Connect with Friends: Youth Outdoors

Connections designs youth program based off of Connect with Friends success

Connections for Independent Living’s Connect with Friends program provides weekly in-person workshops specifically for youth ages 14-17 years old in northeastern Colorado who live with a disability.

The goal is to increase social connectivity and an appreciation for the high plains natural outdoor spaces of northeastern Colorado. This project will be accomplished through the use of scheduled sessions concentrating on the Poudre Trail, the Poudre Learning Center, Barr Lake State Park and projects and activities accessing these natural areas.

Workshops include adaptive tours, accessible trails, survival skills, risking taking, team building and Photo-Voice.

There’s no charge to participate for persons who live with a disability and their caregivers. You must be a resident of Weld, Morgan, Logan, Washington, Sedgwick, Yuma, or Phillips County. Workshops are underway, join us today!

For more information regarding this program, please call Connections at (970) 352-8682, or send us an email message.


We will be joining the Poudre Learning Center to do team building, nature, and outdoor skills classes. The program will be three hours long, with a 30-minute lunch between programming. The program will begin with fun team-building games to learn about your leadership style. Then we’ll head over to the river to do nature art by building structures and painting. Then we’ll close up the session while learning about survival skills in nature through learning how to build fires and structures, and the essentials you’ll need in the wilderness!


The Cache la Poudre River is rich in history and is the lifeblood for water resources in the Northern Colorado Region. The Poudre River Trail allows access to the section of the river corridor between Greeley and Windsor in Weld County, Colorado. The Trail is a wide paved path with gentle grades that is away from road noise and busy intersections. It allows those that use the trail to enjoy the natural beauty of the meandering river and the stands of cottonwood trees and wetland meadows that line its banks.

More information to come

Visit the Poudre River Trail website

PhotoVoice works to build a world in which everybody has the opportunity to represent themselves and tell their own story.

The program is tailor-made participatory photography, digital storytelling and self-advocacy projects for socially excluded groups.

Photography crosses cultural and linguistic barriers, and is suitable for all abilities.
It’s both a form of creative expression and a way to record facts. It can describe realities, communicate perspectives, and raise awareness of social and global issues.

Our pioneering and award winning approach brings together arts, media, development, campaigning, and social change to deliver projects that enable voice, build skills, deliver advocacy and work towards sustainable change.

Click here for more information on PhotoVoice

Join us for our second adventure with Connect with Friends Youth Outdoors. We’ll be heading up to Barr Lake State Park in Brighton, CO. The youth will participate in a naturalist-guided tour using a 13 passenger cart called the Eagle Express. This tour is perfect for bird watching! After lunch, they’ll walk through the Nature Learning Center. Visitors can see displays about the park’s wildlife and have their questions answered by a naturalist.
Lunch, snacks, and water will be provided for registered participants.
To register for this event please fill out this form.

HorseBuds, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit that promotes independence throught equine assisted activities for the purpose of contributing positively to the mental, cognitive, physical and social well being of children and adults with special needs and their families. They are inclusive for all abilities. In this Equine Facilitated Learning program, participants explore horsemanship, risk-taking, teamwork, and the concepts of establishing trust and respect between animals and people. Fear can be conquered through knowledge and preparation while learning about the emotional and physical needs of animals. Life’s challenges take on new perspectives as the focus is with the animal and the participant relationship.

Join us for Spin Fishing

Colorado Youth Outdoors builds relationships through traditional outdoor recreation.


Youth participants will watch a raptor presentation at Farr Regional Library put on by the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program (RMRP). It has served the northern Colorado region through lifesaving raptor rescue, rehabilitation and research, and life-changing conservation education. See their website for more information!

Program funding for Connections’ Connect with Friends Youth Outdoors is provided by the Outdoor Equity Grant Program (OEGP) through Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s mission is to perpetuate the wildlife resources of the state, to provide a quality state parks system, and to provide enjoyable and sustainable outdoor recreation opportunities that educate and inspire current and future generations to serve as active stewards of Colorado’s natural resources. Colorado Parks and Wildlife has been entrusted with an incredible mission by the people of the state. We manage and protect lands, waters and wildlife for the people of Colorado. CPW is a nationally recognized leader in conservation, outdoor recreation and wildlife management.