Why I Am Getting My Kids Outdoors This Summer!


Boulder County is a mecca of outdoor activities. Why is it that we parents find ourselves begging our kids to get off technology on a regular basis? At least I do. I love getting my kids out the door and into the backyard, on a hike, on their mountain bikes, or anywhere other than indoors as often as possible!

The summer is a great time to get the kids outside and engaged in authentic learning opportunities – the kind that present themselves all the time in the outdoors. I get the brochures for STEM and engineering focused camps and these all look amazing, but I say summer is a time to get outside, leave the traditional classroom behind, and explore a more authentic and engaging “classroom” in the outdoors. This summer I’m getting my kids out the door and learning more about themselves through outdoor experiences! It is time to get our kids out the door and into the outdoors this summer!

Authentic outdoor education programs offer our kids incredible opportunities to push themselves and develop the whole person by allowing them to:

  • Be without technology and fully engage!
  • Build confidence and grit doing things things that are fun but tough!
  • Be bold and try new things! 
  • Engage in healthy risk taking – the activities have high perceived risk, but low real danger!

The outdoors is a seriously powerful tool for personal growth and empowerment for our kids! I want my kids to face challenges and learn that they can push through them. I want my kids to have to engage fully by leaving all the distractions of technology behind. I also know with two boys they need outlets for taking risks in a healthy environment. I believe these are all best accomplished through purposeful engagement in outdoor adventures. This is why I’m turning to some engaging outdoor opportunities for my kids this summer. Let the outdoors be their teacher!

There are so many ways to get our kids going – even at really young ages! Think of the options: Rock Climbing, Kayaking, Biking, Stand Up Paddle Boarding, Hiking, Mountaineering, and many many more! Get the kids out there however you do it – on your own or with a camp program this summer. Of course it depends on how old your kids are and their innate interests, but you can find so many opportunities for authentic learning in the outdoors around Boulder County!

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Photo Credit to Avid4 Adventure

I did some research and I found Avid4 Adventure. I knew they were around but I had not really looked at outdoor camps until now. This summer my 12 year old will be rock climbing with Avid 4 – scaling walls and meeting new friends. He will be scaling walls and pushing himself beyond the limits he currently perceives. He will be getting out of his comfort zone. He will be getting scraped up. He will be exhausted when he gets home after long hikes to climbing spots. I believe he will come back each day with his cup full of life and ready for more adventures. Here’s to summer outdoor adventures! 

More details about Avid4 Adventure in case you think your kids are ready for an outdoor challenge this summer. They offer really professional programs and believe in authentic education through outdoor adventures. Avid4 offers day and overnight programs for all outdoor enthusiast kids and those who just want to dip their toes in the water so to speak. I love Avid4’s philosophy and professionalism! Check out their great general [kids try a little of everything] and sport specific outdoor programs for kids pre-K through 11th grade at their two Boulder County bases of operation:

Avid4 Adventure offers camps out of two local locations that may be interesting for Boulder Families – Boulder Camps and Lafayette Camps @ Avid4 Adventure

Are your kids going to camp this summer? Any great outdoor learning experiences to share with the rest of us?

#Kids #SummerCamp #Summer #Boulder #GetOutdoors

Kids Love Extreme Sports? Looking for a Summer Camp? Check Out Woodward at Copper!

photo copy 2Recently my family took a trip to Copper Mountain to check out Woodward at Copper. Have you heard of it? If not, you’re not alone. Their facilities blew us away! I thought of Woodward as a winter weather program, but when I found out that they have to offer this summer, well my kids were ready to sign up and move right in! We busted a move. Signed up. Here are the details… photo

At Woodward at Copper you walk into what they call – The Barn. The space is relatively unassuming until you enter. But your senses are quickly overwhelmed with this amazing space chock full of ramps, jumps, trampolines, half-pipes, pump tracks, bowls, and foam pits! Got extreme sports enthusiasts? Woodward may be the place for them!

Woodward at Copper Summer Programs

Got tweens, teens, or groms [younger kids – ages 8 – 12] with X-Games dreams or just thephoto copy interest in going big? Maybe they are just not ready to give up skiing or snowboarding OR want to take their extreme sports to the next level – this place rocks! Where else can our kids jump and flip and learn in the safety of the Woodward Barn AND get outside with professional instruction? It’s not easy to find this combo! Woodward at Copper offers week long camps for kids throughout the summer.

In the summer camps kids get an opportunity to explore and train in their favorite extreme sports. They get coaching in their sport in and out of the Barn daily, but they also get to work with pros in their field! There are also amazing sponsors for each summer camp week – a lot of them are the leaders in the extreme sports world! Have younger kids? There is also a Grom camp option which is a shorter program for kids ages 8 to 12. You can choose either the overnight or day option for your child. If you are from Boulder I’m guessing your are going for the overnight option. Copper really isn’t that far but it’s not an easy commute!

Woodward at Copper Camp Options

Details on summer camp options and costs can be found here.

  • Ski Camp – They get to ski in the terrain park with a new surface lift!
  • Snowboard Camp – They get to snowboard in the terrain park with a new surface lift!
  • Skateboard Camp – They head out to amazing local parks!
  • BMX Camp – They head out to amazing local parks!
  • Mountain Bike Camp – Take your mountain biking to new heights!
  • Scooter Camp – They head out to amazing local parks!
  • Cheer Camp – Play it safe by practicing those tough tricks in the Barn!
  • Digital Media Camp – Kids have a great opportunity to take extreme sports shots!

What Does a Woodward at Copper Camp Cost? Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 2.31.20 PMI had to take a deep breath when I saw the prices. But I still signed them up! My kids have never done an overnight camp like this so I did some research to see if the prices at Woodward were far off the mark. The deciding factor – there really is nothing like this for my skiing-crazy sons besides in Oregon and that was a lot more expensive & complicated! The camp prices start at $999 and go up.  It looks like until April 20, 2014 they are offering $100 off a bunch of different camp options. A special thanks to Copper Mountain and Woodward at Copper for letting my family review your facility. We are excited about summer camps! 

Boulder Area Summer Camps 2014

Why do I need to start thinking about summer camps? I feel this way every year. Honestly. And many years I have blown it off and figured it would all work out in the end. It has and it hasn’t. If you wait too long a lot of the really popular camps fill up. So even though there was recently snow on the ground and more is coming it is time to start thinking about summer camps.

There are lots of summer camp listings that come out every year. I like the one the Boulder County Kids pulls together. Click the image to get to the actual camp directory.

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How do you decide which camps your kids should attend. First of all what are your needs? Do you work? Do they provide the hours you need. If you are simply doing these camps as enrichment then what does your child enjoy? What are their interests? The Camp Issue above helps you to sort through these questions.

A quick shout out to some great Boulder camps:

Larger camp programs

  • CU Science Discovery: Very diverse offerings from the fields of science, math, writing, photography. Most kids can find something here they will love!
  • Avid 4 Adventure: If your child loves adventures outside this may be the camp for them. Kayaking, biking, climbing, and most other outdoor pursuits you can name are provided here.
  • Boulder Indoor Soccer: This program offers week long summer soccer camps. They are super flexible, fun, challenging and your kids come back with great skills.

Smaller camp programs

  • Feet on the Earth: Earth bound, skills oriented camps for girls and boys
  • Science Adventure Program: Very sweet farm and survival skills related summer camps for boys and girls situated on a small farm in the Cherryvale area.
  • Growing Gardens – Children’s Peace Garden: Spend a summer learning about the earth, gardening and much more through this small Boulder non-profit.

There are so many great options out there. Take a look. Get excited. All the best on your summer camp journey!