2017 Upper School Interim Catalogue

Read about all the exciting offerings for the 2017 Upper School Interim below and make your selections on the registration form by clicking here. Please NOTE:

  • If you are a spring athlete, you cannot sign-up for the following Interims, as they are out of town and inaccessible once the trip departs from campus: Black Ridge Canyon Backpacking, Canoe Labyrinth Canyon, Deep Desert Backpacking, Duckies, Exploration of the Ancient Southwest, High Altitude Huts, Mountain Bike the Grand Canyon, River (Desolation Whitewater), Service on the Rez, Shelf Road Climbing. Therefore, do not select the above trips from the drop-down list of interims in the online registration. Student athletes should make their first 20 selections, excluding the above trips, and then select N/A for their last 10 selections.
  • If you are a senior,  do not complete an online registration. You will sign up for interim in person, rather than online.
  1. Aerial Performance
  2. Black Ridge Canyon Backpacking
  3. Blacksmithing
  4. BMW of Interims
  5. Build your own Skis
  6. Canoe Labyrinth Canyon on the Green River
  7. Ceramics in the City: Art for Philanthropy
  8. Dancing Around the World
  9. Deep Desert Backpacking
  10. Digital Shakespeare
  11. Duckies
  12. Exploration of the Ancient Southwest
  13. Fly Fishing the Front Range
  14. Front Rangers: Mountain Biking the Front Range
  15. Glassblowing
  16. Gourmet Heaven
  17. GrowHaus
  18. High Altitude Huts and Snowplay
  19. Makerspace: Internet of Things
  20. Mountain Bike the Grand Canyon North Rim
  21. Raft the Colorado
  22. River (desolation whitewater)
  23. Rock On
  24. Service on the Rez
  25. SEWciology
  26. Shelf Road Climbing
  27. Shoshoni Yoga Experience
  28. Swashbuckling
  29. Uke Can Build a Ukelele
  30. Woodworking

Aerial Performance

Trip Leaders: Emily Perez and Kathleen Law
Location: Denver, CO
Max no. of students: 13
Level: Intermediate
Vendor: Illuminar Aerial Dance

Have you ever dreamed of flying through the air like Peter Pan? Would you like to dance in the sky like a Cirque du Soleil performer? Want another shot at Middle School Circus? The Aerial Performance interim will give you the chance to try aerial trapeze, lyra (hoops), silks, and slings all in a safe, supportive environment suited to beginning and advanced aerialists alike. At Iluminar Aerial Dance Studio in Broomfield, students will learn the basics of aerial dance as well as how to choreograph, direct, and perform a piece for an audience. Students will give an informal performance at Iluminar on the last day of interim, and it will include roles both behind the scenes and in the air.

Black Ridge Canyon Backpacking

Trip Leader:Paul Augustus
Location: Mack, CO
Max no. of students: 10
Level: Difficult
Vendor: Expeditions Backcountry Adventures

Mee Canyon is a technical and challenging backpacking route within the Black Ridge Canyons, just to the west of Fruita, CO. Over the 4-day trip, students will descend Mee Canyon all the way to the Colorado River, and return to the trailhead via Knowles Canyon, approximately 30 miles round trip. Along the way, you will learn to cook meals over a camp stove, set-up a tent, navigate using a map and compass and learn other outdoor living skills. No prior experience backpacking is required for this interim, but a great attitude and a willingness to work hard and be comfortable with discomfort is a must. Don’t worry, your effort will be worth it as you travel through some of the most beautiful and arid canyons in Colorado!


Trip Leader: Jonathan Ender
Location: Pine Junction, CO
Max no. of students: 10
Level: Intermediate
Vendor: Dragon Forge Blacksmith

Join us for a week-long experience with Craig May, one of Colorado’s premier Blacksmiths. Students will travel by bus from Colorado Academy each day to and from Pine, CO to spend the day with Craig learning essential skills and techniques in the art of Blacksmithing. Students will learn how to forge a taper, form a scroll, slit, drift and punch holes in metal, as well as practice various welding techniques. Students will get first-hand experience in starting and managing a coal fire, regulating temperature in a Gas Forge, and operating an Oxy-propane torch. Students will be working individually and in small groups throughout the week to design and create tools in the Blacksmith studio (which they will keep)!

