By Alison Peticolas, A/U Ranches Director
If you know your Adventure Unlimited history, you’re aware that Cap and Marianne Andrews’ vision for Sky Valley Ranch at its start in the summer of 1955 was that it would be a camp for boys. When an unexpected opportunity arose to purchase the adjacent property, they listened for guidance and moved forward with opening Round-Up Ranch for girls in 1959. Cap says about the decision in Opening Windows to God, “It was easy, once again, to detect God’s hand in all of this!”
In 1970, the Board of Trustees initiated a radical shift to co-ed camps. Although “less than enthusiastic” about the new direction at first, Cap’s later assessment of the change was, “No question, good continued to happen under the new format; it just wasn’t quite as I had initially envisioned.”
Throughout the A/U Ranches’ 60-year history, the programs and their duration have varied to meet the needs of campers and families. What hasn’t varied is the dual focus that Cap and Marianne originally established: “character education and emphasis on the individual’s growth in Christian Science through observing and doing.”
Exciting changes, same foundation
After every program, we gather feedback from campers and families as we listen for ideas that best meet their needs. Recently, this spiritual attention has revealed answers to questions related to summer’s First Session.
Later school end dates have made it difficult for campers to enroll in First Session, while an early return to school at the end of summer means Family Camp is not an option for others. To meet the needs of these varying schedules, we will be offering the following programs next summer during First Session:
- June 23 – July 7, 2016, Sky Valley Ranch: Youth Camp for girls and boys of all ages
- June 26 – July 2, 2016, Round-Up Ranch: Family Camp
In addition, the DiscoveryBound National Leadership Council 2020 classes will spend their summer orientation at the A/U Ranches in the Yurts, at the Lost Wonder Hut and at Round-Up Ranch concurrent with First Session Youth Camp at Sky Valley Ranch.
We’re excited about what these changes will mean for everyone coming to the A/U Ranches during First Session. For those in Youth Camp, it means older boys and girls can cherish and mentor younger campers while middle schoolers can connect with high school teens as friends and role models. For families, the new schedule allows parents to have their own camp experience while their children try Youth Camp for the first time.
Each summer, it’s a beautiful thing to witness campers and staff growing together in their understanding of God and practice of Christian Science. We’re grateful to know that it will continue this summer for all the campers and families who come to the A/U Ranches.
Would you like to help a Sunday School student get to camp? You can make your gift by selecting A/U Ranches Camperships under the “Choose a Program” menu in this online form. Thank you!