Telluride Academy: Spring-ing into Summer!

Telluride Academy: Spring-ing into Summer!

“We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves; otherwise, we harden,” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

The following is a note from Telluride Academy director Luke Brown and his TA team.

Luke Brown, director, Telluride Academy.

Dear Friends,

Spring has sprung here in the San Juans and summer is hiding behind the soon-to-be-budding Aspen trees! The Telluride Academy team has been busy with an unprecedented registration season, hiring our rockstar staff and dialing in the logistics for our 41st summer of outdoor and enrichment adventures.

While certain elements of our program will continue to be amended to address pandemic precautions, we are excited about the reappearance of many of the attributes that make Telluride Academy a unique summer program. We are also celebrating the recent hiring of our newest administrative team member, Sonja Ames! Sonja is our new Registrar and Marketing Director and has been an absolute dynamite addition to our efforts! Thanks to Sonja you have most likely noticed that our social media has taken on a creative and consistent appearance over the past few months. Learn a bit more about Sonja and the new frontline voice for Telluride Academy below!

REGISTRATION:  Since we opened registration on March 1st, we have experienced unseen levels of registrations and a historic number of sold-out programs and even complete sessions. We are working hard to find areas within our summer schedule where we can increase our program offerings to address many of our extensive waitlists. Our #1 challenge at this time is securing the required summer instructors needed to facilitate our programs. We will update our website with any new program additions and contact all waitlist families directly should we succeed in adding additional programs. See below for ways you can support our summer staffing endeavors.

SUMMER PREPARATIONS: In 2021, Telluride Academy joined the newly formed Colorado Camp Network. This is a collection of day, overnight and residential camp programs throughout the state. Their efforts have been instrumental in helping state officials develop pandemic camp guidelines for both residential and day programs. These recently released guidelines will help us put into place the final elements of communication and field-based protocols we will use to maintain a safe and transparent program environment. We will be publishing updated Covid precautions and practices for all families to review in the coming month as well as including links to these procedures in our ‘Welcome” emails sent out the week before the start of each session. For more information regarding our Covid protocols, please visit our Adapt. Improvise. Overcome page. 

Packing lists for each program can be found in confirmation emails, as well as on every individual program page. We are working out a gear rental system with our local gear sponsor and should have links to that new system published in mid-May. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us should you have any summer preparation questions!

We hope everyone is finding rejuvenation with these longer days and warmer temperatures. Our backyard rivers, canyons and trails are all beckoning, and we can’t wait to get out and explore them with your children soon!

Meet Sonja Ames!
Registrar & Marketing Director

Born and raised in Telluride, CO, Sonja grew up playing in the San Juan Mountains and building a deep love for the Telluride area. Sonja interned with Telluride Academy in the summers while earning a degree in Mass Communications with an emphasis in Marketing. She was hired in January 2021 as the Registrar and newly integrated Marketing Director role. Sonja enjoys skiing in the winter, trail running in the summer, and spending time with her husband, Jake, and golden retriever, Birdie.

Got Housing? 

Seems like you can’t walk a block in our community these days without stumbling across someone having a conversation about Telluride’s housing challenges. While the storyline is nothing new, it does seem to have escalated over the past year and as a seasonal organization that relies on a high number of quality staff, we are particularly susceptible to the increasing challenges surrounding housing. We are currently exploring a variety of creative (and exciting!) options to secure accommodations for our staff in the long term, but are ALWAYS looking for more solutions! If you have an extra room, an unused back-house or maybe an extended period of time in which your property might not be occupied this summer, consider a camp trade with Telluride Academy!

Putting an Academy instructor up in your home gives you peace of mind that you have a responsible, vetted and positive-energy individual as a guest! Telluride Academy can offer camp credits for housing and there are other benefits such as quick access to quality childcare for those impromptu date nights!

If you’d like to explore this idea further, please send an email to

Program Spotlight: Mountainfilm for Students

Educate, Enlighten & Engage with the online Mountainfilm festival! This unique student program is an immersive and powerful opportunity to participate in one of Telluride’s longest running festivals! As a student judge, you will join an online community of students from places near and far for five days of film viewing, critical debates and the eventual selection of the 2021 Student Choice Award! This prestigious award holds high esteem for a filmmaker and even comes with a cash prize! Participants will receive an online festival pass, watch 1 to 2 selected films a day and participate in daily Zoom meetings to create criteria for judging films, meet special guests and go to battle for your favorite film!

Your festival pass also gives you full access to the entire lineup of the festival which includes over 100 unique film submissions as well as a festival symposium and numerous guest speakers. Never has vivid storytelling, engaging issues and exposure to fearless leaders been more important to us all!

Learn More & Register

A handful of spots are still available throughout the summer! View the 2021 program schedule below.

2021 Programs

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