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A/U RANCHES NEWS - Spring 2017

Mountain Memo

Behind the Scenes: Camp Planning Year Round What Some Summer Staff Do in the Winter People often ask, “What do camp directors do all winter?” The answer is, “Prepare for summer camp!” There is plenty to do in planning and preparing for camp all year long. Usually just a couple people are working on camp programming. This year, for the first-time ever, we are blessed to have all of the summer camp directors living and working at the A/U Ranches during the winter.

fall. We thought it would be a great to have them stay allwinter and become Sky Valley Ranch co-camp director and CIT trainer for Summer 2017 and so they did! After a full fall of working for the 100 Elk Outdoor Center, the newly assembled camp director team moved into Hilltop (cabin) with a brand new kitchen and living room space – a great new home until camp starts in June.

Sarah Litwiller and Andrew Lambert-Cole camp directed at Round-Up Ranch last summer and wanted to come back again in Summer 2017. We thought it would be great to have them stay all-year and so they did! Becky Holmes and Nathan Gregory were staying to help us during the

In addition to supporting the facilities programs, having all of the camp directors on property provided an opportunity for greater outreach to campers with monthly emails, more collaboration among staff, and staff development. They have travelled to the Berkshires, Tahoe, Ohio, Washington, DC, and Arizona to attend DiscoveryBound Outreach events, where they connected with current campers and made connections with new campers. Look for them at the DB Outreach Road Rallies in Seattle and Philadelphia this April.

• What’s Inside • 2 3 4 6 7

Note from the Ranch Director Why work for 100 Elk? Pull-Out Camp Poster Alumni Engagement Camp is Unlimited

One of the greatest benefits of having everyone around is that we can regularly meet to plan and collaborate on new ideas for the summer of 2017!! As a result, we have been able to improve the camp calendar and daily schedules. (continued on page 2)


Mountain Memo

“You are camp!” A Note from Alison Peticolas, Ranch Director When we are young or new, camp asks us to be brave, to learn independence, to experience home in a new place and to understand Father-Mother God in a new way. Our counselors help us feel God all around us. As we get older, camp asks us to do more, to step outside our comfort zone and try new activities, to reach beyond our old friends and make new friends, to dig deeper into our understanding of God and what it means to have a relationship with Him. Our counselors support us as we grow in new ways.

“Behind the Scenes...” continued from p.1 We’re developing program-skills and improving program activities. We are also talking in-depth with summer staff about how to support them in new and meaningful ways with metaphysical preparation, peer accountability and life without cell phones. Having the whole camp director team in place and living at the A/U Ranches together means we’re regularly talking excitedly about the coming summer! We are truly blessed to have the camp directors together to cultivate and establish a firm foundation to provide campers with the best summer yet.

Meet the A/U Ranches Summer Management Team

As a staff member, camp asks us to go to new levels, to step outside ourselves, to put the needs of our campers ahead of our own, to be a role model of obedience to moral law, to make prayer at the start of each day the most important thing we do – so we are prepared to be there for our campers. Camp asks a lot of us. What we each do for camp, when we meet the demands that camp makes on us, is create the camp that we love. We create a camp where we can be ourselves, where we see each other as God sees us. We create a camp where it is safe to strive and to fail and to try again and achieve. We create a camp where we feel Love. Camp is not something that is made by others for us. Camp is made by us for each other. Each one of us contributes to the spiritual clarity, the unconditional love, the embrace of home, the understanding of Father-Mother God that is experienced and felt by everyone else. We each bring our best to camp and that’s what makes camp awesome – for each other and for all of us.

Ranch Director

Alison Peticolas

SVR Camp Directors

Steve Creighton Becky Holmes

RUR Camp Directors

Andrew Lambert-Cole Sarah Litwiller

CIT Trainer

Nathan Gregory

Horsemanship Director

Lachlan Clarke

Enrollment Coor. Operations Coor. Administrative Coor.

Linda Clarke Cami Jamerson Joy Strickland

Facilities Director Facilities Foreman Facilities Technician

Drew Heimerl Steve Murray Mike Trathen

Food Service Manager Food Service Asst. Mgr.

Matthew Leon Chad Heeter

100 Elk Director

Jeff Robertson

Thanks for bringing your best to camp this summer!


Spring 2017


Why Work for 100 Elk? B y Jeff Robertson, 100 Elk D irector

Why? The thrill of the high ropes course, sure. Amazing food, sure. Being away on a school day, absolutely. But what forms their deepest memories? What draws them back? It’s knowing they’ll discover something inside themselves that they hadn’t seen before. And who is most responsible for that? The 100 Elk staff. Quite simply, their work changes kids’ lives. A ten-year-old from a public school located hours from Buena Vista said it beautifully. When asked to share the most important thing he learned at 100 Elk, he replied, “I am brave.” If there was a list of Top Ten Reasons to be a 100 Elk Instructor, #1 would be the joy of helping students and adults from diverse backgrounds find their inner strength, sometimes within hours of their arrival. The satisfaction from this work might be one of our best kept secrets.

