As the sun begins to set on another exhilarating summer, the echoes of laughter, the scent of pine, and the sense of accomplishment linger in the air at Gates Camp. Nestled at the foot of the Indian Peaks Wilderness area near Ward, Colorado, Gates Camp has once again played host to a summer filled with unforgettable experiences for Club members.
Gates Camp offers a true mountain camp experience to our Club members, often for the very first time. The traditional phrase that captures the spirit and enthusiasm of camp is “Heepwah!” Derived from Gates Camp inaugural campers shouting “hoorah!” at the peak of a mountain, this term has become the official Gates Camp cheer. As campers board the bus eager to visit Gates Camp, they learn the cheer as they begin their camp journey.
Before the final “Heepwah” of the summer echoes through the campgrounds, let's take a moment to reflect on the magic that unfolded during this year's Summer at Gates Camp.
Discovering Nature's Playground
At Gates Camp, Club members stepped out of their comfort zones and dived into the enchanting world of the great outdoors. Surrounded by towering trees, pristine lakes, and rugged landscapes, the camp became a canvas for young explorers to unleash their curiosity and creativity. Immersed in the beauty of nature, Club campers witness the delicate balance of the natural world.
One of the many exciting activities at Gates Camp is archery. Kids embraced the challenge of mastering the art of archery, honing their focus, patience, and precision. As they drew back their bows and aimed at distant targets, they learned valuable skills of concentration and control, fostering a sense of achievement and self-confidence.
Gates Camp Lake offered the opportunity for kids to try out canoeing, allowing them to glide through the waters as a team. This experience not only let campers enjoy the beauty of the lake, but also enabled them to master the techniques of paddling and steering. More than just the physical act of canoeing, they learn to listen to each other and develop teamwork to make sure they are heading in the right direction!
Rock climbing became an exhilarating endeavor for the young adventurers at Gates Camp. Scaling the rugged landscapes, they conquered their fears and developed physical and mental strength.
Guided hiking expeditions introduced campers to the joys of exploration, as they embarked on trails that wind through the breathtaking mountain scenery. The hikes not only encouraged physical activity but also instilled a deeper appreciation for the natural world and the rewards of perseverance.
The heart of Gates Camp beats with a spirit of diversity and new experiences. From casting lines into tranquil waters to testing their fishing skills, to mastering the art of archery, every day at camp presented an opportunity for these young explorers to broaden their horizons.
Empowerment Through Adventure
Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver understand the impact that summer experiences can have on a child's growth and development. Through dedicated efforts, over 800 Club members not only had fun but also learned valuable life skills, fostered connections with mentors, and cultivated friendships that will last a lifetime. Summer at Gates Camp is more than just a few months of adventure; it's a transformative journey that equips these young minds with the tools and self-assurance needed to navigate life's challenges.
As summer bids its farewell and the memories of Gates Camp linger in our hearts, we look ahead to the promise of new adventures, growth, and opportunities. The gates of Gates Camp may close for now, but the experiences, lessons, and friendships forged here will remain. As our campers would say, “Heepwah!”