2022 Fall Mountain Memo Newsletter

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A /U RANCHES NEWS – FALL 2022

Mountain Memo

The Legacy of Camp Each year of summer camp is unique and special while building upon the legacy of the years that have come before, and 2022 was no different. We have been grateful for a gradual return to our normal camp atmosphere and activities after two summers of change and adjusting to COVID mandates. We were back in age-based cabins and enjoying the liberty of free choice activities, making friends across programs and spending all-camp time together at the lake, on the lawns and on the fields. While we are grateful for a return to normal activities, the legacy of camp has never been in the day-to-day activities; those have changed many times, from when Cap and Marianne first started Sky Valley Ranch through to the present. Camp’s true legacy is the focus on getting to know

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Note from the Ranch Director Meet Our New Ranch Co-Directors Peace & Power on the Overnight Word Game Pullout Camp Poster

6 Mountaineering Reunion 6 New 100 Elk Director 7 Staff Leadership Awards 7 New Hub Dedicated

God better and learning to turn to Him in prayer. Every year, we see healing when we turn to God in our activities. We challenge ideas of uncertainty, discomfort and fear and experience freedom, dominion and joy on overnight trips, in our cabins and all around camp. That’s the best part of camp – Opening Windows to God. This legacy, grounded in the active practice and study of Christian Science at camp, allows camp to be camp year after year, even as campers and staff grow through their camp experience and are succeeded by the next generation. This legacy drove camp this summer and provides the foundation we build on now as we prepare to transition two leadership roles. After many summers serving camp, Ranch Director Alison Peticolas and Round-Up Camp Director Chandler Morehardt are moving to new adventures. We are grateful for their years of leadership, their dedication to the A/U Ranches and for their skill and love in shepherding campers and camp’s legacy over the years. We are excited to welcome Aaron and K.C. Morris as our new Ranch Co-directors and Summer Wright as our new Round-Up Camp Director. They are full of enthusiasm, fresh ideas and inspiration, and eager to join with you in writing the next chapter of the A/U Ranches’ legacy. Get to know the new directors on page 2!


Mountain Memo

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Gratitude and Grace to Go Forward A Note from Alison Peticolas, Ranch Director The summer after 8th grade, my family moved from New Jersey to Ohio. I thought my life was over. Upon arriving in Columbus, I joined an active A/U Chapter group and came to the A/U Ranches for the first time the following summer. I was hooked! I remember tearfully pleading to my parents from the phone in the Valerie closet – I HAD to stay another session. That move to Ohio was the first step in a lifetime at camp. After 19 years of full-time work and 39 years (and counting) of participating in Adventure Unlimited programs, my life has been enriched beyond measure. As I reflect on the many, many lessons I’ve learned and ways I’ve grown, two things stand out as bedrock to my experience, particularly from my years as Ranch Director. First, I learned to hold tightly to the spiritual Truth in each situation. This lesson came most clearly in the many years of hiring staff as I learned the importance of cherishing the spiritual qualities of camp and counselors without getting tied up in who would be doing what. I learned to trust God’s qualities would be expressed with infinite individuality each year as returning and new staff stepped into their roles. Second, I learned how to trust God at a new level. Camp put me in the position to turn to God constantly for answers to situations I could not solve by myself, from staffing to enrollment, interpersonal challenges to physical healings, and most often, listening to what the next right step to take was. As I move on to new adventures, I take from my years at camp the confidence in God’s promise, “Certainly I will be with you.” My cup is overflowing with gratitude for the opportunity to have been a part of Cap and Marianne’s vision of Opening Windows to God and am happy I’m not going very far.

Alison

Meet the New Directors! AARON & K.C. MORRIS | RANCH CO-DIRECTORS When we left the A/U Ranches a little over a decade ago, we expected that our continued connection to camp, where we started our marriage when Aaron was K.C. (left) with Aaron (right) and their children the Round-Up camp director, would involve dropping off our future children for their summer adventures. As we now rejoin the A/U Ranches community, this time as Ranch Co-directors with those “future children” (James, 4 years old, and Henry, 19 months old) in tow, we are grateful that God had other plans. The time we’ve been away from the A/U Ranches has included Aaron’s work in the wildlife research field (wrangling wolves and ice seals, among other things) and K.C.’s elementary teaching and instructional coaching career (wrangling third graders, among other things). We are returning to camp eager to engage in moving the good forward, first and foremost through dedication to the practical application of Christian Science to meet every need. We look forward to connecting with the expansive A/U Ranches family in the coming months and years. See you at camp!

