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2018 Middle School Interim Brochure

Interim provides opportunities to get out the classroom to learn by doing, through exposure to new ideas, experiences and environments. Interim trips span the gamut from artistic pursuits, community engagement and wilderness expeditions. Immersion in a unifying trip concept broadens student’s skills, knowledge and awareness.

Interim Goals:

  • To practice physical and emotional resilience
  • To cultivate student agency through trip planning and leadership
  • To practice community values and service to others
  • To learn via exploration and personal initiative
  • To collaborate and problem solve

Here are the practical details parents should know:

All Middle School Interims will take place Monday, May 14 – Friday, May 18, 2018. Once students have reviewed trip descriptions, they should click on the registration link. Each student should put his/her choices in order from 1 to 14, and each parent should sign at the bottom. Print the ‘Interim Waiver’, sign it, and return it to your child’s advisor by ThursdayFebruary 1, 2018.

At this time, we do not need any of the trip-specific waivers signed. We will collect those after interim placements have been completed.

Additional Information:

  • Attendance on Interim is mandatory. Please do not schedule appointments during Interim.
  • Interim registration is final, and changes are made only for medical emergencies.
  • Take into account the general health of your child. Some medical conditions or poor fitness should lead you to place certain programs as a low choice. To participate in the canoeing interim, students must be able to swim.
  • Students should not repeat an interim.
  • The cost of Interim is included in tuition.
  • Thank you for reviewing all these materials and discussing possible options with your child. If you have any questions that I can be helpful with, please do not hesitate to contact me. (
  • To view trips, simply scroll down. To view a list of trips, click on the menu bars in the upper left corner of this page.

Back in Time

Trip Leaders: Sue Counterman and Elizabeth Drazdowski
Location: Colorado National Monument Western Colorado
Level: No experience necessary
Vendor: Keystone Science School

The Colorado National Monument preserves one of the grand landscapes of the American West. But this treasure is much more than a monument. Towering monoliths exist within a vast plateau and canyon panorama. You can experience sheer-walled, red rock canyons along the twists and turns of Rim Rock Drive, where you may spy bighorn sheep and soaring eagles. We will camp nearby at Highline Lake State Park. Throughout the program, we will learn about the natural and human history of the Colorado National Monument with a focus on the geologic process that created the majestic land forms. We will hike to the bottom of the canyon and explore several trails and sites in the park. Each night, we will participate in a variety of evening programs which include astronomy, star gazing, and storytelling.


Backroads New Mexico

Trip Leaders: Thanh Luong and Mary Babin
Location: Northern New Mexico
Level: No experience necessary | Medium intensity physical activity
Vendor: N/A

Colorado Academy interim brochure- new mexico

If exploring ancient cliff dwellings, “Rockhounding” near the Rio Grande River, boarding an Earthship and learning about the mysteries of a floating staircase sounds fun, sign up for Backroads New Mexico! On this interim, you’ll travel off the beaten path, experience life 11,000 years ago, explore Star Wars like homes made of trash and mud and experience unique Southwest culture and food. You will be camping in a tent on the ground, your hands will be dirty from digging in the mud, you’ll prepare your own meals over a camp stove, and hike in the great outdoors! So if this sounds fun to you, please sign up!


Canoe Labyrinth Canyon

Trip Leaders: Eric Augustin and Jessica Campbell
Location: Utah
Level: High intensity physical activity | Must be able to swim | No prior canoe experience necessary
Vendor: Centennial Canoe

Students will canoe themselves down the historic Green River. John Wesley Powell explored the Green River, a main tributary of the Colorado River, in 1869 as the first part of his epic journey down the Colorado. The students will paddle 48 miles over 3 ½ days. We camp along the riverbanks each night with exact campsites being determined mainly by the water level and erosion from prior years’ flow.


Cedar Mesa Backpacking

Trip Leaders: Bill Wolf-Tinsman and Bill Meyers
Location: Cedar Mesa, Utah
Level:No experience necessary | High intensity physical activity
Vendor: Kent Mountain Adventure Guides

Learn how to enjoy nature, work together, solve problems, have fun and “leave no trace” as we explore some of the most beautiful Canyons Utah has to offer. Edward Abbey, the famed environmentalist, reminds us that, “Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit.” We will backpack each day, camp under the stars and explore well preserved Native American archaeological sites. Weather permitting, the trip will conclude with a refreshing dip in the Glenwood Hotsprings.


