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Steamboat Magazine

Take It Outside

04/18/2024 11:23AM ● By Sophie Dingle
(Photo: Trillium Expeditions will offer multiple beginner backpacking camps this summer for ages 10-15.)

Steamboat Springs, CO - When Jules Poma moved to Steamboat Springs, she had only ever been car camping. During college at CMC, she went on a proper backpacking trip and ended up changing her major to reflect her newfound interest in outdoor education. Years later, she – along with two partners, Anne Sullivan and Hayley Schreier – founded a backpacking camp for youths aged 10-15, the first of its kind in Steamboat.

Trillium Expeditions launches this summer, offering varying 3-5 day backpacking trips in the White River National Forest, exploring the Western Flat Tops area. Beginning backpacking expeditions are offered on three separate weeks this summer, with advanced, intermediate and all-girls trips available by request. Backpackers will learn practical skills like how to pack properly for a trip, navigate through wilderness and how to set up a tent, as well as social emotional skills including leadership qualities and working together as a group.

“It’s building an ‘I-can-do-it’ attitude,” Jules says.

(The camps aim to teach practical wilderness skills as well as social emotional skills, focusing on community, place and self.)


The targeted age range is one that went through the experience of Covid during a formative time in their youth. Hayley, a teacher, notes that she has seen an incredible rise in mental health issues including social anxiety and depression in the past few years. “I think it was exacerbated by Covid,” she says, “but it’s been the social framework of the society that we live in. It has to do with tech addiction as well. All programming for our camps is tech-free and I’ve seen the impact of that in other groups that I’ve worked with and it’s quite profound. Oftentimes, kids walk away saying that being tech-free was the most impactful part of the program.”

In anticipation of their first season, Hayley says that her personal goal is to impart the idea that it’s exciting to learn new skills and it’s okay to be a little bit uncomfortable in the backcountry. “I want to make sure that the kids have fun but also walk away with newfound relationships in a setting that doesn’t feel tech or consumer driven; it takes them out of their everyday lives.”

For more information or to register, visit

Follow Trillium Expeditions on social media @trillium.expeditions or email at [email protected].