Tag Archives: Silver Cliff Ranch

Thursday-Horseback Riding, Scooby Doo!, and Closing Campfire

Hi! While I have the chance, I thought I would go ahead and blog about what we’re doing at camp today. We began our day with some delectable oatmeal breakfast, and then headed out for some horseback riding! Every camper filled up their water bottle, slathered on some sunscreen, and then we all headed to the stables to get our mounts and ride! Campers enjoyed watching the very cute stable kittens play while they waited for their horses, and then hopped on and hit the trail. Every camper got fitted for a helmet to wear while riding, and put their water bottle in a sling hanging from the saddlehorn–as one camper pointed out to me, it’s perfect, because you get to both ride AND drink water!

After horseback riding, we’ll head back to camp for some divine lunch and a nice calm rest hour. Campers will have the chance to read, rest, relax, and talk quietly with their cabin-mates if they wish. After rest hour, we’ll all meet out on the Commons, where Program Director Jen will lead us in a giant game of Scooby Doo! There is a ghost at camp, and all of the campers are the detectives. Working together, they must find and assemble the clues to the mystery–who is the ghost, and what is he/she searching for?? Once the campers get the ghost what he/she is missing, they will have successfully cooperated to win the game!

After Scooby Doo!, we’ll head to the pool for a quick swim, and then will head to the camp gym and game room for some free play–campers will get to make one last GORP order, and will have a chance to start one final lanyard, piece of jewelry, or hemp bracelet. They will also play those final games of basketball, soccer, foose-ball, air hockey, pool, and ping-pong! After our free play, we’ll all wash our hands and head to Grizzly Jack (the camp dining hall) for our final dinner as a camp. I’m sure it will be absolutely delicious! After dinner, campers will have a chance to change into warm clothes, and then we’ll head down to the fire ring to roast some marshmallows for s’mores. After making s’mores, we’ll end our last night of camp with closing campfire–campers will have a chance to acknowledge the friends they have made, the new activities they have tried, and the ways in which camp has been a special and meaningful place for them. We’ll close with some quieter evening songs, including “All My Life’s a Circle” and “Taps,” and then will head back to our cabins to brush our teeth, shower, and have our closing cabin candlelight ceremonies. After the cabin candlelight ceremony, campers will head to bed for one last night of restful sleep, surrounded by their camp friends. I think it’s going to be an amazing last full day of camp!

Wednesday-Climbing, Exploring, Tie-Dye, AND a Talent Show!

We had a huge day at sleep away camp today! We began our morning with a fortifying breakfast, and then split into two groups. The older campers headed out with Counselors Jasmine, Pete, and Phil for a second day of climbing, while the younger campers headed out with Counselor Lily, Program Director Jen, and Nurse Sarah for an exciting day of hiking, bug catching, trail discovery, and more! The climbers headed directly to their climbing site, and had an awesome time working out the best way to climb the different routes. Some campers even began to learn the basics of belaying! The older campers did a wonderful job of cheering each other on and supporting each other throughout their day of climbing.

Meanwhile, the younger campers headed out to the Colorado Trail, where they explored good portion of the trail. During our fun hike, we saw some beautiful scenery–check out our camp Photos to see where we hiked!–sang some fun hiking songs, including “Down in the Jungle” and played a great game of “Flash Flood.” During “flash flood,” the counselor at the rear of the hiking group calls out different scenarios, to which the campers respond in a certain way. For example, if the counselor calls out “Flash Flood!,” each camper has to find a rock to stand on. It was great fun, and the campers enjoyed coming up with their own original commands and responses! Counselor Lily led us in a great game of the Hiking ABCs as well–we found different things on our hike that corresponded to each letter of the alphabet.

After hiking for awhile, we stopped to catch some bugs and build some animal shelters. Campers had a great time building a shelter for a deer against a fallen log, and also enjoyed catching and then showing each other various bugs. Then, we headed back to camp to have some delicious lunch out in the gazebo! Meanwhile, the climbers had a yummy snack lunch at their climbing site, and enjoyed relaxing in the shade while eating. After lunch, the younger campers headed to Alpine Park in Salida, where they completed a teambuilding challenge with our camp Toobeez. Toobeez are basically a giant connector set–the challenge was to build a structure that all of the campers could fit inside of using every single toobee! While it was slightly difficult, the campers managed to suceed, and even through the tarp over the top of their structure so that it was rainproof (“just in case”). The younger campers then did a quick debrief of their teambuilding activity–we talked about including everyone on team projects and about how important it is to listen to our friends’ ideas. Then, we headed back to camp for some delightful rest time!

