Colorado Youth Outdoors Expands to Southeastern Colorado, Names First Executive Director Selects dedicated outdoorsman and 30-year-military veteran Martin Trujillo Test

Mar 28, 2024 | Member News

Fort Collins – Colorado Youth Outdoors (CYO) has operated with a quiet presence in southeastern Colorado since 2006. Now, CYO is ready to become a bigger voice to help families unite through outdoor recreation.
Starting this month, CYO is officially establishing full-time operations in Colorado Springs, including appointing our first executive director for the area, Martin Trujillo. A 30-year military veteran who retired to Colorado Springs in 2017, Trujillo has been affiliated with the Colorado Parks and Wildlife SE Regional Office for the past six years. A dedicated volunteer, he serves as a Safari Club International board member and is the co-chair of El Pomar’s Hispanic Advisory Council.
CYO is a nonprofit organization that aims to bring kids and parents closer through traditional outdoor recreation. Founded in Fort Collins in 2001, it has served over 116,000 people in northeastern Colorado, where it has a 220-acre outdoor recreation facility.
Every community should have programs that invest in their families.
Since beginning to offer its programming in southeastern Colorado, CYO has served over 1,200 people and operated a site-based model, offering after-hours classes at area high schools, including Doherty, Coronado, and Fountain-Fort Carson. It had been inefficient with CYO leadership, funding, and equipment all based three hours away in Fort Collins, but through community support and great local instructors, we have made it work.
CYO is establishing a full-time operation to further invest in the Colorado Springs community – including military families – and to create a campus that offers many of the same services provided in northeastern Colorado.
“There are unique challenges for military families, especially for those who are deployed,” explains Trujillo. We embrace the fact that some of these folks come back from being away from their families for so long and need to transition back to life in the U.S.: Reconnecting families is one of CYO’s strengths. We are honored to be able to serve those who have given so much.”
It’s all about forming relationships – CYO is where relationships grow.
“At CYO, I’ve found an organization that shares my values and standards, preserving the outdoors for years to come through relationships. Working for CPW strictly just gets people outdoors. At CYO, there is a mission tied to it: connecting families and building relationships through outdoor recreation,” shared Trujillo. “The aspect of belonging to an organization that does something you believe in, in your heart of hearts, was exactly what I was interested in joining. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to help encourage, support, and perpetuate the youth and families as they go forward.”

CYO to establish 100-acre Southeastern Regional Campus
Southeastern Colorado has a long history of celebrating the out-of-doors, so it’s an excellent fit for CYO.
The community is also investing in CYO Southeastern Colorado. Earlier this year, the Safari Club International Colorado Chapter contributed $10,000. When Scheels first broke ground for its second store at the Interquest Marketplace, it awarded CYO $10k for programming in Colorado Springs.
CYO has three District 11 teachers by day who are CYO instructors by evening, led by Jeff Neumeyer, who teaches architecture and engineering at Doherty High School and is an Olympic-certified archery instructor. There is momentum for youth and adults who want to connect through participating in outdoor activities together, as well as community support. “Relationships with core programs CYO runs is what will make it stand out in the Colorado Springs community,” believes Trujillo. We think it is a great time to establish a Southeastern Colorado regional campus — ideally at least 100 acres — which we hope to identify this year and acquire in the next two years.
“Families participating in CYO’s activities grow together,” explained Trujillo.
About Colorado Youth Outdoors
Colorado Youth Outdoors is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization created in 2001. CYO’s mission is to build relationships and bring kids and parents closer through traditional outdoor recreation. To help accomplish this, CYO integrates the words Participate, Appreciate, Communicate, and Dedicate into their recreation curriculum, which they call the PACD Model. The nonprofit works to incorporate PACD into all activities, which include spin and fly fishing, archery, camping, shooting sports, and nature play.

Additional comments
Colorado Youth Outdoors President/CEO Bob Hewson explains some of the reasons why the board hired Martin Trujillo to launch Colorado Youth Outdoors Southeastern Colorado and serve as its executive director:
• Vested in leadership programs that were born and facilitated out of Colorado Springs, including the El Pomar Foundation, Emerging Leadership Development Program, Town of Monument Planning Commission, and USA Archery instructor,
• Highly decorated, long-time military member as a Marine Master Gunnery Sargent, with two Bronze Stars, three Meritorious Service Medals, two Navy and Marine Commendation Medals, the Navy Achievement Medal, and the noteworthy Legion of Merit.
• Spent years working with Colorado Parks and Wildlife in the Colorado Springs area, including teaching Hunter’s Education Classes which started in early 2018.
• Has had several small businesses of his own, including LeoLena, LLC.
• Involved in southern Colorado conservation and education organizations, which previously included the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Colorado Bow Hunters Association.
• Military background is extremely valuable to CYO in countless ways, and what’s more, Martin is a great guy.