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Sports and Active Life

December 14, 2012

Q&A with the Ritt Grant

If you’ve heard CC stuKate Leaf dents talking Active Life Editor about receiving funding for outdoor adventures, it’s likely they were referring the school’s one-of-a-kind Ritt Grants, funded by the Ritt Kellogg Memorial Fund (RKMF). The following is a Q&A with RKMF Coordinator, Maura Hanning; Colby Coombs, CC ’89 alum; Ryan Hammes, current Outdoor Education Director; and Bo Parsons who are all members of the Ritt Grant Advisory Commitee. So whether you’re just curious about this unique grant opportunity or are in the middle of writing your proposal, read on. What is the mission of the Fund? Ritt’s parents, along with Colby Coombs and other classmates and friends established the Fund with Colorado College during the winter of 1993 in honor of their son and friend, Peter Rittenhouse (Ritt) Kellogg Jr. The mission of the Fund is to help Colorado College students promote imagination, challenge and personal growth in their own responsible and conscientious pursuit of wilderness expeditions and education. The mission is perpetuated through wilderness expedition grants, wilderness-skills education grants, environmental service, and wildernessrelated resources for Colorado College. What’s the story behind the Ritt Kellogg Memorial Fund? Ritt Kellogg graduated from Colorado College in 1990 with a degree in Philosophy. He loved wild places, both at sea and in the mountains. Whether skiing the Bugaboos, guiding on Denali, instructing for Outward Bound or planning sailing expeditions, Ritt lived with vision and drive. Ritt died tragically in an avalanche while he, Tom Walter, and Colby Coombs ’89 were topping out on the east face of Mt. Foraker in Alaska on June 18, 1992. Tom was also killed in the fall. So in essence, the Fund has become a memorial to Ritt and his outdoorsy spirit? The Kellogg Family, Coombs, and other founders really created a unique program within Colorado College Outdoor Education that is unmatched among colleges and


universities in the U.S. From my perspective, the program works beautifully as a memorial for Ritt. I see and hear this in slideshow presentations every year when students mention the times they contemplated who Ritt was while on their trip, or presented a photo of carefully arranged rocks on a beach with Ritt’s name, or stopped by the memorial for Ritt on Hurricane Island, Maine. Who comprises the Avisory Committee? The Advisory Committee is appointed by Colorado College and composed of Ritt’s family and friends, CC staff, CC alumni who are past RKMF recipients, as well as nonCC alumni. All are experienced mountaineers, outdoorsmen and women, outdoors educators, academics or accomplished managers from the private and non-profit sectors. You can read more about the members at http://www.coloradocollege. edu/other/rittkelloggfund/ What are the minimum requirements for applicants? The minimum criteria that must be met for the proposal to be considered include: trips must be wilderness-based and at least 12 days in the field; complete risk management and emergency evacuation plans; Minimum Impact Standards included; trip applicants must be currently enrolled CC students; the expedition dates must occur no later than eight months from graduation for seniors; Wilderness First Responder Certification must be current at the time of the trip; detailed First Aid kit list is required in the equipment list; no solo expeditions (not even day-solos); and, no recreational drugs or alcohol may be used on a Colorado College Ritt Fund sponsored trip. What characterizes a good proposal? A good proposal provides complete answers to all the sections of the Group Application and Individual Questionnaires in a thoughtful and thorough manner. In particular it is critical to thoroughly describe the daily itinerary and risk management and emergency evacuation plans. In addition, it is important to demonstrate expedition-member readiness with wilderness-skills résumés that highlight relevant

Clockwise from top left: Peter Rittenhouse (Ritt) Kellogg, Jr. was a CC alum who passed away in 1990. Photo courtesy of Maura Hanning. Two sets of CC students separately received Ritt Grants last summer to hike the 220-mile John Muir Trail. Photos by Kate Leaf and Lee Farese. A senior student braves British Columbian Peaks on another trip funded by the Ritt Kellogg Fund. Photo by John Collis The Ritt Kellogg Fund is a tribute to the memory of Ritt Kellogg, Jr.

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