| Sadie Norton

Base Camp Bash 2024: A Night of Wild Wonder

Upper Larimer Event SpaceIn a nutshell, 2024’s Base Camp Bash did not fall short of its theme as a “A Night of Wild Wonder.”

On the evening of March 2nd, as attendees entered Upper Larimer event space in RiNo, they were greeted with a variety of sensory experiences: the scent of hundreds of fresh cut flowers, the sound of bluegrass music mixed with the laughter of reuniting friends, and the sight of smiling faces from Cottonwood staff and volunteers welcoming all inside.

The Base Camp Bash is the main fundraising event for Cottonwood Institute, raising approximately 20% of our annual operating budget. In its 19th year, the Base Camp Bash boasted an unforgettable venue, heart-warming speeches from students and staff, and a crowd ready for an evening of reverie. Guests ranging from long time CI Sponsors and Board Members, to students and their families gathered to enjoy live music from That Damn Sasquatch, drinks donated from Distillery 291, Epic Western, Trader Joe’s, Great Divide, and Attimo Wine, and food from local eateries Snooze and Lucina.

The evening’s program began with a Q&A with our 3 amazing Assistant Instructors, Iona Kelly, Sasha Trask, and Jesse Holtsnider, whose speeches were equal parts comedic and touching, giving guests a glimpse at the powerful programming that they have been a part of in their time at Cottonwood as first CAP students, then Changemakers, and now, Instructors.

After that, CAP Instructors took turns celebrating each of this year’s selected Ripple Effect Award Winners: Aya, Jake, Leif, Megan, Willa, and Z’Nayah. From rallying their classes around an Action Project, to leading EPIC snowball fights that unify classmates, to making EVERYONE feel like they are a meaningful part of the team, each Ripple Effect Award Winning student brought a different form of leadership to their CAP Classes.

“So many experiences I have had through Changemakers have shifted my perspective, but one of the biggest changes I have noticed is in my confidence, decisiveness, and adaptability.” -Iona Kelly, Assistant Instructor, Changemaker, and CAP Class alum

Following the Ripple Effect Winners recognition, Rob Guthrie was invited to the stage to award two of the Ripple Effect Winning students, Megan and Willa, with the Lauren Guthrie Legacy Scholarship, which provides two students with the funding to attend a week-long Avid4 Adventure Expedition over the summer. As a part of Lauren’s legacy, The Lauren Guthrie Make A Difference Fund has supported getting students outdoors and growing as leaders, carrying on Lauren’s legacy of connecting youth through Adventure Education.

From there, the night moved from reverential to rowdy as Jason Green– DJ, emcee, and auctioneer– lead a live auction and paddle raise that will not soon be forgotten.

All told, this year’s Base Camp Bash raised over $85,000, funding another amazing year of snowball fighting, star gazing, s’mores eating, knot tying, shelter building, and nature exploring.

If you were in attendance, thank you for coming and celebrating with us, and we will see you again next time! If you weren’t, but would like to come to future Cottonwood Institute Events, check out or website or follow us on Social Media to hear the latest news on upcoming gatherings, including our Beer Release party on Thursday, June 20, 2024, from 5pm – 8pm at Woods Boss Brewing Company in Denver.

Click Here to check out pictures from the 2024 Base Camp Bash! And thank you Nick from Dude, IDK Creative for taking such amazing pictures!

Thank You Sponsors & Supporters:

A huge thank you to all who helped make this evening possible. Please support our sponsors below who help support local environmental education nonprofits like Cottonwood Institute!

Fero/Sheffield Family

Lauren Guthrie Make A Difference Fund

Trader Joe's Alliance BernsteinAlpine BankMegaStar Financial Corp.Now CFOCatherine Schwartz Financial AdvisorLucina Eatery & BarAttimo WineUS EngineeringGreenberg TraurigWhitson Strategies

Categories: Base Camp Bash Fundraising Event, Fundraising, Ripple Effect, Upcoming Events, Updates

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