BMW of Interims

Trip Leader: Suzy Jekel and Lisa Boes
Location:Denver, CO
Max no. of students: 16
Level: Intermediate
Vendor: Various

Our BMW interim will aim to introduce students to many different methods they can use to keep their minds and bodies well. There is a strong physical component to the interim. Students will be exposed to and participate in a different type of yoga class each day. In addition to that, they will participate in another physically strenuous activity (varying degrees of difficulty) including hiking, meditation, and boot camps, so that they can learn about different activity options that take up different amounts of time and energy. We also try to introduce students to several ways to strengthen and calm their minds through acupuncture, meditation and hiking. Finally, healthy eating is an important component of the interim. Students eat at different mainstream restaurants that are either vegetarian, farm-to-table, or in some way offer “wellness” compared to typical eateries.

Build your own Skis

Trip Leader:Forbes Cone and Katy Hills
Location: Golden Gate Canyon State Park, CO
Max no. of students: 14
Level: Easy
Vendor: Community Skis

Imagine this… You’re skiing in the backcountry or at the resort, and a stranger notices the custom design of your skis and asks, “Where did you get those?” Now, imagine the pride you’ll feel when you respond, “I made these skis with my own hands and designed the top sheet myself.” Well, if you join the Build Your Own Skis Interim led by the amazing instructors, Michael and Kristin, from Community Skis, you’ll have those conversations with strangers and carve turns on skis you’ve manufactured with your own hands.

There are 3 main parts to the ski-making process; material prep, building the skis and finish process. Material prep consists of shaping and milling your core stock (baltic birch), routing and assembling your ptex and edges, and preparing your fiber reinforcement package. Overall the process is relaxed with plenty of time for conversation, questions and pictures. In the material prep process you will be working with Michael, who has over 3 decades of experience manufacturing skis.

Next you’ll move onto building your skis starting with prepping the build deck and mixing the resin. Here you will be working side-by-side with Kristin in the glassing process, building your ski up layer-by-layer. The last layers will be your graphics or carbon, peel ply and bleeder. She’ll show you how to vacuum press your skis and set the rocker/camber. From there your skis go into the cure cycle for approximately 50 mins at 145 degrees. Next, you’ll be removing your skis from the vacuum press. This is a magical point when you get to see your skis born. They’ll cool for a few minutes and then the last stage, finish process, will get started. Your skis will be trim cut, side and base ground, hand filed, waxed and prepped for finish coat. We’ll apply the finish coat, let it harden and your skis are complete. This is where it all comes together- your understanding of ski design and manufacturing, having built something beautiful with your hands. You’ll check the flex, eye the camber/rocker profile, take a step back and admire your creation.

Canoe Labyrinth Canyon on the Green River

Trip Leader: Elliot Chase and Anne-Claire Siegert
Location: Green River, UT
Max no. of students: 18
Vendor: Centennial Canoe

Are you ready to, as the great explorer Major John Wesley Powell eloquently put it, “fill in the last white space on the map?” On this interim, we will re-trace sections of Powell’s 1869 route exploring sections of the Green River by Canoe, paddling a spectacular 45-mile section from Crystal Geyser south of Green River, UT, as it winds towards Mineral Bottom, just north of Canyonlands National Park.

Between the town of Green River, Utah, and Canyonlands National Park is part of the longest stretch of quiet wilderness water in the lower 48 states. The twisting, looping river winds its way between sheer, colorful sandstone walls, hundreds of feet high. Vast canyon systems and water channels branch in all directions, inviting hiking and exploring, as well as providing excellent camping.

On our interim we’re fortunate to be going on the adventure of a lifetime, but with the safety and guidance of one of the leading Canoe trip Outfitters in the western United States. CA will provide tents for sleeping for all trip members. Centennial Canoe Outfitters, our guides, will provide all of our food, as well as trip specific gear such as paddles, dry bags, and life preservers. You will need to bring a sleeping bag and other standard camping clothing and gear. No prior paddling or water travel experience is necessary for this trip, although comfortable swimming skills are encouraged. Beginning canoeists will get a great chance to learn the fundamentals of canoeing, and there will be opportunities for more experienced paddlers to continue to push their skills. We hope you will join us on a magical voyage through some of the most pristine and beautiful country in this wonderful part of the globe!

