AMS spring 2022 overnight


Spring 2022 CAP Class Impact Report

Written by Curriculum Manager Chelsea Tossing (Escrito en español más abajo) We don’t know about you, but here at CI it’s certainly hard to believe we’re nearing the end of the summer months! As we crest into the end of the summer program season and start of the school year, we wanted to take a moment… Read more »

Kira Changemakers


Alumni Spotlight: Kira Gilliland and the Impact of CAP Class

Escrito en español más abajo. Written by Cottonwood Institute alum Kira Gilliland. Cottonwood Institute’s flagship program, the Community Adventure Program (CAP), has been at Centaurus High School in Lafayette, CO since 2017. More recently, Cottonwood created Changemakers, a high school leadership program for alumni of our Boulder County programs. The Changemakers program gives about ten… Read more »

AMS students on the dock at Waneka Lake


Angevine Middle School: Cukie goes fishing!

Written by CAP Instructor Erin Angel (Escrito en español más abajo) Photos here! The Angevine Middle School CAP class had another fall adventure with a garden vegetable (technically a fruit) tagging along. Cukie the Cucumber and his human friends joined April Archer from SaraBella Fishing for a wonderful day of fly fishing on Waneka Lake…. Read more »

Students enjoy smores and cookies from their solar ovens


New Vista High School: Solar Snacks & Stream Science

The greenhouse effect may be one of the primary drivers of global warming, but did you know that it can also make delicious solar cookies?  Last month, New Vista CAP students gathered at Eben G. Fine park near downtown Boulder for the second field day of the year and the first week of fall. After… Read more »



AXL Academy’s Fall Overnight: A Jam-Packed Adventure!

Written by CAP Instructor Carly Winner The first Cottonwood Institute overnight of the 2021-2022 school year was a success as students braved wintry conditions for a fun night. The AXL Academy CAP class met on Thursday morning to venture up to Cal-Wood Education Center. On the drive up, we couldn’t see much through the fog… Read more »

A student with a flower!


AXL students venture locally to Cherry Creek State Park

  Written by CI Cap Instructor Carly Winner My students from the Aurora Expeditionary Learning Academy (AXL) CAP Class ventured to Cherry Creek State Park on September 10th to brave the heat and enjoy the fresh air. Our first adventure of the school year focused on team building activities, exploring, and enjoying our time outdoors.  In preparation for… Read more »

Centaurus CAP Class Garden Action Project


Centaurus Students Cap Semester with Garden Project

In this long, long school year full of challenges, what I was looking forward to most was teaching this group of students at Centaurus High School. I saw the class list at the beginning of the school year and recognized some amazing returning students and a class that was well-balanced between English language learners and… Read more »


Angevine CAP Students Find Wonder in Wildfire

The Angevine Middle School 4th quarter class was a hybrid class with some students attending online and the others attending in person. When the quarter started, it was the first time many of the students had been to school in a year and, although the group had been in a cohort all year, they didn’t… Read more »

AXL CAP Takes on Complex Issues


AXL CAP Class Faces Off With Complex Issues

Years tend to demonstrate themes. Many of the mantras of 2020 and 2021 revolved around perseverance, tenacity, and responding to unprecedented challenges. If one theme were assigned to the Aurora Expeditionary Learning Academy (AXL) CAP class of 2020-2021, it would be complexity. Not only were these students faced with changing schedules and online classes, but… Read more »