Creative Culinary Cooking

Trip Leaders: Peggy Butler and Renee Medina
Level: No experience necessary | For safety, no crutches
Vendor: Sticky Fingers and Stir Kitchen

Are you tired of heating up after-school snacks in the microwave? Would you like to entertain your friends with gourmet goodies? Do you want to “razzle dazzle” your family with a home cooked meal, prepared by you? Do you like to eat? Well, then this Interim is for you! Each day our professional chef for the week will instruct, help, and watch us prepare our menu in a professional kitchen located in north Denver. Of course, after we prepare our mouthwatering morsels, we will sit down and enjoy them as we critique our finished products. Foods prepared in the past have been a variety of appetizers, side dishes, breads, entrees, and desserts that allow for student creativity regarding use of ingredients and flavor outcome. This is a great opportunity to work with and learn from a professional chef.


Fly Fishing Colorado

Trip Leaders: Matt Olmstead and Liston Hills
Location: Bailey, Colorado
Level: No experience necessary
Vendor: N/A

On the Fly Fishing Interim, students will learn the art of fly-fishing. We will explore Colorado, engaging different river types, habitats, and river ecology, while introducing students to the importance of fisheries and water resources in the West today. Students will learn to evaluate fishing conditions, travel safely in the backcountry and discover fishing hotspots close to home. By showing students the best places to fish in the Front Range, we will encourage them to revisit these locations, even after interim has ended. Perhaps, they will become the next generation of stewards of the land, regardless, they will become more intimate with the rivers in their backyard, hence become more connected with their home state. Additionally, participants will gain coveted access to private water, exposing them to the management difference between a public and private resource, allowing them to understand the need to protect these finite opportunities for bequest values. Throughout the week, students will become familiar with the importance of rivers and fly fishing as part of our state’s number one industry: tourism. They will also recognize the importance of water in the West and understand how water is stored and released for consumption in the system of rivers and reservoirs.


Front Range Mountain Explorers

Trip Leaders: Donna Farrell and Adrian Green
Location: Front Range Destinations
Level: Medium intensity physical activity
Vendor: Colorado Mountain Club

If racing to find hidden treasures, reading maps and a compass, and hiking our Front Range Parks sounds great to you, then this is the interim for you! Front Range Mountain Explorer’s Interim participants will engage in a day program to learn the skills of geocaching, rock climbing, map and compass reading, and hiking. We will be in Downtown Golden, Golden Gate Canyon State Park, and Mt. Falcon. You will be challenged to hike, search for caches, read maps, and manage variable terrain or temperatures. You will learn Leave No Trace Ethics and mountain safety basics so that you are prepared to be a responsible steward as you move forward in your outdoor pursuits. The hikes are at high altitude and are strenuous so bring your hiking boots, camelbak, and sense of adventure! This trip is unique in that it will also have one overnight while the rest of the week is only day activities. On Thursday night we will stay in cabins at Golden Gate Canyon State Park. It is a blast as we all make dinner together and roast marshmallows. If a variety of outside activities such as rock climbing and hiking appeal to you, then this is the interim for you!


Ghost Ranch

Trip Leaders: Dani Goldstein and Liz McIlravy
Location: Abiquiu, New Mexico
Level: Medium intensity physical activity
Vendor: N/A

Venture to the stark and overwhelmingly beautiful land of Abiquiu, New Mexico to explore the natural surroundings that sparked painter Georgia O’Keeffe’s artistic genius for decades. Take up residence at the historic, peaceful, and welcoming Ghost Ranch in rustic barracks on the mesa overlooking the expansive property. Wake up to clear blue New Mexican skies and meet each day with new adventures: yoga, hiking at the White Place (and other amazing locales), meditating mountainside, creating nature photography, and basking in the warm waters of Ojo Caliente hot springs. Get inspired to paint your own landscapes after a private tour of the Georgia O’Keeffe museum in Santa Fe and under the guidance of a local artist. Discover what O’Keeffe grew in her magnificent garden and pay homage to the artist who inspired this trip by offering your culinary best at our Third Annual Georgia O’Keeffe Dinner at Ghost Ranch. Come home inspired, invigorated, challenged, and changed.


Kayaking Local Rivers

Trip Leaders: Forbes Cone
Location: Denver
Level: No experience necessary | Medium intensity physical activity
Vendor: Renaissance River Guides

This exciting five-day beginner kayaking/paddling camp with explore both lakes and rivers in the Denver area. On Monday and Tuesday, students learn paddle strokes, bracing, self-rescue, T-rescue rescue, and the Eskimo roll at Chatfield Reservoir. On Wednesday through Friday, the group will move to the Platte and Clear Creek Rivers to navigate currents and rapids. River safety, scouting, self-rescue and reading whitewater will promote respect for our lakes and rivers, while having a blast at the same time.


