Deb is a local Ridgway character or a local gal with a lot of character whichever you please. She is the Chair of the George Gardner Scholarship Fund, that provides financial assistance to local Ouray county kids wanting to participate in a wilderness experience. The rest of her curriculum is impressive and much too long for … Continue reading A Game Changer ~ Deb Willits Outward Bound experience As a teenager ~ 1974.
The George Fund Mission: Helping Ouray County youth explore the out of doors to foster personal growth and a compassionate world view. The George Fund Vision: Inspiring Confidence, Courage and Compassion The George Fund provides financial assistance to Ouray County, Colorado youth who wish to pursue outdoor or experiential educational opportunities for personal and interpersonal growth. … Continue reading 2017 Ouray County Winter Sports Swap ~ October 6 & 7
Photograph by David Stubbs THEN I WENT CLIMBING… Words by Jeff Burke. Organic Chemistry at Exum Mountain Guides “The Snaz” on Cathedral Buttress in Grand Teton National Park is a classic Wyoming mountaineering route. Established by Yvon Chouinard and Mort Hempel in 1964, “The Snaz” is a free climb above Phelps Lake in the … Continue reading Then I Went Climbing … Featuring Michael Gardner
It’s a common lament: Kids today are over-scheduled, over-screened and over-protected. Only older folk can share tales of spending entire days playing outside — not on a team or in a game, but just playing. “Our mom would throw us out the door in the morning and turn us loose all day and say ‘I … Continue reading GOCO’s Generation Wild campaign encourages kids to get outside ~ The Denver Post
The 2016 Ridgway School Learn To Ice Climb program capitalized on the Ouray Ice Park, a unique community resource to introduce Ridgway 9th grade students to the spectacular sport of ice climbing. Over three Wednesdays in January and February, the students learned how to ice climb under the professional guidance of Ouray County’s two local … Continue reading Ridgway School 9th grade students Learn To Ice Climb with George ~ 2016
The Ridgway Elementary and Middle School Learn to Ski program is back in full swing. During the recession the program was cut back due to budget constraints, now the program has been fully restored and grades 3 - 8 are participating. Given the increase in numbers the elementary and middle students ski on different days. … Continue reading LEARN TO SKI PROGRAM ~ RIDGWAY SCHOOL ~ 2016
This past summer, I was able to attend a Road Less Traveled program with the help of a George Gardner Fund scholarship. The program took me to a small town in Costa Rica where I helped remodel a preschool, enjoy Costa Rican cuisine and interact with locals while fully immersing myself in the culture. I … Continue reading Road Less Traveled adventure ~ Emily Rose
The GGSF is happy to have Matt Wade join our Board of Directors. Matt has much experience working with kids in outdoor education and adventure learning, having taught with the Ridgway School District and other venues. We surely welcome another strong hand to the George Fund.. Welcome Matt. Matt has 20 years of experience developing … Continue reading Matt Wade joins GGSF Advisory Board
~~~~~~~ Dear Gorge Fund. George Gardner Scholarship Fund has given me wings over the years to really get after experiences that have helped shape me into who I am today. Thank you for all your support and encouragement. Recently, I was fortunate enough to become a certified Wilderness First Responder through the National Outdoor Leadership School, all thanks to the generous … Continue reading ~ Alma Sophie Johnson’s recent NOLS, Wilderness First Responder course ~
GGSF is happy to announce a new Board of Directors member that recently joined us. Bill Whitt is a lifelong climber, skier, guide and was the co-founder and longtime board member of the Ouray Ice Park. He has called the San Juan’s home for the last 26 years and in his spare time works as a professional … Continue reading GGSF has a new Board of Directors member
6/12/15 I just saw the George Fund website. Very sorry to hear that George was killed in a mountaineering accident. George was my OB leader and a fellow grad from U. of Dayton. He was gifted...charming...fun...witty...etc. A huge loss for all those who loved him. Peter McGee ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Hello Peter.. Thank you for your kind … Continue reading An email from a former OB student of George’s that found me today. Jerry R.
GOOD NEWS! After the better part of nine months of writing, organizing then rewriting and reorganizing the GGSF received its 501(c)(3) non-profit status with what could be record turnaround time of four IRS working days! We don't know how that happened, but it probably had something to do with George... Yea! Celebrate with us and please … Continue reading GGSF becomes a Colorado-based non-profit 501(c)(3)
Student mounting new ski equipment. Thanks to the generous gift from the “George” fund, Ouray School was able to purchase 8 complete sets of brand new ski equipment (skis, boots, poles, bindings). This gear will bring years of support to our school’s cross country skiing program. The 5th and 6th grade classes embark on an … Continue reading Ouray school “Cross Country Ski Program”
George Gardner Fund helps continue outdoor education If I wasn’t just five minutes from my breakfast spot, I could easily imagine being on the edge of the last Ice Age as I descended into the Box Canyon that is home ground for the Ouray Ice Park. Looking up from the bottom is a chaotic glimpse … Continue reading Ouray Ice Park: Generation Next ~~ Eric Ming ~~ The Watch
As part of the Ridgway Secondary School Field Trip Program, the 9th grade class will have the opportunity to learn to ice climb this winter. During three Wednesday afternoons in late January and early February, the students will be joined by professional guides from local outfitters Peak Mountain Guides and San Juan Mountain Guides … Continue reading Ridgway School ~ Learn To Ice Climb (new this year for 9th graders), 2015
Back in January of 1993 my mom bought me & a friend a ice climbing trip in Ouray. The guides were Gorge Gardner & Mike O'Donnell. I only got to spend one day of my life climbing/learning with George but it was amazing and I remember the day as if it were yesterday. I … Continue reading ~~ Another Jorge Tale ~~ From an email randomly sent my way 1/14/15 ~~JR