Thursday, July 31, 2014

I Am From by SCOTT

I am from a red couch

from my long haired dog, Pepper and a cat  Loki who lived a very long life

 I am from a white house in the center of a big town, where we have lots of space to move
and a great staircase

I  am from a big bush

 whose branches wave in the wind

I am from the red couch and wooden chairs

From Rod and Heather

and from Christmas trees and Poinsettia plants

from growing melons

I am from reading

from large, luscious watermelon and all kinds of potatoes

 from songs

and from poems

 From gritty sandboxes which make me feel irritated

I am from the moments of my ancestors.

I Am From by Enzo Tortelli

I am from sports like motocross
from dirt and wheels
I am from a big house
and having fun with my sis
I am from a big white tree
whose green leaves sway in the breeze
I am from a bed with a car on it and loving to play with Thomas the Train
from Tess and Stephany
and from lovers of pasta and  avocado
I am from a family who loves to ride
from filet mignon and pasta
from loving to put our elbows on the table
and from a good farmer
I went to 6 flags and it was fun. The ride X2 was a high thrill ride and was sick.
I am from the moments motocross and family

I Am From Max McGould....

I am from Florida and my dog is a big part of my family
I am from organic materials and riding my bike to school
And our house was big and vast which would let us play hide and seek and our own bedrooms to which all of us would retreat
And the tall windy stair case would lead us up to the next floor
I am from tall palm trees
Whose palm fronds sway in the wind like a crowd of people doing the wave
I am from the 1990’s and when technology was just staring to become popular
And from a family that has lots of brown eyes and tends to have lots of children
From jumping into the pool on the last day of school
I am from families that travel thousands of miles to see each other for Christmas
From cookies and pasta
From CEO’s of hedge fund companies to landfill managers
And coming to DMC
I am from this moment; a person who lives in the land of palm trees

I Am From Jermy Drott.........

I am from the stuffed deer my grandpa shot on my wall

From my grandma’s house just about 20 steps away and the blue couch in the game room

I am from long nights thinking about how I could make myself happier

And a tragic move from my Wimberley home

I am from the rock pile across the street

Whose poison ivy always made us run away

I am from the superman toy and the brownies we always had

From Ralph and Marcelle Bown who are my grandparents

And from Louisiana and Texas

From giant pots of gumbo served to perfection

I am from roasting marshmallows in the indoor fire place

From delicious cookies and chocolate cake

From cattle wrestling

And from fishing

But most of all I am from the family I love

I am from the moments that I will always cherish.

I Am From Andrew Bascom

Andrew Bascom

I am from the game soccer

from the soccer ball and toy trucks

I am from a baby-vomit colored house

and the noise of three siblings fighting

I am from the huge magnolia tree

whose unbreakable 80 year old branches used to let me hang and play.

I am from a soccer goals and hiking

From George, to Kellogg, to John

and from Christian ministers and Doctors

from the saying, “Good judgment comes from experience.”

I am from Thanksgiving, where everyone gathers

From wine and bread

From the old tradition; the 13 year old adventure

and from never being organized

Tools were my favorite, brooms, drills, etc.

I am from the moments of the unorganized family;

the crazy adventures of the boy who loved tools.

I AM FROM…by Logan Tschinkel

I AM FROM…by Logan Tschinkel

I am from the mountain town of Telluride

 from organic and Smart Balance

 I am from steep staircases

 and furniture we never bought

I am from Yamaha dirt bikes

whose engine is louder than a screaming baby

I am from Suzuki and skiing

from grandpa John and grandma Lydia

and from hard working parents

from rolling ATV's

I am from Christmas Eve parties

from strufala and cereal

from helping to invent the sewing machine and being a great artist

and from coming to DMC for the first time

From the stench of gasoline imbedded in my shirt

I am from the moments of living in Telluride.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A message from Zane

Hi Day Campers and Parents,

Today is our last day of afternoon Outdoor Pursuits.  The boarding campers will be cleaning their cabins and packing up tomorrow afternoon (Thursday).  You can pick up your day camper either before or after lunch.