Learn Scuba and Diver at the Aquarium

Trip Leaders: Sara Monterroso
Location: Denver
Level: Medium intensity physical activity, Need to be able to swim
Vendor: A1 Scuba

This Scuba Interim will provide students with a unique opportunity to learn how to scuba dive in a pool and then culminate their work by diving at the Downtown Aquarium on the final day of interim! Students will learn the techniques to dive safely and up to depths of 40 feet with a dive professional. Each day, there will be necessary learning, practice, and managing of the equipment. Students will learn how to engage in this sport in a safe way and to care for themselves as they are deep under water, enjoying the coral and wildlife. Participants will practice each day of this local interim at the new facility of A1 Scuba near CA. Scuba participants do not need to own any equipment or have any special skills beyond knowing how to swim. If students pass all of the written tests and practice dives then they will finish the week with the Scuba Diver Certification Card and they will be invited to complete the Open Water Scuba Certification with Open Water Dives 3 & 4. They can achieve this within one year to have even more exciting opportunities while diving on vacations. This interim is one not to be missed, with an opportunity to dive with the sharks, turtles, and fish in addition to seeing the amazing coral at the Downtown Aquarium!



Mission Accomplished–Space Camp

Trip Leaders: Steve Scherer and Beth Folsom
Location: Hutchinson, Kansas
Level: No experience necessary | Low intensity physical activity
Vendor: Cosmosphere

The Future Astronaut Training Program at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center is an incredible week of hands-on, high-flying activities developed from actual astronaut training.  This is an action-packed learning experience which  includes spaceflight simulations, shuttle crew exercises, 4-G Centrifuge training, rocket building, watching IMAX movies, aviation training, and much more. Each student will have an opportunity to do everything. Students will be divided into teams to complete their training missions. The Cosmosphere crew will provide breakfast, lunch and dinner every day.  In fact, we’ll even be training, doing astronomical observations and rocket launching after dinner.  The days will be full, and we’ll definitely sleep well after all that activity.  Our astronautical interim experience will finish after graduation around 10:00am on Friday, and then we will return home in our motor coach, arriving in Denver about 6:30 p.m.


Outdoor Art

Trip Leaders: Stashia Taylor and Jared Katzman
Location: Broome’s Hut, Berthoud Pass
Level:  Medium intensity physical activity | High intensity physical activity
Vendor: N/A

Use the outdoors as your art studio! We will hike to the luxurious Broome’s Hut and have Second Creek Basin as our workspace. Inspired by panoramic views and the work of Simon Beck and Andy Goldsworthy, we will create art outside. Using natural materials, we will build and photograph our designs while “leaving no trace.” Throughout the four nights and five days at the hut, we will also cook delicious meals and enjoy the views from the warmth of our cabin. As a group, we will take daily tours around the environment. Students on the trip must be capable of hiking with a heavy backpack and will need to bring their own snowshoes (rentals are available from outdoor stores such as REI). Specific art projects will be dependent on weather conditions, just come ready to create!


Rock Climbing at Clear Creek and Shelf Road

Trip Leaders: Allie Bronston and Kate MacKenzie
Location: Clear Creek Canyon in Golden, Colorado, and Shelf Road in Cañon City, Colorado
Level: No experience necessary | High intensity physical activity
Vendor: Expedition Backcountry Adventures

Spend five fabulous days rock climbing in Colorado with experienced instructors from Expedition Backcountry Adventures! This Local & Away (home/away) interim will lead you up canyon walls in search your own perceived limits as you immerse yourself in climbing and the outdoors. On your first two days, enjoy a local introduction to climbing at Clear Creek Canyon near Golden, Colorado, and head home at night to sleep. Your final three days and two nights of interim will take you to Shelf Road near Cañon City, Colorado, where you’ll car camp and enjoy days filled with more opportunities to hone your climbing skills and two evenings spent eating delicious food and sleeping under the stars. You will be challenged physically and mentally, and you will learn about the various dimensions of rock climbing–from geology and science, to technique. No experience required, though seasoned climbers will encounter plenty of exciting challenges.


Toy Hacking

Trip Leaders: Jennie Kies and Erin Carlson
Location: Denver
Level: No experience necessary
Vendor: Silicon STEM Academy

Have you ever wanted to tear something apart to learn how it works? Well, in this interim, students will have the chance to hack solar panels and electronic toys to create something new. Students will learn how to solder, a key skill for budding electronics designers. You will program with the Arduino language to control motors, lights and sounds. This is a unique opportunity to learn electronics skills beyond the average middle school student experience. No experience is necessary, just an interest in how things work and a passion for experimentation and design. At the end of the week, students will take home their redesigned solar landscape light and electronic toy. We will travel to Silicon STEM Academy everyday to learn from and work with experts.