Colorado Mountain Club

The Colorado Mountain Club helps protect Colorado's majestic backcountry for wildlife and sustainable human-powered recreation and connects children to nature through active outdoor learning.

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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.

Our new Teen Ventures initiative grew as part of our Youth Education Program in 2015. Targeting 15- to 18-year-olds, Teen Ventures (TV) encourages teens to develop valuable leadership skills through outdoor adventures like rock climbing, mountain biking, backpacking, wilderness trekking and service projects. Participants are encouraged to explore, challenge themselves and work together in planning and reaching goals for themselves and their group. In 2016 more than 110 teens participated in Teen Ventures programming.

Our "Bouldering Bus" mobile classroom is also busy in the community, taking our Youth Education Program to low-resource schools and community events all over the Front Range. When we combine our science curriculum with the Bus, we engage students with innovative, active learning that blends academic topics with physical fitness right at their school. Generous donors and grants make it possible for us to "bring the mountains" to more underserved youth than ever before with this one-of-a-kind addition to our youth programming.

Impact Statement

In 2015 CMC's Stewardship Team spent 17 weeks on public lands, engaging more than 100 volunteers who logged over 1,600 service hours doing trail work, habitat restoration and fencing across the state. CMC Conservation also participated in forest land use and recreation management planning efforts and continued the Backcountry Snowsports Mapping Initiative to assist in maintaining protection of winter access for human-powered recreation.

Over the course of the 2015 program year, CMC's Youth Education Program served 6,905 children across the Denver Metro area, 540 of whom were students with special needs. Through donations and grants, CMC offered no- or low-cost programming to 3,636 participants, who were from low-resource schools and would not have been able to take part otherwise. More than 150 volunteers contributed 915 hours assisting YEP staff in the classroom and in the field.

Needs Statement

1. Our Youth Education Program partners with Title I schools to provide out-of-the-box learning experiences for underserved youth with the aim of boosting student engagement and academic achievement. We need funds to repaint and maintain our Bouldering Bus, which lets us "bring the mountains" to low-resource schools throughout Metro Denver.

2. Our Youth Education Program provides unforgettable learning opportunities and camping experiences for youth, including leadership development for teens. We seek funds to support the purchase of a new multi-passenger van to safely transport staff, kids and gear.

3. CMC Conservation works to preserve wilderness areas across Colorado through collaboration with partner agencies and actively engaging citizens. We need funds to bring our Conservation staff to full time so we can expand our stewardship and outreach programs.

Background Statement

Founded in 1912, the Colorado Mountain Club is one of the state's leading organizations dedicated to education, conservation and mountain recreation. CMC has played an instrumental role in many landmark achievements over the past century, including the designation of Rocky Mountain National Park in 1915, 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 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. YEP's school-based activities meet Colorado's Academic Standards and provide unique avenues for improving math, science and literacy skills.

To ensure the sustainable enjoyment of Colorado's backcountry, 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 protect the mountain backcountry, roadless areas and critical wildlife corridors and encourage the public to play an active role in protecting areas like these. CMC also offers numerous opportunities for volunteers to help construct and repair trails, restore wildlife habitat and maintain access to public lands each Summer.

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 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 104-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!

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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