Standard Class Options

The Mountain Lab School

Standard Class Options

All classes, unless otherwise noted, are designed to fill a 2-hour time block.  Modifications can be made to shorten classes for some grade levels.

3rd Grade and Above


Animal Tracking

This class introduces students to the practice of animal tracking. Starting indoors, the instructor will use a Power Point Presentation to display key concepts related to animal tracking such as common animal signs, classifying tracks and safety concerns. Before heading into the field, students will participate in a hands-on activity investigating various pelts, tracks and scat of common Colorado wildlife. Students will bring all these combined skills together as they head outside as a group observing and collecting data on animal tracks and other common animal signs.

Animal Habitats

Through a variety of hands-on activities and games, students will learn how the components of an animal’s  habitat affect its ability to survive. Students will have the chance to become animals in search of food, water and shelter while competing with others. Through these activities, the concepts of carrying capacity and limiting factors will be highlighted. The class will end with students considering how increasing human development affects a specific animal’s habitat and what actions can be taken to preserve natural habitat areas for our Colorado wildlife.

Climbing

This class introduces students to the sport of rock climbing using IdRaHaJe’s 45 foot climbing tower or indoor Rock Barn. Students will be instructed on the various safety systems, climbing equipment, technique and terminology used by rock climbers all over the world. Opportunities to climb various routes as well as practice climbing techniques and learn basic knots will be provided to students during this class.

Erosion

This class introduces students to erosion, weathering, and deposition. Starting indoors, the instructor will use a Power Point Presentation and various activities to teach key concepts and terms related to erosion. Then, the class will head outside to find areas and examples of erosion and discuss causes. Finally, students will use their knowledge of erosion control to construct a model of a road and design a system to protect it from washing away in a rainstorm.

Geology of the Rocky Mountains

Students will dig deeper into the Rocky Mountains with a hands-on experience collecting data and classifying common Colorado rocks and minerals. Through participating in a short hike, students will investigate and use critical thinking skills to make observations on geologic features surrounding them. Additionally, each student will get a chance to take home a memorable souvenir from this class.

Horsemanship

This class will be broken into two portions: a mountain trail ride on horseback and an arena session. During the trail ride, students will learn basic rein control and be paired with a horse suited for their comfort level. The trail ride typically takes 35-40 minutes to complete. The arena session will include instruction on the following concepts: grooming, saddling, parts of a horse and riding activities focused on horse control. Long pants and closed toed shoes are required for this class. IdRaHaJe provides and requires helmets for each rider. This class is offered on a limited basis and requires an extra fee.

Initiative Games (Social Emotional Learning Games)

This class serves as a significant opportunity for students to develop deeper bonds with their classmates. Through a variety of games and unique activities, students will interact closely with each other as they communicate effectively, solve problems, and begin to build trust. The instructor will facilitate the students’ experience as they take initiative to work as a team. After major activities, the instructor will help the students to process and transfer their learning to larger contexts within and beyond the Mountain Lab School Experience.

Intro to Archery

This class introduces the sport of archery. Students will learn the different parts of the equipment, how to properly handle a bow and arrow, and proper shooting technique, which will lead to successful shooting. After each round of practice, students will record data and note areas for improvement in following rounds. The class will end with a team challenge where students will put to practice their new skills and knowledge.

Nature Hike

While hiking along Camp’s various trails, students will be introduced to common trees, plants, wildlife and geologic features. Along with learning to identify various species, students will discuss the interrelationships of our unique mountain ecology. This active class will involve approximately 90 minutes of hiking over mountainous terrain and a 30-minute lesson introducing students to field guides and nature journaling.

Nature Photography

This class brings technology and nature together. Using a Power Point Presentation inside, the instructor will define nature photography and provide tips for using cameras and taking photos. Students will then go outside and complete a scavenger hunt looking for objects in nature to photograph. Photographs will be taken with iPads. The class will end with students sharing and critiquing images taken.

Pioneer Studies

Students travel back in time to the days of the pioneers, covered wagons, and Early Americans in this unique class. Taught in an authentic pioneer cabin filled with antiques, students will learn about the daily life of a pioneer child through various activities. After making journey cake in a wood burning cook stove, students will also work together to make homemade butter, complete homeschool lessons with slate boards and play pioneer games.

Rocky Mountain Predators

Students will be involved in learning about the main predators of our Rocky Mountains, and specifically those which make IdRaHaJe “home.” This multi-sensory class will not only equip students with unique information about each predators’ adaptations but will also teach students how to live with wildlife.

Survival Skills - Shelter Building

Whether preparing to go on a simple hike, an overnight camping trip or for the possibility of a natural disaster, there are basic survival skills that everyone should possess. This class exposes students to the necessary steps in preparing and planning for a survival situation. Students also learn and practice the important skill of “tarp-style” shelter building.

5th Grade and Above


Antlers & Horns

In an engaging environment, students will learn the differences between antlers and horns. While observing several mounts in IdRaHaJe’s Wildlife Classroom, students will learn about which Colorado animals have antler or horns while identifying structure, function, and method of grow. Through games and activities, students will have the chance to act as animals trying to become the most dominant and make their own antler and horn. This class will end with students having a greater appreciation for these animals, knowing the difference between them and how to respect them.

Big Valley

Using the scientific method, students will conduct a comparative study of north vs. south facing slopes in a valley on Camp’s property. Students will collect data on each slope observing the flora, fauna, soil, temperature and humidity. Through comparing the data from each slope and additional instruction, students will learn how Colorado’s mountain slopes are greatly affected by their aspect and Colorado’s latitude. This hands-on class is best suited for students who have a basic understanding of ecosystems, basic geography and weather.