#3 – Live the outdoors - wake up to spectacular mountain views, teach outside in shirt sleeves, then the next day bundle up and enjoy the quiet beauty of fresh snowfall. #4 – Add muscle to your resume - become a certified high ropes belayer, climbing gym instructor, lifeguard, CPR and first aid provider, and a skilled instructor in ecology hikes, team building and canoeing. #5 – Take kids on night hikes up mountain trails in the pitch black, and teach them about trust and about stars so bright you can practically touch them. #6 – Most weekends off - go climb a 14’er or tackle the Arkansas River or chill at The Roastery coffeehouse. #7 – Partake of the food…..oh……..goodness. #8 – Live in Aspen Grove, the A/U Ranches’ finest housing and conference area. #9 – Learn from trainers and directors with decades of professional experience. #10 – Let the participants’ obstacles and victories reveal something surprising inside of you that you’ll never forget. Does this sound like you? Make it happen. We have a spring and fall season, while the meaningful adventure of working at the A/U Ranches’ summer camp sits conveniently in between. Visit our website or call me at 719.395.2468 x111 for information and an application to join the 100 Elk team.

Now you know the #1 best reason to join the 100 Elk team, here are the other nine: #2 – Work with a close knit group of professional instructors who dig deep spiritually, and make some lifelong friends.



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An A/U Ranches’ Crossword




1. What is Lach and Linda’s new dog’s name? (Hint: you’ve seen him on our social media channels recently)

4. What’s the event that our cowboys and cowgirls partake in at the end of each session?

2. What does Listens to the Wind and The Old Prospector leave on your pillow to let you know they’re coming? A ____. 3. What do we give after flag every evening? 6. What is the Colorado state flower?

5. What are those little critters that dig holes and eat our horses’ grain called? 8. What do we chant after a really good meal? 9. What do we emphasize when packing? (Hint: it’s due to the unpredictable weather)

7. “Five Fingers” is the face of what mountain? 9

Visit to see answers!

Pu l on l ou ne t p x t os p a ter ge !

Each year participants from roughly 30 organizations prepare to head to the A/U Ranches for their 100 Elk Outdoor Center trip. And they can hardly wait. Teachers tell me that these students become almost “unteachable”. It’s all they talk about.

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.


Mountain Memo


Alumni Engagement “Back-to-My-Roots”

Secrets of a Bunkhouse Parent

B y Shane Witters Hicks

B y Jennifer Francis

Adventure Unlimited has played a key role in my life every year since I watched from the car as my older brother ran off to join his new camp friends – I was about six years old. When I reached camp age, I was stubbornly determined not to go. But after some firm encouragement, I went and returned beaming 15 days later, thrilled by the experiences of friendship, adventure, and self-discovery. Between then and now, I’ve participated in ten years’ worth of A/U Ranches’ programs as a camper or staff member, and had the opportunity to grow as a member of DiscoveryBound’s National Leadership Council. Naturally, this organization – and especially the A/U Ranches – have become a second home. On staff, I discovered what it feels like to lose a sense of self-will through perpetual giving, purity and true happiness. Camp gave me a taste of what life is like when service, community, and healing are front-and-center in everyone’s attention. As a result, I’ll never be satisfied with anything less than camp’s ideal and I’m pushed to keep these qualities at the forefront of my thought, wherever I am. That’s why, ever since I started finding great value in summer undergraduate internships, I’ve still made it a priority to come back during the end of the summer to work at A/U Ranches’ Family Camp. Some have asked me why, after two months of nose-to-the-grindstone internship work, I eagerly scuttle off to Buena Vista for my last few days of summer vacation (for example, in 2016 I finished my internship on a Friday afternoon, drove to BV that same evening, and returned to school the next week). No matter how tight the timeframe, it’s an absolute no-brainer for me to make the decision to spend a part of each year reconnecting with the community and participating in the same giving that has molded me into the person I am today. Although we don’t need to be in a physical location to experience spiritual connectedness and our God-given freedom, physical landmarks (such as community, mountains, opportunities for humble service, etc.) can serve as great reminders of this joyful truth. Some Hindus make a pilgrimage to the great Ganges River; my “back-to-my-roots” pilgrimage is – will always be – to the A/U Ranches.