Ceramics in the City: Art for Philanthropy

Trip Leaders: Julie Wei and Sara Purviance
Location: Denver, CO
Max no. of students: 14
Level: Easy
Vendor: Ceramics in the City

Do you love to create art with your hands? Or has it been awhile since you’ve made art and you’re ready to try something new? Embrace the chance to get creative and make art for a good cause! We will be working with the local studio, Ceramics in the City, to paint pottery, hand build ceramic pieces, glass fuse, and paint on canvas. Some items will be auctioned to raise money for the Horizons program at CA.

Students will learn more about art as a vehicle for philanthropy, and how artists are beneficial to society. We will also learn more about the Horizons program specifically, and how interested students can get further involved after interim is over, if they wish. Each day, there will be different projects to create, with the help of an experienced art instructor. You will become versed in a variety of mediums: we will dabble in silk screening on pottery, glass, and fabric. We will learn to score, nip, and run glass in our section on glass fusing, making sun catchers and plates. Bubble painting is a fun way to create designs by blowing bubbles in paint. Students will also build ceramic masterpieces out of clay, learning to make pinch pots and roll coil pots, which will be glazed and fired. No artistic experience is necessary!


Dancing Around the World

Trip Leaders: Anne Strobridge and Betsey Coleman
Location: Denver, CO
Max no. of students: 14
Level: Intermediate
Vendor: Various

You won’t need a passport but you will need your feet for a full immersion into as many world cultures as we can fit into the week. Whether you’ve just danced around your living room or been studying the art since you were three, you’ll learn enough to move to the beat of a wide variety of drums: hip-hop, jazz, modern dance to start with, and then the basics of African, Irish, Brazilian capoeira and Bollywood Indian dance. We’ll travel to dance studios around the Denver area to work with local professionals. So, you think you can dance? Even if you’re not sure, after this interim, there will be no doubt!

Deep Desert Backpacking

Trip Leaders: Miten Patel and Ross Holland
Location: Moab, UT
Max no. of students: 18
Level: Difficult
Vendor: Kent Mountain Adventures

This is a 4 day, 3 night backpacking course in the Cedar Mesa area of Utah, about 90 minutes South West of Moab. This area is remote and rugged, with little-to-no trails. Map and compass navigation, and desert survival skills will be vital as we explore canyons and ecosystems rarely seen by humans. Some of the most impressive and remote Anasazi ruins in the country are in these canyons. The exact route will be determined by where the water sticks around as winter snows subside. Some days require strenuous treks between water sites, but the desert rewards hard work.

Arthouse Movie (Formerly Digital Shakespeare)

Trip Leaders: Gwylym Cano
Location: Denver, CO
Max no. of students: 12
Level: Easy
Vendor: None

No, we’re not going to watch an art house movie. We’re going to make one! No experience with film, acting or writing is necessary! Using Forum Theater (a style of theater designed for non-actors) participants will explore a single social issue, for instance, “water,” racism, food deserts, equality . . . after settling on a socially topical theme students will investigate it from a variety of perspectives, research as well as dynamic Forum Theater explorations. These explorations will guide what will eventually become a screenplay. Film production will begin during interim, with meals and drinks provided on set. The last day of interim will screen the film . . . which will also be shared via social media and the internet with the entire CA community.


Trip Leaders: Jessie Skipwith
Location: Dotsero, CO
Max no. of students: 14
Level: Difficult
Vendor: Renaissance Adventure Guides

This epic whitewater adventure will take you from zero to hero in five days. Spend a week on the water and camping in Deep Creek Canyon outside Dotsero, Colorado. With our guides from Renaissance Adventure Guides, we will travel in inflatable kayaks down 37 miles of the Colorado and Roaring Fork Rivers, experiencing 50 class I-III rapids. We will work as a team navigating the rapids, setting up and taking down camp every day, and exploring the canyon through various day hikes.

Exposed layers in towering canyon walls will give us a unique experience. Additionally, we will see various wildlife: from day lizards sunning themselves, to eagles and hawks soaring in airstreams amidst the canyon walls, to deer and coyote moving along the river’s edge.

All students are welcome to register for this program; no kayak or whitewater experience is necessary. Be mindful that we will be outside in the elements twenty-four hours a day and there will be regular rigorous physical activity. Therefore, the success of this Interim will be 90% dependent upon the positive attitude of the entire group. No single participant is successful unless the entire group is successful. Students who are gung-ho adrenaline junkies will make this trip spectacular!

