The Beginning

AU-About-History.01In the 1950s, upon his return from the Navy, John “Cap” Andrews and his wife Marianne set to work on a western-style camp for boys. The goal was to help strengthen the boys physically, mentally, and spiritually so they could handle life’s challenges. Sky Valley Ranch for boys was opened in 1955 in Buena Vista, Colorado in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. The success of the program quickly gained interest, so the Round-Up camp for girls was opened in 1959 with the goal to help prepare young women for life’s challenges.

It wasn’t long before parents and campers were looking for a similar experience they could participate in year round in their own communities. The Adventure Unlimited field chapters were born and eventually grew to 120 chapters around the world.


AU-About-History.02Today, Adventure Unlimited is still providing thousands of young Christian Scientists and their families with life-changing experiences. The Adventure Unlimited headquarters and the DiscoveryBound offices are located just a few miles south of Denver while The A/U Ranches have grown to 1,100 acres and remain in Buena Vista.

We continue to be motivated by our mission and purpose, set in place by “Cap” and Marianne, and look for new ways to engage the community in experiencing Christian Science in action.

– Steve Holser, Chairman, Adventure Unlimited Board of Trustees

Every year the A/U Ranches run multiple summer camp sessions for almost 500 Christian Science youth from around the world. Our Sky Valley Ranch supports 2nd – 8th grade youth while Round-Up Ranch supports 9th – 12th graders through the age of 18. In addition to the summer camps, the A/U Ranches host numerous adult & family programs and events throughout the year. Our Christmas program remains one of the most treasured annual events for adults and families.

What was once the Adventure Unlimited field chapter program is now called DiscoveryBound. DiscoveryBound consists of three program components; DB Outreach, a field program that reaches out to Christian Scientists and their friends of all faiths, DB National Leadership Council (NLC), a four year servant leadership program for Christian Science high school teens, and DB Compass, a one year program for Christian Science high school teens focused on spiritual exploration and connecting with peers.


Related Documents


1955 – Sky Valley for boys founded
1959 – Round-Up Ranch for girls founded
1962 – Adventure Unlimited was formed as a non-profit organization with a Board of Trustees

1965 – The first local A/U chapters were launched. The first local chapter event was held with 275 teens in attendance
1968 – The first international A/U Chapter was chartered in Vancouver, BC, Canada
1971 – The first A/U Chapter outside of North America was chartered in Durban, South Africa
1974 – Chapter programs expanded to include Junior High and Grade School activities

1975 – The Adventure Unlimited Endowment Fund was established
1979 – First international A/U Chapter worker conference conducted at the A/U Ranches
Adventure Unlimited Headquarters building completed in Greenwood Village, CO

1985 – Adult and Family programs added to A/U Chapter programming
1990 – First Alumni Reunion
1993 – Second Alumni Reunion

1997 – Adventure Unlimited website launched
1999 – Third Staff Reunion
Five-year Strategic Plan approved by Trustees; major facilities renovations begin at the A/URanches
2000 – First Capital Campaign begins in support of the five-year strategic plan
100 Elk Outdoor Center founded
2001 – A/U Field Chapter program expanded and name changed to DiscoveryBound
National Alumni Board and Alumni Bylaws established
2003 – A/U Ranches capital renovations completed
Indoor rock climbing gym added to Wyly Lodge
2004 – DiscoveryBound holds their “Think Different” National Teen Leadership Conference at the A/U Ranches
Raylene’s Rock (outside) Tower installed at Round-Up Ranch

2005 – National Leadership Council launched with 17 participants
50th Anniversary Reunion Celebration
First summer staff gymkhana
2007 – Adult Cowboy/Cowgirl Camp program added
2009 – Aspen Grove Lodge built at Round-Up Ranch
Maintenance Garage Extension added in honor of Ruthie Clinton
2010 – Junior Olympic pool installed to serve both Sky Valley and Round-Up Ranches
Multi-year water and wastewater replacement project begins at the A/U Ranches
2011 – New five-year strategic plan (through 2015) is approved by Trustees
Skills Camp at Round-Up Ranch established
Adventure Race for Summer Staff established
Sky Valley Mountain Madness event established
Adult Camp program is run concurrently with Cowboy/Cowgirl Camp program
2012 – Yurt campus completed
2013 – Rebuild of Chuck Wagon deck completed
2014 – Wyly Lodge renovation completed
Bridges to the Future Campaign public launch

2015 – 60th Reunion

Recent Photos


Youth Camp at the A/U Ranches

Our experiences change lives. At the A/U Ranches you’ll find a Christian Science atmosphere with staff dedicated to helping you see the role God plays in your life. Each program and activity is designed to help you break through limitations, reach your goals, and see God in action.

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