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!
A smaller-than-usual, but happy group of women gathered at Meadow Mountain Ranch (MMR) for Women’s Week 2018. Participants from Utah, Wyoming, Nevada, Indiana, Maine, and Colorado gathered for food, friendship, and fun in the high country near Allenspark.
Highlights of this year’s gathering were the dedication of the Pinecrest Memorial Unit Shelter and special brunch, a Tajar Tales performance by the Tajar Tales Performance Ensemble, hiking in the pouring rain, crafts (and more crafts), singing (and more singing), spectacular scenery, and the best food around.
Thanks again as always to Susan Baker and her food service gurus, who helped us figure out how to makes S’mores in ice cream cones, and other culinary delicacies without being able to cook over an open fire due to Level 2 fire bans.
Also, thanks to Taryn “Flower” Taylor who reconnected with MMR alumnae and friends from her past and provided special professional-level photography documentation of all the ladies and special events.
Also, thanks to the GSCO professional staff who joined us on Wednesday to dedicate the newly-completed shelter in the Pinecrest Unit. This will serve as a special gathering place for groups who choose to stay in this large, but more distant tabin unit. When the new zipline is completed, it will also provide a picnic place for those groups as well.
Any ladies 18 years of age or older are welcome at Women’s Week. You don’t have to be a current or past Girl Scout, you just have to want to come and play in the outdoors with other like-minded friends. Some of the best experiences were had by a few women who had never been to camp before. Mom and daughter and granddaughter groups have had great family experiences and come back every year to be sure they don’t forget what it’s all about.
A lot of our past participants were called away this year for various reasons like family reunions, overseas trips, graduations, weddings, and the like, but most all of them have expressed their desire to return next year. The dates are already set – – – mark your calendars right now – – – JULY 15 – 18, 2019 and the schedule will be pretty much the same. First meal on Monday at noon and last meal will be brunch on Thursday morning. Cost is $180 for the total time, but a part-time $60 three-meal grouping of any kind can be arranged. Some “campership” financial assistance may be available.
Is there some special program you would like to offer such as yoga, folk dancing, drumming, or a special craft you’d like to share with the group? Let us know and bring along materials to share. Is there a great menu item you’d like to propose we try, especially if we can build fires next year? Just let us know. The sky is the limit – – stargazing, flying kites, bird watching. Want to explore the “Haunted Florist” or spend time on the self-guided nature trail? Want to climb Longs Peak? Want to sleep out in the back meadow? Want to explore “Hidden Places” known only to a few? We make our own schedules and can flex with the weather and time needed to make it all happen. We can get up early, stay up late, take a nap, take a walk, whatever suits your fancy. Opportunities for service projects can also enhance our camp with the help of David and Julie Fischer, property managers.
For further information, please contact the very informal camp director, Penny “Pan” Roberts, at email@example.com or evenings at (970) 586-1775. Help us continue our history of making Women’s Week at MMR one of the highlights of the summer.
“Sing, sing together, merrily, merrily sing!” Girl Scouts sing for lots of reasons: to keep traditions alive, gather in congenial comradeship, create memories, learn new things, expand our horizons, make joyful music together, but most of all TO HAVE FUN !
The Songbirds Girl Scout Choir, under the direction of Penny Roberts, began in the fall of 2002 as an outgrowth of the 90th Anniversary Roundup in the legacy Mountain Prairie Girl Scout Council. We had so much fun, we wanted to continue singing together. Our youngest member was about four-years-old at the time, and often rode on her mom’s shoulders when we sang with their Girl Scout troop. Penny had wanted to be a choir director since she first saw more than 10,000 Girl Scouts and adults from around the country gather in the amphitheater at the 1962 Roundup in Button Bay, Vermont to raise their voices in song.
The Songbirds meet on the second Saturday of every month from September through April. They gather at the Berthoud Elementary School at 560 Bunyan Avenue in one of the classrooms. A guitar class is offered each month at 9 a.m. for those singers age 10 and up, who want to join in the fun and learn how to play guitar chords to accompany the choir. From 10 a.m. to noon the group sings old songs, new songs, fun songs, campfire songs, foreign language songs, rounds, graces, folk songs, motion songs, clapping games, Lemmi sticks, and on and on it goes.
Songbirds are looking for new members! Please bring your troop, friends, neighbors, adults and children. Anyone is welcome. There is no charge and no registration. Come once or join for the rest of the year and beyond.
Choir members are provided with three different songbooks and royal blue logo shirts are worn to special performances.
Songbirds sing in performance whenever requested. For example, we will have a performance and a sing-along at the Open House at Meadow Mountain Ranch on Sunday, September 23, 2018. We’ll help others have fun while they explore our wonderful mountain camp facility. If you’d like a taste of what the Songbirds do, come join us there.
A flyer is below with contact information if needed. “All together, sing together, lalalalalalala la la la!” and “Sing, sing, sing, come my friends and sing with me. Round up your voices, fill the air with music free.” Please join us, one and all!