Friday is our Luau day, and all day campers are invited.

We will put the food into the imu (underground oven) shortly after lunch.  Then we’ll play Hawaiian Games, Talk Story, have a session of Mountain Madness prior to pulling the food out – at @ 6 M and then feast until we are tired of eating.  We will then have a closing time for staff and campers and should wrap up at @ 9 PM, at which time they can be picked up.

The day campers can join us for all afternoon, or come at @ 6 PM for feasting and closing.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Aloha Nui

Zane Bilgrav
970-749-5640 (cell)

14er Weekend by Kurt

14er Weekend
The 14er crew took off from camp around noon on Saturday, fully loaded with six campers along with Pete and myself. Our first stop was a spooky, old ghost town for a quick lunch. Pete expertly navigated cinnamon pass, jeepers looking on with respect as we passed in our 12 year old stock suburban. We pulled up to the trailhead to Handies Peak around three o’clock, expecting to do little more than a short exploration hike due to the stormy Colorado afternoons. As expected, about halfway up in a beautiful meadow, we heard the first clap of thunder. However, the thunder was distant and it appeared as if the black mass would potentially skirt us. After hanging in the meadow for half an hour, noshing on trail-mix, we decided to continue towards the summit. As we continued hiking, the ominous clouds grew distant, the sunshine came out, and we had perfect weather for our summit attempt. Around 150 yards shy of the summit, the youngest member of the group, Sebastian, decided that he had had enough hiking. This was further exasperated by him not wanting his brand new cowboy hat to be blown away by the wind. With the summit in eyesight and only a few minutes distance away, the rest of the group pushed on to reach their goal. Of the eight people in our party, seven summited Handies. That night we ate burritos in the parking lot and set up camp in the dark.
                The next morning came very quickly with the first alarms going off at 5:45. Breakfast was eaten and camp was quickly disassembled. We arrived at the trailhead to Red Cloud, another 14er, around 7:45. It was clear that people were exhausted from the day before, but the kids pushed on through without complaint. Upon reaching what was dubbed, “Marmot Town,” it was clear that some people were too exhausted to reach the summit. At this point, the summit team, consisting of myself, Gus, Steven, and Alex, split from the rest of the group to try and beat the storms to the top of Red Cloud. When we reached the saddle, Alex decided that he had accomplished what he had wanted to and turned back to rejoin the rest of the group. “Summit Team Three,” continued on quicker than ever on ever steepening terrain, racing the fast approaching clouds. It began to sprinkle as we reached what turned out to be a false summit. Disheartened, Steven wanted to stop, but with a short pause and pep talk from Gus and myself, we pushed on as a team to conquer the last 15 switchbacks. The gorgeous views from the top of Red Cloud were short enjoyed as thunder sounded 30 seconds after we summited. With light hearts and heavy legs, we raced down the mountain (at a safe pace) to join the rest of our group.
                Summiting a 14er, let alone two 14ers, is a feeling that will never be forgotten. Sebastian, the only member of our group who did not summit, later announced that this was the best weekend of his life. Although I have summited 14ers in the past, I have never achieved two summits in 48 hours. This was a special weekend not only for the campers, but for us staff as well.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Boat Building For the Cardboard Regatta by Garrett

At first we didn't think we were going to finish in time; our boat wasn't going well. Later, we had the art teacher help us. We were back on track and build the boat in a snap, even though we didn't think we would finish in time. A bit later, we had a regatta with competition for the fastest boat, best design and longest float.
The winner got a Zuber Fixx. We didn't end up winning anything , but we had fun doing it.

Hi Parents and Friends of DMC!

