August 29, 2012 by  
Filed under Cottonwood Institute News

No, we are not talking about the sequel to Braveheart, but the 2012 Throwdown started to the thundering sound of bagpipes and drums as participants put their game faces on and prepared for battle, er, competition. With team names like “Maized and Confused,” “Nacho Mamma,” and “This Ain’t Our First Throwdown,” we knew we were all in for an action packed day.

Thanks to Stoney’s Bar and Grill, Wynkoop Brewing Company, and Oskar Blues, competitors were able to refuel and stay “hydrated” as the intense Colorado sun beat down on everyone. Rumor has it, one team has a sweet new sweatband tan now!

The day rolled on and the competition became stiff as Corn Dawgs, Children of the Cornhole, and Bags of Glory battled it out. But in the end Corn Dawgs were victorious and clutched the ultimate prize: bragging rights! They also won some sweet trophies from AOR, Inc., tents from REI, and Scorzies, while Children of the Cornhole won backpacks from Mountainsmith, concert tickets to the Fox Theatre, and Rockies Tickets thanks to Root Sports.

We raised over $4,000 to help support our programs with STRIVE Prep this fall, which will serve low-income, Latino(a) public school students in Denver. We want to give a quick shout out to our generous sponsors and supporters that helped make this event possible, so check out and support the following folks: AOR, Inc., EMI Sportswear, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Excell Fund Brokerage, Fox Theatre, Hero Kit, Mountainsmith, Oskar Blues, OtterBox, REI, Root Sports, Scorzie, Stoney’s Bar and Grill, and Wynkoop Brewing Company.

To check out a slideshow of the action, Click Here.

It Was A Good Day For A Throwdown

August 25, 2011 by  
Filed under Cottonwood Institute News

The 2nd Annual Cornhole Throwdown to benefit the Cottonwood Institute wrapped up last Saturday and we are happy to report that it was a success! 30 teams and over 70 spectators battled it out to show their support for the Cottonwood Institute. Despite a minor injury from Board Member Marley Steele-Inama, who developed a minor “cornhole strain” during the event, we were able to raise over $2,700 to help low-income students at West Denver Prep sleep under the stars for the first time in their lives this school year.

The competition was stiff, the sun was shining, and there was a slight breeze out of the Northeast, but in the end, Brian Wass and Aaron Rich from team Boiler Brewers emerged victorious. They earned the honor of displaying the prestigious 2011 Cornhole Throwdown trophy on their desks at work, in addition to sweet backpacks from REI and some serious bragging rights. Paul Keeney and Mike Atkins from team Park Hill Players took a close second and the coveted VIP Hanson tickets at the Fox Theater – Mmm Bop!

If you weren’t able to make it this year, you can still make a huge difference by making a tax-deductible donation by Clicking Here.

To relive the magic of the 2011 Throwdown, check out these stunning photos from the event by Clicking Here.

A special thanks goes our to our friends and sponsors for helping make this such a fun event, including: AOR, Chipotle, Denver Zoo, Fox TheaterREI, Scorzie, Two Knobby Tires, and Wynkoop Brewing Company.

Three Trees and a River Project Was Quite A Ride

June 1, 2010 by  
Filed under Notes From The Field

After braving the rain and thunderous skies this spring, the final phase of our Three Trees and a River Project was quite a ride. We collaborated with Front Range Earth Force, students from Gilpin E-8 Montessori School in Denver, CO, and the Garden Club of Denver to plant native trees at the Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield to help restore habitat for local wildlife. Students and volunteers worked diligently to plant whips and young saplings into the moist, muddy ground. We marked our trees with a dedication so we could return in the future to check on the progress of the trees we planted.

After an afternoon of practicing survival skills and camping under the stars, the excitement of their final trip together was yet to come. The next day, students teamed up with City Wild for an experience of a lifetime by rafting down the sometimes gentle, sometimes thrilling current of the South Platte River. Although they floated away with some initial trepidation, students ended the trip with new found courage, respect for the water, and smiles that could not be erased for days.

