Glacier View Begins Summer Camp Season 2015 »
Summer has finally begun in Colorado. That also means the beginning of one of youth ministries’ most powerful tool: summer camps. When visiting Glacier View Ranch adjacent to the Rocky Mountain National Forest this week, fifty five cub campers could be seen rushing to their next activity. Young laughter echoed as kids splashed around in the pool. A stream of boys tromped over to the lake intent on canoeing better than anyone ever has before.
“My favorite part is the horses,” exclaimed seven-year-old camper, Callie. “They’re so big and beautiful.” Sophia, a fellow camp mate, nodded emphatically in agreement. Another girl, Leila, loved the nature aspect of camp. “But I don’t like going in the lake. There are leeches in there!”
These are just a few of the responses from Cub I, the first full week of camp GVR has. The order of upcoming camp weeks is as follows: Cub II, Junior, Family, Tween, Teen Outpost and finally Teen. Junior and Teen Outpost are already full and have a waitlist option available. Following Glacier View’s final week, the Mills Spring Ranch in Wyoming has its summer camp week, for ages 9-17.
Glacier View is refusing to be complacent in regards to their camper experience. With every staff hire and every decision made, the camp’s goal is never forgotten. It seems that just to be on the property is to change. “I crave to create a slower pace of life, a chance to just breath deep,” says Rocky Mountain Conference youth leader, Steve Hamilton. “At Glacier View, we try to build relationships through nature.” Environment and experience are everything. Camp is an opportunity to have fun on a mountain, sure. More than that however, it is a chance to just slow down and connect on a spiritual level. That’s where the staff comes in.
The leadership at GVR is adamant about the importance of a dedicated team. “Staff is 100 percent priority,” confirms Jim Hughes, director of camp. “Staff mentorship and its part in revealing Christ are huge. Team is super important.” All employees of camp face challenges they didn’t expect. They all tackle tasks they never thought they would. What’s impressive about the people up at camp is their willingness to do. Their attitudes set the environment and shape the culture on the mountain, which in turn influences how the campers and visitors will be impacted.
Family camp is one of the most valuable weeks of camp, but not in the way you might think. The week is essentially a vacation, an all-inclusive affordable escape that’s also spiritually enriching. This year, GVR has also invited JJ Heller, a popular Christian musician, to do a concert up on the mountain. Steve Hamilton once entertained the idea of calculating the actual cost of this camp, factoring in horse back riding, mountain biking, ropes course, childcare, a concert, food and lodging for an entire week.
It was a momentary thought because at the end of the day, family camp’s value isn’t in the bottom dollar, he said. Instead it lies in the moments and memories of a week of family, fun and spiritual experience together. A week at camp gives a whole new meaning to asking one another, “what do we want to do as a family today?” [Katie Morrison; photo credit: Glacier View Ranch]