Bouldering

This class will take place inside IdRaHaJe’s Boulder House which was built specifically for the sport of bouldering. Bouldering is rock climbing at heights of 14 feet or below with the use of spotters and crash pads for protection rather than ropes and harnesses. Students will learn basic climbing terms, techniques and movements during the class while climbing and spotting in a group of students. The class will end with different challenges and opportunities to reflect on how the lessons learned in class can transfer beyond their experience at the Mountain Lab School.

Orienteering - Compass Skills

This class introduces students to the basics of orienteering by focusing on understanding how to use a compass. After learning the basic parts of a compass, students will head outside to apply their learning by identifying the cardinal directions and shooting various bearings. Along with this, the concept of pacing will be taught, a common skill used in orienteering competitions. The class will end with students working together to combine the skills of pacing and shooting bearings as they complete IdRaHaJe’s orienteering course.

Rappelling 1

Rappelling is the act of descending a rock face or other near vertical surface by using ropes and a fixed anchor point. In this class, students will learn the gear used in rappelling, safety systems, commands and how to properly rappel. Rappelling 1 takes place on IdRaHaJe’s 30-foot rock face.

Riflery

Using BB guns and IdRaHaJe’s outdoor riflery range, students will be introduced to the sport of target rifle shooting. This class will cover gun safety, basic rifle knowledge, how to properly and safely handle a rifle, and basic rifle shooting technique. Students will participate in several rounds of shooting to practice the skills taught in a safe and monitored environment during this class.

Survival Skills - Fire Building

Whether preparing to go on a simple hike, an overnight camping trip or for the possibility of a natural disaster, there are basic survival skills that everyone should possess. This class exposes students to the necessary steps in preparing and planning for a survival situation. Students also learn and practice the important skill of fire building with both matches and flint & steel. (Class is dependent on local fire restrictions.)

Team Building Challenge

In this class, students will work together as a team to overcome various low ropes course elements that are up to 3 feet off the ground. Instructors will sequence the obstacles from simple to complex during the 2-hour class period. The obstacles require students to solve both simple and complex problems, communicate, take on leadership roles, think creatively and build trust. This is a great class for students to explore what makes an effective team and how they individually can be a better “team player.”

6th Grade and Above


High Ropes Course

This class provides students with a challenging experience to complete an obstacle course, 25-40 feet off the ground, while hooked into a safety system to protect any falls. IdRaHaJe’s ropes course contains several traversing elements constructed of logs, cables, ropes and nets. After completing various elements, students will be sent off the 250-foot zip line which completes the course.

8th Grade and Above


Advanced High Ropes Course

This class provides students with a challenging experience to complete our advanced obstacle course, 25-40 feet off the ground, while hooked into a safety system. IdRaHaJe’s ropes course contains several traversing elements constructed of logs, cables, ropes and nets. IdRaHaJe staff will manage the safety systems from the grounds, but students will be responsible for transferring themselves from one system to the next. After completing the obstacles, students will be sent off a 250-foot zip line which completes the course.

Archery 2

This class allows students to compare a compound bow with a recurve bow. Students will learn range safety, how to properly handle each type of bow, explore proper shooting technique and shoot several rounds. After each round of practice, students will record data and note areas for improvement in following rounds.

Astronomy

In this class, students will explore the celestial bodies found in the night sky with a hand-on experiences involving star charts and a visual presentation. Class will start with a review of basic astronomy concepts and a tour of the Solar System. Students will create star charts to take home so that they can identify and locate at least three constellations in the night sky. They will also be able to determine the phases of the Moon and create a factual presentation advertising an assigned planet.

Climbing 2

This class introduces students to what it means to be the belayer in a rock-climbing partnership. Belayers are responsible for knowing how to check the climber’s and their own personal safety gear, properly secure the climber’s rope and tend the rope to protect the climber from a fall. With guidance and direct supervision from trained IdRaHaJe staff, students will have the chance to belay each other at one of IdRaHaJe’s climbing areas. Great follow-up to Climbing 1!

Going Solar

This class is an introduction to solar energy. Class will start off with a discussion about why solar energy is used. The instructor will then use a PowerPoint to explain how a solar panel works. After a short game, students will get a hands-on look at a real solar panel and collect data from the panel. Once they have figured out the best angle and direction of the solar panel, students will work as a team to solve real life solar problems.

Nature Journaling

While on a nature hike, students will be introduced to common Colorado trees and different mediums used in nature journaling. During the 2-hour class, students will make detailed observations about their environment while trying their hand at watercolor, poetry, and sketching. This slow-paced and meaningful class is a perfect way to experience the beauty of creation while practicing journaling activities that evoke both creativity and calm.

Rappelling 2

Rappelling is the act of descending a rock face or other near vertical surface by using ropes and a fixed anchor point. This class will begin with a mile-long hike over mountainous terrain to the top of IdRaHaJe’s 150 ft. rock face. Students will learn the gear used in rappelling, safety systems, commands and how to properly rappel. Each student will be given the opportunity to complete the rappel at least once. This class requires a 4-hour block to complete.

Team High Ropes Course

This class provides students with a challenging experience to complete an obstacle course with a team of 2-4 others, 25-40 feet off the ground, while hooked into a safety system to protect any falls. The Team Course contains a variety of unique and physically challenging elements constructed of cables, ropes, barrels, boards and nets. The class will begin with a thorough explanation of the safety systems and gear necessary to complete the course, and each team will have the opportunity to complete between 1-5 obstacles with their team.

Ultimate Survival

This 4-hour program tests students’ ability to work as a team, search for essential survival tools with the help of a map or GPS device and solve a variety of survival problems. Students should be physically fit, have basic survival and orienteering knowledge and understand how to work as a team member to participate. Be prepared to get dirty, travel more than a mile and assess your tenacity!