From water monitoring in the fall, surviving in the wilderness during the fall and spring, planting trees, and racing down rapids, students came away from this experience with a new respect for nature, the skills to explore the outdoors again, and the knowledge to protect it for future generations. Although there wasn’t one particular moment that stood out above the rest, the teamwork and support we saw in all of the students was impressive. The ability they had to overcome their fears as they learned to trust themselves was phenomenal. The positive attitude and sense of pride that emanated from each and every student as they said goodbye and walked back to the van wishing there was more time to do it all again, spoke much louder than words could ever express.

To relive the adventure of the Three Trees and a River Project, check out our latest movie and share it with your family and friends by Clicking Here.

A very special thanks goes out to everyone who made this pilot project possible, including: REI and Mustache 4 Cash supporters for funding the project, Front Range Earth Force and Gilpin Montessori E-8 School for organizing the students to work with, and the Garden Club of Denver, the Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield, and City Wild for helping us execute the project. If you are interested in helping us scale and replicate this project with other public schools in the future, please contact Ford Church at 303.447.1076.

Related Links:

  • To check out a photo gallery of our spring trip, Click Here
  • To read about our fall water monitoring project, Click Here
  • To read about our success of our fall survival overnight trip, Click Here

Lakewood High School Students Pass the Snow Test

March 1, 2010 by  
Filed under Notes From The Field

Amidst the bustling halls of Lakewood High School, 10 brave students stood outside waiting for a school bus dressed in their winter best: winter hats, coats, and snow pants. Their indoor classroom was a thing of the past as they headed out with the Cottonwood Institute for a day trip to Echo Lake on Mt. Evans to practice winter survival techniques.

Thanks to a generous grant from Larry H. Miller Charities and gear donations from the Patagonia Store in Boulder, the students tackled a variety of skills including snowshoeing, snow shelters, winter medical tips, and fire-making techniques.  They learned that shoveling was hard work, but their efforts paid off when they realized they had constructed their very own quinzhee snow shelter.  The highlight of the day was the surprise medical scenario. The students’ quick-thinking skills were put to the test when their teachers wandered into base camp disheveled and disoriented forcing the students into action.  With only a moments hesitation, the students determined the underlying cause and utilized their new skills to keep their teachers warm in a hypo wrap.

After an action-packed day, snowshoes and gear stored away, toes and fingers toasty warm, the students returned to Lakewood High School with serious bragging rights because of their new winter survival skills and knowledge of how to use them.

Click Here for a complete photo gallery of their hard work and great times.

Check out their inspiring video:

Get the link to send to your friends by Clicking Here.

Free Winter Surival Skills Clinics

November 17, 2009 by  
Filed under Cottonwood Institute News

Whether you are an experienced winter camping guru, backcountry snowboarder or skier, casual snowshoer, or a beginner, this winter survival clinic could save your life. During this clinic you will participate in an interactive survival scenario, learn about winter survival priorities, tips, strategies, and techniques, learn how to make basic snow shelters, and will learn how to make a personal survival kit.

This free clinic is brought to you by the Cottonwood Institute, a non-profit in Denver, CO that inspires students how to change the world through an exciting blend of adventure, wilderness survival, and environmental service. Voluntary donations to help underwrite our public school programs will be accepted. Below is a list of our upcoming survival clinics:

  • REI – Boulder, Wednesday, November 18th, 2009 at 7pm located at: 1798 28th Street, Boulder, CO 80301.

Please RSVP by contacting April Pishna, Cottonwood Institute Administrative Coordinator, via Email.

Free Movie Night: Let’s Talk About Stuff!

October 19, 2009 by  
Filed under Cottonwood Institute News

Have you ever looked around your house and thought to yourself, “Man! I have so much junk!” Why do we have so much useless stuff? Where does all this stuff come from? Where does it go after we throw it away?

