Enrollment now open for free CMC youth outdoor leadership program | VailDaily.com

Enrollment now open for free CMC youth outdoor leadership program

Daily staff report
newsroom@vaildaily.com

First Ascent Youth Leadership combines outdoor challenges with a unique leadership curriculum. At a 2016 First Ascent team-building exercise at Colorado Mountain College Leadville’s ropes course, students balance on two-by-fours. Maggie Friemel, in pink T-shirt, and Spencer Ellsperman, far right, attempt to position a third board for the team to stand on. This year, students will attend the youth leadership program July 8-13. Applications are due in April. Photo Matt Lit

LEADVILLE — The First Ascent Youth Leadership program is now accepting applications for its free, weeklong course at Colorado Mountain College's campus in Leadville.

The outdoor experiential course, for students entering ninth and 10th grade in the fall of 2018, will celebrate its 23rd year this summer. Dates this year's program are Sunday, July 8, through Friday, July 13.

The program is available to students living in the six counties of the Colorado Mountain College district — Eagle, Garfield, Lake, Pitkin, Summit and part of Routt. Recommendations from a counselor, teacher or other adult are due at the end of April. There is an April 13 deadline for applicants to submit the name and email address of the person who will recommend them.

First Ascent teaches leadership, problem solving, consensus building, conflict resolution and communication. During the weeklong program, students live at Colorado Mountain College's residential hall in Leadville, and build self-esteem through challenges such as rock climbing, summiting Mount Elbert and rafting the Arkansas River.

This year, the program will accept 35 successful students who show potential to be leaders. Counselors and staff are graduates of the program; students completing First Ascent can return to work as staff during future summers.

For more information and to apply, go to coloradomtn.edu/firstascent or contact First Ascent's program director, Katia Curbelo-Del Valle, at 970-947-8357 or outreach@coloradomtn.edu.