SOLE Inspires Teachers to Connect to the Outdoors

Inspired. Motivated. Grounded. Revitalized. Thankful.

These were just a few of the words used by SOLE teachers to describe their experience at the first ever SOLE Teacher Retreat held at Steamboat Lake State Park June 13th-14th.

Spending only the introduction and welcome indoors, the rest of the retreat and workshop was spent outdoors in the picturesque Steamboat Lake State Park. After all, this retreat was not only to provide teachers with outdoor activities for their students, but for the teachers themselves to reconnect with nature and unwind after a long school year.

Check out our photos below to learn about all of the amazing activities these teachers were able to experience in just two days.

Project WILD

Positive energy and excitement filled the room as teachers from four different schools around the state gathered to learn about Project WILD.

Fishing Workshop

As with any good fishing workshop, one must start at the beginning...which is tying knots! As you can see, with the help from our Angler Education staff at CPW, our SOLE teachers perfected the clinch and triple surgeon knots.

Many teachers put a line in the water for the first time….and a couple were lucky enough to catch a rainbow trout!


Sharing ideas, experiences and s’mores around the campfire allowed teachers to network and become inspired to try innovative ways to get their students outdoors.

A night hike under the stars allowed teachers to navigate through nature in a unique way and to take a few moments to sit and observe.


A few teachers got up early for a bird hike, where we were able to catch a glimpse of Sandhill Cranes and their young (also called colts) trying to navigate the shoreline. Frequently shaking their wet feet, we realized that the colts were still not quite sure if they were ready to be wading birds. Here is a group shot of the “early birds.”


One cannot fully appreciate the beauty of Steamboat Lake without getting out on the water. Renting out all of the kayaks and one canoe, the SOLE teachers and staff spent a couple hours on the water relaxing and exploring the lake.

Importance of Outdoor Education

Yampatika, a SOLE partner and Steamboat Springs based nonprofit whose mission is to inspire environmental stewardship through education, also presented to the group. Kellie Gorman with Yampatika underscored the importance of environmental education and led an activity designed to allow kids to teach and learn from their peers.

Putting it all together

Teachers wrapped up the retreat at nearby Pearl Lake and dug deeper into the Project WILD guide to lead one another through a variety of fun interactive activities.

SOLE hosted the first ever Teacher Retreat June 13th-14th, 2018 with the goal of connecting TEACHERS to the outdoors so they would in turn be inspired and motivated to connect their students to the outdoors. This would not have been possible without the continued support of Great Outdoors Colorado and the help of Steamboat Lake State Park staff, Steamboat Lake Marina and Yampatika. Thank you!

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