Colorado Mountain Club

The Colorado Mountain Club connects young people to nature through innovative outdoor education, helps protect our state's wildlands for responsible human-powered recreation and operates the country's only museum dedicated to the history and adventure of mountaineering.

Organizational Overview

Colorado Mountain Club
710 10th Street, Suite 200
Golden, CO 80401
To unite the energy, interest and knowledge of the students, explorers and lovers of the mountains of Colorado; collect and disseminate information regarding the Rocky Mountains on behalf of science, literature, art and recreation; stimulate public interest in our mountain areas; encourage the preservation of forests, flowers, fauna and natural scenery; and, render readily accessible the alpine attractions of the region.

Impact Statement

Over the course of the 2013-14 fiscal year, CMC's Youth Education Program welcomed 6,320 youth participants and 533 adult chaperones. One-third of youth participants comprised non-white ethnicities, and 48% were girls. With outside support, CMC provided need-based scholarships that allowed 3,528 low-income students to participate who would not have been able to do so otherwise. In addition, 413 special needs students participated in our program, including learning how to rock climb. More than 100 volunteers contributed 402 hours assisting Youth Education staff. Since 1999, our Youth Education Program has engaged more than 83,000 young people in activities that inspire learning and exploration in mountain environments.

Needs Statement

1. Transportation is a significant barrier to participation for many schools. We seek funding to provide transportation for schools that cannot provide their own transportation to the American Mountaineering Center in Golden to broaden our program's reach and make it possible for more underserved students to take part in our Youth Education programming.

2. Our Youth Education program seeks active partnerships with Title I schools to provide unique learning experiences for underserved youth with the aim of boosting student engagement and academic achievement.

3. We seek sponsors to provide financial assistance for schools and families who cannot otherwise afford CMC's Youth Education program fees.

4. CMC's Lands Department works to preserve wilderness areas across Colorado through public education and collaboration with partner agencies. We seek funds to provide a two-year stipend for a Fellow in our Conservation Department to implement outreach campaigns and work with our conservation partners to craft policies and management plans that will allow responsible human-powered recreation while ensuring protection of critical mountain habitats.

5. The American Mountaineering Museum seeks general operating support to maintain its world-class exhibit space and to bring more special exhibits to the public each year.

Background Statement

Founded in 1912, the Colorado Mountain Club is the state's leading organization dedicated to adventure, recreation, conservation and education. CMC has played an instrumental role in many landmark achievements over the past century, including the designation of Rocky Mountain National Park in 1915, the protection of Dinosaur National Monument and passage of the Wilderness Act in 1964. Today, CMC offers a diverse range of programs and activities for adults, school-age children and families, centered on responsible outdoor recreation, active learning and the spirit of adventure.

Established in 1999, CMC's award-winning Youth Education Program "brings the mountains" to thousands of K-12 students every year, helping to develop character, confidence and self-esteem and improve academic achievement through active learning focused on the outdoors. CMC takes preventing "nature deficit disorder" to heart by getting kids outside and exploring with team-building activities and the personal and physical challenge of rock climbing. The Program's school-based activities meet Colorado's model content standards and provide a unique avenues for improving math, science and literacy skills.

To ensure the continued enjoyment of Colorado's pristine places, CMC also leads efforts to protect wilderness and public lands with its conservation and stewardship programs. CMC continues to maintain a strong voice in Colorado's conservation community, working throughout the state with partner agencies to permanently protect our last remaining roadless areas and critical wildlife corridors and encouraging the public to play an active role in protecting our state's last wild and remote places. CMC Conservation also works to restore the quiet outdoor experience and safeguard the ecological integrity of natural areas by reducing the impact of recreation on mountain environments. CMC offers numerous opportunities for volunteers to help construct and repair trails, rehabilitate wildlife habitat and maintain campsites on public lands each Summer.

Today, CMC continues to act as a gateway to the mountains for novices and experts alike through, offering an array of year-round activities, events, schools and guide books centered on outdoor recreation. In partnership with the American Alpine Club, operates the American Mountaineering Museum, the country's first and only museum dedicated to the heroism, technology, culture and spirit of mountaineering. No other organization in the Intermountain West employs such a strong or broad approach to connecting people with the Rocky Mountain landscape.

Executive Director Statement

The Colorado Mountain Club is the only organization of its kind here in Colorado. We implement the key elements of our mission - education, adventure, recreation and conservation - in ways that everyone of all ages can enjoy! We do this by: offering thousands of trips and activities each year; using the mountains to teach our young people science, math, geography, history and art; by managing the country's only museum dedicated to America's mountaineering history; publishing dozens of trail guides; and, and preserving the special nature of Colorado's wild and remote places. CMC has a magnificent 102-year history, tying together adventure, conservation, collaboration and education, and we have so much more to achieve with our members, our students, our teachers, our volunteers and our supporters. No matter how you choose to get involved with the Colorado Mountain Club, I invite you to help us reach new heights this coming year!

Board Chair/President Statement

What a momentous year 2012 was for CMC - our centennial! The year was filled with many celebrations. The highlight for me was the celebration at Rocky Mountain National Park in April - listening to the wonderful talk by Jerry Caplan about CMC's role in the formation of the Park, being privileged to accept an award on behalf of the CMC from the Park, having our picture taken by John Fielder against the backdrop of the Park's magnificent peaks and singing happy birthday to CMC before blowing out the candles - with lots of help from the children present - on our birthday cake!

CMC members also valiantly attempted to climb all the accessible Fourteeners in Colorado on one day in September. The weather was perfect, so we knew the universe was eager to help them on their way! Some members took videos of their climbs, so now we have not only a movie celebrating the day but also many memorable photographs. This is a wonderful legacy to leave the CMC members of the future. Imagine being at the bicentennial celebration, with one of the events being a screening of that film!

Now we are looking forward to another 100 years. I'm sure CMC will continue to offer high-quality schools and learning opportunities as well as many chances to experience unparalleled recreation in our mountains. And, who knows what other exciting opportunities the future will bring? We will have many challenges ahead of us, but with help from all of our members, volunteers leaders, teachers, staff and supporters I know we'll be able to meet these challenges and keep CMC going strong.

"I want to thank you for helping me try to face my fears and understand how to climb. I learned that when things are hard you just keep trying." -- Rock Climbing Student

"We could write a book trying to explain what CMC's program means to Drew. The biggest challenge (among many) Drew has is interacting with people. Drew's deafness isolates him from the hearing world and Drew's autism isolates him from his signing peers. He delights in climbing because other kids try to help him and hereby become involved in his activity-- in his world. Drew desperately wants to interact with his peers but doesn't know how...I just can't express to you how important that is." -- Drew's Father

"I helped at a top rope session in Eldorado Canyon for a group of city kids, ages eight through about fourteen. They were enrolled in a weeklong YEP camp -- climbing indoors, climbing outside at Eldo and Maxwell Falls, and wrapping up with a day on St. Mary's glacier. These kids live with their families in motel rooms on Colfax Avenue. Being a part time teacher, I sometimes wonder what percentage of kids in my class are living away from a real home. They dressed and acted like regular city kids in that they were fairly new to the outdoor scene. They loved Eldo. This was a very culturally diverse group of kids who live in tough circumstances every day. But they embraced the challenge. A few words of encouragement and praise really brought out the pride and smiles in them. Being a part of getting these kids out climbing for a day really brightened up my week." -- Larry De Saules, CMC Volunteer
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