July 29-August 3 brought another full week of on-the-ground camp, this time at Camp Promise – Rockies in Empire, CO! Nineteen campers of all ages called altitude their home for a week at Rocky Mountain Village where we experienced fun, laughter, relationship building, and so much more.
The week’s major events commenced with Cabin Olympics, a group versus group series of games that are built to get the best out of each camper’s skills. Here, you can find Orange Cabin sliding Oreos from their forehead to their mouth without using hands; Black Cabin knocking down cup towers with elastics; blue cabin rolling marbles toward a single piece of tape; and Red Cabin delivering a secret message during the “telephone” whisper game. Congratulations to the Orange Cabin, this year’s Cabin Olympics champions!
Other favorites in Rockies were the science fair, swimming pool time (including a belly flop contest), petting zoo, reptile show, adaptive cycling, drive-in movie, the famous Rocky Mountain Village zipline, and a Connect Four tournament (shout out to our champion, Brandon from Blue Cabin!).
Kaitlyn Hastings volunteered in the blue cabin with her camper Gus. She says, “My favorite memory of Rockies this year was hanging out and fishing with Gus. Everyone who was at Rockies this year now knows how much Gus loves fishing (a lot). During all our free time, you could find us at the pond. He taught me a lot about fishing and I really enjoyed seeing him happy and getting to do something he was passionate about!”
She also shares, “My younger brother, Ryan, has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, so Camp Promise means a lot to me. I personally know how hard it can be for the camper, as well as the family members and caretakers of someone with this disease. On top of this week being so much fun for the campers, it is a well-deserved break for the caretakers who dedicate their lives to taking care of these individuals.”
Emotions ran as high as the 8,500 feet of elevation as we neared the end of our week in Colorado. From punishing new volunteers at a Kangaroo Court hearing to locking arms and belting out “Don’t Stop Believing!,” 2023 Camp Promise – Rockies brought tears from all directions.
There is no amount of apple cider vinegar that can leave a bad taste in your mouth after a week of Camp Promise (please attend a future Kangaroo Court hearing if you dare)!
Camp Promise Assistant Brandon Benfield shares this year’s Rockies magic through his eyes: “Whether campers were joining other cabins during mealtimes, playing cards, or hanging out in the lounge before bed, I truly enjoyed seeing everyone come together as one big camp. Camp Promise’s magic comes from these amazing volunteers and campers who come together to complete one goal: creating the best week possible. Something special is bound to happen when so many kind and selfless individuals are in one place.”
Camp experiences would not be possible without our dedicated campers, volunteers, and major sponsors. Thank you to the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, Flatley Foundation, Sarepta Therapeutics, Alexion Charitable Foundation, Italfarmaco, and PTC Therapeutics for their continued support.
To view many pictures from Camp Promise – Rockies, please visit our Facebook album.