Adams State Adventure Camp gets kids outside

(06-08-2018)

Valley youth are exploring the great outdoors this month in the Adams State Adventure Camp, funded through a grant to the City of Alamosa from the Great Outdoors Colorado Inspire Initiative. The grant of $868,805 was made to the City of Alamosa and a coalition of partners for the project Recreation Inspires Opportunity (Alamosa RIO!) Alamosa RIO! aims to integrate outdoor recreation into Alamosa's community culture and inspire a healthy relationship between youth and the outdoors. The project will create 41 youth and community jobs and impact more than 1,600 youth in Alamosa. GOCO's Inspire Initiative invests in places, programs, and pathways to get Colorado kids and their families outside.

The Adams State Adventure Camp is currently underway with three week-long sessions for different age groups. The camps' first two days are spent on the Adams State campus, where youth will use the university's climbing wall and challenge course, float on the Rio Grande, learn about orienteering, and take a water education session. Two additional days are spent at the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, where participants will enjoy sand boarding, a treasure hunt, and hiking. The final day takes the youth to Penitente Canyon, where they will complete an orienteering challenge and do outdoor rock climbing.

The grant provides $21,000 in scholarships over three years for the ASU students minoring in Adventure Leadership and Programming who are running the camps.

Alamosa RIO! is a collaboration among several partners, including Alamosa Parks and Recreation, San Luis Valley Great Outdoors, Adams State Adventure Program (ASAP), the Boys & Girls Clubs of the San Luis Valley (BGCSLV), Rio Grande Watershed Conservation & Education Initiative, Weekends on the Rio, the Rio Grande Farm Park, and Rio Grande Rattlers mountain bike team. They will offer a range of outdoor programs to meet the needs of youth, from kindergarten- to high-school ages, and create new pathways-to-employment opportunities for youth and young adults through internships, scholarships, and youth counselor positions. Alamosa RIO! will also include enhancement of the existing trail system at Alamosa Ranch with new trail segments and interpretive signs. Improvements are planned for Friends Park, which sits adjacent to the Boys & Girls Club, to include interactive features such as treehouses, a zipline, an improved bike track, and a music garden. BGCSLV will also build an outdoor classroom on its land near Smith Reservoir near the towns of Blanca and Fort Garland.

Photos by Chase Whitman