Annie Leonard explores these questions in her short video called, “The Story of Stuff.” Leonard describes in detail each step of the process of all of our stuff; from trashing the environment through extraction and the toxic chemicals used in production, to how we dispose of our stuff when we are finished with it.  Can you believe that 99% of the stuff we consume is trashed within 6 months of us purchasing it? At the end of the video Leonard talks about how we can work together to change this vicious cycle and create a more sustainable future.

Cottonwood Institute is teaming up with Prescott College to host a FREE showing of The Story of Stuff at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 22, 2009. The event will take place at the Boulder REI Store at 1789 28th Street, Boulder, CO 80301. Free raffle tickets for an REI gift card will be given to all who register as a participant of the event. To register, simply RSVP by contacting April Pishna, Cottonwood Institute Administrative Coordinator, via Email.

This event is free and open to the public, but donations are encouraged and will be used to help underwrite our Community Adventure Program (CAP).  CAP is a unique academic experience designed for adventurous students who want to practice outdoor skills, discuss and debate local outdoor and environmental issues, develop deeper friendships with their classmates, and who want to make a positive impact in their communities.

Come for the free movie and leave with an inspiration to change the world!

Free Survival Clinic at REI Boulder

October 15, 2009 by  
Filed under Cottonwood Institute News

Most survival situations happen when you least expect it and when you are least prepared. Before you head to the mountains this fall to explore the brilliant bursts of color or the bugling elk, join the Cottonwood Institute for a Free Survival Clinic at REI. Participate in an interactive survival scenario, learn about survival priorities, tips, strategies, and techniques, and learn how to make a personal survival kit.

Our next presentation will be at REI BoulderFriday, October 16, 2009, at 7pm located at: 1789 28th Street, Boulder, CO  80301. Please RSVP by contacting April Pishna, Cottonwood Institute Administrative Coordinator, via Email.

Gilpin Students Make World Water Monitoring Day a Success

September 21, 2009 by  
Filed under Notes From The Field

On Thursday, September 17, 2009 students from Gilpin K-8 School headed over to the South Platte River in downtown Denver to team up with Earth Force and Cottonwood Institute for World Water Monitoring Day (WWMD).

In partnership with Keep it Clean from Drain to Stream (KIC), a water education campaign led by Denver Public Works, Denver City Councilwoman Judy Montero kicked off the event with her inspiring opening remarks and encouraged students to do their part to help keep Denver’s water clean. Approximately 25 students and 10 volunteers performed a variety of tests along the South Platte River to check the water quality for the wildlife that call it home and for the people that use it for recreation.  Students performed several water tests including, pH, turbidity, temperature, and dissolved oxygen, waded in the water in search of macroinvertebrates, and participated in an interactive game called “The Incredible Journey” to understand the water cycle.

Students recorded their findings, which will be submitted to the Water Environment Federation.  Community results are published each year in the “Year in Review” report and made available on the WWMD website, so stay tuned for more information. At the end of the day, students had gained knowledge on not just water, but how to keep it safe, how to know it’s safe, and how to enjoy it responsibly.

WWMD was one of three events Cottonwood Institute, Earth Force and Gilpin have planned for the 2009 – 2010 school year thanks to a generous grant from REI. Other courses include a fall camping trip and a spring rafting adventure, so check back with us to keep track of all that we accomplish throughout the year.

Free Survival Clinic At REI Denver Flagship Store

August 12, 2009 by  
Filed under Cottonwood Institute News

Most survival situations happen when you least expect it and when you are least prepared. Before you head to the hills this fall to explore the color change or the bugling elk, join the Cottonwood Institute for a Free Survival Clinic at REI. Participate in an interactive survival scenario, learn about survival priorities, tips, strategies, and techniques, and learn how to make a personal survival kit.

Our next presentation will be at the REI Denver Flagship StoreTuesday, August 18, 2009, at 7pm located at: 1416 Platte Street, Denver, CO 80202. Please RSVP by contacting April Pishna, Cottonwood Institute Administrative Coordinator, via Email.

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