Due to the nature of the activities, students will be physically challenged. Additionally, they learn a new skill of kayaking and how to read a river.

Students also learn geology, and study the fragile ecosystem of the canyon and how wildlife is sustained there. Most equipment will be provided. Participants need only provide personal items and a sleeping bag. An extensive pack list and explanation on how to pack minimally will be addressed at a pre-trip meeting.


Exploration of the Ancient Southwest

Trip Leaders: Dr. Mike Davis and David Colodny
Location: Cedar Mesa, UT
Max no. of students: 10
Level: Difficult
Vendor: None

This is a physically demanding interim experience that will take you into the heart of wilderness in southeastern Utah. This is a trip that involves scrambling and climbing over difficult terrain, as well as rappelling off of cliff faces. While Canyonlands and Moab are popular spots for exploring the Utah desert, far fewer hikers venture down to Cedar Mesa, the location of our journey.

Just west of Blanding, Utah, Cedar Mesa is cut through by dozens of hidden canyons. It is also home to the greatest concentration of ruins of the Ancestral Puebloan peoples. Well-preserved rock art and structures abound. Students will learn important technical skills when traveling in canyon country, including navigation and survival skills. We will camp in the remote backcountry. This is a unique trip that is as inspiring as it is challenging. Students who sign up for this trip cannot have a fear of heights as we will navigate and climb numerous exposed cliff ledges and faces. Further, students should be prepared to hike 10-12 miles a day on land that does not really have established trails. The reward for your hard work is a one-of-a-kind experience to see archeological sites that few have laid eyes upon. As Thoreau once said, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

Fly Fishing the Front Range

Trip Leaders: Chris Roads and Stuart Mills
Location: Grand Lake, CO
Max no. of students: 10
Level: Easy
Vendor: None

“I am haunted by waters…”

–Norman Maclean

Do you like to commune with nature? Do you like the sound of a river flowing past you? Do you like to find yourself alone with just your thoughts in the solitude of the Rockies? Or maybe you just want to look like Brad Pitt landing the huge trout in A River Runs Through It. If any of these things appeals to you, then this is the ideal interim for you. We’ll practice casting and tying on flies. We’ll talk about river etiquette and the nuances of river current. We’ll fish on the mighty Colorado River on a stretch of water frequented by a pair of bald eagles. We’ll navigate the Blue River near Silverthorne. We’ll fish the lower Williams Fork River near Parshall. All are different rivers but are full of beautiful brown, rainbow, and brook trout. We’ll set up camp in the upper reaches of Eleven Mile Canyon, walking distance to the river. There are deer and elk aplenty in this area of Colorado, so we should be able to see much more than the fish we catch (and release!). Come and you too will be “haunted by waters…”

Front Rangers: Mountain Biking the Front Range

Trip Leaders: Aaron Thomas
Location: Vail, CO and Local Destinations
Max no. of students: 12
Level: Difficult
Vendor: Pioneer Sports

In addition to attacking the wealth of trails within a short drive from campus and learning some of the basics of bike maintenance, we’re really excited about this year’s edition as we plan to visit with a design engineer at Yeti, a leader in the cycling industry located just up the road in Golden, as well as tour the production facilities of Niner Bikes located in Fort Collins.

As this is, by design, an outdoor extravaganza, a certain degree of physical fitness is required of participants, as well as at least some experience riding a mountain bike on a surface other than asphalt or concrete. Dusting off your bike the weekend prior to our departure just won’t do. You need to log some time in the saddle so as to avoid that certain discomfort that only bike seats can create. And while you need not have the resting heart rate of those training for international competition, we will be riding on the western slope in late May, which isn’t exactly everybody’s cup of tea.

We’ll have a big group, and you probably don’t want to be the weak link, fitness-wise! Requirements: a willing spirit, a modicum of patience, cooperation, water bottles or hydration pack, bike shorts and a helmet. At the end of each day we’ll make some time to reflect, both as a group and individually. If this sort of introspection gives you the willies, this trip may not suit you.


Trip Leaders: Andrea Eckler
Location: Denver, CO
Max no. of students: 9
Level: Easy
Vendor: Furnace Glassworks

The art of glass blowing is a fun and rewarding adventure in which students can shape objects to their desire. Similar to the recent Chihuly exhibit at the Denver Botanic Gardens, students can explore not only various shapes, but also vibrant colors to make their visions come to life. As students work one-on-one with the professional glass blowers they will learn how to hear and shape the glass in the same manner as the Romans did. In addition, students will understand the intricacies that are involved in safely creating beautiful works of art. Interest will be garnered by showing students one of the many documentaries on Dale Chihuly before interim begins.

