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 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 »


Angevine Students Level Up a Field Day at Mud Lake!

Angevine Middle School students learn to identify poisonous plants, spot mushrooms, pad through the woods, and engage in exciting games with scenic views at Mud Lake! Written by Field Instructor Hailey Tresch. What would be a better location for 24 Angevine Middle School (AMS) students to play outdoors than somewhere called Mud Lake? We couldn’t… 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 »

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 »