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Mountain Memo

The Blessings of Summer 2020 When we choose a metaphysical theme for the organization in November, we never know how our prayerful work is going to manifest in the coming year. This year our theme, “The inevitable condition whereby to become blessed, is to bless others:” (Miscellaneous Writings 127) guided us through a remarkable summer. As listening and decision making for summer adjustments began, we focused on ways we would be able to bless others in the coming months. In the end, many were blessed and two groups, our seasonal staff and our local community, blessed others and were blessed themselves in incredible new ways. Early on we decided to bring seasonal staff to the A/U Ranches for at least two weeks to support and cherish

• What’s Inside • 2 Note from the Ranch Director 3 A Getaway for Family and Friends 3 Word Scramble Puzzle 4 Pullout Camp Poster

6 A/U Ranches Mini Camp 6 100 Elk Supports Local Community 7 Staff Leadership Awards 7 2021 Here We Come!

them. Over the course of the summer we were able to provide new levels of staff development and training. Waterfront staff became belayers, mountain staff became archers, corral staff became lifeguards and everyone learned new ways to play and explore in nature. We ran workshops on car maintenance, doing taxes, cooking, Lesson study and more. Most importantly, staff were able to be present with each other (in cohorts and with masks on) to reconnect with camp and with God. With the decision to cancel overnight camp and run a Youth Adventure Day Camp, we knew we would be able to serve only a small fraction of the Christian Science campers who usually come to camp. We listened for direction on how to engage our local community and reached out to the Lake County Department of Human Services (LCDHS) in Leadville asking “What would it take to bring kids to our program?” The answers were easier than expected. They had funding to support kids coming to Day Camp. We just needed to provide interpreters who could speak Spanish to parents and kids, outreach in the local community, transportation and flexibility. That was an answer to prayer. The seasonal staff were motivated to put their Spanish skills to use, to drive daily to Leadville to bring kids to camp and to do the activities they loved with a new group of kids (continued on page 2)


Mountain Memo

Patient Waiting & Obedience A Note from Alison Peticolas, Ranch Director Thank you for joining us on a unique and remarkable spiritual journey this summer as we were all called on to demonstrate new levels of listening and discernment, faith and trust, patience and obedience. Mrs. Eddy says, “All God’s servants are minute men and women. As of old, I stand with sandals on and staff in hand, waiting for the watchword and the revelation of what, how, whither. Let us be faithful and obedient, and God will do the rest.” (Miscellaneous Writings 158:19) This is who we were. Throughout the spring, we leaned into our prayer while we waited. At times, awash in uncertainty, it seemed like we were waiting for human assessment, but really, we were waiting on God, continually. Like the Children of Israel, we had to embrace that Mind was guiding and directing each step on a day-by-day and moment-by-moment basis and we could each hear and recognize that direction. We leaned into trusting God, good. As we made Principle-impelled decisions to cancel programs, we had to trust that “to all mankind and in every hour, divine Love supplies all good.” (Science and Health 494:11) Camp is a good thing, but good was going on for every member of the A/U Ranches family and the world, not just those able to make it to camp.

in a new model. We ran six weeks of Day Camp with as many as 10 different groups a week. Two-thirds of the campers were local kids from Leadville, Buena Vista and Salida together with Christian Science kids. We ran some secular and some God-infused programs and while the staff didn’t talk as much about Christian Science, they learned how to Open Windows to God through living Love.

As an A/U Ranches alum, parent of two former campers and staff, and local community member, I can’t express enough gratitude for all that the A/U Ranches and 100 Elk has done during the most difficult of times this past summer. For me, it shows what can happen as a result of many, many summers of applying for camp scholarships, getting kiddos off to camp, and ensuring their experience was protected by spiritual thought and a high-minded atmosphere. A parent’s job is not only to raise a child, but surround them with the most loving environment, caring adults and peers as possible. What a beautiful joy it was this summer to see it all come full circle! Thank you to everyone, over the past 24 years, who made this possible! – Janeen McGee, Director of LCDHS After a spring of quarantine, Day Camp provided kids interaction with peers, outdoor activity, personal growth and fun. Needed by all, Day Camp was especially critical for families with no other options for their children. In addition, it provided a crucial child care option for the families we served from Lake County, allowing parents to pursue work. (The one child care in Leadville was closed.) And for many campers, their highlight was the positive, supportive relationships they developed with their counselors who served as both mentors to younger campers and peers to the older teens.