As on day will be spent in the Denver area looking at blown glass discussing this art, and having lunch, students will take a role in shaping that day. They will do research on how to best use that day in regards to time spend and resources used. Additionally, after future consultations with C&H glass, we are hoping that students will be involved in the execution of his interim at their location. While students will be working with open flames upwards of 5000 degrees centigrade, risks are minimal as we will be in a closed, controlled environment, supervised by professional glass blowers and the interim leaders themselves. The ‘experiential model,’ which CA has set out to achieve, asks students and teachers to create a realistic first-hand experience. There is no greater way to achieve such goals in an environment where students create unique art that will be displayed all around Colorado Academy upper school.

Gourmet Heaven

Trip Leaders: Brigitte Debord
Location: Denver, CO
Max no. of students: 16
Level: Easy
Vendor: The Seasoned Chef Cooking School


Indulge in a healthy and delicious culinary experience at the award-winning, Seasoned Chef Cooking School, for five days you will experience the joy of cooking and eating a wide variety of impressive meals. Working in a modern home kitchen, you will be directed by an experienced and dynamic professional chef, Dan Witherspoon. Check out his website at https://www.thegourmetspoon.com. You will learn to prepare gourmet meals and basic techniques for cooking that will give you the edge in the kitchen. Our program will include knife skills, preparing delicious soups, salads, dressings and sauces, pastries, making homemade Italian specialties including handmade pasta, Mexican dishes and Asian dishes. You will receive a complete recipe packet to take home so you can impress your friends and family, in your own kitchen, recreating all the yummy dishes you learned to prepare during the week.


Trip Leaders: Amy Myles and Sonia Sitja
Location: Commerce City, CO
Max no. of students: 12
Level: Easy
Vendor: GrowHaus
Photo property of GrowHaus

The GrowHaus is a nonprofit indoor farm in Denver’s Elyria-Swansea neighborhood whose mission is to create a community-driven, neighborhood-based food system that is healthy, equitable, and resident-driven. During this interim, students will learn about the complex issues surrounding food justice and the infrastructures that allow this community service organization to meet this challenge by focusing on three basic aspects: food production, food distribution and food education. We will discuss the communities’ access to healthy, fresh foods and sustainability and take part in hands-on service work in the educational greenhouse spaces. Students will develop new awareness and skills, provide service to others and learn via exploration and creative experiences.

The GrowHaus produces fresh produce year-round and uses innovative, sustainable, and community-oriented urban farming techniques. Students will learn about Hydroponic, Aquaponic and Permaculture Farms that seek to meet human needs while restoring ecosystem health. Then, we get to roll up our sleeves and help with the actual work of farming and maintenance, assist with the seedling project, and attend a mushroom workshop. We will also study “edible ecosystems” and work on a worm composting system. In addition, students will help with food box assembly and distribution in the community. We will take part in the food education program with regards to nutrition and cooking while developing essential skills for building healthy communities.

High Altitude Huts and Snowplay

Trip Leaders: Peter Horsch
Location: Winter Park, CO
Max no. of students: 12
Level: Difficult
Vendor: None

The Inuit dialect spoken in Canada’s Nunavik region has at least 53 words for snow, including “matsaaruti: wet snow that can be used to ice a sleigh’s runners” and “pukak: crystalline powder snow that looks like salt”. Mr. Horsch will lead an adventure to explore the copious amounts of frozen precipitation that grace the Rocky Mountains. We’ll explore the area around Mt. Evans, Jones Pass, and a two-night overnight 11,350 feet above sea level at Broome Hut in Grand County near Berthoud Pass. This adventure will be snow walk in the park. While no technical expertise will be required, participants should be prepared for 5-6 hours of snowshoeing (or potentially skiing) at elevations above 10,000 feet each day. Basic backpacking and winter gear (backpack, boots, winter clothes, sleeping bag) will be required.

We’ll learn to use a map and compass to navigate, enjoy the unplugged life in the backcountry, and build an understanding of what it takes to put together an outdoor trip of your own. We’ll analyze the different types of snow we see, and learn about snow stability and avalanche safety as we monitor the snowpack to safely navigate the terrain. This is a hybrid trip. We will take day trips on Monday and Tuesday, and spend Wednesday – Friday off campus.