Hi Parents and Friends of DMC!
The dust and mud-splatter has settled as “Extreme Weekend” has wrapped up.  One group drove over myriad primitive mountain passes to camp out at 11,000 feet.  On Saturday, the group summited 14,000 ft. Handies Peak, and on Sunday several of the campers and staff summited 14,000 Red Cloud Peak, and claimed a total of 28,000 ft. of summit.  Two peaks in two days! That is the first time that has happened.
Another group of intrepid climbers, ventured to Telluride to experience some “local only” types of climbs on Saturday, then camped out on Saturday night.  On Sunday they traversed the multi-hour climb across 400-500 cliffs on the European styled Via Ferrada.
A third group Zipped lined, played king of the float on the Bar X Lake, River Surfed, jumped the cliffs at Bakers Bridge, devoured DQ blizzards and camped by the river on the DMC campus.
This was our best Extreme Weekend ever and quite a few of the campers said that this was the best weekend they’ve ever had in their lives.  They will certainly have many great adventure tales to relate to their family and friends back home.
Last Friday, 16 campers went scuba diving at Vallecito Lake and earned either a PADI Scuba Diver, Open Water Diver, or Adventures in Diving certification.  After and early dinner, the camp went to Fiesta Days rodeo.  This was the first time that quite a few of the campers have been introduced to this aspect of western culture, and we all agree that rough riding cowboys are crazy.  (Note – my daughter Kira is marrying a cowboy in October, but fortunately he concentrates on roping, while she is a barrel racer).
So the campers are beat, but happy as we start our last 5 days of regular camp.  Tomorrow and Wednesday are testing days and we expect to see many important gains, and more solidifying of academic foundations.  We know that many of your campers will be significantly changed, and will have a greater feeling of self-worth and self-confidence.
Now a heads up on this week:
Along with Testing on Tues/Wed we have our final Academic Olympics on Tuesday evening, cabin cleanup and packing on Thursday afternoon, the camper-staff Luau on Friday afternoon and evening, and brunch and Closing Ceremonies on Saturday.
The Luau is a special time for the campers and staff to say their goodbyes and wrap up the summer – so is not open to parents and friends.  I know that quite a few of you will be here on Friday afternoon and of course will be anxious to see your child.  You are welcome to stop by and briefly say hello.
Saturday is for the parents.  We will talk about some of the the triumphs of each camper and they will be thrilled to have you a part of this day.  Campus opens at 9 AM for you to collect your camper and pack up.  Brunch will be at 10 – Closing ceremonies will start at  11 AM and probably wrap up at @ 12:30-1.  If you would like, you will have a limited time to check in with the academic staff or counselors, but a full academic report will be sent to you later next week.
If you haven’t done so already, let me know if will join us for brunch and how many you will have – if you need a bike packed and shipped, or a camper dropped off at the airport.
Also we have lots of photos and blogs that are accessed through, then click on Current DMC Blogs or Current DMC Photos.
That’s it for now.
It’s a great summer!
Zane Bilgrav

Monday, July 28, 2014

Laura Kuniansky

Avery F. has been willing to change the way she has formed the number 8 into a readable perfect 8.  Congratulations Avery!
She's also finished visiting Crater Lake in the Pages to Parks!  Way to go Avery!
Chris knows how to work hard and that a job-well-done is obvious.  He swept the side porch  beautifully for clean-up day, Thursday.  Thanks Chris!
Natalie has learned the final stable syllables of -tion, -sion, and -cian as a result of her dedicated work.
Natalie is one chapter away from finishing her library book, Savvy.  Wow, that's quite an accomplishment in about 4 weeks!  
Max will be welcomed back and has probably completed Outliers.  He and Laura will have a terrific discussion of this fantastic book by Malcolm Gladwell.
Laura Kuniansky

Biking by Dana..............

