THE CATAMOUNT INSTITUTE

Education & Adventure

aka Catamount Institute   |   Colorado Spgs, CO   |  www.catamountinstitute.org

Mission

Catamount Institute's mission is to connect kids to the outdoors.

Ruling year info

2006

Executive Director

Christopher Aaby

Main address

740 W Caramillo St

Colorado Spgs, CO 80907 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

86-1151502

NTEE code info

Environmental Education and Outdoor Survival Programs (C60)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The vast majority of today’s kids use a computer, watch TV, or play video games on a daily basis, but only about 10% say they are spending time outdoors every day (The Nature Conservancy, 2012). Despite their lack of access to nature, America’s youth do have an over-riding concern with environmental issues and – most importantly – are optimistic that their generation can find solutions to the world’s toughest environmental problems. Approximately, 76% of youth strongly believe issues like climate change can be solved if action is taken now. They also think safeguarding important lands and waters should be a priority regardless of any ancillary benefits or a struggling economy.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Young Environmental Stewards

Catamount Institute’s Young Environmental Stewards, YES Club, is an award-winning, innovative, science-based program designed for 4th and 5th graders. The YES program combines environmental science, community service, technology and leadership in one fun and active after school program that will get students excited about science and engaged in real research.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Students

Catamount Institute camps are designed with your children in mind. What can we offer that is so much fun, our campers don't even realize they're learning? Camps with Catamount Institute emphasize adventure and fun, and as an added bonus, they are learning about science and nature the entire time. Summer and Winter camp options introduce campers to hiking, rock climbing, camping, water ecology, wilderness survival, teambuilding, leadership and green careers.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Field trips are a fun and exciting way to get students into an outdoor classroom for hands-on discovery and exploration. Catamount Institute offers pre-designed field trips that are encouraging and exciting to students. You also have the option of designing a field trip that is perfect for your students and compliments what you are already teaching in the classroom. This added feature allows flexibility for you to choose topics and times; mix and match to create a day your student won’t forget!

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Adolescents

Catamount Outdoor Schools’ goal is to enhance student's classroom learning and sense of ecological stewardship by teaching key concepts from the Colorado
Department of Education Standards and Colorado Environmental Education Plan through outdoor education and adventure activities. COS programs intentions are an enhancement to classroom learning, not a replacement; a collaborative effort
between the schools and Catamount Institute. Inspiring a sense of place and community in students with connections between classroom learning and real world applications.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Students

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of campers enrolled

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents, Children, Preteens

Related Program

Summer and Winter Camps

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Total dollar amount of scholarship awarded

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Scholarships and subsidies are provided to schools and families where finances would be a barrier to participation. Finances should never get in the way of spending time outdoors.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Catamount Institute wants to provide all youth in the Pikes Peak region the opportunity to connect with nature in a way that creates a lifelong bond that will not only help the child become a better learner but also an environmental steward.

Catamount Institute, during the school year, partners with schools to enhance science learning with hands-on lessons either at the school or at an outdoor location. This can happen during a field trip, afterschool club, or during an integrated school-wide outdoor school program. During the summer months, Catamount Institute offers summer camps that tie science education and outdoor adventures together. Catamount Institute fundraises to offer scholarships to low-income families and schools to ensure that finances are not a barrier when participating in programs.

Catamount Institute is the Pikes Peak region’s largest purveyor standards-based, experiential, environmental education. Catamount Institute is fortunate to have an expansive and representative base of socially significant partners and organization which provide expertise for our Youth Programs. These include: American Birding Association; Cave of the Winds; City Rock; Colorado College; Colorado Division of Wildlife; Cool Science; Harvest Center; Mission Wolf; Pikes Peak Urban Gardens; Rocky Mountain Field Institute; Rocky Mountain Wildlife Foundation; Trout Unlimited; U.S. Forest Service, including the Pike Interagency Hotshot Crew; Ute Pass Historical Society and Resource Center. Location site partners also are critical to our outdoor experiences. Sondermann Park is wilderness within Colorado Springs including lush forests, mesa grasslands, abundant wildlife, and a healthy spring-fed creek. Aiken Canyon exemplifies the southern Front Range foothills ecosystem. It includes shrublands, tallgrass prairie meadows, pinon-juniper woodlands, and mixed coniferous woodlands. Aspen Valley Ranch, located on Pikes Peak massif, enables access to montane, prairie, and aquatic ecosystems. Catamount Mountain Campus, 142 acres on the north slope of Pikes Peak, is surrounded by more than 200,000 acres of protected land, offering an exceptional set of physical, biological and cultural diversity.

Today Catamount Institute works with over 8,000 youth in all of its programs. With a focus on quality and updating to new education standards by 2020. A goal of Catamount Institute is to expand access to even more underserved communities including rural and urban areas of the region.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Catamount Institute works with a diverse population of youth and families in the Pikes Peak region.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person),

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We recently interviewed parents about our summer camp program and how we can improve it. We heard from parents who paid full price and parents who received full scholarships. We have now made changes to the program to enhance it for the children and parents.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    We believe that we cannot make choices for those we serve we must hear from them what their wants and needs are before we can decide on new programming or what to offer.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time,

Financials

THE CATAMOUNT INSTITUTE
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

THE CATAMOUNT INSTITUTE

Board of directors
as of 9/16/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Darren Reed

Reed Group

Term: 2020 - 2022


Board co-chair

Chris Marshall

Ent Credit Union

Term: 2020 - 2022

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 03/02/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or other sexual orientations in the LGBTQIA+ community
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

No data

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 08/12/2019

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.