We are so excited to formally welcome Tucker Knight (they/them) to the CI team! Tucker has been field instructing with us since the summer, and they are teaching CAP Class at STRIVE Prep Westwood this fall. Tucker brings a range of experiences to the team, from working one-on-one with students last school year, to creating their own outdoor program in 2020, to working on a commercial fishing boat in Alaska. Get to know Tucker below, and read our other staff and board profiles here!
Do you have a formative memory of when you learned to love the outdoors?
My mom loves to hike and tried to instill this love in all eight of her children. Her love of nature came from my grandfather, who at age 93 is still at it. He also wanted his grandkids to get into hiking but with his many bushwhacking shortcuts and my mom’s many moments of misdirection, not all of us still love it. We still all appreciate the outdoors and understand nature as an important part of building relationships and feeling joy. One of my favorite hikes we have done over the years is at Shore Acres State Park in Coos Bay, Oregon. This one remains my favorite because it is a hike I can still do with every person in my family, Grandpa included. It helps of course that the trail follows the ocean with cliffside views and ends at a very well-kept state garden. Not to mention, if you go in the winter, they also offer cookies and hot cider.
How do you get outside these days?
I love river swimming with all my heart. I like to do it through all the seasons. I also love car camping with my friends, long walks with loved ones, and quiet fly-fishing trips. When I’m by myself outside I love to watercolor and write poems.
What’s your favorite snack to eat in the woods?
My current favorite snack to eat in the woods is a bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. Although delicious, they definitely leave a trace on your fingers.
What do you do outside of working for Cottonwood?
Outside of my work with Cottonwood, I am a grad student at Colorado State University. I am completing my Masters of Education for English Secondary so I can teach high school English. I am currently student-teaching at a high school in Gilpin County, attending classes, and conducting research. I also go on a lot of adventures with my friends to all corners of the state.
What are your goals for this semester teaching CAP?
My goal for this semester teaching CAP is to instill a sense of safety and excitement in all my students for the outdoors. I also plan to incorporate art as much as possible in my class, from nature films to watercoloring. Last but not least, I hope to invoke a sense of community and play, so that the students feel excited to play together outside without an external structure guiding them.
We’re so glad to have Tucker on the team! Follow their class and all Cottonwood news this fall: