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Archive for BOEC Wilderness Program

BOEC hosts Cleft Camp

Tuesday, July 30th, 2019

Campers & counselors pose at Mayflower Gulch trailhead

The Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center hosted its annual Cleft Camp this week, partnering with Children’s Hospital Colorado Springs for the first time.

The three-day camp that ended Friday provides the hospital’s 10- to 18-year-old cleft clinic patients with the chance to take part in the center’s outdoors programming, including hiking, kayaking, canoeing and rock climbing.

Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center executive director Sonya Norris — who was instrumental in building the camp during her time working for the Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation — said the program is pivotal to expanding the potential of campers as well as providing them with an empowering opportunity through meaningful outdoor experiences.

The program is paid for through Outdoor Education Center scholarships and fundraisers.

“They spend the time all together sharing experiences and talking about their struggles and successes,” Norris said. “And they feel the benefit of doing these outdoor activities and how confident and comfortable they can be in this environment. The outdoors experience builds their confidence and helps them to deal with the difficulties they are facing.

“With whatever kind of challenge they are facing, it shows them they can take on any kind of challenge and shows them that they can accomplish anything,” Norris said. “It puts them in a position of achieving challenges on ropes courses, the climbing wall, hiking — all with other kids. They are talking about that in a sharing circle, the successes they have, and that they have the power within themselves to grow in their own lives.”

I’ve Gained Compassion & Empathy Enough to Outweigh Other Losses

Friday, June 21st, 2019

Rafting the Colorado River is part of BOEC's Challenge by Choice Adventure Retreat for survivors of an injury to the brain.
White water rafting is part of the Challenge by Choice Adventure Retreats

The following is from a letter written to BOEC program staff from a course participant after the Challenge by Choice Adventure Retreat, June 9-14, 2019, for survivors of an injury to the brain:

“Dear BOEC,

Thank you for the scholarship. I could not have attended camp without it.

This week I did so many things. We went rafting, cycling, and to a ropes course as our major events. Kayaking was especially fun and surprisingly relaxing. I can’t remember ever being more calm.

Everything about this camp was outside my comfort zone. I admit I was stressed out a lot. I definitely felt exhilaration from some of the activities, and pride from overcoming some of my fears; however, I think the hardest parts of camp for me were between events. I helped cook and nothing went wrong (or caught on fire). I helped set the table. I did dishes. I was useful. I don’t know how to explain how amazing that is.

I was asked if I had discovered any strengths this week. I certainly got along with everyone much better than I had expected. Perhaps I’ve gained compassion and empathy enough to outweigh other losses. Frankly, I was shocked at how easy it has been to accept, forgive, and have patience with fellow campers. This gives me hope that I can find a similar community at home, which is something I had give up on.”

If you or someone you know and love is interested in having an experience of a lifetime such as this, sign up for BOEC’s next two brain injury retreats; the Challenge by Choice Adventure Retreat II (July 7-12) and Challenge by Choice Adventure Retreat III (July 28 – August 2).

BIA course participant letter

JCMH a Great success

Monday, June 16th, 2008

Just last week a group from Jefferson County for Mental Health came up to Breck for 3 days of paddling and hanging around the ropes course. 

 The first day of the course there was a sudden change of plans, as we were going to paddle around Lake Dillon (Dillon Resevoir).  At arrival there was TONS of snow falling from the sky, even some accumulation.  Even more importantly, there was oodles of wind coming at our backs and out to sea so to speak.  We as a group collectively decided to change our plans to paddling up at the F & D Placer site.   This proved to be a VERY good decision as everyone got a chance to paddle the crafts that they wanted, as well as had plenty of time to stick out some lines into the pond.  After a quick lunch we had the opportunity to climb on the wall and have a short hike. 

 The next day proved to be very exciting on the Upper Colorado where Erin and Laura joined the staff to make it down the river.  I had the feeling that this day was the highlight of the day, in fact we had one person decide to jump in just past the hotsprings (which were flooded) to “cool off” for a bit.

The last day the very tired group woke to tackle on the ropes course.  This day was particularly impressive as we had several folks brave their fear of heights and one in particular even put his fears aside to try his hand at the zip line.  It was amazing to watch.

As with any course, there are tons of stories that may never be told.  I wish that there were time to tell them all.  If you have never had the experience of a BOEC course I would urge you to give it a try…   you may learn things inside you that you didn’t know were there.  I always do, every course.

I would like like to extend my deepest gratitude to Jim, Geoff, and Jessica….you folks are amazing and truely helped make JCMH a huge success….

Now for me, it’s off tommorrow to the first Camp Little Tree

Until next time,

Ryan Latham

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