Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center – BOEC
For more than thirty-eight years, Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center (BOEC) has provided life changing outdoor learning experiences to people of all abilities, with a focus on persons with special needs. BOEC provides a sense of freedom to those who are routinely excluded from activity due to a disability or special need. Whether alpine skiing, paddling the West’s great rivers, or mastering the accessible ropes course, BOEC inspires people of all abilities to discover new places, learn new skills and rekindle their spirit in the heart of the Colorado Rocky Mountains.
BOEC features single and multi-day camps, retreats and lessons for both groups and individuals. Courses for agencies and groups are custom designed to include many different activities with particular client goals in mind. We also offer camps and trips throughout the year designed for individual enrollment.
Activities include accessible rock climbing, wilderness camping, whitewater rafting, canoeing, adaptive cycling, high and low ropes courses, teambuilding initiatives, downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing. All activities are adapted to the needs and abilities of our clients. We strive to welcome everyone.
There are three programs at BOEC:
- The Adaptive Ski/Ride School operates at the Breckenridge and Keystone Resorts. Full and half day lessons are available for groups and individuals of all abilities. Adaptive Nordic ski lessons also available at the Breckenridge and Frisco Nordic Centers.
- The Adaptive Wilderness Program operates on a 39-acre parcel of forested land situated at the base of Peak 9 in Breckenridge, Colorado. The campus features a sub-alpine lake, lodge and cabin facilities, accessible trails, and a full array of activities to accommodate all abilities. Mobile wilderness courses include hiking in the Gore Range of Colorado, whitewater rafting on the upper Colorado River, canoeing in Ruby and Horsethief Canyons on the Colorado River and Labyrinth Canyon on the Green River in Utah, and many other venues throughout the Rocky Mountains and Desert Southwest.
- The Internship Program is an extensive, semester long training and work experience in adaptive outdoor education for those wanting to expand their professional expertise in wilderness therapy and leadership. The BOEC Internship is a four to six-month program, one in the winter, one in the summer, each open to 12 individuals. Room, board and a small stipend are provided.
BOEC is a Colorado 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Through special events and contributions from individuals, agencies and foundations from around the country, BOEC is able to provide high quality programs that are affordable and accessible. Scholarships are available to those who would otherwise not be able to participate in our programs. It is said that “Attitudes are the real disabilities.” The BOEC endorses this view and welcomes all who are interested to become part of a very unique family.
Below are some wonderful quotes from participants that show the value of BOEC programs in their lives:
“The BOEC experience has allowed our students to develop self-confidence, self-esteem, teamwork, pride, and a true sense of personal growth. They have returned home with a great sense of accomplishment and have expressed a desire to return the following year to continue this growth.”
“WOW!!! What an amazing day. It will sound cliche, but [BOEC] totally opened up a world of opportunity for Scott… Before our child with a disability was born I had always looked forward to sharing the outdoors with my children some day. I still wanted to do that with Scott but I started thinking about what sports could we do and how could we modify them to allow Scott to participate- the list got narrow and I realized I was thinking in terms of “What could we manage to support Scott in?”. The ski experience with BOEC was one in which I couldn’t keep up with Scott.”
“This is the first time I have been able to have an outdoor adventure like this as a whole family since it is accessible for all of our needs…and I got to zipline with my son, what a thrill! I will remember that moment for the rest of my life.”
“For many of our participants, the Recreation Program is the only type of service available to them due to the years-long waiting for funded day program, residential and support services. It is very rewarding to see participants push their personal limits and challenge themselves, pushing farther and learning more each year they participate.”
“Over the last 2 weeks I have witnessed the amazing difference the team at BOEC can make with all the groups of people that come through each day. The work that you do is truly inspirational and, with that sense of freedom that being out on the mountain can offer, it adds another dimension to one’s life.”
“I can honestly say that those seven days on the river changed my life. I realized during this trip that people really do care about me and other veterans, people who are willing to help us heal. I was in a ducky with a young intern one day and out of the blue she said, “I’m sorry John for what happened to you.” She brought me to tears but I thanked her for saying that because no one in over forty years had ever said that to me. I came home a different person. I finally realized that life is too short to continue to dwell on all the bad things that happened to me in Vietnam. What is important now is how I choose to live the rest of my life.”
“[BOEC] Camp is the best thing that has ever happened to me, even if I had to get it by a tragic thing. It makes cancer seem like a blessing instead of a terrible thing.”