Eco Week at the Mountain Campus
Eco Week is an extraordinary opportunity for Northern Colorado K-12 students (program designed for 5th graders) to learn about various topics related to the Rocky Mountain ecosystem in a remote alpine setting.
Nearly 2,000 elementary and middle school students from Fort Collins area and the Front Range attended Eco Week environmental education programming in 2019 at the Mountain Campus. The Eco Week program has been a staple program for the Mountain Campus for over 45 years, created and delivered in partnership with Poudre School District and the City of Fort Collins Utilities Education department.
We offer two sessions each week (Mon-Wed and Wed-Fri) from late-August to mid-October. If you are interested in reserving a spot on our Eco Week calendar for next season, please fill out our Contact Us Form to tell us about your school and your interest!
Mountain Campus lessons typically include:
- Mountain Meteorology
- Forest Ecology
- Adventure Games
- Outdoor Skills
- Wildlife Discoveries
- History of the Pingree Park Valley
In addition, all schools have the option to select an experience on the Mountain Campus challenge course high elements. For more information about the challenge course, please see our Challenge Course page.
Schools based in Fort Collins and/or Poudre School District have the amazing opportunity to select our Steam Ecology lesson, created by and delivered in partnership with the City of Fort Collins Utilities Education department. (Follow the link to learn more about their educational programs!) Students have the experience of learning about macro-invertebrates and spending hands-on time in the South Fork of the Cache La Poudre river to collect and identify specimens!
For more information about what is included in each of these lessons, please fill out our Contact Us Form to tell us about your school and your interest!
A wide variety of hiking opportunities to suit all abilities. Hikes range from a roughly 2-mile wide, mostly flat trail around the valley to 12-mile round trip hikes up challenging trails to high mountain passes in the area.
In order to keep our Eco Week program costs affordable for schools, students, and families, Eco Week groups are primarily housed in the North Dorm or the South Dorm (one school per dorm facility). If your school group is large enough, we may be able to offer additional lodging in our Conference Cabin facilities. For more information on lodging facilities, please see the following links.
An on-site nursing clinic is available for guests and staff. Please plan accordingly to meet your daily medical needs by bringing your own medications and supplies. Remember to pack extra, as we are in a remote location and it will not be easy to restock if necessary. Please note, services at the Mountain Campus are extremely limited, intended to be utilized for minor needs and emergencies, and should not be relied upon as a primary care provider.
Please work with your school nurse and/or health tech to prepare medication dispensing forms and medications for each student who will be in attendance. Every medication a student will need, or may need, must be packaged in original packing with all dosing information present and sealed in a Ziploc bag with the corresponding medical form included.
Medications must be delivered to the Nurse Office upon arrival to the Mountain Campus and must be picked up just prior to departure on your final day. The Mountain Campus nurse will assist with medication distribution in the morning and the evening and will assist if other medical or health-related concerns arise throughout your visit.
Please call ahead or email your Mountain Campus contact if you have further questions.
Mountain Campus is at an elevation of 9,000 feet. Winter comes early to the high country, and temperatures and weather patterns fluctuate dramatically. You and your students should be prepared for winter temperatures, wind, snow, and rain. Please make sure everyone has all the necessary gear for your and their health and enjoyment.
- 1 piece of luggage: duffel bag, suitcase, or large backpack
- Daypack for hike (in addition to the luggage your student packs their items in)
- Sleeping bag, or bedroll with a sheet and 2 blankets
- Warm pajamas
- Shoes: sturdy waterproof boots or 2 pairs of tennis-type shoes
- 3 pairs of socks (synthetic or wool provide great insulation in wet, cold weather)
- 2 pair of jeans or pants
- 1 warm jacket/coat
- 2 warm shirts
- 2 pairs of underwear
- Toiletry kit: comb, soap in a box, 1 bath towel, 1 wash cloth, toothbrush & paste, deodorant, and medications
- Raingear: jacket and pants are best, ponchos will work if necessary
- Book for leisure reading
- Warm hat and gloves/mittens
- 2-quart size water bottles: make sure they are leak-proof
- Face covering (for COVID-19 spread prevention)
- Lip balm and sunscreen
- Flashlight, with extra batteries
- Deck of cards
- Extra towel
- Insect repellant
- Field guides
- Sun hat
*Teachers: Bring extras of all the above!*
Please DO NOT Bring:
- Knives or weapons of any kind
- Phones, music devices, or other electronics
- Junk food, cookies, candy, gum, or surplus snacks
- Non-Prepackaged Trail Mix
- Tobacco products of any kind