The FVS Brand

Class of '69 Mountain Campus

The Mountain Campus is a learning landscape and lodge that invites adventure, and brings students and faculty together in a spectacular setting.
Just two hours away and at the foot of the majestic Collegiate Peaks, it is the scenic home base to outings, seminars and class retreats—and a place for learning, camaraderie and fun. Generations of students have bonded at this very special place, and alumni have dedicated their time and resources to the renovation and upkeep of this treasure.

Mountain Campus Activities

List of 5 items.

  • Freshman and Senior Retreats

    These retreats happen at the beginning of every school year. The seniors spend Saturday night together doing team-building exercises, setting goals and discussing their class legacy. When the freshmen arrive Sunday, seniors greet them and welcome them to their first Mountain Campus experience. The two classes spend one-on-one time getting to know each other before the seniors return to the main campus.
  • Western Immersion Program

    The four-day Western Immersion Program is an interdisciplinary experience for sophomores that has its academic roots in the traditional FVS curriculum, yet lends itself to experiential learning.
  • Ski Weekend

    The Mountain Campus is the base for the annual Ski Weekend, held every January. Students hit the slopes of nearby Colorado ski resorts during the day and relax in the cabin at night.
  • Senior Seminar

    The last night of Senior Seminar is at the Mountain Campus. Seniors share memories and read letters they wrote to themselves as freshmen.
  • Mountain Campus Alumni Weekend Kickoff

    Alumni Weekend attendees and family members can visit the Mountain Campus for the two days before the main event kicks off, participating in a variety of activities, including rafting and hiking. Of course, there's a trip to the nearby hot springs!

Mountain Campus History

Sparked by a vision in the early 1970s and the generous support of the Class of 1969, the Fountain Valley School Mountain Campus has been a haven for students and faculty for 35 years. 

In the early 70s, believing that a school in Colorado needed mountain land to call its own, former trustee and associate headmaster John Raushenbush wandered around the Arkansas River Valley looking for a piece of land on which to build a retreat. With the help of former Director of Admission Mike Cronk, he found the 40 acres near Buena Vista, Colo., at a price of $800 per acre. Raushenbush, Robert O. Anderson and son Phelps '69 rallied the troops, most especially members of the Class of 1969, to raise the needed money. Bill Bacon, father of Hoyt '69, William '62, Knight '73 and Christopher '75, paid for the well so the campus could have water.

After the land was purchased, the next step was to build the cabin. Across one entire spring season, about a dozen students from the classes of 1976 and '77 worked weekends with faculty and the foreman to assemble the building. In 1979, FVS faculty Bill Thayer took on the chore of squaring the logs in preparation for the installation of windows and chinking. The first time he and his wife stayed overnight, the basement section was still unfinished and open to the great outdoors. They settled down on the floor and went to sleep. A few hours later, they were awakened in the dark by a bunch of cows which had wandered in to investigate this strange new structure!

Also in 1979, Thayer, Robert Pippenger '83 and Greg Taylor began insulating the basement. At their 10th reunion in 1979, the Class of 1969 trooped en masse to the Mountain Campus where they gathered an impressive pile of rocks, poured a concrete base to hold the rocks and set up a flagpole. A deck around two sides of the building was added in 1982. During senior seminar in 1991, students built the deck on the south side of the cabin.

In the spring of 1982, 29 participants tackled a 115-mile run in order to raise funds for a large deck around the main Mountain Campus building. Beginning at 6 a.m. on a Saturday, three teams of runners took off from the FVS crossroads for their long journey. 

The runners crossed the city, headed up Route 24 to Woodland Park, to Divide, then across Wilkerson Pass and the long stretch of South Park, to the junction with the Salida road, then on to the Mountain Campus. The last runner made it to the Mountain Campus at 2:45 p.m., and the teams raised $5,000. 

Another run was held in 1983, and a group of cyclists raised money in 1985 by making the trek on two wheels.
FVS is a private, college-preparatory, co-ed, day and boarding school for grades 9-12 in Colorado Springs.
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