Makerspace: Internet of Things

Trip Leaders: Chris Marchetti and Erin Gray
Location: Denver, CO
Max no. of students: 14
Level: Easy
Vendor: Silicon Stem Academy
Photo property of Silicon Stem Academy

What is the Internet of Things? How can we use 3-D printing, Arduino microcontrollers, sensors and WIFI to each design a unique physical object that responds to its environment? We’ll head to Silicon Stem Academy to solder, construct, program and debug a light fixture we design. Each participant will leave with a finished product – a light fixture that is gathering information from its surroundings or from the internet and responding by changing some aspect of the light output- the possibilities are endless! We’ll add to the coding skills you already have, or start from scratch with pre-built functionality. Bring your creative ideas, design aesthetic, and questions for this hands-on exploration of the Internet of Things!

Mountain Bike the Grand Canyon North Rim

Trip Leaders: Jesse Myers
Location: Grand Canyon, AZ
Max no. of students: 14
Level: Difficult
Vendor: Escape Adventures

Hidden in the depths of the Kaibab National Forest, the old Arizona Trail creates a unique gateway to the natural grandeur of the Grand Canyon. Lined with wildflowers, the trail takes us through ponderosa forests and shimmering aspen groves en route to an unspoiled panorama of the East view of the Grand Canyon, a place few have witnessed.

We camp perched upon the edge of the Kaibab Plateau and enjoy extraordinary views. It’s the perfect starting point for riding, and hiking along the rim. Crossing to the west side of the plateau, we camp next to one of the most scenic mountain bike paths in the world, the Rainbow Rim Trail.

For the next two days we explore 36-miles of remote forested single track stretching between spectacular canyon overlooks. Providing gently rolling terrain and occasional challenges, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon has always been a favorite of guides and guests of all levels. The chance to experience one of nature’s most awesome sights from the seat of your mountain bike is truly an opportunity of a lifetime.

Raft the Colorado

Trip Leaders: Gabe Bernstein and Dave Frankel
Location: Ruby Horsethief Canyon, CO
Max no. of students: 14
Level: Intermediate
Vendor: Rimrock Adventures guides

Looking for a mix of relaxation and adventure on the border of Colorado and Utah? If yes, then this river trip is for you! This rafting trip along the Colorado River just west of Grand Junction will consist of rapids ranging from Class 1 to Class 3. We’ll begin with two relaxing days on the river in the Ruby and Horsethief Canyon sections with stunning sandstone canyon walls, sandy beaches, and great opportunities for short day hikes. We will be camping each night along the river with food provided by our Rimrock Adventures guides. The third and final day on the water will take us through Westwater Canyons, where we will encounter challenging rapids to end our 40 mile adventure.

River (Desolation Canyon Whitewater)

Trip Leaders: Steve Hammer and Nicole Buckley
Location: Desolation Canyon, UT
Max no. of students: 14
Level: Difficult
Vendor: Sheri Griffith Expeditions

Spend a week camping in Desolation Canyon outside Moab. With our guides from Sheri Griffith Expeditions, we will travel in inflatable kayaks down 84 miles of the Green River, experiencing 50 class I-III rapids. We will work as a team navigating the rapids, setting up and taking down camp every day, and exploring the canyon through various day hikes. Exposed layers in towering canyon walls will give us a Grand Canyon experience. Additionally, we will see various wildlife: from day lizards sunning themselves, to eagles and hawks soaring in airstreams amidst the canyon walls, to deer and coyote moving along the river’s edge.

All students are welcome to register for this program; no kayak or whitewater experience is necessary. Be mindful that we will be outside in the elements twenty-four hours a day and there will be regular rigorous physical activity. Therefore, the success of this Interim will be 90% dependent upon the positive attitude of the entire group. No single participant is successful unless the entire group is successful. Students who are gung-ho adrenaline junkies will make this trip spectacular! Most equipment will be provided. Participants need only provide personal items and a sleeping bag. An extensive pack list and explanation on how to pack minimally will be addressed at a pre-trip meeting. Due to the nature of the activities, students are physically challenged. Additionally, they learn a new skill of kayaking and how to read a river. To do which, they must work together for success. Students also learn geology, and study the fragile ecosystem of the canyon and how wildlife is sustained there.

