Get Outdoors Leadville! works with teachers, staff, students, and outstanding program partners to bring outdoor learning experiences to Lake County School District to enhance academic and culture-building efforts. We call this GOL!-LCSD. We know (and loads of research demonstrate) that outdoor experiences support strong academic performance and better behavior — so GOL!-LCSD helps all students achieve at a higher level and be their best selves.

In just one semester, Lake County School District students:

  • Study fire ecology
  • Test water quality at mining reclamation sites
  • Learn about nutrient cycling and farming at altitude
  • Explore energy efficiency
  • Experiment with hydrology
  • Practice field science techniques
  • Learn how to use topographical maps
  • Participate in a GPS scavenger hunt
  • Mountain-bike
  • Hike local mountains
  • Visit nearby lakes
  • Participate in high ropes challenge courses
  • Engage in team building low ropes initiatives
  • Camp under the stars
  • Backpack in the canyons of Utah
  • Observe and paint birds
  • Create nature-sculptures and host an outdoor gallery walk

And, while students are outdoors learning and growing, we believe many will fall in love with the natural world too, pursuing those passions beyond the school day and beyond their academic career.


GOL!-LCSD leverages outdoor adventures to establish strong school culture, develop individual leadership, and build community.


As students progress through their school careers in Lake County School District, Get Outdoors Leadville! works with local partners to honor the beginning of key transition years in school — 3rd grade, 7th grade, and 9th grade — with outdoor, culture-building experiences. GOL! and Lake County School District both know that when we invest time and energy into building school culture in the great outdoors, we see excellent outcomes in behavior and in academics.

  • 3rd Grade – The Greater Arkansas River Nature Association (GARNA) facilitates a day of outdoor community building and learning focused on birds at Turquoise Lake. During this day-long program, 3rd grade crews grow wings and soar into their school year as stronger flocks.
  • 7th Grade – Each crew joins faculty and college students from Colorado Mountain College’s Outdoor Recreation & Leadership Program for a 2-day, 1-night hiking trip to one of the 10th Mountain Division Hut Association Huts. Crews spend time hiking in the National Forest lands surrounding Leadville and enjoy views from the mountains while living their learning about the 10th Mountain Division that they did way back in 3rd grade!
  • 9th Grade – All 9th grade crews join Colorado Outward Bound School on their Leadville Mountain Campus for a 3-day outdoor experience hiking, spending time together around a campfire, problem solving and building teamwork skills through low ropes course activities and initiatives, and facing fears and encouraging each other on the high ropes course.


Lake County School District students actively work to develop strong habits of a learner – Perseverance, Compassion, Craftsmanship, Respect, Responsibility, Curiosity, & Collaboration. At Lake County Intermediate School, quarterly rewards celebrations honor the hard work students are doing in this area. Snowpalooza is a second quarter reward including Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, and snow play. What better way to honor outstanding performance on the habits of a learner than a few hours of outdoor winter play?

Academic Fieldwork

Lake County School District partners with EL Education (formerly Expeditionary Learning) to bring hands-on, authentic learning experiences to our students. GOL! supports these efforts with outdoor fieldwork. In outdoor fieldwork, students aren’t just passive observers, they are active investigators, analysts, scientists, artists, historians and more.

3rd Grade 10th Mountain Ski Down – 3rd Grade students spend several months immersed in a learning expeditions about the 10th Mountain Division of the army. In this expedition, students build their background knowledge of World War II and the Tenth’s involvement. They then investigate the impact these men and women have had on our local community. Did you know that after returning from the war, many of the “ski troopers” were major contributors to today’s thriving local ski industry? As a culminating event to this expedition, students have the opportunity to honor veterans in an assembly and take part in the annual Serpentine Ski Down Ceremony at Ski Cooper, in which they will have a chance to ski with the 10th Mountain Vets and current soldiers.

4th Grade SOLE – Lake County Intermediate School is fortunate to be a “SOLE” school with Colorado Parks and Wildlife. SOLE (Schools and Outdoor Learning Environments) connects 4th grade kids and their families with Colorado. Through this partnership, 4th grade students participate in three fully-funded field trips to Colorado State Parks or other CPW properties and visit Colorado history​ museums. They also experience classroom visits from CPW staff. Finally, CPW will host a Family Nature Night with activities, food, prizes, and exploration of what’s fun outdoors!

5th Grade “In Collaboration with Nature” Art Expedition – 5th graders explore the work of famous nature artist Andy Goldsworthy and then find their muse in the woods outside of Lake County Intermediate School. This expedition culminates in a Forest Gallery Walk where community members enjoy hot cocoa and cider while wander through the forest to see student work.

7th & 8th Grade STEM FieldworkGreater Arkansas River Nature Association supports outdoor fieldwork for 7th and 8th-graders in which students build field science skills while working alongside experts from the Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service, and other local land managers. In a series of fieldwork days, students learn and apply a variety of skills including using GPS devices, exploring fire ecology and hydrology, and studying forest plots for species diversity,

Wilderness Experience – This dual-enrollment course offers Lake County High School students the opportunity to earn both high school and college credit while learning leadership, camping, and backcountry travel skills. Part of Colorado Mountain College’s Outdoor Recreation Leadership program, Wilderness Experience combines on-campus skill building and leadership development with a 6-day canyon backpacking trip.