Every Kid Outdoors

Forms + Logistics

Are you a teacher from Cibola, McKinley, or Sandoval County looking to give your students a free trip to the outdoor classroom?

Immerse your students in an overnight camping trip or two single-day trips in the Cibola National Forest!

The collaboration between Cottonwood Gulch and the Mt. Taylor Ranger District covers all the expenses, including food, group gear, and transportation. Expeditions leave from the school in morning and return by end of school in the afternoon. All of our staff are background checked and go through an intensive 3-week staff training that focus on areas such as driving our vehicle fleet, Wilderness First Aid training, outdoor camping and living skills, and studying student communication, challenging behavior, and facilitating conflict resolution.

We’ve been working on our partnerships and collaborations within the last several years, which resulted in funding from the Forest Service for our Every Kid Outdoors program. This grant gives us the ability to work with classrooms, grades 3-12, from Cibola, McKinley, and Sandoval counties. The goals include:
  • Engage students with public lands  
  • Increase skills and comfort for students being outdoors and making a lasting impression on students to encourage future outdoor endeavors  
  • Make classroom learning come alive in the natural environment in subject areas including; STEM and environmental education, natural history, cultural history, geography, writing, arts, etc.
  • Increase cooperation, communication and teamwork among students of diverse background  
  • Contribute to classroom management success through improved student/teacher relationship
  • Increased understanding of the intersection of land and culture both historic and present day 
  • Improved understanding of importance of public lands and increased interest in civic engagement 
  • Involve youth in community service   

Email wildclass@cottonwoodgulch.org or call 505-248-0563 to begin planning your expedition today!

Visit our school groups page to learn how to grow your own expedition!

Example trip: Last fall, Cottonwood Gulch had the privilege to go on an expedition with Six Directions Indigenous School’s 6th-9th graders. After collaboration with their head administrator, we decided to do an overnight camping trip, as opposed to two day-trips. The trip took place on October 4th and 5th and we worked with 49 Zuni and Navajo youth from SDIS. The first day was centered around team-building along Bluewater creek in the Cibola National Forest, where we broke out into groups based on grade and played several games to get to know each other, including the Human Knot, Camouflage, and the Game of Many Things! We camped at our Basecamp in Thoreau after a long day of exploration and community building. After a chilly night, we woke up to some welcome sun and hiked out Basecamp’s back gate into the Cibola yet again to nature journal and reflect, hike to some historic sites, do some charcoal drawing, and play capture the flag. Once we returned to school, many students asked how they could work for us over the summer and keep trekking. After this trip, our staff were inspired to discuss our rich Gulch history and community and different ways we can blend our community and traditions with those of the groups we work with.