VENTURE OFF

Venture Off was established at The University School as a means to provide students with a challenging, perspective-stretching experience. The goal of the founder, Jeff Cooper, was to get students out of their comfort zones, both literally and figuratively, and Venture Off has been faithful to that vision. Students who join a Venture Off event, whether for a few hours or a few days, will have the opportunity to grow physically, mentally, and spiritually.

PHYSICAL:

Venture Off participants will learn technical skills they can put into practice lifelong. Their bodies will be challenged in dexterity, balance, strength, and stamina.

MENTAL:

While participating in Venture Off activities, students will learn to value other team members’ personal differences, will grow in confidence, and will put into practice principles of teamwork and leadership.

SPIRITUAL:

As students venture outside and are exposed to the beauty of God’s creation, they will also be exposed to the value of others, even those from different backgrounds or ways of life. On longer trips, students will have opportunities to meet with their Creator and hear from Him apart from the noise of their everyday lives.

 

 

“Don’t ask what the world needs.

Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it.

Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

-Howard Thurman

 

 

DAY CAMP 1


June 16th-19th, Tuesday – Friday, Hours: 9:00am-1:00pm 
Limit to 30 campers   COST: $100

Four fabulous days of rock climbing and rappelling various routes in Garden of the Gods and Red Rocks Canyon. Climbing routes will be selected based on the skill level of the participants. If necessary, we’ll spend the first day at The University School’s rappel tower learning the basics before heading out to the rocks.


Need to bring:

-Climbing Permit signed by parents (obtained free at the Garden of the Gods’ visitor center. Students must keep yellow copy with him at all times while climbing; white copy remains with GOG visitor center).
-Comfortable, loose fitting clothing appropriate for the weather
-Two quarts of water
-Sun protection for head, eyes, and skin
-Snacks
-Sturdy soled tennis shoes or hiking boots

 

DAY CAMP 2


July 21st-24th, Tuesday – Friday, Hours 9:00am-3:00pm
Limit to 14 campers – 5 SPOTS LEFT   COST: $120

Four terrific days learning how to canoe.

We will begin with basic instructions, and then move to a local lake where students will learn: the seven basic canoe paddle strokes, how to keep the boat in a straight line, how to paddle with the wind at different angles, how to rescue a capsized canoe and occupants, how to self rescue if your canoe capsizes, etc.

Depending on the group’s progress, we’ll spend our last day on a swift water river section learning how to read the currents and river features, how to paddle downstream, do ferries, eddy turns, peelouts, and basic river rescues. TONS of fun! This camp will help prepare students for our future river trips to the Buffalo River in Arkansas, the Green River in Utah, and many others.


Need to bring:

-Two quarts of water
-Sun protection for head, eyes, and skin
-Snacks
-Sack lunch
-Nylon (quick drying) shorts
-Polypropeline long sleeved shirt
-Fleece jacket
-Water shoes or sturdy sandals with heel strap
-Change of dry clothes for trip home

DAY CAMP 3


July 28th-31st, Tuesday – Friday, Hours 9:00am-3:00pm
Limit to 14 campers   COST: $120

Four terrific days learning how to canoe.

We will begin with basic instructions, and then move to a local lake where students will learn: the seven basic canoe paddle strokes, how to keep the boat in a straight line, how to paddle with the wind at different angles, how to rescue a capsized canoe and occupants, how to self rescue if your canoe capsizes, etc.

Depending on the group’s progress, we’ll spend our last day on a swift water river section learning how to read the currents and river features, how to paddle downstream, do ferries, eddy turns, peelouts, and basic river rescues. TONS of fun! This camp will help prepare students for our future river trips to the Buffalo River in Arkansas, the Green River in Utah, and many others.


Need to bring:

-Two quarts of water
-Sun protection for head, eyes, and skin
-Snacks
-Sack lunch
-Nylon (quick drying) shorts
-Polypropeline long sleeved shirt
-Fleece jacket
-Water shoes or sturdy sandals with heel strap
-Change of dry clothes for trip home

For Parents

You are making an investment in the growth, development, and character of your child, as well as providing him or her an amazing experience. Venture Off is a branch of The University School in Colorado Springs. As a school, we are excited to offer trips in which our students regularly have the opportunity to participate, to more schools/students across the country.

