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Partner Spotlight: Cal-Wood Education Center

A Q&A with Jamie Preira, Cal-Wood Education Center's Retreats and Communications Coordinator, and Becca Foster, Cal-Wood Field Instructor.

Access Opportunity Students and Counselor standing in front of a wood sign saying Cal-Wood

Access Opportunity: Tell us a little about Cal-Wood (your programs, activities, who you serve, etc.) and your role there.

Jamie: Cal-Wood's mission is to:

  • offer a unique outdoor educational experience to youth and adults

  • inspire a greater appreciation for the natural world

  • provide environmental education to those who would not otherwise experience it;

  • deliver unique educational opportunities in a unique mountain setting.

Cal-Wood strives to grow the diversity and number of people who experience nature and the Colorado mountains. Cal-Wood has provided environment and outdoor education to hundreds of thousands of Coloradans through school programs, Latino Family Camps, and summer camps held at our beautiful mountain site and Colorado’s public land.

We offer school programs, summer camps, retreats, and volunteer opportunities. We are best known for our school programs. During their Cal-Wood experience, each student receives a total of 31.5 hours of science and environmental education programming. All Cal-Wood programs are customized to meet the academic, social and linguistic needs of each school. As our expert staff leads students through hands-on, field-based exploration of local plants, animals, snow science, fire ecology, forestry, geology, and pond ecosystems, children connect to nature and each other.

My role is the Retreats and Communications Coordinator. I help spread the word about Cal-Wood on social media and through our newsletter and I book retreats when we don’t have school programs!

AO: Cal-Wood hosted our students for a few days earlier this summer. Will you tell us a little about the types of activities they participated in while they were there?

Jamie: We focused a lot on team building and group dynamics. We sprinkled in some hiking and environmental education, cause that’s what we love to do!

AO: What were some of the Cal-Wood team’s favorite memories from the AO retreat?

Becca: Having a super calming solo sit/night hike to listen to the Great Horned Owls, and listening to everyone share afterwords how much they loved the experience! And reaching the top of 8125, the highest point at Cal-Wood, with the students and seeing their smiles!

AO: Do you have any advice for AO students as they head into a new school year?

Becca: Hold true to yourself and what you are passionate about, don’t lose those passions in the stress of day to day life!


Thank you Jamie and Becca! We’re grateful for Cal-Wood’s partnership and we can’t wait for next year’s retreat!


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