Jesse Holtshnider (’24) and Ignacio Precadio Gutierrez (’27) mess around while building the Quinzee.(Shira Nathan)


A Student Account of CAP Class in Centaurus High School’s Newspaper

In CAP class, students learn to connect with nature – and each other. Written by Shira Nathan, Centaurus High School CAP Class Student and Co-Editor-in-Chief for The Warrior Scroll. Note: Some of the students interviewed speak Spanish as their first language. An English translation will be included alongside their responses. Students filter into class, chatting… 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 »

CHS fire spring overnight. Students looking out at a view


Centaurus’ visit to Left Hand Fire Station

Centaurus High School students explore questions about fire and visit a wildland fire station on their overnight. Written by Field Instructor Jarrod Gaut. Becalmed atop a hill, the group surveys a wide and snowy vista. The wind whispers hello as it heralds a frosty moisture. Clouds marshal themselves above snowy peaks and hurry towards the… Read more »

Three Centaurus students at Caribou Ranch


It’s time to build a quinzhee with Centaurus!

It’s time to build a quinzhee! Written by Field Instructor Jarrod Gaut. Escrito en español más abajo. The marvelous CAP class at Centaurus High were ready; they donned their snowshoes and trudged out to Caribou Ranch lugging their snow shovels. Complete professionals, and hard set to their task, they piled up snow as tall as… Read more »

A Centaurus high school student sets up a tent in the school yard


Should you drink tap or bottled water?

Written by CAP Instructor Erin Angel. Escrito en español más abajo. The students in the Centaurus High School Fall 2022 CAP class are a very diverse group. About ¾ of the students are newcomers to the United States, bringing with them rich and varied experiences. As we studied water in Colorado, we took some time… Read more »

Two CHS students check out macroinvertebrates from Coal Creek.


What Did Centaurus High School’s Coal Creek Data Reveal?

Read an update about Centaurus High School CAP Class’s water quality project on Coal Creek in Lafayette, CO. You can find the original article here. Our Spring 2022 fire/water Coal Creek project all started with the students. Their primary interest was contaminación de agua – or water pollution. When explored further, the students’ overriding view… Read more »

Two students taking a selfie at Cheley


Overnight Q&A with Centaurus CAP

A Q&A! In early October, the students from the Centaurus High School CAP class spent two beautiful days in the mountains at Cheley Outpost. They made fires, cooked a feast, went on a night hike, learned about fire ecology, and did a service project. Q&A (question and answer) with the students: Q:What was the most… Read more »

Ranger Barrientos shows off his nature journal


CHS Nature Journals with Ranger Barrientos

Escrito en español más abajo. Check out more photos here! Written by CI Instructor Jessie Colin. On one of the hottest days of the year, ten Centaurus High School students, two Cottonwood Institute instructors, and one Centaurus teacher set out to the well-shaded Anne U. White trail in Boulder. Once there, we all met Ranger… 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 »