Environmental Institute for Stewardship & Leadership

Environmental Institute identity blue (cropped).png

Science and Adventure Education

Combining field investigations and adventure education, Environmental Institute programs take students outside to connect with real-world scientific studies in a cooperative learning environment. EUREKA!’s Environmental Institute offers a variety of program-styles ranging from local outdoor day camps, to multi-night adventure expeditions. We engage students in hands-on science through activities such as mountain biking, rock climbing, camping, canyoneering, hiking, and rafting. We believe in a future where all members of our community have the skills, knowledge, and passions to engage with environmental science in a positive way.

What we're up to:

Summer Camps are open for registration!

Join us for a summer full of field science, adventure, and outdoor investigation! Come explore the wonder of the Grand Valley with us through rock climbing, hiking, mountain biking, camping, or paddling; experiential learning at its finest. Browse course offerings below and find the course that is best suited for you!

Outdoor Field Trips:

Explore the Grand Valley with our Environmental Institute field trips! EUREKA! staff will meet you at a trailhead or other outdoor location to facilitate a hike and/or teach about our fascinating local ecosystems. Visit our Field Trip page to learn more and schedule your field experience.

Spring No-School- Day Camps

We are wrapping up our first season of offering a Skiing & Snow Science program for students that don't have school on Fridays. Throughout the Spring, we have a series of outdoor camps during D51 No-School Days, and "Dig In to Adventure" Fridays that combine mornings on the trails with afternoons gardening at the CSU Research Center. Register for these programs on Dashboard

Outdoor Program at R-5 High School

EUREKA! is a recipient of the Nita M. Lowery 21st Century Community Learning Centers Grant, and able to host a free outdoor program for R-5 High School students. This program meets four days a week at R-5 and is designed to engage students in experiential learning through local adventures, culinary skills, career exploration, science, art, and leadership building. Learn more about the program by visiting the R-5 program page.

Untitled design (3).png

Summer 2024 Environmental Institute Programs

  • May 28-31: Wild Adventures: Desert Dwellers
  • June 3-6: Wild Adventures: Fossil Finders
  • June 10-13: Wild Adventures: Wacky Weather
  • June 17-20: Gear Up! Bike-ology (Beginner Mountain Biking)
  • June 24-27: Wild Adventures: Ew! Creepy Crawlers
  • July 8-11: Aquaventures!
  • July 15-18: Wild Adventures: Amazing Adaptations
  • July 22-25: Wild Adventures: Rockhounds
  • July 29-August 1: Wild Adventures: Nature Photography

Registration is currently open! Find more details in the descriptions in your dashboard account. To learn about the differences between Wild Adventures, Gear Up!, Aquaventures!, and Rock On! click the course type below.

Click here to log in and register!

  • May 28-31: Gear Up! Physics of Biking (Intermediate Mountain Biking)
  • June 3-6: Gear Up! Physics of Biking (Beginner Mountain Biking)
  • June 11-13: Cretaceous Camping Expedition (Hybrid Expedition, 3day/1night)
  • June 17-20: Wild Adventures: Outdoor Leadership
  • June 24-27: Rock On! Climbing in Unaweep
  • July 8-11: Wild Adventures: Rad Reptiles
  • July 15-18: Girls Inspire: Nature Photography
  • July 16-18: Into the Dark: Black Canyon of the Gunnison (Hybrid Expedition, 3day/1night)
  • July 23-25: Rafting and Hydrology on the Gunnison River (Hybrid Expedition, 3day/1night)
  • July 29-August 1: Aquaventures!

Registration is currently open! Find more details in the descriptions in your dashboard account. To learn about the differences between Wild Adventures, Gear Up!, Aquaventures!, and Rock On! click the course type below.

Click here to log in and register!

  • June 10-13: Rock On! Climbing in Unaweep
  • June 18-20: Rock On! Expedition: Climbing in Maple Canyon (Expedition, 3day/2night)
  • June 25-27: Gear Up! Expedition: Mountain Biking at 10,000ft (Expedition, 3day/2night)
  • July 9-11: Rafting and Hydrology on the Colorado River (Expedition, 3day/2night)
  • July 15-18: Aquaventures!
  • July 24-30: Epic Expedition to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons (Expedition, 7days/6nights)

Registration is currently open! Find more details in the descriptions in your dashboard account. To learn about the differences between Gear Up!, Aquaventures!, and Rock On! click the course type below.

Click here to log in and register!

Environmental Institute Course Types

Wild Adventures are EUREKA!'s local outdoor camps where the trails are our classroom. On Wild Adventure Courses, students engage in science topics such as: desert ecology, archeology, snow science, wildlife biology, art engineering, paleontology and more! We travel around the Grand Valley and hike local trails while learning about the environment.

Wild Adventures are geared towards our younger explorers, ages 6-11.

In general, our hikes are one to three miles (round trip) at a gentle pace.


Gear Up! is EUREKA!'s mountain biking program that blends the science of biking with leadership skills and character development. We offer Gear Up! programs for students ages 6-15 at beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels.

