My Side of the Mountain (overnight)

Group posing on hike with mountains in the background.

Join us for ACES’ unique mountain survival class for expert adventurers-in-training! This class is inspired by Jean Craighead George's fictional masterpiece My Side of the Mountain, which we will read together during our own adventures. We will recreate the adventures of Sam Gribley with an Aspen twist. Participants will have an introductory day at Hallam Lake on Monday, and set on an outdoor adventure to a remote area from Tuesday through Friday. We will set up a regular camp with comforts of sleeping bags and tents for the week. However, we will challenge ourselves to build and spend a night in basic shelter, forage for food, and practice bow-drill fires so we can truly experience living off the land! We will spend time hiking in the woods, exploring the surrounding area and learning to read and use a map and compass properly. This camp will also include group discussions and personal reflections regarding being one with your local environment. Practicing skills like fire building, shelter making, investigating our surroundings, tracking, first aid, orienteering, astronomy, plant identification, and more will be a part of everyday on our side of the mountain. 
Leave no trace principles and teamwork will guide us on many planned and spontaneous adventures. This course will be led by experienced ACES educators and geared towards 11-14 year olds who want to challenge themselves and expand their backcountry skill set. The lead instructor of the course will be in touch with participants a week prior to help organize the expedition and answer any questions. 
Prerequisite: Kids must have prior camping experience and should feel comfortable living in the outdoor environment for the week. 

Overnight Details:
Monday: 9:30am – 3:30pm at Hallam Lake
Tuesday: meet at Hallam Lake at 10am with all your camping gear
Friday: Pick up at Hallam Lake at 12pm.
Kids will need their own sleeping bag and pad, essential clothes for the overnight. Some kids will bring their own tents to share. ACES provides healthy, kid-friendly lunch, dinner and breakfast. Overnight details and gear questions will be worked out at the beginning of the week.

What To Bring:

Pack a backpack with snack, lunch, reusable water bottle, rain jacket, warm layer, sunscreen, hat, and sunglasses. Please remember to label everything. Wear appropriate clothing and sturdy, closed-toed shoes - no open-toe sandals!

How To Get There:

Please walk, bike, bus, or carpool to ACES at Hallam Lake whenever possible! Parking is extremely limited and alternate transportation is fun and saves the planet.

BIKE BOARD CHALLENGE: In the summer, every time you come to Hallam Lake in something other than your own car you will earn a sticker to place on our Bike Board. Bike Board participants are entered to win great prizes all summer long including local gift certificates, bike accessories, ACES classes, reusable bags, and more. 

PARKING LOT: Limited parking is available for Hallam Lake visitors only. Please park efficiently. Drop-off overflow parking for Hallam Lake programs is available in the West End (2 hour free parking) with an easy walk down the stairs to the center. We are an IDLE FREE community. 


Wildlife, Science and Hiking



Non-member price:
Member price:


  • Kids : 11, 12, 13 and over
  • Spots Available:

    • Class maximum: 10
    • Spots available: 2
    Registration closed on 08/02/2019