Meadow Mountain Ranch (MMR) near Allenspark is launching a new patch program to be used in connection with the Self-Guided Nature Trail. A one-way, 21-stop trail through the high country Girl Scout camp gives individuals and groups a chance to explore the natural world and earn beautiful new patches to be placed in a colorful four-season display.
Here’s how it works. There is a guidebook for each season of the year. Plan on spending at least two hours or more to complete the program on the trail. Right now, we are rapidly approaching the fall season, so pick up that fall pamphlet. Then, go down the main road to the west of the main camp area to the wooden kiosk on the right side of the road near the Nature Nook/Lyra Activity Shelter. Groups must have a property reservation to use the nature trail, and nature trail booklets are available on-site when groups check in for their reservation.
The trail takes you up the hill and through the aspen groves and pines up to a level stretch, and then a cut-off takes you up to Vista Spur at the top of the ridge on the north boundary of the camp property. Stop at each numbered wooden post and read in the book to see what the focus of that stop is. There are things to see, smell, study closely, and generally immerse yourself in the natural world. The more time you have to experience everything the Nature Trail has to offer, the more you will come to learn about the history, biology, geology, math, and science of all kinds at the camp. Animals and plants, trees and flowers, rocks and grass, mountains peaks and valleys, stories, and songs are all highlighted. There are even some recipes for great snacks to create!
So, once you’ve completed the trail, you will be eligible to purchase that season’s quarter patch which can surround the circle patch in the center of the group. Anyone can purchase the center circle patch, just because you love MMR and like the whole idea of the Self-Guided Nature Trail. Patch pieces cost $1.50 each, for a total cost of $7.50 per complete set, and are available for purchase at the GSCO Retail Shop.
The idea is to come to MMR, walk the trail in all four seasons of the year, and expand your horizons with every experience. Time required runs from two to four hours and it’s recommended that groups of 10-12 or less would be optimum for all participants to enjoy each stop. Be prepared with a water bottle, season-appropriate clothing such as raincoat in the summer and warm jackets in the winter. Snowshoes might be needed in deep winter in those heavy drifts. Good shoes or boots are highly recommended and walking sticks might be good too. A snack is also a good idea so you don’t run out of energy before you finish the trail.
For further information, contact Penny Roberts or other trail creators or David and Julie Fischer, property managers at MMR. Come join the fun!
Are you interested in learning about horses, new to horses, never ridden or have ridden some, earning a new badge, or just love horses? Join us for hands-on horse activities, learning stations, a scavenger hunt, and horseback riding at the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo (RMHE).
Girl Scout Juniors can also complete requirements towards the Horseback Riding badge. Take home a fun, fact filled horse workbook plus handouts and giveaways from the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo.
Explore the many other activities at the Expo (www.rockymountainhorseexpo.com) including the “Mane Event”
There is also a special session for Girl Scouts who have never ridden before. Please contact us for more information.
Date: Saturday, March 10, 2018 from 9 a.m.-noon and 1-4:30 p.m.
Location: National Western Event Center
Costs and Registration:
□ Registration: $40 for the Youth Horse Experience, admission into RMHE for 1 girl and 1 adult, and 2 tickets to the Mane Event.
□ Extra tickets for Expo and Mane Event are $10 with combo pricing.
Other activities and Events
Horse breeds scavenger hunt – this scavenger hunt will take you around the Expo to learn about famous breeds of horses from around the world as well as horse feed and nutrition.
Equine Art in the Park -Gallery – tour the art gallery to view top horse and cowboy artists from across the United States.
Other riding disciplines to learn about could include Vaulting, PoloCross, outfitting/packing, etc. Other industry professionals to learn about could include veterinarian, farrier, etc.
The “Mane Event”: Finish the Day with a magical evening performance with nearly 100 horses dancing, spinning, leaping and showing us what remarkable creatures they are, along with many more family friendly activities.
Volunteer-run core camps at Meadow Mountain Ranch this past summer enticed almost 200 girls to the Colorado high country to hike, cook out, sing, do crafts, archery, kapers, and generally, get a really broad sampling of what Girl Scout Camp is all about. The two-night Core Camp (CC for short) gave less experienced troops a quick overview of a variety of program offerings and expert volunteers were there to take the lead in making that program a success. Leaders did not need to worry about planning or scheduling, organizing or executing parts of camp program they might not be quite as knowledgeable about. Most of the volunteer staff had been camp counselors or camp directors before, even as far back as the 1960s. They were truly excited to share their favorite things of camp to new girls and leaders. Included in the short time at camp were archery, outdoor skills, crafts, hiking, cookouts, campfires, nature activities, kapers (camp chores), ceremonies, etc. Add into organized sessions was plenty of free time to hang out with troop friends (“me time”), make new friends, sleep in the tabins in the units, and enjoy the beauty and mountain environment of one of the most beautiful Girl Scouts camps anywhere.
Core Camp 2, a three-night camp, offered more time for more fun. This year a pilot program of beginning backpacking skills was offered, and a good group of girls had a mini-trip to the back meadow with packs to see what great adventures might await when we get away from main camp. Extended craft sessions, a little more time for organizing and preparing for the cookout, and night-time activities were offered. The same volunteer staff members were on tap to help girls and leaders have even more fun, and certainly the goal is to have more girls come for three nights next year.
Highlights of Core Camps included “Art in the Park,” a nature immersion session, where girls and leaders were able to draw or paint out in the woods their personal interpretations of the beauty of nature and then display their works in a fresh-air art gallery where they shared with the visitors the spirit behind their masterpieces. Of course, they get to take their art works home with them. The “Partner Scavenger Hunt” allowed pairs of girls and adults an extended time outdoors finding things, writing poetry, creating musical instruments from things in nature and also sharing their favorite experiences with the whole group.
Crafts in the Paint Pot activity shelter included various selected offerings such as beadwork, memory boxes, dream catchers and more.
The outdoor skills program offerings allowed girls experiences with knot tying, fire building, lashing, orienteering, plant identification and more. A lot was crammed into these sessions, but the very experienced volunteers sparked a lot of interest and enthusiasm.
There was a “Meadow Meander” which allowed a couple of groups a special opportunity to immerse themselves in the tall, tall grass in the middle meadow and take a closer look at the flowers, bugs, leaves, trees and just lie quietly and take it all in. “What’s that?” “What kind of flower is that?” “Why does this look like thisl?” “Where did that come from?” Exploration and satisfaction abounded, and allowed for some fabulous photo ops, too, to allow us to share the moment and make memories to last a lifetime.
The archery area was busy all day with rotations of all the girls and leaders, led by experienced staff members who gave instructions and made sure that what might be a new activity for some would prove to be a complete success for everyone, adults included!
The dates are already set for our volunteer-run Core Camps for summer, 2018. See the listings in the camp brochure, and save the dates as follows:
We spent two days and one night at Mountain Meadow Ranch in July 2017 for “Core Camp I.” Our troop had 19 Girl Scout Brownies and Juniors, plus many moms to sleep overnight in the tabins. We used a portion of our cookie profits to help pay for this camp, and it was just a short one-hour’s drive to Allenspark, which borders Rocky Mountain National Park.
“We did archery, hiking, chores, and arts and crafts. I liked that we did a lot of hiking. One hike was to Hercules, the tree that used to be the biggest one in RMNP. The other hike was to the top of the hill that MMR is on. It was at 6:15 in the morning! This is one activity I enjoyed at MMR camp!”
“I liked it all but, my favorite was arts and crafts. We made necklaces, weaved baskets and painted. I loved MMR camp!”