Monday, July 15, 2013

Weekly DMC Update

Hi Parents and Friends of DMC!

I hope this missive finds all of you well and that life is good! 

We’ve had a fine second week at DMC.  The staff is talented, and the overwhelming feedback is that we have a great group of campers.

Our summer “monsoon” season has arrived and there is lots of moisture being drawn up from the Sea of Cortez that collides with the cool mountain air and produces wonderful clouds and thunderstorms every day.  The grass and mountains have suddenly returned to a green hue, and the temperatures are cooler and so nice.  Fortunately most of the heavy rains have occurred either before or after our outdoor adventures – so our schedule generally hums along as planned.

We had a full weekend.  On Saturday we had planned for the ABCPD adventure.  Which had the campers jumping off the cliffs of Adrenaline Waterfall, then canyoneering through the pools and plunges of Cascade Creek, then jumping off the rocks at Baker’s Bridge, then lunch at Purgatory Resort, all ending with a run to Dairy Queen before dinner.  However, after Adrenaline and Cascade, we got chased off the high mountains by the thunderstorms, so the campers enjoyed an afternoon of movies and playing at Durango’s Rec. Center.

On Sunday about 5 campers and 2 staff, hiked up 2,000 vertical feet to Castle Rock to enjoy lunch and spectacular views of the Continental Divide and down into the Animas Valley.  Another 5 campers and 2 staff drove to the dessert bike trails of Phil’s World near Cortez and biked about 13 miles in 100 degree heat.  The rest of the campers joined me and other staff for Boating-Beaches-Boards at Navajo Lake.  We had our ski boat and a pontoon boat and the campers rotated between playing at the beach, messing around on the Pontoon, and tubing behind the speed boat.  Just before we had planned to leave, we were chased off the lake in the late afternoon by a massive thunderstorm with heavy lighting that lasted about 1 1/2 hours.  Fortunately we got the campers off the water just as the storm cracked overhead.  Truly a magnificent adventure.

So today at breakfast, the campers were kind of dragging after such an energetic weekend, but by mid-morning snack they had regained their normal high energy. 

Along with academics, the campers are engaged in their second week of the outdoor activity they were involved with during week 1 of camp – so are extending their abilities in Climbing, Biking, River Running, Horses, and Wild Colorado.

On this next Friday, we are taking the whole camp to Vallectio Lake for camping until Sunday afternoon.  On Saturday, we’ll have 3 pontoon boats and 2 speedboats to give the youngsters lots of time to mess around with boats.  Hopefully the weather will be good, as this is usually a special weekend of shared experiences, fun, and bonding.

The campers are receiving numerous care packages that often contain 10+ pounds of candy and junk food.  Since each cabin group is receiving 2-4 boxes of candy each week, there is way more candy than can possibly be consumed.  This is getting to be a problem since some of the campers that receive these giant boxes of candy think that the candy is just for them, and get pretty upset when the counselors take control of the boxes and explain that any care package food items are for the whole cabin.  I know that you are trying to show love and affection for your youngster, but please realize that sending 10 or 15 pounds of junk to your youngsters each week is not a kindness.  Care packages are great – but please the food to 1 small snack per camper in that cabin for just 1 day.  For example if you are sending a care package to your camper who lives in a cabin with 7 other campers, just send 7 small snacks.  The counselor will distribute these and there won’t be a problem.  We had 1 heavy box come in last week that probably had 150 pieces of candy in it.  The youngster who received this package thought that all of that candy was his and was quite upset when the counselors would not let him sit down and eat all of the candy.  The campers have plenty of food, a generous dessert every night, and quite often stop by the store on the way home from outdoor pursuits and purchase a snack and drink.

So camp is good – please check out the website for blogs and photos which are updated daily.

Zane Bilgrav
Durango Mountain Camp

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