If you’re familiar with the Leave No Trace framework, you may have heard of the first principle: “Plan Ahead & Prepare.” At Cottonwood Institute (CI), we use wilderness as a tool for teaching skills that we hope transcend a weekend on the trail— from navigating weather to finding water, we try to instill in our students that the more you anticipate potential challenges, the better you’ll be equipped to respond when things change.
So what do we as an organization do when a global pandemic shifts our plans for our annual Base Camp Bash? We adapt, of course! This past weekend we had a blast holding CI’s first ever “Roaring 20s Virtual Bash,” a digital gathering of friends, supporters and members of the CI community.
Participants learned how to make delicious 20s-themed drinks with Distillery 291, bid on awesome items and experiences from our sponsors, and heard from CAP instructor Erin Angel about our new “Thrival Kits” and the incredible Action Projects our students have planned— all from the comfort of their own living rooms! We were blown away at the support we received, and thoroughly impressed with all the 1920s costumes that folks just *happened* to have in their closets. Viewers participated in fun activities throughout the night including trivia, polls and sharing what comes to mind when they think of CI to help us create a word cloud.
In a world full of uncertainty and isolation, our students need to feel empowered and connected…maybe now more than ever. With many of our funders hit hard by the economic impact of COVID-19, the money raised at our Virtual Bash is critical to continue funding CAP classes and other impactful CI programs for schools and communities. Because of the support of CI supporters near and far, we were able to raise $58,000 virtually.
Thank you to everyone who supported our first ever Virtual Bash! From the companies that sponsored our event to the individuals and businesses that donated products and trips for our auction to the generous people who won big to help support our programs. We couldn’t be more grateful for everyone that attended and to everyone else that’s shown up in solidarity for our mission. We hope to see you all in person at our Base Camp Bash this fall on September 12, 2020, so mark your calendars! Stay safe and healthy out there, and remember to plan ahead and prepare.
Written by CI Field Instructor Chelsea Tossing
**Even though the Virtual Bash is over, you can still connect with us! Cottonwood Institute would like to share a free virtual screening of the NEW full-length documentary The Story of Plastic with you! CI will also be hosting a Post-film Discussion with local environmental advocates (including our very own CAP Instructor Amy Atkins) on Thursday May 7th from 6 – 7pm on Zoom. We only have access to the documentary for a max of 80 views, so RSVP now to claim your spot!!
Cottonwood Institute is committed to building an ecosystem of supporters who are all committed to each other’s long term sustainability and success. Please support the following companies that make our programs possible:
We also wanted to give a shout out to the following in-kind sponsors and individuals who donated prizes and auction items: