Wednesday, July 6, 2011

(Late) Fourth of July Post

Hi Parents and Friends of Durango Mountain Camp,

Happy July 4th!  The campers are all reading with their staff members.  Shortly, we will load the vans and drive over two 10,000 foot mountain passes and end up in Silverton just after sunset. Even though Silverton is a tiny mining town, their fireworks are incredible.  As the rockets explode, the surrounding peaks flicker with illumination and the booms roll around the mountain peaks.  Impressive and unforgettable.

The first week of camp was highly successful.  Since we have very experienced academic and counseling staff, and quite a few returning campers, the camp fell into a smooth routine within just a few days.  The academic mornings hummed along, and the campers returned generally excited about their biking, or horseback riding, or cliff climbing, or canoeing, or river running, or whatever they experienced that day.  Our after dinner “buddy bead” accolade sessions are energetic and embraced by all.  Overall a fine start to our summer’s journey.

Of course there are always some speed bumps.  By mid-week several of the campers and staff were down with a 24 hour stomach bug, which has fortunately disappeared.  Some of the campers miss the comfort and security of home, or the familiarity of their friends.  Some of the campers test the limits to see if the staff will enforce them.  We try to get some of the campers to judge their own successes each day instead of comparing themselves to other achievers.  We try to get some of the campers to be more engaged and interactive instead of passive. Each day has challenges and triumphs, but as individuals, and as a group, the campers are taking small steps to greater achievements.

This weekend was good fun.  On Saturday, the whole camp traversed 3 mountain passes on one of the most spectacular drives in the US as we drove to Ouray.  There we enjoyed the hot springs surrounded by spectacular alpine scenery, before venturing through town for dinner, followed by a trek up to Cascade Falls where half the group got soaked by the blasting spray.  Suitably exhilarated we drove back to the top of Molas pass to watch the sunset, before descending to camp. Sunday was more relaxed as the counselors and campers split into groups for movies, bouldering, and sling-shot paintball.

As the first day of the second week, the campers are now engaged in a new round of activities.  Scuba has the largest group, and the River Running and Wild Colorado programs are popular. 

Next weekend, we’ll camp out near Vallecito Lake, leaving after pursuits on Friday and coming back on Monday.  On Saturday, we’ll jump in several pontoon and speed boats for a day of high speed tubing and messing around in the water.

Hopefully, you are getting emails and calls from your campers so are getting their perspective on the DMC experience.  Campers love getting mail and emails that we distribute at mail call wall, so keep those coming.  Again, you can email me at, and I will print those emails out for your camper.

We have taken lots of photos and will be getting the cameras, photos transferred, selected, and then up on our website over the next few days.  We will also try to get more blogs from the staff and campers to post – so check that out every few days.

That’s it for now – Again happy July 4th and appreciate our incredible country.

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