SUMMER WRIGHT | ROUND-UP CAMP DIRECTOR Working at the A/U Ranches became a dream of mine while serving as a DiscoveryBound NLC class leader back in 2010. When that journey ended in 2014 my first thought was, “Let’s do that again!” Though it wasn’t the time to take on another NLC class, Summer (yellow shirt) with his family the dream of serving Adventure Unlimited never left. It came with me over the last eight years as I attempted to scale the summit of Christ-centered servant-leadership through my work with students at Asher Student Foundation and The Principia School. That dream has now become reality and I’m delighted to be the new Round-Up camp director! I look forward to bringing a sense of spiritual joy, freedom and integrity to my work with the campers and staff. Onward and upward!


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Peace & Power on the Overnight BY BECKY CARTER, BUNKHOUSE PARENT Wake up, cabin cleaning, flag...those were all usual, even as campers left for their 3-day adventures. The Bunkhouse Parents gathered and headed out for a hike to Kroenke Lake. After a couple of missed turns, we arrived at the trailhead, and I was reminded that at camp no one minds the wrong turns as the scenery is so beautiful. This is when the day became interesting and Love took action.

When we got out of our car, two horses came toward us. Though fully bridled and saddled, neither had riders. We soon had their lead ropes in hand and walked them up the trail where they had come from, assuming we would find their owners and do a good deed for the day. Along came Karl, one of the Corral program heads. Minutes earlier, a dog had spooked the herd and the pack horses broke free. I realized that we were the representation of God’s calm presence on-scene for the unfoldment of progress.

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About a mile up the trail we met the patrol. Everyone was present and accounted for, including the horses. Several campers were upset, and one counselor was angry at the dog’s owners. Motherly Love, water, snacks and the Bible Lesson were immediately poured forth – the Bunkhouse Parents knew how to meet the need! We helped gather gear while metaphysically supporting the group’s path from scared, to content, to happy. We replaced the anger with stories of heroics and peace, reminding everyone that the love, strength and power they had claimed earlier in the day was still theirs. When we left, the kids were ready to ride! Everyone was fed and watered. The anger had subsided, and the dog and owner were forgiven. In a Wilderness First Aid class the instructor stressed the conflict between human first aid and reaching the peak of the mountain. He had meant it in a literal sense, but I always appreciated his firm assertion from a spiritual perspective: don’t let human needs stand in the way of the Horeb Height. Looking around at those cherished individuals and horses, I knew that the bumps along the human road could not impede the group during their trip. Spiritual upliftment came in the middle of the human challenge; in many ways, greater spiritual upliftment was obtained perhaps because of the human challenge – more forgiveness, more love, more understanding.

SYMBOL-ISM Put on your thinking caps and get ready to crack this “symbolic” puzzle! It’s a cryptogram that uses symbols instead of letters. The same letter will appear as the same symbol throughout.



Hiking towards Mt. Huron | PC: Fiona Holden


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Mountain Memo

Mountaineering Reunion Recap BY HOLLY VALENTINE, NATIONAL ALUMNI BOARD After two patient years spent waiting and planning, this summer’s Mountaineering Reunion was a wonderful success, hosted as part of Adult Mini Camp and significantly supported by the National Alumni Board (NAB). Our week was full of activities geared to meet every need, including hikes to Harvard Lakes and Columbia Basin, climbing Sleeping Indian across the valley and the essential peak climb to the top of Mt. Elbert. We spent time on belay at the ropes course and Turtle Rocks. Everyone reminisced about their time in the mountaineering programs during our Happy Memories Hour, and Sky Valley Camp Co-director Matthew Terres, a former mountain staffer, updated us on the mountaineering standards and regulations of today – so different from the procedures of decades past. We also invited two A/U Ranches alumnae to share about their mountain-based pursuits. Annie Hughes, a Hokasponsored ultra-marathoner, came to our campfire to chat with her dad, Doug Moser, as they discussed how Family Camp sparked her love for the Colorado mountains and her current passion for long-distance running in the same mountains. Jess Lewis, a professional mountain and rock

climbing guide, shared stories from her time climbing big walls, her experiences in Antarctica and how the “Power of Presence” was with her, helped her and guided her throughout her adventures. Meeting new alumni is a huge part of being on the NAB, and I loved hearing the stories of mountaineers before me, from camping overnight on a peak and lighting signal fires to one another, to having dozens of campers on a hiking trip and all going up the same mountain! The Mountaineering Alumni Reunion was an amazing opportunity to connect with staff and campers from throughout the years and elevate our spirituality. I can’t wait for the next reunion!

