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A/U RANCHES NEWS - FALL 2017

Mountain Memo

Why a Family Returns “Home” for 46 Camp Summers! By Samuela Orth-Moore Imagine my overwhelming joy this summer when, at evening flag, I looked out to see three of my four children gathered together to give gratitude for the day. I was there as camp practitioner. Shea was the program head for Mountaineers. Jordan was assistant program head for Challengers, and Tessa was a camper. My gratitude welled up exponentially for all that the A/U Ranches has meant to us over the years! We knew we found a home at the A/U Ranches when we first came for Service Weekend on Memorial Day. We had three of our four kids - who were five, three, and two years old at the time - and it has served as a beacon of love and joy to us ever since. We had just returned to the U.S. from living abroad

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Note from the Ranch Director Bunkhouse Parent & Camper Story Pullout Camp Poster Adult & Family Program Fruitage Staff Leadership Awards

for six years, and not quite sure where “home base” was for our family. In the intervening years, as we returned to Africa and the children grew, each in turn became a camper and continued returning to camp each year, progressing through Sky Valley Ranch, Round-Up Ranch, counselors-in-training and then staff. Not one of those three, including the oldest, Cassidy (camper/staffer 2002-2014), ever missed a summer at camp. When I added up all of the summers for the four kids, it came to 46 camp summers between them! As expatriates, the A/U Ranches did become “home base” for our family. Responding to the perennial back-to-school prompt at the kid’s international school of, “Where are you from?” each of the kids have written an essay about how the A/U Ranches is their “home”. It feels that way for all of us (including mom and dad). I can’t say enough about how thankful I am that God led us to the A/U Ranches and what it has meant to our family. For all of those dear ones who gave so generously so that my children could enjoy camp through camperships, my gratitude is immense. Now we each hope to give back, at least in some way. (continued on page 2)


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Mountain Memo

Healing and Growth A Note from Alison Peticolas, Ranch Director The challenges that arise each camp season always bring big blessings. This summer, in the middle of first session, we found ourselves challenged with an illness at camp that was quickly affecting many campers and staff members. We responded immediately with prayer, working with each case as it came up and seeing quick healings of the symptoms. As quickly as people were seeing healing, more cases would arise. The practitioners and Christian Science nurses at camp were inspirational in their unwavering work. Because of the scope of the challenge, the prayerful, supporting work taking place was happening beyond just the practitioners and nurses. Staff and campers were being called into action – prayerfully and practically supporting their peers. In particular, during this period two groups of campers and staff were in a remote location. While we had cell phone service and were in continual contact supporting them, they were turning to each other for the immediate care that was needed. They read the lesson together, constantly sang hymns and shared ideas to keep their environment elevated and focused on healing. During this time, we came together as a camp to talk with the practitioner about how to pray. After several days of diligent work and many, many healings, the challenge subsided and ended. Campers and staff shared at the testimony meetings and at the end of the summer how much those healings meant to them and how they grew closer to God through them. The remote campers articulated how impactful it was to be in the role of supporting their peers and what a powerful experience it was in bringing them together. The rest of the summer was harmonious and very healthy – a direct result of the focused healing work we did. No one chooses to experience these types of challenges at camp, but I am grateful and humbled by the powerful and effective healing work we experienced this summer.

Alison

“Why a Family Returns...” continued from p.1

By Tessa Orth-Moore Coming to the A/U Ranches for the past six years has been full of the best growing experiences ever. I always try to explain how amazing the A/U Ranches are, but words can’t explain how much fun it really is. I remember my first day of camp in 2012. I didn’t know anyone, and as soon as I stepped into my cabin, my (now) lifelong friends made me feel so welcome and at home. I’ve grown so much, spiritually and mentally, at camp. It is my home away from home, and it’s where I can be me, happy, and God’s own reflection. I love Adventure Unlimited!

By Jordan Orth-Moore Camp is my home away from home. Meeting new friends and reconnecting with old ones, is the best part. The relationships that are made and grow during camp last forever. Being in-cabin is like living with your best friends who become like brothers (or sisters). No matter how much you may disagree at times, you always end up loving one another again as Love is doing all the guiding (“So Love doth guide” Christian Science Hymnal 160:2). There’s nothing as significant to me as living for two weeks, or two months with my camp brothers. Camp expanded the borders of those I call family.

By Shea Orth-Moore Our family has been blessed and enriched by the international life we’ve led. Even so, as a kid I struggled with my own sense of identity, mostly stemming from the question of, “Where is home?” I felt as though I was rootless. All of this faded away every year when I walked up to Baggage Claim 19 (at the Denver International Airport) and was greeted by familiar faces and an overwhelming sense of Love. The time I spent at camp every year grounded me and helped me to accept that nothing physical can give you a sense of belonging, but Love can.

