By Marit Gookin
The high schoolers who participated in Central Wyoming College’s six-day-long Power Up expedition just recently came back into town – hopefully, said Kathryn Primrose of CWC Lander, if conditions allowed, after summiting Wind River Peak.
Power Up is just one of the offerings CWC has this summer for kids – CWC is also offering climbing classes in both Lander and Riverton, taekwondo in Riverton, fishing in Lander, and has partnered with the Lander’s Lights On program and Riverton’s R-Recreation. Something is happening somewhere almost all summer long.
CWC is somewhat uniquely qualified to offer climbing classes in particular, having accomplished climbers and outdoor expedition leaders such as Stacey and Darran Wells on its staff. Its well-known outdoor education and expedition science programs have benefitted adults, young and old, around the state; now, CWC is expanding its offerings to give some of the benefits of that expertise to the children in Fremont County’s communities, as well.
In Lander, upcoming CWC youth classes and camps include Little Monkeys Climbing, a climbing class for 4-7-year olds accompanied by an adult; Camp Popo Agie, a six-day camp for middle schoolers with activities such as climbing, biking, and canoeing; and LEAF Climb and/or Art Camp, a three-day camp for middle schoolers that gives kids the opportunity to sign up for the activities they’re interested in when they arrive on the first day.
Additionally, CWC Lander has an exciting partnership with Lights On that allows it to expand its offerings to even more kids during the summer. “For the third summer, CWC Lander and ASI have partnered with Lights On in Lander to provide summer outdoor education instruction to their students. In previous summers, Lights On students climbed with CWC climbing instructors once a week in Sinks Canyon. This year, we have expanded our offerings to [include] mountain biking and archery, in addition to rock climbing,” explained CWC Marketing and Public Relations Executive Director Jennifer Marshall Weydeveld.
In Riverton, kids can sign up for programs including Taekwondo in the Park, 307 Indoor Climbing, Safe Sitter Essentials with CPR, and Fun Foods. Although CWC doesn’t provide transportation between its Lander and Riverton campuses, there’s nothing precluding kids from one town from going to the other for one of these programs; if someone from Riverton wants their kid to learn about Leave No Trace principles, or if someone from Lander wants their kid to get CPR training, they can sign them up for the class.
Fremont County is a good place for kids to get excited about hands-on learning opportunities and practical skills; in addition to being able to learn from respected, skilled outdoors instructors such as those who work for CWC and other businesses and outfitters in the area, there are also lots of chances to put those skills into practice. Be it babysitting or summiting the Grand Teton, looking at getting CPR certification as a first step toward one day enrolling in CWC’s highly regarded nursing program or looking at time spent outdoors as a step toward working in science or outdoor education as an adult, the area is brimming with opportunities.
While some of CWC’s summer offerings for kids cost money, other programs, such as the Anti-Bullying Workshop to be held in Riverton in August, are free. For a complete list of program offerings, check out the digital catalog at www.cwc.edu/community/community-enrichment-classes–events.
CWC also has summer opportunities that benefit youth who are a little older; Primrose noted that some agencies will pay for their interns to enroll in a half-credit summer course so they can stay at the CWC Alpine Science Institute’s student housing. “Obviously short-term housing and housing in general in Fremont County can be hard,” she explained. “Maybe they’re not [here to] take classes at CWC in the traditional sense, but they are here to learn, so it seemed like a good fit.”