What is the Priddy Experience?
Each year, Colorado College offers its incoming students an exciting New Student Orientation program to help students get acquainted with the school before classes begin. Funding from the Priddy Grant and Colorado College has provided students with the opportunity to offer a five-day Orientation Trip experience to each incoming student. These experiences are often the highlight of a students' introduction to CC, and help ease the transition to a college environment and CC. Every year, approximately 600 incoming students are divided into groups of 9-12 members. Approximately 300-400 students engage in urban and front county service-based trips in Colorado and in the Southwest while approximately 200-300 participate in backcountry or Sidecountry service trips.
All Priddy Experience trips include 2 full days of community service with a variety of organizations followed by one "cultural day" to explore the local surroundings as a group and immerse themselves into the cultural aspects of the local community, location, and people. Throughout these days together, groups have ample time to begin building relationships with their fellow classmates, and gain insight and mentorship from their upperclassmen leaders. Group reflections and discussion surrounding academics and the culture at CC are a large part of the trip, and provide opportunity for incoming students to begin goal-setting and preparing for their upcoming first year experience.
Goals of the Program
- Students will have a shared knowledge of Colorado College culture and develop a sense of belonging and connection to Colorado College.
- Students will learn the value of community service and the importance of community engagement throughout their time at CC and beyond.
- Students will be better prepared for life at Colorado College by learning about academic and student life support services and CC expectations.
- Students will begin to develop their leadership skills through experiential learning opportunities.
- Create a welcoming and inclusive environment and community.
Where do trips go?
Priddy Experience Trips travel to a variety of sites in Colorado, New Mexico, and the Rocky Mountain Southwest. Each trip travels to their own specific site to work with a program or organization for two days of their trip, focusing either on community service or stewardship of the Rocky Mountain backcountry. From Colorado Springs, Denver, and Durango, to Santa Fe and Albuquerque, students engage in service ranging from Alamosa Habitat for Humanity and the Comanche National Grasslands to Rocky Mountain Field Institute and the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative. In addition to providing these sites with many working hands for important projects, many sites also encourage students to explore concepts closely tied to the site, such as sustainable farming, community development, and environmental stewardship.
During these two days of service, over 8,000 hours of student service is provided to over 36 southwest community partners. This equals more than 3.5 years of one individual working 8-hour days!
The Priddy Experience first began in August 27-30, 2003, when a total of 634 incoming CC students engaged in Colorado College’s first Orientation Trip Program. The experience was made possible by the support of the Priddy Grant and marks the beginning of a new era in how students begin their college career at CC. Since then, CC has continue to develop and expand on the curriculum and the type of experience all incoming student have. Since then we have added a Winter Start Orientation Trip, expanding on NSO Leader Training, and service sites and partners.
Priddy Experience Trip Sites
Below are links to sites visited by Priddy Experience trips. Here you can find information about the non-profit organizations with whom we have worked with in the past. We are always seeking out new partnerships with local and regional groups so please understand this list is not exhaustive but can provide an overview of the varying organizations and groups CC works with.
- Anansi Day School
- Carson National Forest
- Center for Contemporary Arts
- Colorado Fourteeners Initiative
- Colorado Wolf and Wildlife
- Comanche National Grasslands
- Crestone Charter School
- Easter Seals
- Esperanza Shelter
- Explora Science Center
- Gunnison National Forest
- Koshare Indian Museum
- Kundalini Fire Management
- La Puente
- Larga Vista Ranch
- Mission Wolf
- Native American Community Academy
- Orient Land Trust
- Rocky Mountain Field Institute
- San Juan National Forest Frontcountry
- San Juan National Forest Backcountry
- Santa Cruz Farm
- Santa Fe Children's Museum
- Santa Fe Habitat for Humanity
- Santa Fe Mountain Center
- St. Elizabeth's Shelter
- Taos Charter School
- Tapetes de Lana
- The Horse Shelter
- Trinidad State Nursing Home
- Watermelon Mountain Ranch
- WildEarth Guardians
- Wildlife West
Interested in being a site host?
Every year we are constantly searching for new sites to send our service trips to, both in the Frontcountry and urban environments, or our backcountry environments.
If you are interested in being a work site for our future Priddy Experiences, please contact David Crye, Assistant Director of Outdoor Education at firstname.lastname@example.org.