Great School Escapes

Our Great School Escapes take place on Poudre School District school-out days and are available for students in grades K-5. Each Great School Escape runs 8:30 am to 3:30 pm.

Check out our FAQ document for more information about Great School Escapes.

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Health and Safety

We are committed to the health and safety of our participants and staff. We will work with the Colorado State University Public Health Office and follow the most recent public health guidance in our COVID protocols for these programs. As public health guidance changes rapidly, we will email these protocols to parents/guardians one week prior to each program.

Two kids sit on the ground with butterfly nets

Registration Process

Online registration is required for Great School Escapes. Registration for all Fall Great School Escapes will open on Monday, August 29 at 6AM.

Registration is first come first serve. Each Great School Escape is capped at 24 participants; once 24 participants have been registered the event will be automatically be removed from our online store.

You will have the option either to pay for Great School Escapes online with a credit card at the time of registration, mail us a check after registering, or pay on the day of the program (exact change or check). Payment for Great School Escapes is due in full by the day of the program.


Drop off takes place at 8:30-9:00AM and pick up takes place at 3:00-3:30pm. Early drop off and late pick up are not permitted; we do not offer before or after care.

Drop off and pick up for Great School Escapes will take place at the ELC property. In case of cold weather, we may move the program to the CSU main campus where we have access to a warm indoor space. This is a possibility for both the October and November dates, depending on weather. A decision will be made about moving the program to the CSU main campus 24-48 hours in advance.

Please note that if the weather forecast is favorable, we will spend the entire day at the ELC property and most of the day will be spent outside.

Prices and Scholarships

The cost for each Great School Escape is $35 per child for current ELC members and $60 per child for non-members. Learn more about membership benefits and prices.

We offer several need-based scholarships for these programs. Please request a scholarship prior to registering for these programs.

Cancellation and Refund Policy

Cancellations made up to two weeks prior to the day of the program will receive a full refund. After two weeks prior, no refunds will be given, but you may request a credit towards future programs. Cancellations must be made in writing and emailed to

Program Dates and Descriptions

Mission from Mars

Get ready to view the ELC from a different perspective this Fall as you complete a series of missions delegated to you by your Martian leader. As a Martian explorer, you will travel to Earth and use the ELC as a sampling site to discover and share information about life on the blue planet. Join us for one mission or all four; there is much to be explored and the Martian leader needs help from all willing to make the journey.

September 16 – Mission Invertebrates
The Martian leader’s best friend once gave her a picture of an Earth creature with six legs and strange eyes, much different than the two-legged creatures she was used to seeing. Your mission is to discover what this creature is and if there are more. What are they? What purpose do they serve?

October 13 –Mission Water
Your Martian leader is fascinated by the ‘blue’ stuff on Earth. Your mission is to figure out what this ‘stuff’ is and why it exists on this planet.

October 14 – Mission Earth Matter
It’s time to report on the ‘non-blue’ stuff – earthen matter! Your task is to determine what it is, how it is formed, and why it is important to the Earthlings.

November 11 – Mission Reporting Back to Mars
Data has been gathered. Now it is time to report back to your leader on your findings. You will decide the best way to interpret the information you have obtained.