As we moved forward with new programs and untried steps, we leaned in to God’s promise, “Certainly I will be with thee.” (Ex 3:12) We worked with confidence because we knew God was with us and God was doing the work. We are so grateful for the blessings of this summer that taught us all how to lean on and trust God more.


Janeen McGee, Director of LCDHS summed it up, “The miracle of the summer of 2020 was that it created a truly unique opportunity for our families to not only ‘survive’ this challenging time but actually thrive!” The same blessing is true for the seasonal staff and the A/U Ranches.

Fall 2020


A Getaway for Family and Friends Part of our modified programming this summer was a new program, Family & Friends Getaway. It provided Christian Scientists, and their families and friend groups of all faiths, with an opportunity to use the A/U Ranches as home base for their own summer activities. We offered six weeks of flexible length stays, with groups staying anywhere from three days to all six weeks! It was great to see many families who would have normally come to Family Camp or sent their kids to Youth Camp, while also meeting new participants who had never been here before. With many other camp and vacation options being cancelled this summer, they were grateful for the opportunity to have an uplifting atmosphere for their summer vacation.

activities and I'm happy to say [the A/U Ranches] made it happen.” Jay had also previously considered working as a 100 Elk staff member this fall. After doing a peak climb with a couple of soon-to-be 100 Elk staff, Jay said “Their passion, genuine love and support for camp struck a chord with me. I knew that they were part of a team I wanted to be on. I went home the day after our peak, bought a plane ticket and was able to resign from my [job at home] that following Sunday. I started working [at 100 Elk] the next day and I'm so grateful to be here now, I don't know if I ever want to leave.” We’re grateful to have you here, Jay!

Family & Friends Getaway also made it possible for more kids to attend our Youth Adventure Day Camp this summer, giving parents the flexibility to work remotely or adventure on their own while their children were in camp for the day. While this format had less structure than our traditional Family Camp program, participants commented on still feeling a real sense of community. Due to state regulations, we could only use cabins at half capacity and did most of our activities outside by family group. However, there were still moments shared around a campfire, canoeing in the lake, eating lunch outside, and playing socially distanced games together. One family that joined us this summer was the Clifford family - Christine, John and their sons Jay and Grant. Christine was able to teach her Sunday School class virtually from her cabin porch and Grant joined his DiscoveryBound National Leadership Council calls in between rock climbing with his brother. Jay shared, “When I came to Family & Friends Getaway, I had ambitious plans to do all the

This summer has made us grateful for the simple things. Family & Friends Getaway allowed us to connect with other people again, even being six feet away. It also showed different ways to use the A/U Ranches and explore more flexible options in the future. We hope to see you and your family/friends up at the A/U Ranches soon!





Now unscramble the circled letters and print your answer below!

answers on back cover

Pu on ll o ne u t p xt o p a s te ge r !



Mountain Memo

A/U Ranches Mini Camp In a summer that required the A/U Ranches staff to rethink, restructure and sometimes even cancel programs, we decided to run Adult Mini Camp in a modified format, and it was a blessing for all! Participants knew that it would be different, from cabin assignments to how everyone interacted with each other,

and yet the response was “we still want to come!” Knowing that God is the only power, and listening for his direction, we moved forward with the program and were not disappointed. While we followed CDC mandates, the love that was given and felt by each participant was unaffected and everyone only felt joy, brotherhood and principle. The participants that came were a wonderful group, and as one said, “Camp lets me be a kid again. I enjoy the atmosphere of love, protection and support.” All the activities went smoothly with participants enjoying riding horses, a peak climb, hiking, canoeing, swimming, mountain biking, cycling, pickleball and evening activities including a concert with a well known cowgirl singer, Carin Marie, and a testimony meeting in the outdoor chapel. After lots of prayer and direction from God, we made the decision to postpone the Mountaineering Reunion, scheduled as part of Mini Camp, until 2021. We hope you can join us for the reunion and/or Mini Camp next year!

