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GOL! SOL Newsletter



GOL! is all about connection to nature. We are also all about connection to each other. We know some of the most meaningful times in nature are created through the ways in which we share the experiences together, with family, friends, neighbors, classmates, and sometimes even total strangers.

As one of the Wilderness Experience students shared upon return from the canyons last fall, "My biggest highlight was how small we are compared to nature, and what a great opportunity we all had to get to know each other better. Yes, we all kinda sorta knew each other, but not in a way where we all connected with each other on some kind of way. An example could be like C. and I. I didn’t really know she’d be into outdoorsy stuff, and I noticed we’re kind of similar. Maybe she could be a little quiet and I am more talkative, but at the moment where we went down the canyon with just one rope holding, I noticed that good connection that we made. So all I gotta say is that the outdoors was a great opportunity for me and some people to get to know each other and to get to know yourself better. Also, by thinking that it’s not always about social media, but about having some good times and enjoying the good moments with great people." Indeed. A recent blog from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation speaks to the significant impact that those types of "good moments with great people" have on the health of a community and the individuals that comprise it. Get Outdoors Leadville! is honored to be a part of those connections to both nature and to each other - and to have you each be a part of them, too!

It's been an great start to 2019, with so many opportunities to enjoy winter together in our magical mountain snowscape! We look forward to seeing you - our awesome & connected community - at an upcoming Community Nature Connection, Adventure Day, Gear Library orientation, or out on our amazing trails, slopes, skating rink, and sledding hills!

Happy trails,
--the GOL! Gang



Ms. Farrow’s Clay Mosaic Mural students have been finding their muse in nature. These students first studied outdoor murals around Leadville before heading outside to sketch mountains, trees, and the landscapes visible from the high school. Putting these concepts together, three small groups designed a mosaic mural to “bring the outside in.” After presenting their designs to a committee including Art Teacher Amanda Good, High School Principal Ben Cairns, CFO Kate Bartlett, Maintenance & Facilities Director Todd Coffin, and Healthy Schools Director Kerri Quinlan, one design was selected to become a mosaic mural at LCHS. We’re excited to see this project take life and enjoy a little bit of natural splendor in the halls of the high school!

Meanwhile, up at CMC, a new cohort of Wilderness Experience students have launched the semester with team building, learning to tie a Trucker’s hitch and bowline, setting up Megamid shelters, and investigating thermoregulation and backpacking trip preparation. They'll put all these skills to work as they prepared for their week-long capstone trip to Utah canyons in April!

We’re looking forward to a busy month of fieldwork in February -- with the 3rd grader’s 10th Mountain Learning Expedition culminating in an assembly on February 27th from 2:00-3:15pm in the LCHS Auditorium and participation in Ski Down at Ski Cooper on March 1st (the official Serpentine “ski down” is at 1:30pm).

Adventure Days
Our January 18th Adventure Day surprised us with 6 inches of beautiful, fresh snow. It was awesome for our day of snow play! Even the sledding groups got some face shots! Conditions were perfect for our freeride groups of advanced and intermediate skiers and snowboarders who explored the slopes of Ski Cooper with GOL! Staff. The participants in Ski Cooper’s Panda lessons enjoyed the powder, too. The Winter Play Group had a blast at Dutch Henry’s tubing hill and the Huck Finn skating rink, and even got to roast marshmallows over the rink’s outdoor fire pit. Thanks to Lake County School District, Lake County Recreation Department, & Ski Cooper for helping create these fun Adventure Day outings!

Registration is still open for the upcoming Adventure Days - join us!

Better Out of School Time initiative

The Better Out Of School Time (BOOST) has been working behind the scenes the past several months with the goal of improving local out of school time collaborations across Lake County through three key focus areas: Outreach and Engagement, Evaluation and Outcomes, and Sustainability and Efficiency. The group is currently focusing on program awareness and processes, funding streams, constraints and opportunities before identifying likely areas of cooperation and alignment - all with the vision of optimizing the Out of School Time opportunities and experiences for Lake County youth. We anticipate our first shared community outreach event in February when BOOST representatives will be at West Park, LCIS, and LCHS during parent teacher conferences to promote awareness of our many local out of school activities. BOOST partners organizations Lake County Library, Lake County Recreation, LCSD/Project Dream, Full Circle, Lake County Build a Generation, and Get Outdoors Leadville! look forward to this continued collaboration!

Ski and Snowboard Program Scholarships
In mid January GOL! partnered with Ski Cooper to provide two local families the chance to take a ski lesson together and spend some family time on the slopes. This was the first year we offered family lesson scholarships, and it has been a great addition to the Learn-to-Ski programs!

Community Programming

Our first monthly Community Nature Connection night was a huge success! Over 30 community members joined GOL! & Leadville Artist: Marika Guthrie to learn the art of cloth paintings. Marika led the participants through the process of creating her nature-inspired cloth paintings. Participants left with a cloth painting of their own. Join us this Thursday for nature-inspired stone mandala painting! Details below.

