2023 Summer Recap

First, all of us at Telluride Academy have to thank you for an incredible 43rd summer at the Academy. We are grateful for the opportunity to adventure with your kids and deliver experiences that they and we will never forget! As we reflect, we want to share a few highlights from the season.

The Numbers
Telluride Academy facilitated 120 programs and filled 1,264 program spots with 715 students. We partnered with over 25 organizations, ten private landowners, and 14 federal and state land agencies to enhance programming. We employed 46 seasonal staff, roughly half of them being return staff from previous seasons. The Leopard Creek house continues to be a valuable asset, which accommodated six of our instructors this past summer.

After a long hiatus since the disruption of COVID, we are thrilled to bring back our after-school climbing programs. Kicking off last spring and continuing this fall, students in this introductory climbing program cover basic indoor climbing skills, such as terminology and communication, route completion, hold type identification, body movement, figure eight knot tying, and belaying basics. When weather permits, we may head outside to one of our favorite bouldering sites to experience natural rock and participate in science experiments about geology, balance, momentum, and the physics of rock climbing.
We have opened two different aged programs so far and hope to add to that as we progress.

The Mission
With your support, Telluride Academy provided a record $302,739 in tuition assistance to 255 students from the Telluride region. Our Tuition Assistance program ensures that financial obstacles never prevent students from participating in Academy programs.

“True to our commitment to award 20% of annual Tuition earned in Assistance and Discount opportunities, we are proud to have pushed that to a record 21% in 2023 to regional students who otherwise would be unable to experience Academy programming, 27% of which was awarded to Telluride’s Bi-Lingual community” – Larry Rosen, Finance Director.

One of our favorite programs this summer was our Outdoor Leadership Challenge. With the generous support of donors, nine students received full scholarships to attend this two-week back-country skills-building camp. These students came from as far as New York and New Jersey to Nucla/Naturita and Norwood to spend time with Telluride Academy backpacking the San Juan Mountains, stand-up paddle boarding high alpine lakes, and learning field-based science in the outdoors, as well as teamwork, leadership, community, and sustainable outdoor practices. They left Telluride with a newfound confidence in themselves but in the great outdoors as well as a robust group text that we expect to go on for years from the friendships made while at camp.

We were also excited about the success of a unique program offered earlier in the summer based in Norwood. Serving two age groups, our Explorers and Camp Telluride experiences were available with drop-off and pick-up in Norwood, avoiding the commute to Telluride for families in the West End.

“2023 has been an incredible first year for me as a new team member. It has been an absolute joy to see all the smiling faces and hear excited stories from adventures near and far. We are thrilled to have hosted over 700 students, creating memories to last a lifetime.” – Jason Merritt, Executive Director.

Looking Forward
Though the 2023 summer has just recently come to a close, we already find ourselves excitedly preparing for next season. The 2024 program schedule is in the works, and we are planning tons of fun adventures that we are eager to share with you. Next summer’s schedule will be a unique blend of the classic Telluride Academy programs you love with some exciting new additions. While Camp Telluride, Explorers, Pedal ‘n’ Paddle, and Surf the Gunni aren’t going anywhere, we’re thrilled to introduce some new programs – such as a “Junior Rangers” Utah road trip, a filmmaking experience, an “Intro to Bikepacking” expedition and hopefully an international adventure!

“My favorite part about putting the summer schedule together is hearing all the exciting new ideas from our instructors and families. Programming possibilities feel endless, and I can’t wait to give our Telluride Academy community an exciting array of options to look forward to!” – Sophie Fabrizio, Program Director.

Thank you again for being a part of the Telluride Academy family! We are counting the days until we’re back outside adventuring with your kids for Summer 2024.