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Mountain Memo

Camp's Growth and Inspiration Uninhibited As we approached this past summer, we weren’t looking for a “return to normal” – we were looking for a return to growth. We knew the summer wasn’t actually going to be “normal.” Instead we came up with creative ways to provide a quality camp experience within some new requirements that sometimes felt like limitations. We embraced the changes we were facing with a focus on what this summer allowed us to do that we hadn’t tried before. With programs living together in cabins, we ran single-gender mountain programs. There was something empowering in sending a group of 15 girls in the Bobcats program on a three-day trip to peak Mount Huron together. We also sent ten boys in the Moose program on a seven-

• What’s Inside • 2 3 3 4

Note from the Ranch Director Camp for All Abilities Word Builder Game Pullout Camp Poster

6 A/U Ranches Mini Camp 6 100 Elk Supports Local Community 7 Staff Leadership Awards 7 Come Home for Christmas

day backpacking trip. With all of the corral campers and staff living together in cabins, we were able to restructure the morning schedule so campers could join the corral staff for saddling their horses at 7:30 am instead of 5:30 am. Everyone embraced the change, allowing the campers and staff to come together in new ways to care for and prepare their horses for the day. We also changed the schedule, accommodating meal service by groups and moving evening flag retreat and gratitude after dinner to lead into evening programs. We liked the added flexibility before dinner and the transition from gratitude to evening activities as one group. While the changes in the schedule and organization made camp interesting in new ways, it’s the return of growth in campers that was most important. The past year was challenging for kids and many of them weren’t able to make it to camp in 2020 for their yearly spiritual recharge. “I don't quite know how to put into words what a blessing the A/U Ranches was for Grayson this last summer,” shared Amy Heineman about her son’s experience. “After spending the year in his room on screens all day, it was a welcome relief. It was a challenging year in many ways for him and there was no (continued on page 2)


Mountain Memo

Witnessing God’s Provision A Note from Alison Peticolas, Ranch Director As I prepared for camp and worked with our metaphysical theme, “Love is impartial and universal in its adaptations and bestowals. It is the open fount which cries, ‘Ho, everyone that thirsteth, come ye to the waters.’” (Science & Health 13:2), my prayer included cherishing the promise that each camper, guest and staff member coming to the A/U Ranches would experience exactly what they needed. Love would meet each person’s needs uniquely, specifically and completely. Not only did we see this demonstration for individuals, we also experienced God’s provision for camp as a whole. Our experience with a positive COVID case at camp 2nd session showed us God’s Love and provision in so many ways. The staff member experienced a quick and complete healing of their symptoms and was inspired and uplifted during their isolation. When we needed to put a group into quarantine, we had the space and resources for those campers and staff to experience a full, while unique, camp session. They also experienced a beautiful healing, sharing that they found freedom from fear of COVID during a special testimony meeting with just their group. With the group in quarantine, we had additional needs across camp. We were blessed to have some camp alums support programs. The kitchen provided delicious to-go food, the counselors continued to serve their campers selflessly and we had an incredible group of Bunkhouse Parents who stepped up and worked well beyond their normal roles to meet additional needs. Most importantly, we saw so many healings throughout the session. We had a tremendous team of CS practitioners and nurses who supported healing after healing for staff and campers who experienced a variety of symptoms. Because of the specter of COVID this year, the demand was to see quick and complete healing for each individual before they returned to their programs, not just an improvement in symptoms. That was God’s greatest provision for camp – freedom and dominion expressed.


better place for him to be last summer. The comment he made that really stuck out to me was, ‘I feel like I am my best self when I am with my friends from camp.’ We have been working on taking that atmosphere to school. He is a leader in the band and has an opportunity to use what he learned at camp to bless others. I cannot adequately express my gratitude for all the work that goes into keeping the camps running.” Grayson has already asked about applying to be a staff member for next summer. We also moved forward with improvements that allowed us to expand and improve summer programming. Two new sleeping tents and additional bath facilities at the yurt campus allowed us to host both DiscoveryBound National Leadership Council (NLC) classes for their Orientation Summer Experience. Two classes of twenty students, two class leaders and two staff members each stayed at the yurts for their 13-day program, with trips to the Lost Wonder Hut, rafting and river tubing, peak climbs and day hikes off-property, plus visits to the ropes course, gaga pit and time in the lakes and pool on property. Living at the yurts provided a stronger group focus and bonding, as well as more freedom and autonomy. During First Session, while Camp United (youth camp for 2nd–12th grade) was running at Sky Valley and the NLC classes were running at the yurts, we were able to run two one-week sessions of Family Camp at RoundUp. Both sessions were filled with new and returning families and expanded the opportunities for families to experience camp, including staying for both Family Camp sessions while their kids attended Camp United. We’re looking forward to taking all the successes and challenges of this summer and making camp even better in the future, blazing a trail for more growth and inspiration!