Rock On

Trip Leaders: Martha Smith and Austin Harvey
Location: Vedauwoo, WY
Max no. of students: 14
Level: Intermediate
Vendor: Colorado Mountain Club

Spend five days rock climbing in Colorado and Wyoming. This will be a local trip except for the last two days, during which we will camp in Vedauwoo, Wyoming, This trip will lead us up canyon walls in a search for our own perceived limits as we seek to discover the best within ourselves. We will be challenged physically and mentally as we start with the basics and work our way to student-run climbs. Our climbing journey will take us to the Canal Zone in Golden, Lookout Moutain, Clear Creek Canyon, and Vedauwoo, Wyoming (daily locations subject to change). Learn about various dimensions of rock climbing, from the geology and science behind it to the personal challenge and the techniques involved. No experience required, though experienced climbers will find plenty of challenges.

Service on the Rez

Trip Leaders: Barry Simmons and Lindsay Farrell
Location: Mancos, CO
Max no. of students: 10
Level: Intermediate
Vendor: Deer Hill Expeditions

You may have passed through an Indian reservation on a road trip out west, but chances are you have never lived on one. Well, all of that can change on the Interim experience. You can on this Interim experience. We will travel to Mancos, Colorado by van and meet our Deer Hill Expedition guides who will lead us to one of three possible reservations, Navajo, Hopi Pueblo, or Zuni Pueblo.

There we will be introduced to our host family and set up our camp outside their house. The week will include service projects identified by the host family or community leaders and may include the construction of corrals, fences, barns, shade arbors, and erosion control dams, as well as maintaining and repairing adobe buildings in one of the pueblos. Further, our hosts will have the opportunity to teach us traditional arts such as silver jewelry-making, pottery, and beadwork. This is a chance to have an authentic cross-cultural experience, do meaningful service, and enjoy the splendor of the natural world in a spectacular setting.


Trip Leaders: Lisa Todd and Charity Smith
Location: Denver, CO
Max no. of students: 12
Level: Easy
Vendor: JoAnn Fabrics

Would you like to learn how to make practical and unique items? Backstitch, baste, zigzag or blind hem — you can do it all on this interim. Learn (or review) important sewing techniques including sewing machine basics, fabric selection, reading sewing patterns, making a casing, how to hem and how to add a zipper. Students can choose to make a variety of sewing projects, including apparel (PJ pants, skirts, dresses, neckties), accessories (tote bags, shopping bags or clutches), and gifts (pillow cases, sleep masks, luggage tags, aprons). No matter what you choose to create, you’ll end the week with tangible evidence of your sewing prowess! Materials will be provided, but students are encouraged to bring their own machines. This is a hands-on, engaging interim that teaches life-long, practical, and problem-solving skills.

The end result will be a variety of beautiful and functional sewn goods; however, these end products, while impressive, are not the sole purpose of the interim. This is a good example of where the process is as important as the outcome. Students will try something new and challenging, research different textiles and methods, gain an appreciation for the art of sewing, use their creativity individually and in groups, and have fun learning and applying their knowledge. Individual leadership opportunities will arise as students help one another with different stages of construction. Handiness in sewing may help them in the future in a practical way as they mend, sew for pleasure, create gifts or even sell their goods. Students may open a door to a new pursuit that they can enjoy for a lifetime.

Shelf Road Climbing

Trip Leaders: Garrett Blair and Harry Kent
Location: Cañon City, CO
Max no. of students: 14
Level: Most Difficult
Vendor: None

May you find yourself on a rock! May the warm rays of the sun pour over you. May you gather around a fire playing Pictionary. May you learn the joys of finding the bucket hand hold. The only place to be in May is on the other end of a rope! Climbing takes on new heights in the great outdoors. Traveling with the crusher climbing guides of Kent Mountain Adventure Center, we will be going to famous and not-so-famous climbing sites at Shelf Road (Colorado).

Shelf Road is a premier sport climbing spot. The cliffs face south, and the days are spent zipping up faces and basking in the sun. Picturesque mountain vistas surround us in all directions in this high desert sport climber’s paradise. The climbs are thrilling: There are large cracks to climb and faces to stick on with your fingers. The area has climbs to challenge the beginner and the expert. The evenings are spent in campgrounds, trying to get fires started or outdoing the last group’s dinner. The climbs are great and the camping is terrific.

