By Jessyka Dooley — Ward, Colorado . . . While the ongoing pandemic has cancelled or closed most of the summer camps around the world, GVR remains open with a limited staff.

In May, a month when we would be planning, organizing, and making final plans for summer camp, the Youth department was instead busy calling the families who had pre-registered for summer camp, informing them that the pandemic had claimed another victim of normal life–GVR.

“When I got the message that summer camp was not going to operate, I was incredibly disappointed,” Nina Madrigal, GVR camp programming director commented. “I love ministry (especially summer camp ministry), so thinking about not being able to be involved this year was extremely sad.”

As the month of May drew on, the thought of GVR remaining empty like our schools over the past three months, was overwhelming.  The Youth department began to look for possible funding to find a way to hire some of our summer staff.

Thanks to Mid-America Union funding, we were able to hire 16 summer camp staff and two volunteers for a 6-week experience. With funding secured, we worked with the RMC Treasury department to secure additional funding for various projects around camp.

This became a blessing for the limited staff. “God works all things for good. (My) hope for this summer is to grow together and be able to make next summer the best summer ever,” Madrigal stated.

The staff is missing the energy our campers bring to GVR and the sounds of laughter, team-building activities, and worship around the firepit. However, we are still making a difference for future campers. Our staff is currently working on many projects, including camp store renovations, advancing our programming development, building a new bike pump track, additional activities, and many other improvements to GVR!

The GVR staff knows how hard it is on the youth of RMC to miss summer camp.  We are working on bringing summer camp to RMC churches this summer with pre-recorded skits, activities, and children’s stories. If you would be interested in receiving this material please email [email protected]. We want to engage our youth and young adults during the pandemic.

We are also working closely under state and county regulations as well as with our child care licensing specialist to plan day horseback rides. We are also taking reservations for Group, Tent and RV camping, and day hiking. For rates and reservations, please contact the GVR office at 303-459-0771.

GVR and Mills Spring Ranch are a vital piece in the growth and development of our youth.  We can’t exist without gracious donors and supporters. Consider helping us with the RMC Summer Camp Development for 2020. To donate, please visit our website!

It is incredible to see God moving at Glacier View Ranch and Mills Spring Ranch this summer. Dreams are becoming reality and the camps you saw in 2019 will be bringing fresh new energy in 2021, thanks to the generosity, love, and prayers from our RMC constituents.

Jessyka Dooley is RMC associate youth director for ministry and GVR Summer Camp director; photos supplied.