Program Shift Supports Our Local Community This fall, 100 Elk programming adapted from the regular 2– to 5–day overnight trips to a whole new style. To support the local community, we ran a six week day program for kindergarten – 6th grade students from the Lake County School District based in Leadville, CO. The school brought about 120 students per day, broken into 14 cohorts, with everyone following strict health protocols to ensure their safety. The students and staff spent 99% of their day outside doing activities and academic packets provided by the school’s teachers. The days were full of adventure, personal growth, and scholastic success. Becca Katz, Community Learning Director for Lake County School District and Get Outdoors Leadville, said: At a time when so much focus is on managing students’ physical safety... we have leveraged outdoor spaces and experiences to prioritize a different type of safety – social-emotional safety. Through this program, students are able to just be kids. They’re hugging trees, zip-lining through the forest, climbing rocks, working together on team building initiatives, and just running around outside with giant grins. ...we’ve achieved unconventional learning and a degree of unfettered fun at a time when it’s so important and hard to come by.

The program was contracted for four weeks, but because of the success that the students and school felt, they extended the program for an additional two weeks. Throughout the fall 100 Elk also offered other adapted programming like joining virtual classrooms and “100 Elk to You” for schools who would have attended 100 Elk in person. The program allowed staff to travel to the schools and lead some of our core activities like team building, archery and low ropes course elements. These new programs were a fun change-up that kept everyone on their toes. The success of the programs shows that 100 Elk can adapt to the needs of times while supporting students to “Reveal the possibilities within” in many new ways!

Fall 2020


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. Timon Keller - Forestry Program Head

Kiersten Sheehan - Round-Up Ranch Polocrosse Program Head

Timon brought excellent leadership skills and purpose, not only to the Forestry crew, but to the whole A/U Ranches community. His vision and execution of what it means to be a program head inspired others to push themselves to become better people and workers. His practice of Christian Science paved the way for inclusion, Love and compassion in all aspects of life. It is a genuine love for a better understanding of Life, a clearer vision of Love, and a more robust sense of Soul that makes Timon, Timon. This fall he is working for 100 Elk, supporting the Leadville school program. Afterwards, he will be pursuing a career in environmental management.

Originally hired as the Polocrosse program head, Kiersten became the Sky Valley Corral program head when we changed to a day camp model, a role which was not top of her list. Never complaining, she tackled the position, managing campers, staff and horses in a new corral model. Not only did Kiersten do it well, but she did it with grace, confidence and the desire to learn from the experience, listening to feedback and wanting to do better. She achieved her goals with Christian Science at the forefront, and charged ahead. Kiersten is currently supporting 100 Elk’s fall programming for her sixth season. Then she is going back to Breckenridge Ski Resort to work for Ski Patrol’s Mountain Safety team.

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. Kelvin Elrick - Round-Up Mountain Biking & Kayaking Staff

Becca Bailey - Sky Valley Waterfront Program Head

Kelvin consistently puts the learning of others before himself. He thrives on sharing skills with other people and seeing them learn something new. If you asked Kelvin to do something, he is grateful for the opportunity to help out. And if you don’t ask Kelvin for help, he usually asks how he can help anyway. Despite how busy all of us were, Kelvin always seemed to have time to help others. Kelvin is currently living at the A/U Ranches while working for a local construction company and helping build the new Hub one day a week.

Becca is joyful in all she does. She led waterfront staff through a challenging training school and again with the pivot to a day camp model. She repeatedly supported her peers, whether that was listening when they needed a friend, volunteering to drive to Leadville every day for a week, or hiking a 14er when a second counselor was needed. She is back at her alma mater, Principia College, as a Theatre and Dance teaching intern, assistant teaching a beginning acting class and helping direct one of the fall productions.

2021 Here We Come! Enrollment is NOW OPEN for Youth Camp 2021! We are planning to return to our usual schedule for camp next summer with a few updates. First session will again be Camp United (all ages at Sky Valley) with both two and one week options. Second session will be two weeks as usual. And third session will also have two and one week options, plus the opportunity for 8th graders to move to Round-Up if interested. We will also be running a Day Camp option simultaneously during third session. Priority Enrollment ends November 15. Sign up now to get the best deal, secure your spot for Youth Camp next summer, and get an A/U Ranches long sleeve athletic shirt! If for some reason we have to run camp at a limited capacity, priority will be given to those who have signed up first. It’s only a $100 deposit to secure your spot now – email us at auinfo@adventureunlimited.org with any questions.

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

Mountaineering Reunion August 22–28, 2021 AURanches.org/mountaineering-reunion

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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.


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20 The A/U Ranches Mountain Memo – Fall  

20 The A/U Ranches Mountain Memo – Fall