GOCO Shared Learning

A big thank you to Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) for once again bringing the Generation Wild Coalitions together for two full days of shared learning the last week of January. It was a great reminder that what matters most is the mission and impact that each coalitions is putting forth in each community across the state. Here at GOL!, we will continue to approach all that we do with our mission to connect ALL Lake County youth and families to the outdoors to inspire dreams, foster stewardship, build leadership, and strengthen community. Another big thank you to Brayhan Reveles (Lake County Build a Generation) for representing GOL! At the Legislators Breakfast by speaking to the impact that GOL! Programming & its partners have had on our youth and overall community.
Gear Library

It still feels like the holidays in the GOL! Offices, as we continue to open boxes of gear to fully outfit our Gear Library. Nordic skis just came in last week! We kicked off the year with Taking Kids Outdoors, Nordic 101, Bike 101, and Gear Library Orientation workshops on January 7th & 13th. During these workshops, participants were able to interact and familiarize themselves with the available gear, and the policies in place to use said gear, for program partners & organizations to enhance outdoor experiences for our youth. Join the next Gear Library Orientation on January 20th to learn more of what we have in store!

Nature Play Yard at Mountain View

The designs for the Nature Play Yard planned for the Mountain View neighborhood have been sketched out and are ready for the first round of community feedback! Anyone interested in learning more about the project and sharing your thoughts on its preliminary design are invited to join us at the Mountain View Community room on Thursday, February 12th, from 6:00-7:30p. Food & childcare will be provided. Contact Bryahan at Lake County Build A Generation at or 719.486.4114 for more info. Thanks again to the National Wildlife Federation's ECHO Team for facilitating this project. We are looking forward to starting build out this summer!
Community Nature Connection: A place and time for community members to share areas of passion that connect them to our natural world.

This month come explore the ancient art of mandala creation! GOL! will provide ALL materials, but space is limited! 

***All ages welcomed. Youth 15 & under must be accompanied by an adult***

We love Leadville...winters!

GOL! is very excited to be a part of the inaugural Wintermission initiative, with the goal of increasing social connectedness & physical activity throughout our snowy season! Wintermission aims to create fun, inclusive programs and safe, engaging public spaces that highlight winter's unique magic for all residents, no matter their age, ability, socio-economic status, or ethnocultural background. Canadian non-profit 8 80 Cities and Children & Nature Network will provide technical assistance and community engagement support over the coming ~2 years to develop a community-driven Winter City strategy for our mountain winter wonderland in Lake County. This project is supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Global Ideas Fund at CAF America. Stay tuned for how you can be a part of Leadville/Lake County's Wintermission! 
Register Today!

Join GOL! and friends for another season of FUN, OUTDOORSY Adventure Days! If your kids loved Rockies Rock, they’ll enjoy these 1-day programs that include biking, hiking, skiing, sledding, learning and lots of outdoor play time!

Adventure Days are all-day (~8a-3:30p) outdoor outings for K-6th grade students during select teacher professional development days when students don’t have school. They are inclusive, outdoor-based programs that emphasize fun, play, connection to the natural world, outdoor recreation, individual growth, and community building. Transportation and meals are provided.

Upcoming GOL! Adventure Days are on:
  • February 18
  • March 15
Register today or review the Adventure Day Frequently Asked Questions if you need more info! 

Contact Cisco at or 719.293.0445 with questions or for enrollment assistance.
Another Rockin' Summer is Coming to Leadville!
Yes, it's the depths of winter, but the 2019 Rockies Rock countdown is already underway! We're only ~130 days away from welcoming excited campers back for 4 sessions of fun, learning, and outdoor adventuring! We’re already busy planning for another amazing summer with several new special topics to be added this year! Look for full details & registration to open in early April. 


  • Community Nature Connection ~ February 7, 2019, 7:00-8:30p at Colorado Mountain College, Pinnacle Resource Center (Library building), Room 317

    • Join GOL! to experience the ancient art of mandala making, using river rocks from the Arkansas River Valley. Local artist Ned Warner will guide us through nature-inspired stones painting, where you will make a mandala of your own! Free! Due to the forecasted temperature of -5 F, we are postponing the snowshoeing component until a future CNC. All ages welcome (youth <15 yo should be accompanied by an adult). (First come, first served; we are limited to ~35 participants due to the room size.)

    • RSVPs helpful but not required: or 719.293.5533

  • Gear Library Orientation ~ February 20, 5:30-7:00p @ GOL! Offices (328 W 5th St, in The Center west wing). Contact Jackie with questions

    • The GOL! Gear Library is excited to open its doors to the Lake County Community in Summer 2019. In preparation, we want to familiarize our community with what it offers and how to borrow equipment through Gear Library Orientations! These informal & interactive intros to the Gear Library will be offered from 5:30pm-7:00pm, every 3rd Wednesday of the month, everyone is invited to participate. Come see for yourselves what gear is already being put to use!

  • Adventure Days

    • Fun, full-day outdoor programs for K-6th graders on select LCSD non-student contact days: Feb 19, and Mar 15. Join us for skiing, boarding, nature learning, and snow play!

    • Register now or review the Adventure Day Frequently Asked Questions if you need more info! Contact Cisco Tharp with questions or for enrollment help at or 719.293.0445.



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