Below is a list of the classes & activities that are a part of the Trail School at The Salvation Army's High Peak Camp program: 

We can customize or design any program/class that will help students build on what they are currently learning in the classroom at your school.

Rocky Mountain Weather and Water Ecology

In this class we will study the relationship between the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and prevailing weather patterns. We will also learn about watersheds and the role the water cycle plays in the local ecosystems.


      Wilderness Survival

The Wilderness Survival class will focus on the topics and objectives below.

  1. Introduction to Survival Situation (Main objective is differentiating between “camping” and “survival”)

The “Stranded” Survival Game to get the groups thinking “What should/could you do?”

Participants will discuss the importance of the 10 essentials, with examples of several multi-use items/tools after the completion/scoring of the “stranded” game.

Discuss in detail the importance of the 7 + 1 survival priorities (used to be called the 5 keys to Wilderness Survival).

Be able to quickly and identify and define the 4 survival rules of 3’s.

       2.  Map and Compass skills (this would be the +1 of the 7+1 survival priorities).

This would be an in-depth version of navigating/route finding with map and compass. We would highlight where to find water and ideal shelter placement. We will utilize an orienteering course on site.

       3.  Knife Skills

This is a lesson that should be taught before fire building or shelters.  

Participants will be taught proper knife handling skills to include: knife passing, sheathing, slicing/cutting, cleaning/sharpening, and different knife choices and designs.

Participants will carve on bars of soap to begin, moving up to sticks, then finally on to whittling/splitting skills.

       4. Shelter Building

The most important concept of shelter building is the 4 C’s of survival shelters.

The participants will also learn about site selection and placement of survival shelters in the environment they have to work with.

The participants will learn 4 basic knots and 4 hitches/lashings to assist in their shelter building process.

The participants will focus on the utilization of resources and how to get the best bang-for-their-buck with the materials supplied and found.

      5. Fire Building  (focusing on the difference between survival fires and camp fires)

Special emphasis will be placed on the responsibility and care that is needed when working with and around fires.

Participants will be taught the definitive survival fire building method (platform, brace, and rack) and how to utilize the material nature provides.

Participants will use the skills gained in knife skills to implement their knives to process wood (using the baton method) and use their knives to start fires with a ferrocerium rod.

      6. Basic First Aid

Participants will learn basic first aid skills (no certification given or implied) to use in a true “survival” scenario.

The focus will be on assessing scenes and formulating a rescue plan.

Participants will learn a basic overview of the ABC’s of first aiding (no focus will be given to CPR, just a quick discussion of how it correlates to a survival situation).

We will discuss in detail Cold/Weather Related Emergencies.


Rock Climbing and Ice Climbing (Seasonal)

Students will get a chance to challenge themselves on our man made rock climbing tower. Trips into Rocky Mountain National Park and surrounding National Forest areas are also possible to experience climbing on real rock and ice (seasonal).


Forest Ecology

This course will introduce the student to different aspects of trees. The student will participate in hands-on activities that will expose them to topics as Tree Identification, Tree Measurements, Branch Arrangement, Bark

Characteristics, Life Zones, Tree Trunk Anatomy, and Tree Rings.


  • Learn to identify a tree by evaluating its needles and cones.
  • Learn to measure a tree by using a 45 degree triangle and a Biltmore stick.
  • Recognize a tree’s branch arrangement.
  • Make observations of a tree’s bark.
  • Identify the tree’s Life Zone.
  • Learn the different parts of the tree core.
  • Recognize tree growth patterns.

Rocky Mountain Geology

Students will  learn the processes that helped mold and shape the Rocky Mountains. Topics of study will include plate tectonics, watersheds, land features, erosion and glaciation. Students will build scale models of the local Rocky Mountains to experience and master the processes involved in mountain formation.


Other Activities and Classes at High Peak Trail School:

  • Global Positioning Systems (GPS) Course
  • Animals, Tracks, & Trails
  • Living History Program
  • High Challenge Course
  • Teambuilding (Low Ropes)
  • Disc Golf (available with educational curriculum)
  • Scavenger Hunt
  • Local RMNP Day Hikes
  • Snow Shoeing (Seasonal)
  • Sports Field Activities
  • Camp Fire Activities
  • Large Group Games