The younger and older campers met back up at camp around 3:20, and headed to their respective cabins for a nice cool rest hour. We had some serious nappers this rest hour! Everyone enjoyed having a chance to take their shoes off and stretch out for a bit. After rest hour, everyone headed up to the path between the Opera House and the gym, where Counselor Jasmine helped campers order and receive their GORP, and Program Director Jen led tie-dye! Each camper got the chance to tie-dye a white bandana, and everyone really enjoyed putting on some plastic gloves and really working the dye into their fabric. After tie-dying, we poured water over our bandanas to get the excess dye out, and then hung them up to dry. They all look amazing–see our camp Photos for proof!

(Parents, you will want to wash your camper’s bandana by itself in the washer the first time it goes through. After it has been washed once by itself, it is fine to go in with other clothes.)

After we completed our super-cool tie-dying project, we all washed our hands and headed down to Grizzly Jack (the camp dining hall) for some yummy dinner. We had such a big day–everyone filled up on the delicious camp food! After dinner, we headed back to the Opera House, where we held a talent show! It was great fun–several campers participated in skits, and several more showed off their gymnastic and karate skills. One camper even burped the ABCs! Counselor Jasmine showed off her amazing headstand, and Counselor Pete jammed on the guitar. Director Tommy ended our awesome talent show by reading an old camp story out loud, “The Cremation of Sam McGee.” Then, we headed back to our cabins to brush our teeth, shower, and SLEEP after our big day at camp!

Tuesday-Climbing for all!

Today was an exciting day–directly after our delectable breakfast, the entire camp headed out to go rock climbing! We stopped at the RMOC to get fitted for helmets and harnesses, and then headed out to our climbing site. Although the drive to the site was a bit long, the campers agreed that it was worth it when we got to the site. It was so beautiful! Our climbing guide set up four top ropes, so every camper got a chance to climb several times. Thanks to our wonderful counselors, who are all certified belayers, we climbed all day long! Everyone made sure to put on lots of sunscreen and drink lots of water, because it was a pretty hot day up in the alpine desert. We all climbed once, then took a break for lunch–campers enjoyed sitting in the shade of the rock and chowing down on our delicious sack lunches.

After lunch, campers re-filled their water bottles and headed back to the rock faces–campers cheered on their friends, did some “mining” projects while waiting to climb, and just generally enjoyed being climbers for the day. Check out our camp Photos–the climbs were pretty epic today! After everyone had climbed as much as they wanted to, we hopped back in the vans and headed back to camp to relax and have a break from the sun.

Back at camp, campers had a chance to chill in their cabins for a bit, and when they were ready, they headed to the camp gym and game room for some snack and free play. Campers ordered their own personal GORP–we got to pick exactly what we wanted from a list of yummy ingredients! During free play, campers worked on their lanyards and hemp bracelets–several campers are up to doing multiple string lanyards, bracelets, necklaces, and more! There were also some good games of soccer and basketball going on, as well as some fierce games of foose-ball. At the end of free play, we all washed our hands, and then headed to Grizzly Jack (the camp dining hall) for some delicious dinner.

After dinner, we once again headed to our cabins to change into our swimsuits and then went to the pool for a relaxing night swim. Campers had a lot of fun treating some of the counselors as water jungle gyms! Everyone practiced their best dives, and had a great time exploring around the edges and bottom of the pool. Some campers even created a cool game of “underwater talking,” where one person says something underwater, and then everyone else tries to guess what that person said! We finished our night swim by first identifying some of the constellations, and then singing a lovely version of “Taps” to close our day. Campers then headed to their cabins to shower, brush their teeth, and jump into bed so as to be ready for an exciting day tomorrow. It’s the second week of sleep away camp, and we’re having a blast!

Monday-Rafting, Ropes, Egg Drop!

We began our week with a high-energy Monday–the older campers headed out directly after breakfast for rafting, while the younger campers headed down to the ropes course to participate in some teambuilding challenges. The younger campers enjoyed “beating” the jaws mobile, the mohawk walk, and even the nitro pit! Meanwhile, the older campers headed to RMOC to get PFDs and helmets in preparation for their rafting trips. Then, we headed to the Arkansas River! We had a great time learning about the river wildlife, how to work as a team to move the rafts, and also enjoyed taking turns sitting on the very front of the raft. We went through a Class 2 rapid just outside the town of Salida–the campers had a great time waving to townspeople as we rafted the rapids!

After we finished our awesome rafting trips, we headed back to camp to meet up with the younger campers and have lunch. During lunch, campers traded stories about their respective mornings–it was amazing to hear how those rapids kept getting bigger and bigger! After lunch, everyone headed back to their cabins for rest hour–campers had a chance to relax, read, and write letters home.

At 2:15, we met Program Director Jen on the Commons for an all-camp challenge. As it turned out, the camp had come into possession of some “highly dangerous, radioactive” objects, a.k.a. raw eggs. The challenge for each group was to create a secure carrying case for this object, a carrying case sturdy enough to protect the object should it be dropped from a great height. Groups got a grab-bag of materials to work with, including paper plates, newspapers, rubber bands, plastic gloves, and more! Some of the creations were really quite fantastic–check out our Photos page to see! After each drop, groups got a chance to refine and fix their carrying cases. It was exciting to see campers debating whether to stick with a tried-and-true design, or whether they should try something new. The drops got higher and higher, culminating in a final drop of about 20 feet. Two out of the four groups successfully protected their egg from this epic drop!

