Our Mission:  Helping Ouray County youth explore the outdoors to foster personal growth and a compassionate world view.

The George Fund financial assistance to Ouray County youth who wish to pursue outdoor or experiential educational opportunities for personal and interpersonal growth.

We believe that profound learning is often facilitated by time spent in the mountains, deserts, rivers and oceans of the world. These experiences provide an arena for leadership development and other lifelong skills.

“While we spent time thinking about our past on the river trip, we also thought about the future. We were able to really consider what we valued most in life and decide what path we want to take.”  

Reflection from a Ridgway Senior following a raft trip supported by the George Fund.

Examples of Funded Programs

Ouray students out on the winter trails.

  • Ridgway High School Senior Outward Bound River Trip Seniors embark on a five-day Outward Bound river trip through Cataract Canyon.
  • Ouray High School’s Outdoor Education Program – Students get a full semester of learning new outdoor skills.
  • Ridgway School Learn To Ice Climb Program 9th graders learn all about ice, crampons, and axes.
  • Ridgway School Winter Adventure Days – Middle schoolers to learn to snowshoe, backcountry and cross-country ski, and learn avalanche safety.
  • International Trips – In recent years, adventurers have experienced the trip of a lifetime to Morocco and Southeast Asia.

Examples of Individual Scholarships

  • Night Sky Photography Workshop
  • Support for an ascent of El Capitan, Yosemite NP
  • Personalized climbing instruction
  • Freestyle Ski Camp
  • Self supported multi-day backpacking trip on the Colorado Trail
  • 3-day Level 1 Avalanche Course
  • Wilderness First Aid & Wilderness First Responder courses

The George Gardner Scholarship Fund is a registered 501(c) (3) nonĀ­profit organization.

View our 2021 Annual Report here.