- Summer Term
- Semesters in the American West & Patagonia
- Semester in Patagonia
- Andes Leadership Semester
- For Enrolled HMI Gap Students
- Meet the Gap Faculty
- Request Information
- Apprentice Program
- High Peaks Adventure
- Adult Programs
- Educators Expedition
- Lake County Backpacking Trip
The Residential Life Program is composed of a variety of different elements, from morning exercise to afternoon activities to living with peers in small, off-the-grid cabins. Each of these elements is intentionally designed to help build a close-knit community.
Advising & Community Meeting
Every student is assigned a faculty advisor, and will be part of an advisory group with with 4-6 other students. Each advisor pays special attention to his/her advisees’ academic, social, and overall wellbeing. In addition to helping advisees get the most out of their semester experiences, the advisory group meets together regularly for lunch and journeys off campus together for dinner together. Advisees typically become close with their advisors, soliciting everything from academic counsel to guidance on personal issues. HMI advisors often write college recommendations during the college application process.
From the start of the semester, the advisory program seeks to address the transitions students must make. Advisors play an important role in helping students adjust to life at HMI. Then, as the semester progresses, they help the students figure out the application of new skills and perspectives to their experiences at HMI, back at their sending schools, and to their lives in general.
Every other week on campus, the entire community gathers in Stuen Hall for lunch and community meeting. This meeting offers a chance to sit together as one entire student body, to appreciate one another, to establish or revisit community expectations, to address issues of concern in our community or in the broader world, or to explore a topic of interest.
Weekday & Weekend Activities
During the busy daily schedule, it is great to have an opportunity to unwind, be creative, expend some energy, or learn a new skill. Activity periods (90 minutes long) offer this opportunity, and every student enjoys 2-3 of these activity blocks each week. Led by faculty and apprentices, activities run the gamut, including the following:
- Field games such as soccer, field hockey, football, ultimate Frisbee, etc.
- Cross-country skiing
- Cheese making
- Swimming at the Leadville Rec Center
- Frisbee golf
- Tutoring middle school students in Leadville
- Learning to knit
- Bouldering in our climbing gym or outside
- Sculpture art with used bicycle parts
- Participating in “Waste Warriors” through the Leadville conservation center
- Digital photography
- Secret mine tour
- Pumpkin carving
- And many others!
Saturday Evening Activities
Saturday evenings offer the greatest opportunity for students to unwind as a whole group. On any given Saturday night, HMI students can be found putting on their own coffee house/talent show, hosting their own prom, bowling in town, sledding at Dutch Henri hill, or having a square dance!
Sundays offer an extended amount of time to take advantage of some of the amazing things to do around Leadville. Sunday activities are usually optional, though it is common that almost all students choose to participate in a fun adventure! On Sundays, students might have an opportunity to attempt summiting a local Fourteener (mountain higher than 14,000 feet), ride the Leadville Colorado & Southern Railroad, ski at Ski Cooper, or even to visit the Great Sand Dunes National Park in the San Luis Valley.
Morning Exercise (AMX)
5 mornings a week from 7:30-8am, students participate in morning exercise, nicknamed “AMX”. AMX might be a run or a dance party or field games, depending on the day of the week and who is leading it. The idea behind AMX is that it keeps everyone physically fit so that we are ready for expeditions. It also starts off the academic day right by waking up everyone’s bodies and brains so they are ready to learn.
Each student is on a cook crew with 5-6 of his/her peers, and each cook crew is responsible for preparing one breakfast and one dinner each week and for doing the dishes associated with one breakfast, lunch, and dinner each week. Through the cook crew experience, students learn some valuable culinary and nutrition basics, spend time connecting with their crew while giving back to the entire semester community, and take away some life-long skills in self-reliance.
Typical Day on Campus
7:25 AMX (morning exercise): A short run to the Beaver Ponds below Mt. Elbert
8:00 Breakfast: Pancakes (plain, blueberry, or chocolate chip), yogurt, granola, and orange juice
8:30 Morning chores: Shovel the snow that fell overnight off the campus walkways
9:00 Natural Science: Learn about animals in the Leadville ecosystem by tracking them about the HMI campus
10:30 Advanced Spanish: Travel to Leadville to meet with native Spanish speakers and hear their immigration stories
12:00 Announcements: News for the day
12:10 Lunch: Homemade chili (both vegetarian and chili with meat), cornbread, salad, and fruit
1:00 Pre-Calculus: Take turns working through exponential function problems
2:30 Afternoon activities: Ultimate Frisbee, photography lesson, or dinner preparation
4:00 AP US History: Participate in a mock trial of a famous historian for the misrepresentation of American history
5:30 Free time: A little free time to relax
6:00 Dinner: Gather for a quick reading before sitting down to lasagna, fresh garlic bread, and salad
7:00 Study Hall: Revise critical review for U.S. History and read a few chapters of Into the Wild for English class
9:15 Free time: Hang out, brush teeth, make phone calls
9:45 Cabin check-in: Head back to your cabin and stoke the fire one last time before bed
Weekend free time is a chance to relax, visit town, finish homework, or invent a new game on the playing field with friends. Additionally, weekend activities throughout the Semester may include:
- Skiing at Ski Cooper 20 minutes down the road
- Taking a trip to the Great Sands National Park
- Spending an evening at the natural hot springs south of town
- Performing in a student-run talent show
- Learning to square dances with professional callers
- Beginning the college process with a visit to Colorado College