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Outdoor Classroom for Schools

“I thought that the whole experience was amazing. Well organized and a strong emphasis on academics in an authentic way. A well balanced outdoor education experience!”
Elementary teacher and former assistant principal

Students will learn about mountain ecology while exploring trails and creeks. A night hike, environmental science and community building will be included in this full and fun experience! We work with classrooms and teachers accompanied by parent chaperones. College interns assist with program activities while supporting their training in education and learning how to positively engage students.

Highlands Camp and Retreat Center is an American Camping Association Accredited facility and can accommodate up to 4 classrooms at one time. Students and adult chaperones sleep in comfortable heated cabins with indoor plumbing. Bunkbeds are provided in separate cabins for girls and boys. Meals are delicious, bountiful and served buffet-style in our beautiful retreat center with an awe-inspiring view of Mount Meeker. Please see our website for details and contact information. Highlands offers programming and events year round to schools, churches, youth groups and more.
Specialty week long trips are favorites of ours! Plan a dynamic wilderness science camping trip to Arches National Park, Buena Vista CO, Yellowstone National Park or a location that meets your class needs. Geology, environmental education, wilderness living and adventure programming combine to make a memorable class trip for your students. We provide all program planning and reservations, program facilitation/instruction of adventure-based activities as well as informal science education in wilderness settings. We contract for rafting through the amazing Wilderness Aware located in Buena Vista. With decades of experience, they have provided super fun trips with our students health and well-being their number one priority…as is OURS! We love them!
We can accommodate 1 classroom which includes teachers and parent chaperones of up to 35. Food, group kitchen gear and program materials are provided. Students provide their own tents and sleeping bags.
Students learn to snowshoe while exploring winter ecology and fun adaptation facts about local animals in the sub-alpine ecosystem at Echo Lake (Denver Mountain Parks) or CU Mountain Research Station. Digging a snow pit and observing the layers, identifying snow crystals and determining avalanche safety are highlights of the day. Snowshoes are included. We bring plenty of extra boots and winter clothing.

Join us on a watershed safari in your neighborhood! Explore the creeks and streams near your school and learn about the critters that inhabit these riparian areas both in and out of the water. Catch and identify macro-invertebrates, find out where fish hide their eggs, use stream ecology equipment to measure the abiotic factors that make every stream unique. Students will keep a field journal, as true scientists do, observing, recording and reflecting on the amazing animals that live in and around our creeks from red-winged black birds to mayfly nymphs and river otters to caddis fly larvae. There’s no kid around who doesn’t LOVE this experience! Here is the best opportunity to connect kids to the natural wonders and workings of the natural world!