Outdoor Leadership Challenge

Two Week Overnight Program
AGES 15-18

“Outdoor Leadership Challenge” (OLC) is an immersive program designed for students who are excited to get outside, catering to both beginner and seasoned adventurers. The initial two days of this program will focus on building camaraderie through team-building activities, introductory wilderness skill workshops and familiarization with backcountry gear and meal planning. The core of the program unfolds on the trail, where participants will embark on a three-day, two-night self-supported backpacking journey through the San Juan Mountains. Equipped only with essentials on their backs, participants will put their newfound skills and preparation to the test. The final segment of OLC shifts to the river, where water safety and paddling techniques will be practiced on the lakeshore before venturing to the Ruby Horse Thief section of the Colorado River. Over the final four days and three nights of the program, participants will captain their own stand-up paddleboards or inflatable kayaks, covering 25 miles of moving water amidst breathtaking sandstone cliffs. OLC concludes with a final night of celebration, providing an opportunity for students to reflect on their newly acquired knowledge and the friendships they’ve created through challenge and adventure!

*All participants will receive Telluride Academy trekking backpacks, sleeping bags and sleeping pads while participating in the backpacking portion of this program! We ask that you bring your student’s belongings in a duffle bag on the first morning so instructors can help students properly pack their provided backpacks.

*Students should feel comfortable hiking blue-level terrain with moderate weight on their backs. There is a potential that students will be camping at over 11,000 feet. We recommend arriving to Telluride a few days early for any student prone to altitude sickness.

*Students will be on the river for a portion of this program. Though PFDs will be worn on the water, students should be confident swimmers and feel comfortable around moving water.

This program departs mid-day on Sunday, June 23rd, and returns on Wednesday, July 3rd.

Sunday, June 23rd: Students will arrive mid-day and spend time getting to know each other before enjoying their first night camping beneath the stars!

Monday, June 24th: Spend a full day exploring the wilderness of the Telluride region. Students will participate in team-building games, engage in wilderness skills workshops, learn how to pack their trekking packs and prepare their backcountry meals.

Tuesday, June 25th – Thursday, June 27th: Three-day, two-night self-supported backpacking trip into the San Juan Mountains! Spend your days venturing through vast alpine meadows and evenings camped out in the quiet of the mountains.

Friday, June 28th: Transition day! Rest and recover from your backpacking trip and participate in a flat-water safety and paddle technique workshop.

Saturday, June 29th – Tuesday, July 2nd: Four-day, three-night river trip on the Ruby Horse Thief section of the Colorado River! Students will paddle their own crafts through ancient, winding canyons and relax on the sandy shores of the river.

Wednesday, July 3rd: Last morning together! Hugs and high-fives before the group drives back to Telluride for the conclusion of the program.

Camp Type: Two Week Overnight Program

TUITION: $2850

AGES: 15-18
2 waitlist
June 24, 2024 - July 5, 2024

Challenge Level: 4

Telluride Academy's Overnight Policy

Our talented instructors work hard to combat student homesickness on overnight programs. For many students, this experience might be their first time camping or away from home! In the days leading up to the overnight(s), the instructors have positive conversations with the groups to get them excited and prepared for their overnight adventures. This dynamic gets interrupted when a student is picked up early from their overnight. For this reason, we can not accommodate early pick-ups, unless in the case of an emergency. If your child does not want to attend the overnight, or if you have prior commitments that require early pick-up accommodations, we ask that you consider choosing a day program instead. Please call our office with any questions or concerns.