Friday, July 15, 2011

Wednesday, July 13 (late post)

Hi Parents and Friends of Durango Mountain Camp,

Today is hump day – where the camp is half over.  It’s hard to believe that the time goes by so fast.  The second half of the camp always goes by even faster, as both staff and campers realize that there is just so much to do with so little time.  I was sitting in on the Tutor Meeting today, and collectively the tutors would like to keep the program going for another several months to continue the important progress being made.

We had a good week last week as the tutors and campers settled into their routines, and started moving forward from the solid academic foundations that were built the week before.  Katie and her helpers changed up the art as they introduced drumming and percussions to the program.  The weather was perfect, so the outdoor pursuits were again outstanding. 

This past weekend was epic.  After outdoor pursuits on Friday, the entire camp packed up, loaded the vans and headed into the mountains just past Lemon Lake.  Away from the confines of routine and walls, the campers – and some of the staff- go a little crazy with exuberance, but we like that.  Tents were soon up, dinner served, a nice campfire was crackling cheerily, and the camp started to settle down for some campfire tales.  Then the weather moved in.  Big roiling dark clouds, streaked with lightning, and seemingly propelled by thunder, convoyed in from the south.  The campers and staff quickly readjusted the tents making sure that they were well set, and the rain came.  Not just a swift mountain shower, but a full, hard steady mountain downpour.  We tried to best it for an hour, but then wet and bedraggled retreated to the tents for the night.

Dawning revealed perfect blue skies and the refreshing cool mountain smell typical of afterstorm.  The campers and staff were surprisingly energetic, and after breakfast we headed to Vallecito Lake where we had 3 pontoon boats and 2 speedboats waiting.  All the campers had the chance to drive the boats, and jump into the tubes for thrilling high speed rides across the wakes.  Good fun for all.  Back at camp, we had an early dinner, and an extreme game of capture the flag.  But again – alerted by rumbles, the clouds moved in, lightning flashed, and the rain came.  Not just a steady rain, but a crazy rain and whirling winds.  Bolstered by their experiences of the night before, the campers knew that they would be fine and had a grand time, roasting s’mores, and playing ninja around the fire in the rain.

Sunday again dawned clear, and after breakfast and a treasure scavenger hunt, we packed up and headed back to DMC for a late lunch, and afternoon activities. When we got back to camp, the storm of the night before had knocked down several large trees along the driveway.

Along with continuing their academics, most of the campers are involved in their second week of their first activity choice.  The River Runners are now in kayaks – Wild Colorado is onto more extreme activities – the climbers are scaling more difficult pitches and rappels – the bikers are on more advanced trails and tracks.

Camp is good, and the entire camp is dedicated to making every day a great day.

I’ve attached a few photos, and you can view our blogs and photos on these links:

Zane Bilgrav
Durango Mountain Camp

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