Years ago, my parents divorced and during the summers my mother enrolled my brothers and I in the Jeffco YMCA summer day camp. Each week day we eagerly looked forward to jumping on that bus and heading to Camp George West in Golden Colorado where the YMCA conducted its camp program. It was here at camp where I would spend the next nine summers being shaped, mentored and inspired in a way that would largely influence the education and career path ahead of me for the remainder of my life. For my camp experience not only taught me all the extraordinary wonderings of nature and learning how to connect, but I was also being mentored by some of the finest role models a kid, teenager and young adult would ever hope to find. It was through my camp experience with the many trials, and tribulations, successes and failures that have shaped me to become the person that I am today. Ultimately, it would become my lifetime goal to start and run my own camp programs.
Over the years, I have programmed and successfully run several youth programs with my start again, coming at the root, the YMCA.
At the Jeffco Ymca, I progressed from a camper to a junior counselor, to a counselor in training, (CIT) to a senior counselor and program director.
As a working college student and young adult, I have run before and after school programs and summer camps for the Jeffco school district, Childrensworld (a national childcare chain) along with summer and environmental education programs at the Boys Club of Hollywood in Running Springs Ca and the Bothell Ymca in Bothell Washington.
In 2001, my wife Kim, and I opened “Summit Recreation” www.summitrecreation.com a sales agency specializing in recreational equipment sales namely playground equipment and surfacing. We work with local school districts, park and rec departments and various entities in need of play equipment and recreational supplies. We have designed and installed playground equipment anywhere from the Wyoming mountains in Teton National Park to the eastern plains here in Colorado at the Town of Granada and everywhere in between!!
Over the years, we have grown and built a very successful sales agency, representing some of the finest equipment lines in the world and we continue to see record sales year after year. We employ three installation teams that install our equipment and provide a community build program where we lead a group of energetic volunteers installing their selected equipment and surfacing.
In January 2013, Summit Recreation opened an office in Grand Junction. As part of our long-term planning, we would begin the research and legwork to purchase a piece of property that would allow us to develop and a run a camp program here in the Grand Valley. Along with a new office, we partnered with “NZone Sports” www.nzonesports.com a national youth sports franchise and in the spring of 2013 we launched our inaugural flag football / cheerleading program. We knew that if we programmed correctly and brought a top of the line sports program to the field, one day when we opened our camp programs we would have a clientele that trust us with their children and believe in the exceptional programs we deliver. We currently run a spring and fall flag football program along with winter mini clinics. In the Spring of 2016 we had more than 350 kids come out to participate along with more than 20 parents that volunteered their time as coach and assistant coaches.
Recently we have hired a new team member “Cassy Martinez”, Cassy was hired to develop and run additional youth programs in order that NZone Sports can offer year-round sport and recreational programming as well as stepping in as the director of our upcoming summer day camp program.
In September of 2013 we intensified our search for a camp property as we partnered with “Julie Piland” a local realtor and began looking at possible locations and properties.
We asked Julie to make sure that the properties she would show us were zoned correctly and that it would be possible to run camp programs on the specific properties.
(Please see Land Development Code, Chapter 5 Use Regulations)
November 12th of 2013, we closed on our new property at 17846 Kimball Creek Rd. in Collbran Colorado. The previous owner, Bruce Mulfelld at first, was very hesitant in regards to our financial offer for the property, however after learning about our vision and the “WHY” behind our plan with the property he helped us with creative financing and gave us his blessing and signature.
It has been a long road in the making as we have had to convert a domestic well to a commercial well and file for additional water rights. With water engineers and attorneys involved, all for the sake of providing flush toilets on the new property as vault toilets are not allowed in a camp environment. We recently submitted our conditional use permit and had a ¾ acre pond dug on the backside of the property. We have worked diligently to step by step overcome any of the obstacles that we have had in front of us and holding us back from making camp a reality, and now finally, the summer of 2017 we will be opening Camp7 and hearing all those campers enjoying this incredible hidden gem just outside of Collbran.
Welcome to Camp7.
Camp 7 is a non-profit corporation organized and operated exclusively for charitable, educational and recreational purposes. Specifically, this organization will promote happiness and provide recreational and life skills development to participants utilizing an outdoor natural environment.
