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 »


New Vista High School CAP Class Tackles Wildfire Preparedness

New Vista High School CAP Class Ignites Action! Written by CAP Instructor Sadie Norton. Wildfire Preparedness: Is Your Home Ready? Take the Test! The Prelude: This quarter’s CAP Class had quite the learning journey this Spring. Throughout the quarter, we spent time connecting to nature, gaining an appreciation for the beauty in the world around… Read more »

NVHS student as work in the outdoors, examining something


From Fire-Building to Friendship: New Vista High School Camps Out at Camp Patiya

Students Encounter Wildlife, Build Shelters, and Learn Valuable Outdoor Skills on a Memorable Camping Trip. Written by Instructor M Tormasi.  Earlier in April, Cottonwood Institute had the wonderful opportunity to take New Vista High School students camping just 25 minutes northwest of their school. Throughout the trip, many students stepped into leadership roles, facilitating team-building… Read more »

An AXL Academy 8th grader poses in snow gear: a hat, goggles, and face mask


A Snowy Overnight Adventure with AXL Academy 8th Graders

Students Enjoy Snowball Fights, Baseball, and Moonlit Walks on a Trip to Cal-Wood Education Center. Written by Caroline Paul. AXL Academy 8th graders spent an extraordinary overnight trip at Cal-Wood Education Center near Jamestown, Colorado. What started as exceptionally warm leaned its way to a beautiful overnight snowfall. AXL students spent the early afternoon learning… Read more »

A Centaurus High School student roasts a marshmallow on a fire they built with their class


Centaurus High School Students Take a Tasty Test

CAP Outdoor Class students at Centaurus High School learn to build fires and use them to roast marshmallows as part of their final exam to evaluate outdoor skills. Written by CAP Instructor Erin Angel. How do you like your marshmallow? Lightly toasted? Golden brown? Burnt beyond all recognition? The Centaurus High School CAP Outdoor Class… Read more »

An Angevine Middle School student measures lumber to help build a Gaga Ball pit at their school


Angevine Middle School Students go Gaga for Gaga Ball

Students at Angevine Middle School take action to promote outdoor play at their school. Written by CAP Instructor Erin Angel. Everyone who plays Gaga Ball loves Gaga Ball! After spending hours playing the game during our fall campout at Cheley Outpost Camp, the Angevine Middle School CAP Outdoor Class decided to share this fun game… Read more »

An AXL Academy 8th grade student picks up a rock while exploring Pelican Ponds Open Space


AXL Academy’s Adventurous Winter Days

Scaling New Heights and Navigating Nature: AXL Academy Students’ Adventurous Winter Field Days. Written by Cottonwood Field Instructor Kira Taggart. In early December, AXL 7th and 8th graders went on their winter field days to The Spot Climbing Gym and Pelican Pond Open Space. We had two fun days where students learned the basics of… Read more »