Gear Up! programs range from local day trips, to afterschool clubs, to multi-night expeditions. EUREKA! has mountain bikes that you can borrow during a course if you do not have a bike of your own.

Ability Level: Beginner Participants should be able to balance on their bike, ride on flat and low angle terrain, and understand how to brake.

Ability Level: Intermediate Participants should be able to confidently ride on dirt trails, be able to navigate moderate uphill and downhill terrain, steer to avoid obstacles, and have consistent control over their bike.

Ability Level: Advanced Participants should be able to confidently ride up to 2 miles on single track trails, be able to choose a rideable line through small to moderate obstacles, and have consistent control over the bike on uphill climbs and downhill descents.

Screenshot (9).png

Rock On! is EUREKA!'s climbing program that blends geology & ecology with the adventure of rock climbing. On these courses, we explore the Grand Valley vertically through bouldering, roped climbing, and canyoneering. Students learn hands-on geology and experience the physical properties of sandstone and granite.

We offer Rock On! programs for students ages 6-15. EUREKA! provides all the necessary climbing gear.

Copy of 20230628_114134.jpg

Aquaventures! is EUREKA!'s water focused adventure program that explores local rivers, lakes, and reservoirs. Students will engage in science topics such as: riparian ecology, geology, geomorphology, hydrology, art engineering, and much more! 

Our Aquaventures! camps vary from going on a full day rafting trip, to a hike at a waterfall, to practicing safety/rescue techniques at a reservoir. 

Aquaventures! are geared towards any explorer between the ages 6-15 willing/wanting to get wet! All necessary gear is provided by EUREKA!, but personal gear will be welcomed.

Screenshot 2023-12-06 125841.png

Expeditions are multi-night adventure trips led by our most experienced course instructors. Join us for a week of citizen science, field studies, outdoor leadership, and adventure! Locations of our Expedition Courses range from the canyons in Utah, to the high peaks of the San Juan Mountains, to the shores of the Gunnison River. Expeditions are a time for students to reconnect with their environment, recharge, practice leadership skills, and learn the value of stewardship.

Our Expedition Courses serve students ages 9-15 years old and have a wide variety of educational focuses and adventure activities.


Our Girls Inspire camps are an initiative to support and encourage female participation in the sciences, as women have historically been underrepresented, underpaid, and under published in STEM fields. Let’s get outside! Learn the difference between native and non-native plants, how to build a survival shelter, how to do wilderness first aid, and more as we explore different ecosystems each day. Grow your knowledge of the outdoors and your leadership skills with us!


NEW this year! Students who do not have school on Fridays can spend their winter Fridays skiing at Powderhorn Ski Resort and learning snow science! Physics of skiing, learning about the crystalline structures of snow flakes and tons of winter fun!

This Program is for students who attend schools that are not in session on Fridays, students may not skip school to attend.

  • Daily Schedule:
    • 8:00AM – Drop Off at EUREKA!
    • 9:30AM-2:30PM – Skiing and STEAM Lessons (with lunch and snack breaks)
    • 4:00PM – Pick Up at EUREKA!

We are offering two different types of programs in order to accommodate both first time skiers and intermediate skiers.

LEARN TO SKI PROGRAM (for first-time skiers)

This program is for students ages 8-11 years old who are learning to ski for the first time. Participants can register for 4 week sessions in January and February.

  • Ages 8 - 11
  • First time skiers only
  • January Session & February Session
  • Ski lessons and gear rental are provided for first time skiers

FRIDAY SKIING AND SNOW SCIENCE (for intermediate skiers)

This program is for intermediate skiers ages 6-11 who already know how to confidently ski. Participants must provide their own gear and lift ticket, and be able to confidently navigate a blue run. Participants can register for 4 week sessions in December, January, February, and March.

  • Ages 6 - 11
  • Confident Intermediate skiers only
  • December, January, and February Sessions
  • Participants must bring their own ski gear & Powderhorn lift ticket


Participants can register for 4 week blocks at a time. The following Fridays are the session dates per block. (Learn to Ski Program is only in January and February Sessions)

  • December Session
    • 12/1/23
    • 12/8/23
    • 12/15/23
    • 12/22/23
  • January Session
    • 1/5/24
    • 1/12/24
    • 1/19/24
    • 1/26/24
  • February Session
    • 2/2/24
    • 2/9/24
    • 2/16/24
    • 2/23/24

Click here to log in and register!


Check out some of our previous overnight programs!

Required Student Forms

EUREKA! requires EI participants of overnight expedition trips to submit additional medical and safety forms:

Forms must be submitted at least 14 days prior to the first day of an overnight camp. We will send a general packing list and basic course policies to all registered students four weeks before the expedition, so they will be fully prepared for their course.


EUREKA! also requires immunization records for all student campers. If your child attends school in Colorado, you do not need to upload records. If your student does not attend school in Colorado, or is homeschooled, you must upload immunization records in order to register.

EUREKA! will accept medical exemptions for immunizations (MMR, Tetanus, Polio, Hep A/B) upon submission of the medical exemption form reviewed and signed by a physician (MD or DO). All non-medical exemptions will not be accepted.