Friday, June 29, 2012

Week 1

Week one of Durango Mountain Camp was filled with activity. The oldest cabin, the Surf Shack, split up into two outdoor pursuits. Half went mountain climbing and climbed X Rock, but that was only the build up for the Golden repel which they completed on Friday. The other half went mountain biking and trekked Purgatory Mountain. It was awesome, even with all the endos. The girls cabin, The Mocking Jays, spent the week horseback riding and jumping hurdles. Overall, it was a challenging, but fun first week of outdoor pursuits.

Academics were challenging as well. The reading tutors have been pushing their students. Mitchell C, one of the oldest campers commented that the first week was tough, “but it will really me in the end”. Logan T loves art class because there are so many different projects, like lantern making and sculpture design, they have been able to work on and that keeps it fresh. Jake M. says that writing class is his favorite period because, “It is super-awesome. I get to make fictional money that I can spend in tutoring class with tutor Pam. This helps keep me motivated.”

This weekend the camp will go to Ouray, which Mary S. claims is the greatest town ever because of the hot springs and because everyone there is so kind.

“Week one has been amazing”

- DMC Writing Class 2012

Mocking Jay cabin (aka Girl's Cabin)

Hello from DMC!  As leader of the Mocking jay cabin (aka Girl's Cabin) we are having a lot of fun so far this summer.  Writing this blog, I am currently sitting in our Hunger Games decorated cabin listening to music and making friendship bracelets.  We also like to make bows and arrows and often dance (a lot!!) before we get ready for bed in the evenings.  Steffi has been in charge of making the bows and arrows that we will be using when we try to win the Academic Olympics this year, something the girl's cabin has not done since I've been counselor (at least a year...)
So far this week, the Mocking jays have stayed a tight-knit group by all participating in the Horse's outdoor pursuit.  I have been very lucky to have found a fellow horse-lover among the campers.  Taylor is the only first time camper in our group, but we have welcomed her with loving arms and appreciate her horse knowledge during the afternoons.  She will also be leading the mocking jays into battle at a horse show this weekend where she will compete on Flag in the barrels.  We all plan on being there to support her!  
In other news in the horse arena, Katya has shown her true hunger games spirit and courage by being the first camper to ride Spirit, a 'spirited' mustang pony that is also new at the camp.  While this pony may be beautiful, it is definitely stubborn, as Mary would say, "he is being a butt."   But Katya would not give up, and soon her and Spirit were successfully completing all the jumps in the arena!
Steffi, while being scared of the horses last year, came out with lots of confidence this year and has even helped in instructing the other girls alongside me.  One of our favorite games to play while we warm up is "Steffi says..." (Simon says)  her best game move was to have everyone sing the National Anthem, which only I could successfully do to win the game! Steffi also has formed a close bond with my horse Ben, a very large, loving giant who Steffi has taught a trick too and also rides to cool him down. 
I was really excited to see Mary back this year - but hardly recognized her as she has grown 5 inches.  Mary also has improved greatly in the riding arena.  Although her favorite horse, Sherman, was attacked by the other horses while trying to fight for Boo's love (the only girl horse amidst seven boys...) she has been very good about trying other horses and is especially bonding with Stoney.  Mary and Stoney tear around the arena, winning Steffi's game, and also completing all the jump courses and leading trail rides. 
Since there are only a few girls at camp this year (just us five!) we have to stand up for ourselves and hold our own at evening activities, such as soccer.  While Mary and Taylor seem to find talking on the field more important than scoring, they do a good job of distracting each other and others from the ball.  Katya is a real player out there, and is always up for competing with the boys.  Steffi is our best cheerleader and always gives it her all as well, despite being one of the smaller, but mightier, campers on the field.  
Here is some notes directly form the Mocking jays' mouths....
I'm having a great time with all the new friends I'm making and with the new adventures I'm going on.  I'm excited to do a show this coming up Saturday with Flag but I do miss my old horse.  I think about her all the time.  I wish that I was still at home at times, but I'm getting over that as days go on. 
I've been able to get over my fear of horses it has been a very challenging but neigh (horse sound) breaking experience riding Allie's horse Benny Boo which is the best horse I have ever been on and met, cheers Ben. Go Mocking Jays!
I'm so excited to go to Ouray, basically my hometown. 
Doing activities are fun. I can't wait until the weekend I know we will have a lot of fun and parties! I know this is just the beginning but there will be more to come. I'm getting to know everybody in my cabin, everybody each has a different interesting personality which I'm still trying to figure out but we're getting along great. 
That's all the Mocking Jays have to say for now, it is WAY past our bedtime and we want to be well rested for all the fun camp adventures to come! 


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Thursday, June 28, 2012

DMC 2012

Hi Parents and Friends of DMC

It’s 5:56 on Tuesday and I’m scrambling to get an email off to all of you prior to our 6 PM dinner.
The campers are all back from their various outdoor pursuits which today consisted of Horses, Mountain Biking, Climbing, River Surfing, and Rafting. Some of the campers are now in their cabins cleaning up and getting ready for dinner, others are outside playing on the court or socializing, and the rest are in the red room playing games.The first few days have gone exceedingly well. We have a good group of return campers, and except for 2 new additions, our whole staff has returned. Overall the campers seem enthusiastic and engaged. Oops, the bell is ringing and the kids are flowing in for dinner. OK – Dinner is now over.

Here are a few items for you to know:

Communications – The girl cabin is now called the Mocking Jays and their calling night is on Monday, the Vikings are the youngest boys and they call on Tuesdays. The older boys, the Kane Imuas (which is Hawaiian for men that never give up), call on Wednesdays. Calling time is 5-6 PM. All of the campers are allowed to use the camp computers for emailing and social media such as Facebook, daily between 5-6, so hopefully you can have adequate communication with your youngster.

We distribute mail and printed emails at “Mail Call Wall” just after dinner, so keep the mail coming, or you can email you camper via, or, we will print the email out and distribute.

Christine or Stephanie will be in the camp office daily from 89:00-12:30, so that is a good time to call if you need to talk to somebody. We will return calls in the afternoon if we can’t talk to you directly. The camp phone number is 970-385-4449.

Mail can be sent to Durango Mountain Camp 454 Academy Drive, Durango, CO 81301

Starting tomorrow we’ll be posting blogs and photos on our website at

I know that there has been some national news coverage of the fire “near Durango”. This fire is actually centered near Mancos, which is about 35 miles from camp. We had some smoke clouds in the area on Saturday – Sunday, and a little bit on Monday, but the past two days have been clear.The weather has been unusually hot and dry, but today was a bit cooler with more cloud cover, so hopefully that trend will continue.
We are expecting great progress this summer! Time to go play dodge ball down by the river.

Zane Bilgrav
Durango Mountain Camp