Last week I had the pleasure of joining the mountain biking group during outdoor pursuits. We had an eventful week on a variety of different trails. On Monday we went to Haviland Lake for a fun loop with great single track. Jeremy was able to put his climbing skills to good use. I won a Sobe Challenge on a climb, which is pretty special since I usually don't win many mountain bike challenges. Despite a flat, broken chain, and a few spills, we had a great day. On Wednesday we headed into town to do a trail called Star Wars. It was the first ride ever led by a camper; AKC showed us the trail, and it that reminded me a bit of a roller coaster. We then headed back to camp and the boys showed off their jumping skills; I gladly caught some of the action on a GoPro. I was impressed by all the boys, particularly Steven who caught air on all of the jumps in the course. We did a challenging downhill at Castle Rock on Thursday. We were able to go on this ride because we have such a talented group of bikers this year. I took an amusing spill off the trail and into some bushes that everyone got to see; I came up with plants sticking out of my helmet. We got to explore a cool old cowboy cabin by the trail. Jack signed the visitor log in the cabin, "DMC, go dyslexia!" For our final ride of the week, we went from the top to the base of Purg going down amazing trails like Digglers and 1990 World's. It was a beautiful day for a ride, and we stopped to nibble on some wild strawberries when we regrouped. I had so much fun mountain biking I decided to upgrade my fork. I'm excited to try it out with this week's crew of riders.

Cardboard Boat Regatta by Pete......

The sun hangs low over the Hermosa Cliffs, a solitary osprey takes flight, the quiet serenity of Havilland Lake is shattered by the roar of V-8 engines and 40 kids unloading their cardboard/duct tape boats.  Day camper parents, siblings, and pets have shown up en mass along with the overnight campers, counselors, and tutors to witness the spectacle which is the Cardboard Boat Regatta.  The Campers jockey for position in the line-up, look for leaches in the water, or just whack each other with paddles, either way an acceptable strategy.  The first boat takes off, it doesn't sink immediately, things are looking hopeful.  Then the second boat, it lasts a few seconds before swamping, but it's life jacket adorned crew are safe with Greg and Justin providing support from nearby kayaks.  The other counselors provide encouragement from shore by launching water balloons at the contestants, one actually hits a boat on purpose, and another hits a tutor on accident, sorry Lynn.  After an hour in and we still have 3 boat floating and no more water balloons.  The parents are getting restless, the campers are still going after leaches and each other with paddles.  Zane calls for the inevitable final naval battle.  The three final boats collide at full ramming speed and proceed to splash and try to tip each other because in the end there can be only one.  But as it turns out, the final 3 boats all win, one for fastest time, the other for best design, and the winner of the battle, longest float time

Rodeo Fun by Fran........

Extreme weekend at Durango Mountain Camp got off to an fast and exciting start as campers and staff headed off to the Durango Rodeo Friday night. The 80's kids got the party rolling as they headed down Highway 550 in the Ram Van with a truly memorable sing-a-long to Journey's Don't Stop Believing. Wow! I can say that I was there in person! I hope Gus Kerndt won't forget his DMC friends when he makes it as a pop singer! He already has the stage presence and the stylish pants. Once at the rodeo, we were entertained for hours with great performances by the steer ropers, barrel racers, and bull riders. Sebastian Ruoss looked the part of a local rodeo cowboy with his awesome new cowboy hat! We had many staff and parents in attendance including Enzo Tortelli's father, Sebastian, who traveled a long way to visit with him. What a fun night for everyone!  

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Message from Lynn.......

These first three weeks have flown by.  All of the children I tutor have been diligent with their academics and a pleasure to work with.  Thank you parents for sending such great students.  The kids are really into our National Parks pages that keep track of how many pages they are reading with the counselors and tutors during one on one oral reading time.  For every page read, they travel five miles and go from National Park to National Park that are in the western half of the United States.  Each morning I am greeted by students telling me that we have to go and move their magnet on the map to show their progress.  There magnets are all over Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Washington so far. 

I was able to attend my first Durango Mountain Camp Boat Regatta last week. It was impressive to see how long a piece of cardboard with a person inside can float.  I was told that it is all about the duck tape. 

