At CRMS, service and work are essential parts of life and learning, and an integral part of the overall CRMS experience. The focus of this program is to provide character development through service to the community, developing specific skills while working in small groups, and meaningful participation in the work necessary to sustain the CRMS community.
The objectives of this program are to teach students about the value of physical work, instill a sense of place and caring for the environment in which we live, and foster a sense of pride in work well done and in making a meaningful contribution to the community as a whole. Students participate in work groups two afternoons a week, in addition to a weekly campus-wide activity.
Students enjoy working in the school’s organic two-plus-acre garden learning all aspects of horticulture from soil preparation and planting to growing and harvesting. All of the organic vegetables and fruits gathered are provided to the kitchen and are subsequently prepared for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
With four pottery wheels, students in the ceramics studio mix clay and glazes, load kilns, and develop a production line of plates, bowls, and mugs for the community’s enjoyment in the Bar Fork dining hall.
CRMS is fortunate to have a glassblowing studio and resident artist who guides his students through the creation of valuable pieces of blown glass. Students make drinking glasses for the Bar Fork dining hall as well as bowls and other items.
The students on this crew work in the historic on-campus forge with a trained faculty “smith” producing community pieces such as chandeliers, railings, coat racks, campus bike racks, and table centerpieces for the school.
Students learn to repair and tune bikes for members of the CRMS community in the dedicated bike shop on campus. Additionally, the bike shop crew strives to promote bicycling as an efficient and healthy means of alternate transportation.
Students assist in the daily activities of children three to five years old who attend the Children’s Rocky Mountain Preschool that is located on campus. With the preschool teachers, students learn topics such as child development, teaching methods, learning theories, and problem solving.
Students are actively involved in monitoring water quality of the Crystal River, including the collection of water samples from the river, and perform lab tests generating data on dissolved solids, turbidity, oxygen saturation, and more. These data are submitted to the State of Colorado and helps provide information for the healthy management of the river.
Students involved in this historic service crew build and repair fences and corrals, maintain the irrigation ditches, feed livestock, and do numerous odd jobs around the 300-plus-acre property.
The recycling crew collects glass, paper, cardboard, and aluminum generated on the campus and makes preparations for these materials to be transported to community recycling centers in addition to educating the CRMS community on energy conservation and sustainability.
This crew extends their service beyond the campus and into the broader community. In the past, students have volunteered in the local nursing home and at the animal rescue shelter, as well as tutored students in the local public schools, both elementary and middle.