We will be relying on your child to meet our school’s expectations for behavior and effort in order to successfully complete their trip. We understand and expect there to be varying levels of motivation. We understand there could be homesickness, doubt, lack of confidence, or even a desire to give up, but we will help them work through these challenges. Our desire is to help students push past adversity and doubt and successfully complete their trip. If, however, a student is determined to leave, we simply cannot and will not make them stay. A student who is unwilling to fully participate or cooperate can compromise their safety and quality of the trip for the rest of the students. In this case, students will contact you to arrange for travel home. We recommend reviewing this information with your child.

Risks

During Venture Off courses, we will be traveling to wilderness settings that will expose us to certain risks. We believe those risks will enable us to gain insight, grow self-awareness, and change perspectives through opportunities unavailable anywhere else. Risk and uncertainty are central to the concept of adventure.

We have over 14 years of experience leading youth groups into the wild. We have qualified leaders who have many hours of experience in all areas we will be experiencing. All of our leaders are at least CPR and First Aid certified, and we have at least one leader who is a Wilderness First Responder. Statistically speaking, students are more likely to get injured on the drive to the airport to drop them off than they will during any wilderness activity we do.

The ability to communicate with emergency help is always a priority to us. On each trip, we carry a device called “SPOT” which allows us, through satellite technology, to send for local search and rescue support from anywhere in the country. SPOT also allows family and friends to track our every move and see our current location any time using Google maps.

Risk and uncertainty are central to the concept of adventure. The intent is not to avoid activities involving risk but to embrace them. Risk is a platform for delivering meaning, growth, physical fitness, and leadership. Our staff is trained to identify and manage the risks of travel in remote areas. While our instructors are trained, students must take responsibility for their own well being and follow all instructions. Students must come to the course prepared to work hard, take responsibility for themselves, and master the skills taught on the expedition–we will be traveling to remote areas, which can be hours or even days from definitive medical care.

For your child’s safety, it is extremely important that you share any and all medical or psychological issues your student has when filling out the medical history section of the application.

9 Day Summer Trip – FULL

Canyoneering, Climbing, and Mountaineering in Colorado & Utah

Canyoneering, Climbing, and Mountaineering. Dates: May 30th – June 8th. We will be rock climbing and hiking some of Colorado’s highest peaks as well as descending slot canyons in Utah. The trip is designed to challenge students physically, mentally, and spiritually.

 

 

Based in Beautiful Colorado Springs

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Day Camp Director

STAFF 30 Jonathan Smith

JONATHAN SMITH (UJ)

juanitosmith59@gmail.com

Qualifications & Experience

Jonathan Smith graduated from Moody Bible Institute in 1979, majoring in Christian Education and Missions. In 1980, he moved to Mexico, where he married his wife, with whom God has richly blessed them with with three children. There he also taught at Puebla Christian School for nine years, including discipling most of the Jr. High and High School students through climbing, mountaineering, rafting, caving, etc. In 1989, Jonathan moved his family to Oklahoma, where he taught at Markoma Bible Academy and Northeastern State University. There, he discipled the High Schoolers, trained youth leaders Biblically and in the outdoor skills.  

During that time, he graduated and was certified with NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School), a Mountaineering Leadership program. Jonathan has been certified as a EMT-B, and a swift water rescuer. Additional accomplishments include training and leading a team to explore vertical caves he’d discovered in Mexico (Deepest rappel thus far is nearly -1,000 feet), and summiting all of Mexico’s high volcanoes (17,000’-18,850’, as well as Mount Rainier). Currently, Jonathan teaches Bible and Adventure classes at The University School located in Colorado Springs, where he frequently climbs “14ers”, enjoys rock and ice climbing, canoeing, backpacking, and more outdoor activities with the company of others.  

 

Contact and Sign-ups

Contact Info