Meet Dru Falco, CI’s Logistics Coordinator! Dru is responsible for risk management and logistics behind our field programs, from choosing locations to cleaning gear to figuring out how to acquire fishing poles for a trip. If she’s not working on a spreadsheet, you can find her running in the mountains or trying to find the best breakfast spot in the Denver area.
Check out rest of our staff profiles here!
Why is exploring the outdoors important to you?
So many reasons! First of all, it’s so fun to do outdoor activities with others, and something about being outside bonds you and facilitates deep conversations. Second, as someone who grew up struggling with body positivity, I’ve found acceptance and encouragement through my outdoors communities, and running and hiking make me feel strong physically and mentally! Lastly, I’m continually in awe of the natural beauty we have the privilege of exploring here in Colorado and all over the world. For all these reasons, I’m grateful to be working at Cottonwood Institute and helping students become more acquainted with themselves and their environment.
Do you have a formative memory of when you learned to love the outdoors?
My first experience “outdoors” was on my first year orientation trip at college. All first year students embark on a 5-day outdoors trip in New Hampshire, led by two older students. My trip was flatwater kayaking and I was pretty uncomfortable the entire time, having none of the right gear and doing things like sleeping and cooking outside for the first time. On the last night, all the students convene at the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge for a huge celebration that includes games, dinner, and a dance party. I was floored by how much everyone wanted to get to know each other and be silly even without having showered for five days, and how close I felt to my fellow first years and group leaders. I went on to join the Outing Club and find my whole community there, and I helped organize First Year Trips my senior year; these were two of my most formative life experiences!
How do you get outside these days?
In addition to running and hiking, I’ve been biking from my home in Golden into our office near Union Station once a week. I see a ton of birds on the Clear Creek bike path and it’s great to have some time to listen to music and reflect before and after work.
What’s your favorite snack to eat in the woods?
In the winter I love chocolate-covered pretzels (too melty for the summer!). Huge fan of a peanut butter, jelly, and cheddar cheese wrap, or sandwich with lemon hummus, cucumber, cheese, and bell pepper.
If you didn’t work for Cottonwood, what do you think you’d be doing?
Probably trail running all around Colorado or working as a backcountry caretaker in New Hampshire.
We’re excited to have Dru on the team – send her your snack requests for your trip!
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