Ute Springs Experiential Learning Center (USELC) is a 501(c)3 founded in 2014 to address the need for social and emotional learning within our unique mountain community. USELC provides after and in-school programming, summer camps, adult retreats and teacher development programs. Our focus is to bring social and self-awareness, self-management and responsible decision-making while connecting to our environment through an adventure-based curriculum in nature to children of all ages. At the core of the USELC curriculum is C.A.R.I.N.G.: compassion, adventure, relationships, integrity, nature, and giving back. These essential values resonate throughout our organization. With your CARING support, we are transforming lives together!
Today’s youth face a variety of challenges as our society shifts toward integration of more technology, more rigorous academic standards and less unstructured free time in nature. A recent study cited at 2016 TEDxVail stated that prison inmates and chickens get more unstructured free time outside than our youth. Currently, in Eagle County School District’s (ECSD) academic curriculum, social-emotional wellness components fall within physical education. Due to state budget cuts to public education limited resources are devoted to the development of these skills. As a result, students fail to learn foundational skills that supplement the development of character, citizenship and community.
At Ute Springs we believe that all people, especially youth, gain tools to thrive within a community through experiences in nature with an adventure-based curriculum. USELC’s curriculum for youth is based on Colorado state standards for social-emotional wellness. This, along with our two state childcare licenses, allows us to work with youth in 2nd through 12th grades. USELC programming offers adults and kids alike an opportunity to step outside of their comfort zone to grow as individuals and build interpersonal skills. By connecting to their natural environment people develop an appreciation of the natural world while demonstrating self-control as they navigate their way through challenging situations and work together with peers. A place-based education allows individuals to see the beauty in their backyard, connect to the agrarian roots of Colorado and transform their lives.
Ute Springs Experiential Learning Center, it s’more than just camp!