Save the date: Women’s Week 2018 at Meadow Mountain Ranch

Submitted by Penny Roberts

Northern & Northeastern CO

Meadow Mountain Ranch

This summer, the fourth year of Women’s Week at Meadow Mountain Ranch brought together new and returning friends from nine different states to the Colorado high country.  Women’s Week is open to any women/ladies/girls who are at least 18 years of age, who may or may not be Girl Scouts presently, or who may or may not ever have attended camp at any time anywhere.  In other words, come one, come all – – – the more the merrier!

The best part about Women’s Week (WW for short) is that the sky is truly the limit!  There is no preplanned program or schedule, except as determined by the menus and meals.  More about food a little later!  If you would like to do a particular thing, just make a request and we’ll try to see that it happens.  If you would like to offer a special activity or program, just hang up a sign saying where and when it will happen, and bring with you the tools or materials to share with others.

There is plenty of time in our three-night/four-day event to rest and relax, explore, visit, sing, laugh, cook, sleep, read, hike, etc.  Do you like to get up early in the morning?  Coffee is always on its way before breakfast and a few of us enjoy the still morning solitude to listen to the birds, feel the breeze, and watch the sun come up over the hills.  Like to stay up late?  Campfires are always on the agenda, so we can give you “a place where people gather to make friends of all kinds,” and then we can help you “sing your way home at the close of the day.”

Women’s Week usually begins with a Big Circle Tour of MMR, which will take you to see most of what’s on the property for your further exploration.  Up to the east past the C.I.T. house under restoration at this time, maybe up as far as Vista Spur to see the panorama of peaks that tower over us, back across by “The Shelf,” out to the Back Meadow, and around through the fire break along the back trail and over to Pinecrest where the Memorial Unit Shelter is under construction.

Cooking is a big part of Women’s Week, and the patrol assigned to be chefs will have guidance from Susan Baker and her growing-up girls to offer a delicious variety of cuisine, carefully planned to allow for dietary needs as well as experimentation.  We’ve done bean-hole cooking, stick cooking, reflector oven baking, and dutch oven offerings.  We’ve cooked on charcoal, open fires, or propane stoves, depending on the preference of the cooks or the (hopefully not!) fire restrictions. We once made rhubarb jam in the main camp kitchen to share with everyone.  No, Women’s Week food is not always like regular camp food, as we’ve included a chili cook-off, stir fry to die for, fresh fruits and veggies prepared many different ways, and special surprises along the way.  Ever made a “Fluffernutter?” or a “Darn Good/Dough Boy”?  Do you have special culinary requests you’d like to see us try?

So, here are some highlights from summer 2017 at Women’s Week: A climb up Meadow Mountain.  Crafts of bark painting, Morse-Code beading, monkey fists, tile mosaics. Yang or Taijiguan style of Tai-Chi in the mornings to relax the body and soul.  “Tajer Tales” and “The Thirteen Clocks.”  Sunrise hike to Vista Spur.  Self-guided Nature Trail. A bog explore to see “the tufas” in the lower meadow.  Service projects to help with fire mitigation and stripping logs for the new unit shelter at Pinecrest.

Summer of 2018 will feature a special dedication ceremony for the new Pinecrest Memorial Unit Shelter.  Completion of this project will allow for more complete use of this larger more remote unit on the southern boundary of the camp.  Contact Penny Roberts if you’d like to be involved in creating a memorial to special people who helped bring you personally through Girl Scouting to be the woman you are today.

So, dates are set for the fifth Women’s Week for the summer of 2018.  MARK YOUR CALENDAR, SAVE THE DATES, OR REGISTER RIGHT NOW!  Monday, July 23 (first meal is lunch) through Thursday, July 26 (last meal is champagne brunch).  Cost is $180 for the entire event or $60 for any daily increments including three meals.  Contact the very informal camp director, Penny “Pan” Roberts, PO Box 211, Estes Park, Co. 80517, probertscolo@gmail.com or by phone at (970) 586 1775. 

It’s great when moms and daughters and granddaughters come, or when MMR camp staff alums make connections with previous campers from decades ago, or when friends who never got to go to camp ever can join this wonderful experience.  It’s great when we take time out, get away, unwind, unplug, or just generally recreate ourselves.  We take good care of each other and come away with peace and satisfaction that comes from just being outdoors.  At camp, where life is more real.   Hope to see you then.

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