Shoshoni Yoga Experience

Trip Leaders: Dani Myers and Cathy Nabbefeld
Location: Boulder, CO
Max no. of students: 14
Level: Intermediate
Vendor: Yoga Bear With Us

Let’s start with a disclaimer: If you are looking forward to listening to loud rock music as you jump back and forth on bunk beds, this interim is not for you. We will be staying at an Ashram, a sacred meditative space. The trip to the Shoshoni Yoga Retreat will broaden students’ awareness and mindfulness of themselves. Each day students will participate in 3.5 hours of Shambahava yoga/breathing and 1-3 hours of temple meditation and Sanskrit chanting.

Other organized activities will include an introduction to Hinduism and Buddhism, 1 hour of daily service (Seva), and an Ayurvedic (vegetarian) cooking class. Put simply, you will just become a working part of this beautiful mountain ashram community.

Be prepared to reach outside your comfort zone with sunrise and sunset temple and meditation practices, join in a unique sunrise ancient fire ceremony, and eat all delicious vegetarian food. To enhance the experience cell phones will be kept by the chaperones with a chance to check on them when we go to Boulder one day. Students should return from this experience with greater self-awareness and techniques for living a healthier, less stressful and more mindful life.


Trip Leaders: Maclain Looper
Location: Denver, CO
Max no. of students: 12
Level: Intermediate
Vendor: Denver Center for the Performing Arts

Swashbuckling: To engage in daring and romantic adventures with ostentatious bravado or flamboyance. From Inigo Montoya and “The Bride”, to Èowyn and Kylo Ren, these immortal fictionalized wielders of the sword were brought to life by actors skilled in the art of swashbuckling and versed in the techniques of stage combat. Join us for a weeklong foray into the world of the sword at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts Rehearsal Studios.

You will spend a week clashing and slashing your way through your classmates using real (yet safe) weaponry, performing sensational acts of bravery, dying glorious deaths (because there really isn’t anything much more fun than an ultra dramatic, fully fictionalized death) and living to fight again! Our week will culminate with a fully choreographed, totally awesome fight scene. Also, we’ll be commingling with the urban throng while enjoying lunches on 16th Street Mall! Why, because you’ve already imagined yourself holding a lightsaber, samurai sword, or rapier and staring down your mortal enemy…because you’d love to show your friends what a true badass you are…because you simply want to look awesome while holding a sword. Yes…to all of it. You know you want to…

Uke Can Build a Ukelele

Trip Leaders: Mark Moody
Location: Denver, CO
Max no. of students: 12
Level: Easy
Vendor: Jon Orth Luthier

The mighty ukulele is one of the most versatile, portable and fun instruments around. From its origins in Hawaii in the 19th century, the ukulele has become increasingly popular in recent years. It’s true: you can’t be sad while playing a ukulele. If you’ve ever wanted to learn to play this fun, take-anywhere instrument, or if you do know how to play it and want to learn more about how instruments work, this is your chance to build your own wooden, stringed instrument that you can call your own. We will work with an expert luthier (stringed instrument builder) in his shop. With his guidance we will explore all aspects of ukulele construction. Our goal will be to complete a playable concert-sized ukulele from both raw materials and some parts prepared in advance. We’ll learn the basics of stringed instrument construction and all about ukuleles. You’ll assemble the body, shape the internal braces, shape the neck, install the frets, and more. The course will be oriented to students without woodworking experience, but will definitely be challenging and require focus and attention throughout the week. At the end we’ll learn a few chords, and fill CA’s halls with tropical tunes at the end of the school year!

Woodworking and Design

Trip Leaders: Meg Hill
Location: Denver, CO
Max no. of students: 12
Level: Easy
Vendor: Maria Garcia
Hammer Woodworking Wood Craft Chisel

In this hands-on design and build class participants will be asked to think about chairs and stools in an entirely new way. Through the process of learning about and exploring chair design they will begin to see uncommon beauty and unlimited possibilities in a common utilitarian object. Using this knowledge, you will build 2 model chairs to explore design ideas. As with any great project, a bulk of the time is spent in the studio. Using traditional woodworking techniques like mortise and tenon joinery, build a stool that will stand the test of time. Then, using all of the new design knowledge, transform the stool into a one-of-a-kind object, taking it beyond function and comfort.