Watch the slideshow: bit.ly/mtnslideshow

Get to Know the New 100 Elk Director Hello! I’m Brett Grimmer, and I am so grateful to be joining the 100 Elk team as the new director! My wife BK and I love Colorado, especially the Rocky Mountains. Two of our daughters spent their summers in Buena Vista as campers, seasonal staff and DB National Leadership Council (NLC) teens. Originally from California, my work experience includes retail management and more than 15 years as an entrepreneur and small business owner. Owning my own business allowed me the time and flexibility to coach youth soccer, basketball and baseball, as well as two Special Olympics teams. From 2014 to 2021 I served Principia College in the Student Life and Admissions departments, supervising and mentoring student workforces, the leadership certificate program and more. This spring, I was invited to be a facilitator at Principia School Challenge Course, which included low and high ropes course instruction and ignited a passion for outdoor education.

It is a blessing to work with this great staff committed to helping young people overcome obstacles through “challenge by choice,” helping them to grow beyond their expectations. I have loved facilitating the debrief discussion on the final night of schools’ visits, hearing students share gratitude for friends they’ve made, challenges overcome and experiences enjoyed with our staff – confirmation that we are “Revealing the Possibilities Within!” I’m reminded of Hymn 146: “In God I find a precious gift that knows no fear, no feud, that glows so still, serene and pure: the gift of gratitude.” (Christian Science Hymnal, No. 146:1) Moving forward, 100 Elk is pursuing opportunities to expand our impact within the local community through summer day camp, fall and spring programs and more. Be sure to check out our social media ahead of Colorado Gives Day, December 6 – we’re excited to share all we’re doing with you.


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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. Caitlin Babcock – Sky Valley Explorer Program Head

Zach Proctor – Round-Up Rafting / Kayaking Staff

In her many years at camp everything Caitlin has done came from a spiritual basis. This year, although she applied for one position, she was offered a different job that opened up unexpectedly and felt like a perfect fit. She led a new-to-her program, and did so incredibly, finding new ways to engage and entertain campers. She often shared at staff inspiration and morning flag, and always took a turn as Practitioner of the Evening and Morning (POEM), leading some wonderful staff inspirationals.

In program, Zach’s calm confidence is contagious to everyone around him. He expresses childlike excitement when those around him succeed, gently encouraging them to push themselves safely. In cabin, Zach holds campers to a high moral standard, even when they make mistakes. He truly cares about his campers’ actions and wants to hold them accountable, helping them grow and be better. If a spiritual synonym were assigned to Zach, it would be Soul. He owns who he is and all the quirkiness that comes with that. He makes everyone around him feel okay to be themselves, too.

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. Matthew Rice – Sky Valley Mountaineers Program Head

Ali Mashburn – Round-Up Photographer

Each and every moment of camp for Matthew centers around creating the best possible experience for kids and staff alike. He constantly seeks out the needs of camp, never shying away from being radically candid through feedback, and has a deep sense of care for the kids of Sky Valley. He has so much passion for camper growth and learning experiences at camp. He even made his campers a going away gift – a book with a collection of memories from the session, outlining every highlight, experience and story in detail.

Ali has brought so much light, laughter and love to the A/U Ranches over her years of service. Whether peaking mountains or following rafts down the river, she’s always been committed to photographing each camper and staff with intention and care. Ali embodies grace and gratitude and is always eager to make deeper connections with campers and her fellow staff. She provides support beyond what is asked, consistently volunteering to cover short-staffed groups and jumping into activities as a leader. Ali uplifts, inspires and cherishes all those she meets, and she’ll always be sure to get your good side!

New Hub Dedicated Donors, staff, trustees and friends of the A/U Ranches gathered to dedicate the long-awaited new Hub! Special features include a spacious lobby and living room that convert to an event space, offices for year-round staff, a kitchen, conference room and panoramic views of the valley. There’s even a patio spilling out onto Sky Valley Lawn and the front walkway is paved with your donations of commemorative bricks throughout the years. We can’t wait to meet you at the door of the new Hub when we welcome you to camp next year. Thank you to all the generous donors who made the building possible.


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

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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.

PAGE 3 ANSWER: GOD IS LOVE (JOHN 4:16); WORLD MORE BRIGHT (MISCELLANEOUS WRITINGS 397:4); LOVE IS THE LIBERATOR (S&H 225:21)

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