From Tracy Brothers

As a tutor at DMC I get to watch as the kids grow in their abilities and hear of the fun they have in the afternoons.  Steffi is continuing her love for scuba and so we are working on some great words to help her write about her experience. Nautical - diving - scuba - awesome - and of course manatee are a few of the fun words she is incorporating into paragraphs about her experience here at Durango Mountain Camp.
Emma in enjoying staying with her grandparents while coming to DMC. We are having fun rhyming words and learning some great cursive handwriting as well as trying to decode some more compound words.  She is having fun fishing and doing gymnastics in the afternoon.
Ok, will have  Cozzi and Austin for you tomorrow.  It is a bit difficult to talk specifics in academics.

Hi Parents and Friend of Durango Mountain Camp,

Hi Parents and Friend of Durango Mountain Camp,

What a high energy, productive, and energetic last week!  The weather has been great with enough thunderstorms to keep the temperatures cooler, the grass green, and the trails firm, but not enough to cause us to cancel our outdoor activities.  The academics are humming along.  The campers know that there are not many more academic sessions, and that each session is important.  We’ve notice a more diligent effort by the campers to put extra effort in.  Hopefully solid progress is being made.  Along with regular academics, we had our first round of Academics Olympics and the 80’s Cabin dominated and were rewarded with a giant communal ice cream sundae.  They looked like a pack of sharks in a feeding frenzy as they devoured huge amounts of ice cream and toppings.

This past weekend was full of camper/counselor choice activities.  About half the camp spent the day tubing, wake surfing, rock jumping, boating and beaching at Navajo Lake.  Other activities including the ABC’s – which was cliff jumping Adrenaline, Bakers Bridge, and Cascade.  While another group challenged the side spiraling bike trails at Star Wars.  We are so fortunate to have so many great outdoor pursuits so close to DMC.

We will be heading to the Rodeo this Friday night! And all campers/day campers/parents/friends are invited.  We’ll leave camp at @ 6:20 and will plan on meeting everyone at the Fairgrounds Ticket Office at @ 6:45, when we will purchase the requisite tickets with a group discount.  DMC will pay for all campers/day campers/staff.  And parents/friends are welcome to join us at their own expense.  Ticket prices are $6.00 for 14 and under and @$10 for 15 and older.

Saturday and Sunday will feature our Extreme Weekend where campers can experience a more adventurous level of outdoor pursuits.  We’ll have a group attempting an overnight summit of 14,000 ft. Handies Peak, another group will traverse the high cliffs of Via Ferrata near Bridal Veil Falls in Telluride, while others will zing the zip line and play in the lake at Cross Bar X Ranch.

Then next week is our final week, which will be full of “Chop Suey” outdoor pursuits, academics, testing, Academic Olympics on Wed., the camp Luau on Friday, and Closing Ceremonies on Saturday.

As a heads up, On Saturday August 2, DMC opens at 9 AM for parents to pack up their campers.  We’ll have a good brunch at 10 am, followed by our Closing Ceremonies at 11, and this should finish up at @ 12:30.  I hope that you can come.

Here are a couple of things that we need to know:
Let us know if you would like us to take your camper to the airport.
We can have your campers bike packed up and shipped home if needed – the cost is usually @ $135.
Please send me an email back and let me know if you are coming to the Saturday brunch and how many.

That’s it for now.

Zane Bilgrav
970-749-5640 (cell)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

From: Laura Kuniansky

From: Laura Kuniansky

Laura brought Lucy, her 8 week old German Shepherd puppy to camp.  The puppy
was not too sociable, but Avery, Chris, Sam, Natalie, Elle, and especially
Ben knew just how to handle her and help her learn to enjoy the company of

Bakers Bridge Cliff Jumping by Austin Bass – Counselor

Bakers Bridge Cliff Jumping by Austin Bass – Counselor

The entire camp went down to Bakers Bridge to jump off the cliffs into the river. The bridge is a short ten minute walk from camp, the group chattered with excitement.   There was such excitement within the group as kid after kid jumped.  Some doing extreme flips and twist, while others jumped from a 25 foot ledge, the highest spot to jump from.  The first camp bridge jumping activity was a success.  With much more days coming like this one!