Shhhh, it’s never too late to head back to camp... I thought my days of spotting a camper on a trampoline were behind me. I thought watching a sunrise come over the Rocky Mountains as I gazed over Sky Valley lake during flag raising had come and gone. And the idea of singing hymns to sleepy campers as their mornings came alive was stuff you did only as a camp counselor. Well, turns out, I was wrong. Bunkhouse Parents get to do it all too! But let’s not discuss it too loudly. There are only a few spots available each session… Spending a couple of weeks at camp, getting to do it all over again, is the insider secret only a few know about. And you don’t even need to have kids at camp! My summers as a Bunkhouse Parent have been some of the most rewarding. I’ve had the opportunity to watch the girls in my cabin grow in their outdoor skills, learn the importance of teamwork and sisterhood, and use Christian Science like they never have before, growing closer to God and learning about His love for them. This has been precious time well spent. But, shhhhh, we don’t want everyone to sign up for our spots!

Gratitude for the Rafting Challenge Grant Pecheck Having new gear is always a jumpingup-and-down-and-squealing type of experience for the rafting staff, at least in my experience. Having new boats is going to be absolutely wonderful.

Cameron D ouglas As far as the new gear... I’m so grateful that this will enable us to keep our program at the highest standards of safety and professionalism, so that we can continue to provide the best river experience possible for our campers.

Spring 2017



Camp is Unlimited

Camp isn’t just for kids. Regardless of your age, you can experience the healing atmosphere of camp at the A/U Ranches. We have programs for every age. Whether it’s a family or an adult program, we embrace Christian Scientists, their friends and family of all faiths.

Service Weekend | May 26-29 Join us for this program over Memorial Day weekend that focuses on service – service to God through serving with others. This weekend also serves the A/U Ranches in helping us get ready for Youth Camp! Whether you enjoy gardening, raking, painting or special projects, this program has a job for everyone! The kids also contribute to the weekend, helping with chores and, most importantly, delivering lemonade and cookies to the other workers. The love that goes into every project is felt throughout the year by our participants. Evenings are filled with games, catching up with friends, and laughter. And let’s not forget about church, the bar-b-que and family kickball on Sunday!

Family Camp |

June 25-July 1 & August 12-18

We now offer two Family Camp sessions to help with your summer planning needs! Family Camp is a wonderful way for adults and children to enjoy all of the activities Youth Camp offers, whether it’s horseback riding, rafting, mountain biking, hiking or relaxing by the lake. Families can enjoy activities together, or kids can participate in age appropriate, supervised activities while parents head of for their own adventures. Our goal is for you to have an inspiring vacation in the beauty of the Colorado Rockies, where you’re able to choose your activities daily and delight in a Christian Science atmosphere of joy, friendship and spiritual growth.

Mini Camp | August 21-27 (NEW DATES!) If you’re looking for a spiritual getaway for adults (18 and over) with a variety of activities, adult Mini Camp is for you! You can choose to climb a 14,000 foot peak one day, and relax by the lake the next, or maybe you prefer road cycling our mountain passes or going on a leisurely horseback ride through the woods. Within Mini Camp we offer a Horsemanship focus for those enthusiasts who would like to ride every day with progressive activities that include riding instruction, reining, gymkhana events, obstacle courses and Cowboy Mounted Shooting (all riding levels are welcome). It’s your vacation. It’s your day. What’ll it be?

Bible Study | October 27-31 Join our yearly Bible Study Program for adults (18 and over) presented by Kristy Christensen, President of the Biblos Foundation. Biblos is a nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging Bible study through the lens of Christian Science and we are excited to have Kristy and her wealth of biblical knowledge. This year’s topic is on the healings of the Bible. Since 1990, Kristy has been hosting Bible talks and workshops in the U.S., Canada and England and led classes for Principia’s Lifelong Learning programs. Be prepared for intense Bible study throughout the day with breaks to relax, enjoy the mountain scenery, hike and study more!

Christmas Camp | December 23-29 (NEW DATES!) This program has been described as a scene from a Norman Rockwell painting with participants enjoying ice skating, sledding, curling and building snowmen – all just outside Valerie Lodge. Other activities include downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, lesson study, riding horses through the snowy woods or help us cut down our Christmas tree and warm yourself by the cozy fire. Escape the hustle and bustle of the shopping malls to come “home” for the holidays and celebrate the Christ with us this winter.

A/U Ranches P.O. Box 20136 Buena Vista, CO 81211-2036

Indicia Goes Here

2017 Program Dates

Did You Know?

Service Weekend May 26–29 Summer Youth Camp First session* 2 weeks: June 22–July 6 1 week: June 22–29 * All Ages at Sky Valley Second session 2 weeks: July 8–July 22 Third session 2 weeks: July 24–August 7 1 week: July 24–31 Family Camp June session (at Round-Up): June 25–July 1 August session August 12–18 Adult Mini Camp Full session August 21–27 NEW! (Half session available) Adult Bible Study

October 27–31

Christmas Camp

December 23–29 NEW!

We have new discounts to offer, including a $500 discount for first time campers!

LEARN MORE Financial assistance is available for all our youth programs. To register and for more details, please contact us! 888.543.4849 Adventure Unlimited’s purpose is to provide 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 - Spring 2017  
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