The Catamount Institute, Kids On Bikes (KOB), and Colorado Springs Trails, Open Spaces, and Parks (TOPS) are proud to announce the second year of the Building Outdoor Leaders Today (BOLT) program! We have 15 slots open! The cost per participant is $495, although sponsorships are available! By partnering with local organizations, this program provides exceptional experiences for teens in Colorado Springs to explore the outdoors. This year's BOLT experience will have an emphasis on outdoor recreation activities!
Our purpose is to create a positive experience for high school students to connect to the outdoors. We hope to provide unique opportunities with an emphasis on outdoor recreational activities that enhance leadership development, hands-on science, career exploration, and community service.
We believe that the outdoors is a space for ALL people and recognize the barriers in place that deter people from outdoor recreation.The BOLT staff acknowledge the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion and have created a program that will uphold those values to support all individuals in their pursuits of outdoor experiences. We are committed to building a welcoming program no matter the race, ability, orientation, class or creed. Therefore, we acknowledge that the land we recreate on and with are the ancestral lands of the Ute, Jicarilla Apache, and the Cheyenne Arapaho. Colorado is ancestrally tied to 48 nations, tribes, bands, and villages. We share this statement to honor and respect Native and Indigenous peoples and to include this respect in our programs.
What does it mean to recreate in the outdoors?
All BOLT partners are proud members of the Colorado State led Generation Wild of the Pikes Peak Region Coalition. With that, we all embody and acknowledge the importance of getting outdoors at all ages. Going outdoors can be anything from enjoying your backyard, to hanging out with family and friends at a local park, or to hiking to the summit of a mountain. We want to provide the opportunity for the youth in our community to feel confident, welcomed, and safe in all of our outdoor spaces.
BOLT is one way our organizations are building a bridge to outdoor opportunities in our local community for teens. We will meet each and every participant where they are at, ensuring a safe, positive outdoor experience. This year we will focus on recreating in the outdoors on bicycles and what that could look like for you!
BOLT has two main components
1. After-school and Saturday programs
2. Spring Break overnight biking and camping trip
Curriculum & Activities: Recreating in the outdoors
Urban Trail riding
Leave No Trace
After-school & Saturday Programs
The Catamount Institute, KOB, and TOPS Rangers will host 5 two-hour after-school programs and 3 six-hour Saturday programs. These sessions are an opportunity for the participants to gain confidence in themselves and their ability to recreate in the outdoors, to connect with their peers, and to build a relationship with the staff. We aim to provide students the tools they need to succeed in and outside of the classroom. The curriculum is designed to complement the goals of the program and offer activities teens voiced interest through a locally based survey.
In addition, during these programs participants have the chance to engage with professionals in the community. The BOLT partners and guest speakers are a great resource for letters of recommendation, internship opportunities, and professional development guidance. Previous BOLT participants have asked the staff to write letters of recommendation, have been hired as an intern, and have volunteered with local organizations outside the program. All staff members are certified as Trusted Adults and aim to be role models for each of the participants who join the program.
Spring Break Bike Trip
Our passion is to inspire and empower kids to lead a healthy lifestyle while making a connection to the outdoors. What better way to achieve that mission than on a bike! Biking in the outdoors allows people to experience the natural world from a different perspective - faster than hiking, while still being slow enough to take everything in. The BOLT program would like to take YOU on a 5 day overnight trip in the greater Fruita, Colorado area. Get ready for a unique opportunity to mountain bike on world-renowned trails that parallel the Colorado River, camp lakeside, explore Colorado National Monument, visit a local college and more! You can expect beautiful scenery, beginner to intermediate mountain biking trails, campfire chats, a chance to build relationships with new people, and environmental education opportunities as we explore the Grand Valley’s rich geological history.
No bike? No problem!
Thanks to Kids on Bikes, all bicycles and helmets will be provided as needed. If you have a bike, we can provide a tuneup to ensure it’s in good working condition. Also, to ensure all participants have a positive experience, any needed gear such as hiking shoes, headlamps, and coats will be provided.
The Benefits of BOLT
Personally and professionally development opportunities
Meet new people
Positive Adult Role Models
Letter of recommendation
Opportunities to go outdoors and experience the many benefits
“The BOLT program builds more than just leaders. Individuals who participate in the program take away beautiful memories from once in a lifetime activities and experiences.” - Senior, Harisson High School
“I honestly did not think that I would come out of this program as a different person but it has impacted and changed my life.” - Senior, TESLA High School
“I knew I loved nature, but I gained a new respect and love for it as I went along through the program.” - Junior, Palmer High School
At least 16 years of age by date of the Spring Break trip (March 20th)
Attendance at 4 of the 5 after-school programs
Attendance at ALL 3 of the Saturday programs
Ability and willingness to communicate with staff prior to programs
Abide by local health protocols
Parent/ gaurdian consent