Kayaking on the Arkansas

At the Stone Bridge put-in on the Arkansas River, cadets from the U.S. Air Force Academy and CMC outdoor faculty get ready for a run to Salida. Photo by Carrie Click

This summer, 90 academy juniors and seniors are participating in the college’s intensive outdoor leadership development program

Throughout this summer, cadets from the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs are heading for the mountains to advance their teamwork skills, emotional and social intelligence – all while perfecting their abilities to roll a kayak, rock climb, mountain bike and backpack. Called the Outdoor Leader Development Program, the partnership combines a seasoned group of Colorado Mountain College outdoor educators with leadership from the academy’s Center for Character and Leadership Development. Cadets are immersed in multi-week stints in and around CMC’s Leadville campus, whether kayaking on the Arkansas River, summiting Mount Elbert, or mountain biking and climbing outside Buena Vista.