| Sarah Rudeen

A Rainy Pondside Retreat with New Vista CAP Students


Six New Vista High School Community Adventure Program (CAP) students and three instructors braved the wet weather as we left Boulder heading toward Allenspark. When we arrived at the trailhead, the sun was shining through the clouds and it ended up being a great day for our hike near Taylor Mountain.

Instructors gathered our group to help us orient ourselves with the map and begin the backpacking trip. The students and instructors shared the hopes that we would all get to know each other better, bond as a team, and of course have tons of fun.

CAP43.2_5.14-15.2016_41The students led the group to our campsite and after a mile hike in we arrived at our heavenly new home for the next two days. The beautiful pond glistened as we began to set up camp. Due to the possibility of rain, one of our instructors guided the group in tarp set up and each student helped us create super strong tarps to keep us dry.

The magical campsite and pond near Taylor Mountain is typically home to pregnant moose during this season. We encountered a lot of fresh moose scat but thankfully no moose sitings happened during this trip.

Once camp was set up, the instructors walked the students through an informative lesson on primitive shelters. Soon, the group was split into two teams to demonstrate their awesome shelter building skills. Each group took a lot of time and effort to find debris on site to build their huts. With the help of branches, leaves and pine cones, their structures passed the test and would most likely keep them warm through the night.


Ultimately the students were happy that they didnt have to stay the night in the shelters. As the evening rolled in, so did the fog. The mystical fog set the scene for a couple of ultimate camouflage games, fun dinner conversations, and a night of games at the campfire.

The next day we were all grateful for the dry night and no thunderstorms. We knew they would come into camp by the afternoon so we got packed up and ready to say goodbye to our beautiful pond. The instructors guided the students through a Native American history lesson of the Ute people and encouraged them to imagine what it would have been like to spend time at this pond as a native person. Soon, we were off heading down the mountain as the rain poured down and thunder cracked behind us. The students and instructors successfully got to know each other better and of course had tons of fun.

Written by: CI Instructor, Roz Silva

Want to see more photos of our adventures and what we’re up to in CAP classes? Check out our Shutterfly site! Click Here.


Categories: CAP, Community Adventure Program, Cottonwood Institute News, Courses

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