O2 – Outdoor Education
O2 is VCA’s unique outdoor education program. Leadership goals of O2 include: inspiring students toward positive interactions with others, stewardship of God’s creation, and developing leaders with grit who will make wise choices while engaging in new adventures, knowledge, and God’s Word. The adventures provide off campus, experiential learning while strengthening social bonds with those participating in the activity. O2 naturally creates community and opportunity for adventures unique to Eagle County.
6th Grade: Students in sixth grade experience O2 through a service based curriculum. Some service projects include: river restoration with the Town of Avon, decorating the local Senior Care Center, and helping get camp facilities ready at Round Up River Ranch. Sixth graders participate in the “Learn to Ski” program and Upper Academy ski days as well.
7th / 8th Grade: The O2 program is on steroids in seventh and eighth grade. The foundations have been laid in the previous elementary years and bigger adventures await. Some adventures include: rock climbing, mountain biking, orienteering/shelter building, fly fishing, lifeguard training, and camping. The “Learn to Ski” program and Upper Academy ski days are offered to seventh and eighth graders as well.
Alternative to Ski Program
Upper Academy students who have no desire to ski/snowboard can choose to participate in our “Alternative to Ski” program. This program is designed to allow students to enjoy other activities Eagle County has to offer during the winter months. Some activities include: snowshoeing, sledding, and ice skating.
As a school we initiate scheduled parent chaperoned ski days and other grade appropriate adventures. Traditionally, the student body participates in the “Learn to Ski” program offered through Vail Resorts. Lower Academy grade level students have the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities, such as, Cross Country Running and Nordic Ski Club.
We partner with local experts, parents, and businesses to provide big adventures with managed safety in mind. Click here to contact Suzanne Johnson for inquiries regarding the Upper Academy O2 program or Eric Alexander for inquiries regarding the Cross Country Running program or Nordic Ski Club.
The O2 program puts legs to our mission: Loving Christ, Equipping Kids for Life, Being a Light in the Valley. O2 not only creates a close knit relationship amongst classmates, but allows students to have positive interactions with members in our community.
- Vail Resorts – Beaver Creek Ski Area
- Students have the opportunity to ski world class slopes with their classmates multiple Fridays during the winter months. VCA participates in the “Learn to Ski” program where students receive instruction from professional ski instructors multiple days in a row.
- Higher Summits
- Upper Academy students scale rock walls with climbing expert and local legend, Eric Alexander. Eric is the founder of Higher Summits and known for guiding a blind man up Mt. Everest. He provides a unique rock climbing experience with instruction and safety in mind.
- Nordic Center
- VCA’s Nordic Ski Club and Alternative to Ski programs use Vail Nordic Center and other nordic ski trails throughout Eagle County to explore more of God’s creation in a unique way.
- Starting Hearts
- Upper Academy students learn life saving skills by participating in CPR and AED training through the hands on instruction provided by Starting Hearts.
- Minturn Anglers
- Upper Academy students learn how to identify species of fish, river etiquette, and the techniques of fly fishing through the professional instruction provided by the guides at Minturn Anglers.