Longs Peak's Outdoor Adventure Club a success

The Colorado outdoors offers more than beauty. For students in the Longs Peak Adventure Club at Longs Peak Middle School, the outdoors offer opportunities for character building and personal growth.

This was the first year for the Longs Peak Adventure Club. Tim Bishop, principal at Longs Peak Middle, brought the idea with him from his prior school in Steamboat Springs. Bishop recognized the importance of getting kids involved in the world outside the classroom.

“Many of our students have never experienced the outdoors. They were never given the opportunity to take part in common Colorado experiences. We want them to know there is a bigger world out there. We are trying to hook them into becoming a part of the community… and give them a reason to want to be involved in school,” said Bishop.

This year, around 40 students took part in skiing and ice-skating.  A May hike in the mountains will close out the school year activities. For most, these were first time experiences.

“They add a level of personal growth from these experiences. They have put themselves out there… they have tried something new. … They are able to say that they did it and take a personal risk and be better off for it,” said Andy Freeman, 7th Grade Math/Science Teachers and Club Sponsor.

A major focus at Longs Peak Middle school is character education. While academics are important, the school recognizes the value of building a strong school community through strong student character.

“This program lends this incredible authentic opportunity for character education. So much of the middle years experience has to do with what kids are learning outside the classroom walls… about themselves, about who they are, about what it means to be a good citizen… this is already a big focus at our school. …This is an amazing opportunity for our kids to have that extension of their learning,” said Carrie Miller, 7th Grade, Language Arts/Social Studies Teacher and Club Sponsor.

Next year, Bishop hopes to expand the program to involve as many kids as possible in Colorado adventures. He plans to add additional trips such as rock climbing, fly fishing or mountain biking.

Students are excited about the program and are self-fundraising to support as much of the expense as possible. As families have limited resources, Bishop hopes to find community partnerships or donations of volunteer time, guide expertise, equipment or facilities to support this growing program.

For more information on becoming a partner to create new adventures, contact Tim Bishop at 303-776-5611.