Sierra Club Home Page Banner 10000063
Explore, Enjoy and Protect the Planet        

More about ICO

About Us - Sobre Nos.
Get Involved - Como Participar
Featured Trips - Los Resaltados
ICO Calendar - Calendario
Trip Resources - Recursos
Compass Curriculum - Plan
Chair's Corner - El Presidente



Rocky Mountain Chapter - Colorado - Inner City Outings Home
Compass Leadership Program


What is the Compass Youth Leadership Program?


The Boulder ICO group is presently piloting the Compass Youth Leadership program.  This program aims to create a new generation of ICO leaders who come from the very communities that ICO serves.  An expansive curriculum will expose participants to the civics of environmental protection, critical thinking skills, natural history (through the lens of evolution), and, of course, outdoor leadership.  While some of the curriculum will be classroom-based, most of it will be taught through outings.  Kids who advance in the program will then gradually take responsibility for organizing and leading ICO outings (with adult supervision, of course).  The program is free.


The structure of the Compass program is explained in the Compass Curriculum Guide.

How can I get involved?


The Compass Youth Leadership Curriculum is far more expansive than any youth leadership curriculum ever developed by any ICO chapter in the country.  Indeed, for this reason, there is considerable interest in the national Sierra Club leadership in making our curriculum available to other ICO chapters.  But we need your help.  If you’re a geologist, ecologist, evolution biologist, botanist, professional environmental educator, swimming instructor, or first aid instructor, we could really use your help in authoring an engaging curriculum and/or teaching our kids as a guest lecturer.  As we envision the written components of our curriculum, they will each be no more than fifteen pages in length (and loaded with pictures and drawings).  Each written element of the curriculum should also be accompanied by an engaging PowerPoint presentation that could be presented in an hour or less.  The subjects that will be covered in the Compass curriculum are listed in the Compass Curriculum Guide.  If you are interested in authoring or helping to author a component of the curriculum (or in helping us translate the curriculum into Spanish), please contact Michael Le Desma.


Compass Curriculum Components

 Geology (Arches National Park version):  This curriculum component is intended to be used in conjunction with a trip to Arches National Park. The written curriculum and associated PowerPoint presentation introduce basic concepts in geology to children of middle school age. The curriculum then focuses on the geology of the Moab area.

Geography Curriculum


Geography Presentation

 Orienteering: This curriculum component is intended to be used in conjunction with a route-finding scavenger hunt using map, compass, and GPS unit. The written curriculum and associated PowerPoint presentation help children of middle-school age and above to understand topographic mapping, basic orienteering, and the use of the global positioning system.


        Orienteering Curriculum Orienteering Presentation
  Critical Thinking:
This curriculum component is intended to be used in conjunction with a viewed of the movie, “An Inconvenient Truth”. The curriculum examines techniques that can be employed to detect greenwashing, half-truths, and outright lies. The associated homework assignment requires participants to assess the credibility of any of a number of organizations that provide information on global warming. The CO2 Science exemplar illustrates how the credibility of one such organization might be evaluated.

Critical Thinking Presentation


  Critical Thinking Exercise


  CO2 Science Exemplar


Green Living:


This curriculum component explores what kids and their families can do to reduce household emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.  Actions that can be taken are listed in the Green Steps document.  The associated homework assignment requires students to use a web-based form to calculate the emissions of greenhouse gas for which their family is responsible.  Students then calculate what reductions in these emissions their family can reasonably achieve.  Students are also asked to calculate the annual cost of green power for their family.

Text Box: Green Steps
Text Box: Green Living Homework
Text Box: Green Living Presentation












Chapter Home
Hike, backpack, ski, snowshoe, enjoy
Activity Sections
Join or Give
Chapter information
Subscribe to our issue alerts list
Legislative tracker page
discussion lists



Please comment on ICO's website

Rocky Mountain Chapter, 1536 Wynkoop Street, 4th floor, Denver CO 80202, 303-861-8819