Last month, Cottonwood Institute instructors met up with 68 middle and high school students from 15 school districts throughout northeast and east central Colorado. They spent three days at CU Boulder as part of a program hosted by BOCES. They are an umbrella organization providing educational, administrative, technological, and other services to school groups across the state of Colorado. The BOCES students were interested in getting a taste of outdoor skills as a part of their workshops, and Cottonwood instructors taught two courses: Orienteering and Primitive Fire-Making.
During Orienteering students learned the basics of reading a map, understanding topographical markings, and using a compass. There were also a few games involved and an introduction to using bearings! Then students got to know some of the South area of UC’s campus, setting out on this sunny day on a scavenger hunt involving shooting bearings, marking paces, and solving a word-scramble. It was a beautiful and creative setting to practice map skills and orienteering.
Later, students had an opportunity to participate in the fire-making class! The sand of UC’s outdoor volleyball courts made for a perfect and safe spot to practice fire-making. Students learned about using a bow drill, flint and steel, and effective kindling. There was lots of smoke and a couple of embers created during bow drilling! And there were cotton ball fires from the flint and steel activity. Students had a great time learning more about primitive fire-starting and fire-making techniques.
BOCES has partnered with Cottonwood for outdoor experiences before and we loved offering a bit of outdoor skills in this creative, unique setting at UC. We hope to see BOCES students again next year!!
A big thank you to BOCES and CU Boulder for their partnership!
Check out more of the students’ experiences in this article published by CU Boulder Today.
And more photos from their day here!
Written by field instructor Keiran Bissell