Fall 2021


Camp for All Abilities We love camp because everyone sees us as we truly are – perfect children of God. This feeling resonates more with participants with developmental/ special needs as they are sometimes treated differently in the rest of the world. Over the years, we’ve worked with many of these young adults to continue being a part of camp and find meaningful work, but this year we tried something bigger. This summer, we piloted a new program with the Rainbow Valley Resource Network (RVRN) to provide job coaching for young adults who were interested in coming to support lodge work, particularly in the kitchen. RVRN found coaches, produced a staff manual, created detailed visual resources for the trainees and collaborated with parents and caregivers. And camp provided the dishes! The RVRN group was not just






supplementary help for another crew. They WERE the lodge crew for two weeks! The small but mighty crew consisted of Claudia Lipsey, Jeffrey Linehan and Austin Morehardt with leadership from Rebecca Creighton (RVRN) as well as huge support from Sara Greene, Alex Husen and Steve Holser (Lodge Manager). Camp would not have run without this crew’s meaningful and diligent work in the dish room. When they weren’t scrubbing, sweeping, or mopping, they hiked around camp, debriefed their performance and discussed takeaways for future jobs. They even finished one evening’s chores in record time and watched the local 4th of July fireworks together. The RVRN job-coaching program is a shared blessing for both camp and the participants. We’re so grateful for the hard work this group gave to camp this summer and look forward to building on what we learned to make the program even better next year! Learn more about the Rainbow Valley Resource Network at

Build as many 4-letter or longer words as you can from the available letters. We made 20+ words related to the A/U Ranches! How many can you build? Use a separate piece of paper if needed.

Round-Up Lake photo by Matthew Leon


Mountain Memo

Adult Mini Camp – A Favorite Adventure Adult Mini Camp continues to be a favorite program, with a record number of participants this year. It was the perfect blend of first-time participants and those who have come multiple times (or every year!). Two first-time attendees and a 10-year participant share their experiences. There is nothing "mini" about Adult Mini Camp: 1,100 acres of property to explore, 14,000 foot peak climbs, cycling mountain passes, horseback riding and much more! As a “10 timer” this year, the already special place became even more special as we all came together and pushed ourselves in activities, sang campfire songs, expressed our gratitude,

watched a concert, experienced church in the breathtaking setting and played bridge with newmade friends. But the best part of Mini Camp was the feeling of peace, harmony, cooperation and love, which was so needed and appreciated this year. If I could describe it further I would, but I'll just say it's wonderful!

Adult Mini Camp was the adventure we were looking for, and more! It was the perfect getaway for two sisters. The accommodations, the staff, the food, THE VIEWS and the atmosphere were all heavenly. There were so many activities that each day was new, fun and different. We pushed ourselves, enjoying the thrill of reaching the top of the climbing wall. There were moments of stillness too, sitting on a horse in the middle of

a meadow surrounded by mountain peaks. We made new friends and developed new interests. Staff happily accommodated any request, even guiding one of us on a mountain hike. Gratitude and God’s love and presence infused the entire week. As first time guests, our experience was much more than we imagined, and we can’t wait until next summer!