By Cassie (Cassidy) Orth-Moore There’s no view in the world that makes me feel more at home than Five Fingers in the frame of the Adventure Unlimited sign welcoming me back. The A/U Ranches is home, and I’m so grateful God guided my family here years ago. It has shaped who I am and helped form the spiritual foundation (that continues to grow) on which I rely every day. The A/U Ranches taught me the ability to carry my sense of home wherever I go, because home is wherever God is. This was a lesson I learned thanks to the spiritual strength, patience, and love each person at camp showed to me.

Join us for Youth Camp 2018! See dates on insert.


Fall 2017

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A Camper and Bunkhouse Parent Experience the Love of Camp B y Molly L arsen One of my sons, Topher, called me when he was a counselor for the A/U Ranches’ Challengers program. He told me, “Mom, the A/U Ranches has a great program called a ‘bunkhouse parent’. You should check it out! You could help in one of the girls’ cabins and Robby can be a camper.” I was very interested. Topher is 12 years Robby’s senior. Robby was eight when I got that message from Toph. I was a camper in the 70’s Robby Larsen practices archery and have fond memories of the A/U Ranches. My husband and I sent all of our older kids to camp together when they were growing up. But Robby, our caboose, came nine years after our youngest and his siblings were finished with their Youth Camp experiences. When Topher called me, it was too late to do anything about it that summer but I was cherishing the thoughts for next year. The next winter I applied to be an A/U Ranches’ bunkhoue parent on the website and was accepted. Robby was nine and we went for the one week session. It was so much fun! I enjoyed my cabin and “camp” experience - I relearned all the camp songs and saw the skits in my role as a support to the campers and my cabin counselors. When the campers and counselors were gone for the day, the bunkhouse parents did some chores and then we could hike, pray, visit with new bunkhouse parents, catch up with friends from our camper days, or enjoy the beauty of the outdoors.

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An A/U Ranches Word Search! CAN YOU FIND ALL OF THE WORDS ABOUT CAMP?

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Go to AURanches.org/bunkhouse to learn more about being a bunkhouse parent.

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When Robby reached middle school, however, we faced challenges. Robby thought the other kids at camp were trying to be “cool” and told me he Peter and Molly Larsen was finished with camp. He said, “The kids weren’t nice last year, and I’m also worried about the Southwoods Run at the beginning of the camp session.” I prayed a lot about his decision not to go and mentioned the situation to Topher, his brother. He said, “Robby, you have to go this next summer. You’re going be the oldest in Sky Valley (Ranch)!” My husband, as a bunkhouse parent twice as well, encouraged him to go as well. “Anyway,” I chuckled, “I want to have one more year at camp as a bunkhouse parent!” He came reluctantly. Well, these four quotes sum up his experience in that session of camp. He wrote to me: “Thank you, Mom. You have been a huge help at camp.” “This session, especially, I am having a blast…” “I won the Southwoods Run!” “You pushed me to go to camp because of the Love here.” I am so grateful for the love at the A/U Ranches.

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The next year we were ready to go to camp again. It was a special time for Robby and me. I loved being back at camp and enjoyed seeing him have a good time from afar.


Photo taken by Donald Appleby during Adult Mini Camp.


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Mountain Memo

Three Women, One Week and Lots of Memories B y Daryl Leonard, Joanne Leonard & S oozie B ul “Let’s go on a vacation,” said Joanne to her sister. “The A/U Ranches is having an Adult Mini Camp – how about that?” Daryl Joanne, Soozie and Daryl in Valerie Lodge said. Two sisters and a cousin had never been on a vacation together as adults but the common denominator of horses at the A/U Ranches sounded good. Soozie said to her cousins, “If you guys go, I will too.”

in a casual setting with like-minded people, sharing our journeys and experiences using Christian Science, meeting new friends, old friends and the professionals on the A/U Ranches’ staff – it’s incredible how great they are! Memories were made, cherished friendships developed, new perspectives opened, incredible views enjoyed, and the weather... (It was a wonderful break from Texas and Florida!) But most importantly, the three of us bonded and had so much fun together in our various activities all week.

Join us for Adult Mini Camp, Aug. 20-26, 2018!

All three of us went to the A/U Ranches as kids, and two of us had been counselors. It had been 48 years since we were last there and when we arrived at camp – the feeling was like coming home, only better – no cooking, cleaning, or deciding what to do (well there was some of that). There was so much to choose from! Two of us participated in the advanced horsemanship program, and one of us picked activities daily. The flexibility of the staff allowing us to formulate our days together was incredible. Beyond wonderful activities, we experienced unwinding

