BOULDER – The sound of excited children echoed through the rolling foothills of the mighty Wind River Range outside of Boulder this week, as the second week of the first-ever Camp Journey, held at Camp GROW – or “Green River Outreach for Wilderness” – at the Mountain Springs Ranch.
The two-week camp brought out youth in grades eight through 12 last week, and youngsters in grades three through seven this week. The camp came to be through the collaborative effort of several Episcopal congregations in western Wyoming who wrote a grant to the Foundation for the Episcopal Diocese of Wyoming to fund a camp. From that, Camp Journey became a reality and mirrors experiences present at Thunderhead Episcopal Center in South Dakota, which is put on by the Diocese of South Dakota and the Diocese of Wyoming.
Campers took part in learning from scripture, worship and reflection. In addition, they were exposed to horseback riding, fishing, hiking, blacksmithing, rock climbing, rafting and more throughout the weeklong camp.
“We, in the Episcopal Diocese of Wyoming, believe that camp offers a time and space for children, youth, and young adults to experience God’s love while living in community in the midst of God’s creation,” Rev. Kay Flores said. “We try to love each other while we live together. We worship twice a day, and spend time learning about the stories of God’s people.”
On Tuesday, boys at the camp spent the morning rock climbing on the ranch, while girls went rafting off-site. According to camp counselor Nate Koger, climbing is a good way for youngsters to face their fears.
“It can teach them to get past a lot of fears and for them to see they can do it all by themselves,” he said.
According to Catherine Morahan, who works at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Jackson, the first-ever camp outside Boulder has been a big success.
“So far, it has been great,” she said. “We definitely couldn’t do this without what Camp GROW offers. We use all their facilities and staff.”
The first week saw 26 students participate, while 25 came out for a week of worship and fun this week.