After cleaning up from our epic egg drop challenge, campers headed to the camp gym and game room for some organized free play. Campers had lots of fun playing with our camp costumes–see the camp Photos for pictures!–and also enjoyed playing pool, air hockey, and ping-pong. We ate a wonderful snack of GORP, and hung out with friends until dinner. We had a delightful dinner at Grizzly Jack (the camp dining hall), and then headed back to our cabins to change into our swimsuits for a fun night swim!

We had a great time swimming in the pool tonight–campers enjoyed watching the stars come out and the moon come up, and also had fun submerging themselves to drown the few errant mosquitoes that decided to go swimming too! We finished up our evening with a quiet rendition of “Taps” in the pool, and then headed back to our cabins to shower and sleep. Campers are excited to go rock climbing tomorrow!

Sleep Away Camp Photos from Tuesday and Wednesday!

Okay, so we are too busy having fun at camp swimming, fishing, climbing, kayaking, and more to write about everything in detail, but I got a few hundred photos up at http://photos.aocamps.com for you to check out (password is in your camp account online).

Things are going GREAT, but internet is hard to come by and photos are worth a lot of words, so I went with photos.


Sleep Away Camp: Rope Course and Swimming!

We had an awesome first full day of sleep away camp! We began our morning with some delicious eggs and coffee cake, then headed back to our cabins to finish our cabin clean up and get ready for the day. When everyone had their water bottles and rain gear, we headed down to the ropes course, where we began our day with some exciting morning songs. We sang “Princess Pat” and “Head and Shoulders, Baby” to get warmed up, and then played a rousing game of Evil-ution…it’s a giant game of rock, paper, scissors!

Once we got warmed up, we headed to the teambuilding challenges on the ropes course–each activity group (different from our cabin groups!) got a chance to go through our three teambuilding challenges. We did the Mohawk Walk, the Jaws Mobile, and the Tar Pit–all of the campers had a great time! After the ropes teambuilding challenges, we headed back up to camp to put our stuff down, and then headed into lunch!

Lunch was wonderful–we had some yummy chicken sandwiches. After lunch, the cabin groups headed back to their cabins for some rest time–everyone was glad for the chance to relax, read, and some even wrote letters home! After rest hour, everyone changed into their swimsuits and headed towards the camp pool….we had a lovely time swimming in the hot springs-fed pool. Check out the Photos to see campers playing water volleyball, water basketball, and doing some crazy jumps off the diving board!

After swimming, it got a bit rainy, so we headed to the gym to stay nice and dry. We ate some snack, and then campers got a chance to make lanyards, play soccer and basketball, and play in our camp game room–we played air hockey, ping pong, foose-ball, and pool. Luckily, the weather cleared up just in time for everyone to head back to their cabins to wash their hands and get ready for dinner! Dinner was a fun buffet of hot dogs and hamburgers (yum!), and was followed by an extremely exciting Dutch Auction, led by Counselor Tom. A Dutch Auction is kind of like charades, but involves props and the whole group working together to act out a scene or character!

We ended the night with some quieter songs, and headed back to our cabins to make our Codes of Living for the week. Each cabin’s code is created by the campers in that cabin, and says how the campers want to live while they’re at camp. We had such things on the codes as “Be Friends with Everyone,” “Stay with the Group,” and, of course, “Have Fun!” All in all, we had a great full first day at sleep away camp, and we’re excited to be going horseback riding tomorrow!

Welcome to Sleep Away Camp!

Our first Sunday evening at sleep away camp was a blast! We got to camp around 4:30, separated into our cabin groups, and headed to our cabins to unpack. Each camper got a chance to unpack and change clothes if they wanted, and then we all came to the Commons (or main camp lawn/green space) to decorate our water bottles. They all turned out lovely, and we had great time getting to know each other during the activity. Then, we headed into dinner, where we ate some delicious spaghetti!

After dinner, we headed over to the opera house for our evening program. We began with some fun, more high-energy songs, and then got a chance to relax a little bit while the counselors introduced themselves and Director Tommy welcomed us all to camp. We went over the rules together, and then discussed our daily schedule for camp. The campers were all excited to hear about our different camp activities! We finished the evening with some quieter, closing songs, and then headed back to our cabins to do our opening candlelight ceremony. During the candlelight ceremony, each camper got the chance to share what they are excited about, what they are nervous about, and some of their goals for camp.

After the candlelight ceremony, everyone brushed their teeth and hopped into bed, and we had lights out by 9:15 pm! What an amazing first day!