A Message from the Executive Director

For more than 60 years, we have observed the positive impact that our programs have on both children and adults. 

While emergent research shows that a connection with the natural world is essential for positive youth development, other research shows that the amount of time U.S. children spend outside has declined by 50 percent in the last two decades alone.  Here on our 6000 acres in the Colorado mountains, we hike, camp-out, ride horses and live within the natural world.  We “unplug” for a time and make real connections with friends, nurturing adult leaders, and the world around us. 

Social and Emotional GrowthResearch has also shown that social and emotional skills are more important than academic skills for success in life.  Here at COEC young people and adults practice teamwork skills while climbing mountains, orienteering or by role-playing together. They learn leadership skills through our trips and our special programs.  They gain responsibility, tolerance and an appreciation for the importance of communication by living together with other campers and staff from many places. 

This is our life.  Our leadership team has more than 200 years of collective experience at Colorado Outdoor Education Center and we are committed to providing the programs, the facilities, and the leadership which will make a term at Big Spring or High Trails, a week at High Trails Outdoor Education Center, or a program at The Nature Place a highlight in the life of each participant who joins us.

Thank you for your support and commitment to our mission.

Jane Sanborn