A Family’s First Experience of Family Camp B y Julie Beck This past summer, our family had the opportunity to go to the A/U Ranches’ Family Camp. Not only was it our first time attending Family Camp, but it was a week FULL of first-time experiences that we will never forget! The moment we arrived at camp, we felt at home. Our cabin was lovingly prepared with cozy beds and our own private bathroom. Before dinner, campers and counselors gathered at flag retreat Julie, Doug, Walter and Katherine Beck to share inspiration and gratitude for the day. What a wonderful way to bring our thoughts to God and to appreciate the breathtaking beauty and peacefulness of the lake and mountains. Afterward, we

enjoyed a fabulous meal in Valerie Lodge and felt welcomed by the staff and other families who joined us at our table. Our week was filled with adventures – rock climbing, hiking, horseback riding, whitewater rafting, swimming, archery and canoeing, to name a few! The kids loved catching salamanders and experiencing all sorts of wildlife. There was also plenty of time to read, relax or take a walk alone. My children blossomed as they were challenged to try new things, be brave, and have fun. I was amazed by the energy of the counselors who were so patient, strong, creative and full of smiles! The gatherings at the flagpole before breakfast and dinner were some of my favorite memories. It was in these moments that I especially felt God’s all-inclusive Love for each one of us and knew that I could bring this idea home with me. I can’t wait to go back to the A/U Ranches next summer to experience daily reminders of God’s love and to enjoy more adventures with our new A/U Ranches’ family!

Join us in 2018 for one of two Family Camp sessions: June 21-27 or August 11-17!


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Staff Leadership Awards The Cap Andrews Award for Moral Leadership recognizes staff who exemplify the Christian Science way of life to campers and fellow staff members, in keeping with the example of John “Cap” Andrews, co-founder and first director of the A/U Ranches. Ashton Glass

Cameron Sheehan

Round-Up Ranch Lodge Manager

Round-Up Ranch Rafting Co-Program Head

Ashton brought passion, enthusiasm and commitment to her role this summer. She worked hard and played hard with the counselor-in-training (CIT) team, supporting each CIT in spiritual growth. Everything she did started with Principle and Love and never wavered from that position. Her clarity about what was right held the high standard for everyone and supported spiritual growth.

Through his four years on rafting staff, Cameron has grown as a rafting guide and as a spiritual thinker. This summer he stepped into the leadership role with spirit, confidence and humility, creating a safe space for campers to thrive, staff to grow and healings to happen. He also brought his creativity to all-camp activities (his second camp love) making them events that everyone loved.

Ashton and her family just moved to the greater St. Louis area. She is pursuing her passion for dog training/behavior, with a little fly-fishing on the side!

Cameron just graduated from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in May and is enjoying working as a mechanical engineer for Lockheed Martin in Orlando, Florida.

The Marianne Andrews Award For Selfless Service values staff who graciously serve campers and fellow staff members with the dedication, compassion and good cheer exemplified by Marianne Andrews, co-founder of the A/U Ranches. Kristalyn Benson

Ken Machi

Sky Valley Ranch Corral Staff

Sky Valley Ranch Corral Staff

Kristalyn poured Soul into every role she had at camp. She loved working with the youngest girls where she consistently expressed Love to them, helping them grow and blossom. Her commitment to God-centered growth continued in the corral where she led her patrols with the expectation that campers will each gain new views of themselves.

Ken always put the needs of campers first. He responded to a need for corral staff with grace, enthusiasm and commitment to provide the best experience for the campers. He loved the demanding corral pack trips and led five this summer. He expressed inexhaustible joy whether teaching a lesson, being in-cabin with campers or leading a trip.

After taking a gap-year working and backpacking abroad, Kristalyn is in her first year of college heading for a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.

Ken recently moved to downtown LA to pursue set building opportunities. He tries to get to the beach/mountains as much as possible.

The Element of Choice For years, the 100 Elk Outdoor Center has promoted an adventure experience through the lens of “Challenge by Choice”. Thousands of participants of all ages have taken the opportunity to step outside their comfort zones to face and overcome doubts and fears. They have felt safe to do so because the 100 Elk staff has pledged to honor participants’ choices regarding their limits. Last winter, Tom Leahy, the A/U Ranches’ high ropes course builder and an industry expert, expanded our

thinking through an eye-opening seminar “The Elements of Choice.” He helped us see both sides of the Challenge by Choice paradigm. Though working through discomfort often leads to dramatic growth, it can produce a setting where the instructor’s goals inadvertently trump participant choices. This year 100 Elk’s primary outcome is for participants to feel that they are surrounded by participants and staff who will honor their choices wherever they are, as long as those choices meet three criteria: choices are safe, considerate of the group’s needs, and authentic. This simple nuance has signficantly shifted the 100 Elk staff’s view of the program’s goal “to reveal the possibilities within.”


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AURanches.org 888.543.4849 auinfo@adventureunlimited.org Adventure Unlimited provides recreational adventure, leadership, service, education and community activities that foster spiritual growth and healing in an environment where Christian Science is lived. – The A/U Ranches is a Division of Adventure Unlimited – All or part of this operation is conducted on public lands under Special Recreation Permits from the Dept. of the Interior’s BLM, Colorado State Parks AHRA, and Dept. of Ag. USFS.

A/U Ranches Mt. Memo Newsletter | Fall 2017