CMM Kids - Youth Curriculum
This course is taught by Jason Marsteiner, owner/operator of Colorado Mountain Man Survival, LLC,
and Sara McChesney, Outreach and Education Services Coordinator.
Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate (Advanced available upon request)
“Kid, you’ll move mountains! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!”
It is well known and documented that kids learn best when they are outside. One of our most successful programming options is our under 18 group curriculum. Groups of kids, ages 9-18 years old, and from all kinds of groups (Boy/Girl Scouts, 4H, Church, Homeschool, etc.) can enjoy an overnight wilderness survival experience anywhere from 24 to 96 hours long. This experience is different for each group, and the curriculum is customized to ensure the goals and needs of each group are met. A sample 24 hour schedule is available to view online.
Regardless of the customization, we will always include the five most important skills regarding wilderness survival:
Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
Situational Awareness and Risk Assessment
How to read a map and what to do if you get lost
How to build and maintain a fire safely
How to build or find shelter safely
All kids groups are housed in one military tent with wood stoves for heat. Groups can choose to take a short hike or longer hike into camp, or they can opt out of the initial full-pack hiking experience and go with day hikes and day-packs (or they can choose not to hike at all). Water and toilet facilities are on site, but make no mistake...this is truly a wilderness survival experience. All students are asked to bring their own gear and supplies. The gear list is available to view online as well.
This trip is an essential component of any group’s Adventure Education program. On this trip we strive to achieve many goals, including group collaboration and unity, preparation for future wilderness experiences, personal development, and care and appreciation for the environment. The intent of this wilderness experience is to help set students on a path to a life-long love for the outdoors, with a hands-on educational journey, rooted in a philosophy that nurtures a love of learning and fosters respect for self, others, and the environment. At various moments, the curriculum of the trip asks the students to share with and address their larger group, study the environment, and work collaboratively.
All groups are provided with an educational packet that can be completed prior to arriving on site. This ed packet includes activities to get kids thinking about our top 5 survival skills. Additionally, customized schedules, equipment lists, and letters to families will be provided.
We will be hiking and camping in Cripple Creek, Colorado, basing out of Colorado Mountain Man Survival School, located in the shadow of Pikes Peak on the mesa of Rhyolite, Monarch, and Red Mountains. This location is relatively remote, however access to emergency services and supplies is a short 6 miles down the road. One goal of the trip is to introduce the students to the beauty and challenges of the Colorado Rockies in this area, while keeping the experience safe for everyone. Because of these challenges, it is critical that families prepare as far in advance as possible. Day excursions and hands-on activities will occur on-site and on the surrounding land. Students will not be transported anywhere else unless an emergency arises.
We assert that a great deal of stress and money should not be spent in preparation for this trip.
We must, however, ensure that each participant will be well enough equipped to be safe. Our Youth Curriculum equipment list will show that we warn against wearing cotton, require proper
clothing for warmth and protection from the elements, and will ask that all students have
appropriate footwear. We urge you to borrow where possible. Students should not bring more than what is on the list. The best way to assure students are prepared is by facilitating a check-out session prior to arrival on site. Each student should come to the check-out session as if he or she were leaving for the trip that day. Any gear needs that have not yet been met should be communicated to your own group leader prior to check out day.
We advise that all gear and equipment, once it has been “checked out,” be stored at one central location until the departure of the group to be certain students do not add or subtract anything to their packs. If you plan to purchase equipment online or in stores, please do so well enough in advance for gear to arrive, be properly fitted and broken in, and/or replaced if need be.
Colorado Mountain Man Survival employs experienced, background checked outdoor wilderness survival instructors who will work with your group to run this wilderness experience. These professional instructors will join your group’s chaperones so that a minimum of two adults (one instructor and one chaperone) will be on the trip with every eight students. We recommend securing chaperones as soon as possible to ensure you meet the minimum requirement. Groups will not be permitted to be present on site without the appropriate minimum number of chaperones based on group size, nor will refunds be issued should this occur.
For family events, a parent or legal guardian MUST be present with attending children. We are not your typical day camp, day care or summer camp and WILL NOT allow you to just drop off your child.
For more information, or for a personal consultation with one of our instructors, please contact Sara (a.k.a. Red), Outreach and Education Services Coordinator, at email@example.com. We look forward to working with you and your group! Your mountain is waiting!
Food and Water:
Water will be provided but you will need to provide your own food of your choice. We recommend quick field expedient meals such as our Camp Ready Meals or MRE’s. They can quickly be made at our primitive camps and won’t slow down the learning process. You can also purchase food locally once you get here. Walmart and several local eateries are a close drive away.
Length: 24-96 hours (depending on group goals)
Minimum Recommended Equipment:
Shelter: A large 20 person military wall tent with winter liner is provided for a community tent during class hours and may be used for sleeping at night. Tent is complete with wood burning stoves and a cot for each student. A smaller 5-10 person military tent with winter liner and is also available for smaller groups.
Clothing Required: For this experience, we have a specific gear list [found here]. For safety reasons, cotton clothing is not permitted other than undergarments and t-shirts. We recommend synthetic materials whenever possible, however wool is a reasonable substitute. Layers are critical in Colorado. You will want a moisture-wicking base layer, an insulating mid layer, and a waterproof breathable outer shell. Check out our Clothes Layering Basics if you are interested in more direction.
Tuition: The cost of our youth programming experiences varies based on the individual needs and goals of each group. Larger groups are offered a discount, and chaperones are always free. Your tuition includes all curriculum instruction and materials, use of our 20 person military wall tent for your group lodging, firewood for wood stoves and cooking, access to water for drinking and washing, and access to a porta-potty.