– Daniel Powell

– Sarah Hushcroft & Jennifer Kuntz

100 Elk Outreach Blesses All This summer, 100 Elk Outdoor Center worked with three new programs. We continued to work with Get Outdoors Leadville!, teaching four days of canoeing at Turquoise Lake for Rockies Rock Day Camp out of Lake County. And we also ran two new programs at the yurt campus on property; a post-graduate leadership program and a summer camp program for Ignacio Youth Services (IYS). While all of the programs were fun, the 100 Elk staff particularly loved working with IYS. The 34 high schoolage participants came from Ignacio, Colorado, which is the headquarters of the Southern Ute Indian Reservation. Their mission, that “All youth realize their full potential,” was such a great fit with 100 Elk’s mission, “Revealing the possibilities within.” The IYS participants and staff got to share insights with 100 Elk about the cultural significance of the Rocky Mountains to their tribe, as well as engaging in meaningful conversation about wilderness stewardship. Witnessing the participants' commitment to growth and overcoming obstacles while participating in the 100 Elk activities was inspiring. Many of the 100 Elk staff loved

working with the participants so much that they chose to continue to show up to their activities to support even on their time off. Continuing active outreach and engagement with new communities is not only thrilling but a truly important part of 100 Elk’s work. We’re not only helping participants “reveal the possibilities within,” but we are constantly revealing new possibilities within the 100 Elk program itself.

Fall 2021


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. John Morin – Round-Up Mountain Program Head

Lindsey Huffman – Round-Up Mountain Program Head

John epitomizes the qualities of a model counselor. He brings intention to every aspect of camp life and his attitude is unrelentingly optimistic and contagious to all those around him. John truly believes in everyone and inspires them to rise to his high example. He set goals for his campers to achieve throughout the session. And rather than focusing on the activities and figuring out how to tie in personal development, John prioritized character development and used the activities to make that happen. He held his campers and fellow staff to a high standard of perfection and they rose to it.

Lindsey loves God and Christian Science, and she combines that love with a passion for camp. She turns to God as her first resource when problem-solving and making decisions. As a result, Lindsay provides campers with incredible growth opportunities, like supporting the "Mountain Lion" women campers when they decided to peak and go up and over the ridge of Mt. Missouri with full packs during a new 3-day backpacking trip. Lindsey helps her campers and fellow staff connect with the Bible and Science & Health to find inspiration to support them each step of their journeys.

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. Karl Garrett – Sky Valley Corral Co-Program Head

Cassidy Proctor – Sky Valley Corral Co-Program Head

Karl took trips into sections of backcountry where trips had not recently gone, reinstating the high standard for backcountry horse pack-trips. He kept his campers engaged with the program throughout a quarantine period, got up early and worked late to care for the horses, volunteered for evening programs and always supported all aspects of camp. He stepped into the CoProgram Head role late in the game and went above and beyond the job’s requirements. Karl always looked for ways to do things better, set the bar higher and engaged with staff and campers alike, bringing a sense of community to camp.

Cassidy has shown a willingness to serve camp from the moment she interviewed. Every step of the way she has helped camp, campers and staff excel, not just serving camp but making it better. Cassidy didn’t know how much she was going to be challenged this summer. She started as Buckaroo Program Head, became CoProgram Head of the Sky Valley Corral, then got a different partner. When staff needed to be isolated, she lost staff as well as her co-program head. Despite many changes and challenges, she never gave up. In everything she did, Cassidy started from a metaphysical basis.

Come Home for Christmas Come home to Colorado for a Christmas to remember. Whether you bring your family or join ours, there is nothing like a Christmas at the A/U Ranches. You'll enjoy a multitude of winter activities and plenty of ways to celebrate the Christ. Take part in ice skating, horseback riding, sledding, snowshoeing, cross country skiing and more. There are even daily excursions to several of Colorado’s favorite ski resorts for epic downhill skiing and snowboarding.

with arts and crafts. Maybe you would like to spend the afternoon soaking in the area's famous natural hot springs. You can even join the kids as they search the forest for the perfect Christmas tree and help decorate it! In the evenings, lift your voice at hymn sings and caroling or play games with family and friends in the lodge. And you don’t want to miss decorating, and eating, Christmas cookies or competing in the gingerbread house competition. Best of all, our talented chefs expertly handle all the cooking.

Looking for a different way to attend Christmas Camp? Being on staff is a special way to give of yourself while also having time to participate as a guest. Either way, don’t miss your opportunity to celebrate with us at Christmas Camp – sign Looking for something less vigorous? Join the practitioner and up today! other guests for an in-depth exploration of the weekly Bible Financial aid is now available for this program! Learn more Lesson. Or curl up by the fire with a good book, chat with a friend, enjoy a cup of hot cider or let your creative side flourish and sign up at

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

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Enjoy All of Our Programs!

Mountaineering Reunion August 22–28, 2022 888.543.4849 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.