Protesting the End of Camp Chief Ouray

There was great mourning in the land on Hadley’s final day at Camp Chief Ouray near Winter Park, Colo. Bode and I stayed at Indian Peaks Lodge, a (long) stone’s throw away from camp and that morning, I sat on our balcony watching the campers file into the Dining Hall for breakfast. I loved listening to their singing and a lot of laughter while they ate–they were relishing every last minute!

Pick-up wasn’t until mid-afternoon so Bode and I spent the day playing at YMCA of the Rockies Snow Mountain Ranch (details forthcoming). Upon arrival, all the parents were ushered into the upper level of the Dining Hall where Camp Director Marty gave us an overview of their week, introduced the staff and showed a short video that gave a brief glimpse at the fun that was had. (See the video here. Hadley is at 1:06 in pink, and 1:48 and 2:07 at the dance wearing purple).


Then, the parents went outside to see our happy campers march past holding signs of their cabin names.“It looks like they’re protesting,” Bode observed.

Yeah, protesting having to leave that awesome place.

The parents followed them into the meadow for closing ceremony where each cabin came up and shared their “Camp Magic” that week. For some, it was the raiding the kitchen. For others, it was making new friends and trying new things. For Hadley’s Chippewa cabin, it was “Thank you, David!!”–a tribute to the COO staffer who made all the activities so much fun.

All the parents and kids were then asked to form a large “friendship circle” and hold hands (left over right). YMCA of the Rockies is a non-denominational Christian organization that focuses on core values without in-your-face religious overtones that might make non-believers uncomfortable. A final, simple prayer was shared and we sang the military song “Taps.”

I didn’t know the words to “Taps,” nor were we able to form a round circle but it was nonetheless a touching farewell as Hadley then bid her final good-byes to her beloved cabinmates and counselors, Lindsay and Laura.

 Day is done, gone the sun,
From the lake, from the hills, from the sky;
All is well, safely rest, God is nigh.


Camp Chief Ouray By the Numbers

6 glorious days at camp

5 nights away from family

4 different horses she rode.

3 days she wore the same pair of socks

2 showers over the course of six days

1 experience of a lifetime

Tune in tomorrow for Hadley’s camp highlights!


In case you missed them:

A Week of Independence: The Johnson Kids Do Utah and Camp

Dancing Queen: Why It’s Good to Be Young and Sweet at Camp Chief Ouray


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