School Field Programs FAQ

Please find the answers to our commonly asked questions below. If you still have questions, feel free to reach out to

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We charge for programs at two rates. 

If you are selecting one of our existing programs, then we charge $25/hour/educator. We aim to keep a ratio of approximately ten students to one educator in our field groups.

If you are creating a custom program with us, then we charge $50/hour/educator.

We do not want costs to prevent anyone from participating in one of our programs. We have scholarships available for anyone who would like to apply for one.

Yes, we have scholarships available to help with the cost of programs. You can request a scholarship within the Program Request form.

Typically, we are able to accommodate groups of approximately 40 students per program. If you have more than 40 students, then we can schedule two programs in one day, or over the course of a day or multiple days, depending on the length of the field program.

Our program limits are based on the number of educators we have available to teach each day. We aim to keep a ratio of approximately ten students to one educator in our field groups.

ACES aims to run programs that are accessible and inclusive to all people. Please email Emily at to discuss your specific needs.

We offer field programs during the school year, from the beginning of September through the end of May.

We book field programs starting August 15 for the whole school year. If you are interested in booking a program you can use our Program Request form.

We do not offer overnight or residential programs during the school year. We do not have the facilities for residential school programs.

Generally, we do not combine existing programs. If you are interested in a specific topic that is not covered in our existing programs you can request a custom program through our Program Request form. Please note that we do charge a higher rate for creating custom programs.

We do not offer any package deals for booking additional programs.

If you need to cancel your program, please let us know as soon as possible via email ( We are often fully booked and may not be able to reschedule you, but we will do our best!

ACES rarely cancels programs due to weather. We teach outside in all weather! The two reasons that we might cancel a program are if it is unreasonably cold, if there is extreme weather, or if the road conditions are dangerous. We check the forecast when we send you a reminder email a week ahead of time and will continue to check the weather leading up to your program. If we are especially concerned about the weather we will contact you the day before your program. If your program is canceled, then we will do our best to reschedule your program. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to reschedule.

Every student needs to be prepared to spend the duration of the program outside. What you should wear varies a lot depending on the weather and specific location. Students should always wear closed-toe shoes on an ACES field program.

If the weather is forecast to be cold (10ºF – 35ºF) or you are scheduled on a snow program:

Please make sure that students have snow boots, snow pants, snow jackets, waterproof gloves, a warm hat, sunglasses, sunscreen and an extra (fleece) layer. If students need extra gear, please ask; we have limited extra gear stored on the mountain. 

If the weather is forecast to be rainy, variable or chilly (35ºF – 60ºF):

Please make sure that students have a rain jacket, a warm jacket, and rain boots or waterproof shoes. You may also want to bring rain pants, gloves and a warm hat. We always recommend having a sun hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.

If the weather is forecast to be warm (60ºF – 80ºF):

Please make sure that students have layers—a jacket for the morning and sun hats & sunscreen for later in the day. We recommend that students wear sturdy shoes that they don’t mind getting muddy.

Students should bring a backpack with a filled water bottle, a snack, sunscreen, sunglasses and extra layers (depending on the weather). They may or may not need to bring lunch depending on the length of the program. ACES does not provide any snacks or meals during programs.

Usually, the answer is yes. Please note your interest in staying at one of our sites or arriving early either through the Program Request form or by emailing so that we can plan accordingly.

If you are running late you should call the site where your program is based and let them know when you expect to arrive. The phone number for Hallam Lake is (970) 925-5756. The phone number for Rock Bottom Ranch is (970) 927-6760. If your program is not at one of those sites, then you can call the field programs number at (970) 925-5793.


If you are late to the start of our program, then we may be able to extend the end time of your program, or we will cut the program short. Please let the program lead know what you prefer at the beginning of the program.

You do not need to provide your own snowshoes. ACES provides snowshoes for all student participants and chaperones. Everyone should come wearing snow boots to a snowshoe program.

ACES would like there to be one chaperone per ten students, so that we have one ACES educator, one teacher and/or chaperone, and approximately ten students as a field group. If you have a lot of interested chaperones you are welcome to bring more, but please limit the number of chaperones to no more than three chaperones per ten students.

On Aspen Mountain programs please bring one chaperone per five students for riding on the gondola.

The role of a chaperone is to support the ACES educator in managing their group. This may look like encouraging students to be engaged in the activity, letting the educator know if a student has voiced a specific need, or walking a student to the bathroom. We are always very grateful for chaperones!

If you are interested in going up to the Maroon Bells please fill out this form.

Unfortunately, there is not enough space reserved for more than one car.

Browse Our Programs

Bird Biomimicry

Meet our ACES Birds of Prey: the Red-tailed Hawk, Great-horned Owl, and Golden Eagle. What makes each bird such an amazing predator? How can humans learn from owls and use their adaptations to solve human problems? Dissect owl pellets, see talons up close, and become an owl!

Regenerative Agriculture

Visit Rock Bottom Ranch to gather information about where our food comes from and how food is grown and processed. See if you can figure out the answer to the question “How can a human and a cow both eat sunlight?” Meet our rotational grazers, feed the chickens, and taste test some veggies plucked straight off the vine!

Powerful Pollinators

How do animals help plants move their seeds and pollen somewhere new? Explore the relationship between our plants and the insects, bees, moths, and other pollinators at the ranch! Learn what a pollinator is and what it does. Visit our European honeybees and then, make a seed ball to help grow more flowers!