During the 70’s there was a premier outdoor specialty retailer known as Camp 7. They manufactured only the finest, high end equipment known at the time; although no longer in existence their story lives on! “Camp 7 is a manufacturer of camping, backpacking and mountaineering equipment. The name Camp 7 comes from the quest to climb Mt. Everest – where climbing expeditions work their way up the mountain by going from Basecamp to Camp 1 to Camp 2 and so on. Camp 7 remains traditional as the highest, most demanding camp before the summit, and symbolizes our personal commitment to provide you with the highest quality equipment in the world today.”
Here in Collbran at the site of Camp7, our goal is simple; We get these kids to Camp 7 and create an environment that fosters self-discovery, teamwork, gratitude and enrich the drive to reach for greatness. All along preparing them for the day they leave camp ready to continue the journey to climb their own summit.
The plan at Camp7 is to run traditional nature based camp programs ranging from school break camps (spring, summer, fall, winter) to mini camps/clinics throughout the year.
The school break camp program will be open to all school aged children who are seven years of age or have completed the first grade. We will charge registration fees based upon fair market value for our services. Additionally, many of these programs will be funded through donations, grants, and fundraisers to cover expenses. Once established and operating fiscally sound, our goal is to provide financial assistance to those who cannot afford the full registration fees and thus reducing barriers in order that all campers have the opportunity to experience programs provided by Camp 7. The summer, spring, fall, and winter camp programs will be held during the school year in alliance with local school district scheduled breaks. We are targeting Plateau Valley, Mesa County School District 51, De Beque and the Garfield County School Districts.
Our first camp program will be a summer day camp commencing in May 2017, approximately the last week of May through the middle of August. Summer campers will have the option of signing up for a single two-week session during this time block or the option of signing up for all sessions and participating through the course of the entire summer.
Each camp session will offer different daily planned schedules promoting the opportunity for a wide array of experiences and recreation. Campers will spend more than six hours outdoors in the fresh air each day. Examples of camp activities that will be included, based on camper interest and registration, include; hiking, canoeing, archery, fishing, swimming, athletics, nature crafts, group games, air rifle, rock climbing, horseback riding, field trips and nature exploration.
Additionally, we will have an “Evening Program” and a “Campout” on the second Thursday of each two-week session promoting family values and togetherness. The entire family is encouraged to participate and share in the program experiences and events. After the evening camp program activities, have ended, and parents have departed, campers will settle in and spend the night with their counselors in a traditional Crow tepee located in our high mesa summer tepee grounds. Regular activities will resume on the following day including a full breakfast and lunch provided by Camp7.
Additional camp programs to be held during the remainder of the calendar year 2017 are; Thanksgiving break, and Christmas break. Generally, the dates will align with school district schedules, although not all districts have aligned schedules and some overlap may be necessary.
During the remainder of the year, otherwise known as “Shoulder Seasons” Camp7 will hold various “Mini Camps/Clinics” These mini camps and clinics will be held on weekends closely aligned with the approved state of Colorado water regulations decreed to Camp7
A sample of these mini camps will include; a fishing derby, archery programs in association with the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission, Wounded Warrior sponsored “Fishing Days”, overnight programming for the “Partners” program and annual getaway day for the folks at “Mosaic”.
These shoulder season mini camps will be conducted and programmed with the same format and standards based on the mission and goals of Camp 7.
With Great Regard,
As Jim Collins states from his book “Good to Great”
“When all these pieces come together, not only does your work move toward greatness, but so does your life. For in the end, it is impossible to have a great life unless it is a meaningful life. And it is very difficult to have a meaningful life without meaningful work. Perhaps, then, you might gain that rare tranquility that comes from knowing that you’ve had a hand in creating something of intrinsic excellence that makes a contribution.
Indeed, you might even gain that deepest of all satisfactions; knowing that your short time here on this earth has been well spent, and that it mattered.”
All of our staff eagerly look forward to answering questions you may have, and as soon as the weather cooperates we will be hosting several open house tours of the property. It has been a dream come true and we are honored that you are taking a hard look at our summer program as an option for your upcoming summer scheduling. It is our aim to provide a well-rounded positive experience that will develop character and increase the sense of gratitude in the youth of today to prepare them to become leaders of tomorrow, much like the leaders that shaped me!!!
Scott, furthest to the left, at Boys Club of Hollywood 365, summer of 1982