AXL 8th grade student holding a bullsnake he found on the overnight trip


Bullsnakes, Bonfires, and Baby Salamanders: AXL Academy 8th Grade CAP Students Say Farewell with Epic Camping Trip!

AXL Academy 8th Graders Explore, Learn, and Make Memories on Unforgettable Adventure. Written by CI Field Instructor Caroline Paul. That’s a wrap on another great year of Community Adventure Program (CAP) Class at Aurora’s Expeditionary Learning Academy (AXL)! The 8th graders took their final camping trip before their big high school graduation, which was certainly… Read more »

AXL student picking up trash


AXL Academy’s Trash Roundup

Tires, bottles, and buckets are some of the things AXL Academy students cleaned up! Written by Cottonwood Field Instructor Eeland Stribling As part of their CAP Action Project, AXL Academy students went looking for places to clean up near their school. The community does a great job at keeping parks and trails clean, and students… Read more »


AXL Academy’s October Odyssey: Exploring Nature’s Classroom!

Discover how AXL Academy students turned forests into forums and campfires into classrooms with their October overnight trip and field day! Written by CI Field Instructor M Tormasi. This October, Cottonwood Institute was excited to facilitate several outdoor education programs for students at AXL Academy! After hosting an overnight trip for the 8th grade CAP… Read more »


AXL Academy’s Wilderness Adventure

From Shelter-Building and Fire-Starting to Taco Nights and Moose Sightings, AXL Students Dive Headfirst into a World of Outdoor Learning and Team-Building Fun! Written by CI Field Instructor Kira Taggart. See more photos here! After a two-hour drive from Aurora, AXL Academy students arrived at Cheley Outpost, their home for the next 24 hours. The… Read more »


Reeling in Good Times at AXL Academy’s Fall Field Day!

AXL Academy middle school students go on a fall fishing adventure! Written by Field Instructor Tony Fastiggi. In mid-September, our 7th and 8th grade CAP students from AXL Academy tried their luck on a fishing adventure at Staunton State Park! We set up alongside a stunning lake teeming with rainbow trout and spent our day… Read more »

A group of AXL students posing at Calwood


Let the good times roll with AXL

AXL Academy students build a quinzhee and roll down hills in the snow on their winter overnight at Calwood. Written by Field Instructor Jarrod Gaut. Escrito en español más abajo.   How do you move a ping pong ball into a bucket twenty feet away without touching it? You scoop it in your shoe! This… Read more »

AXL student learning archery


Archery, Animals, and AXL at Barr Lake

AXL students learn archery, practice animal tracking, and enjoy the snow on their recent field day at Barr Lake. Written by Field Instructor Piper Triggs. Escrito en español más abajo. The setting: Barr Lake State Park, on a classically cold and sunny Colorado day, with fresh snow thick on the ground. The mission: learning animal… Read more »

Two AXL students pose for a photo while building debris shelters for Capture the Flag


AXL’s Epic Capture the Flag Overnight

AXL Academy CAP students wrap up their term with an epic game of Capture the Flag during the overnight camping trip. Written by CAP Instructor Carly Winner. Escrito en español más abajo. See more photos here! AXL Academy 7th and 8th grade Trimester 1 students explored Cal-Wood Education Center for their fall overnight! Excitement was… Read more »

Fishing day


Fish Catchers and Bug Collectors!

Escrito en español más abajo. AXL Academy joined Cottonwood Institute for a Friday of bug collecting and fish catching at Lake Lehow, which is a private lake owned by Denver Water and used by Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW) for clinics. The group started the day in inquiry mode: what bugs live in this stream?… Read more »

AXL overnight


AXL’s Last Overnight of 2022!

Escrito en español más abajo. Check out more photos here! AXL Academy students got to experience two overnights in one trimester! Their second overnight was at Cal-Wood Education Center in Jamestown. The group was prepared for all that came at them as their overnight in April was cold, snowy, and full of new experiences! The pro… Read more »