From the wilds of the city to the wilds of the Colorado mountains, students from West Denver Prep’s Lake Campus embarked on a journey to learn how to survive amidst the chill of a fall weekend. Cottonwood Institute teamed up with West Denver Prep’s enrichment program to give kids the opportunity to connect to the outdoors, learn more about the environment, give back to the land, and then connect their experience to their everyday lives.
After setting up camp at Calwood Outdoor Education Center near Jamestown, the group went on an interpretive hike to learn more about their surroundings and become more attune to nature. They learned how to foxwalk, played a variety of nature awareness games, and practiced several ways to make fire. But wait, the fun was not over yet. Students were eager to try out their foxwalking skills in the dark while participating in the blind drum stalk, in which students are blindfolded and then proceed to find their way through the woods back to camp using only the sound of the beating drum. As the stars lit up the night sky, everyone gathered around the campfire to enjoy smores and reflect on an active, yet exciting day.
The next morning dawned bright and early, and after a hearty breakfast of oatmeal and all the fixings, it was off to give back to Calwood for generously donating their land for our overnight. The students worked together, lifting and dragging logs to cover up an old trail. Their strong work ethic continued over into the first part of making debris shelters. But as the afternoon wore on and students became worn out, their efforts waned and shelters took a backseat to rest and snacks. While the students were tired at the end of the adventure, there were still smiles and laughter to be had by all as everyone clamored into the van and headed back into the wilds of the city.