Mark your calendar for 2017 Women’s Week at Meadow Mountain Ranch July 17-20!
Cost $180/ per person
Registration deadline, sort of 6/25/17, primarily for meal planning.
Women’s Week is in its fourth year, and we hope this time will be even better than ever! We really love to go to the mountains, have fun in the outdoors. and be campers again! This program is open to all adult women at least 18 years of age: GSCO staff, former MMR camp staff, leaders, volunteers, co-workers, adult daughters, and granddaughters! (Spread the word; there’s plenty of room for everyone! Ladies need not have ever been to camp before or have a current Girl Scout connection!) Bring your favorite program resources, come and play! The peace and serenity of MMR’s mountain wilderness await you.
What’s included in the cost? Site fees & food. Some financial aid might be available.
Cooking and food: We will probably be cooking out most of the time in the units. We can make accommodations for most special dietary needs.
Where will we stay? Meeker’s Bluff, Larkspur, and Lyra units have been reserved for our group. “Tabins” have wooden floors & roofs and ½ canvas sides with wooden bunkbeds. We can make accommodations for mobility restrictions.
What program is provided? Only what we bring ourselves! If you want to do crafts, bring enough to share. If you want to take a hike, put up a notice of your plans. If you can offer special programs, like ropes course or archery, bring your certifications with you. Anyone up for a short backpack trip to the back meadow or the “shelf?” If you want to lie in the grass in the meadow, fly a kite, sleep in late, paint a picture, sleep out under the stars, sing for hours – – – it’s all there for your enjoyment!
Can we come for only part of the time? Absolutely, just let us know how many days/meals and we’ll price it out for you accordingly.
No pets are allowed on the property, and there will be no horses available for riding.
THE VERY INFORMAL CAMP DIRECTOR is Penny “Pan” Roberts.
Send your check to P.O. Box 211, Estes Park, Co. 80517 along with your brief personal information, including e-mail, address, phone, etc.
Questions? Call Penny at 970-586-1775 or 970-577-2027. New email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spend the night on Friday or just come up for the fun on Saturday. Everyone will have a chance to try their skills at archery and we will also play some outdoor games, do a craft or service project, and go on a hike.
There are a limited number of spaces for girls and adults on Friday night.
Saturday activities run from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Lunch and snacks are provided for all on Saturday. Cadettes will earn their Archery badge and other levels will receive an archery fun patch.
Core Camp is a special chance for Girl Scout troops to come together for a sampling of all the various activities that make Girl Scout Camp one of the most fun and valuable experiences ever! If your girls and leaders are camping novices, Core Camp’s experienced volunteer staff will help all of you gain the skills and find all the fun and excitement that camp has to offer. If your troop has been to camp before, Core Camp offers a variety of activities that may expand your horizons.
Here are some of the things that happened at MMR’s Core Camp this July: hike to Hercules, cookout, archery, nature activities, outdoor skills and orienteering, crafts, flag ceremony, opening and closing campfires, story time, skits and sing-alongs, kapers, and more.
Co-Directors of Core Camp, Jennifer (“Wally”) Hayes and Wendy (“Zoot”) Roberts combined their years of experience to lead the way and keep things on track and were able to answer questions and solve challenges. Jenny (“Coon”) Schmitz was our Program Director and crafts expert par excellence. Penny (“Pan”) Roberts was happy to return to her previous coveted position of Nature Director and Linda Robinson rounded out the Planning Committee, filling in where needed and enjoying the ride herself.
Of course, Core Camp would never be successful without fantastic food, and Susan Baker and her Ft. Collins older girl troop came through with flying colors. Because of the fire ban the cookout held in the units allowed everyone to experience the use of Coleman propane stoves for cooking. Nevertheless, the chicken and dumplings and the scrambled brownies were a general big hit. The traditional s’mores were served without fail to the campfires via the delivery system from the oven in the lodge to the Green Cathedral for all to enjoy. THANKS to all of them for smiling through the never-ending cycles of meals and clean-up.
Next year’s Core Camps are already on the schedule, so plan ahead and join us for another chance to experience Meadow Mountain Ranch’s magic!
July 14 – 16 (2 nights) and July 21 – 24 (3 nights) are the dates. Cookie Credits can be used. Some financial aid is available. The sky is the limit to the fun and good solid camp time in the Colorado high country. Program aids are encouraged to use their skills to help out with all activities on camp. Contact us any time at email@example.com. Watch the camp brochure for more details. Hope to see you there next summer!
Driving up the dirt road to see the expanse of meadow, trees and sky, my heart leaps as it always does every time I return to Meadow Mountain Ranch. Songs come flooding into my mind and smells of pine and campfire and cooking-out come close to overwhelming my senses. I am excited to see old friends and to meet new ones. I feel that song coming on, right? Women’s Week is a unique opportunity for all adult women to come together and play at camp, reminisce about all the years past when they were a camper, or try all the new experiences if they had never been able to go to camp before.
What did I look forward to most? The people, food, fires, fun, hikes, flowers, songs. “It’s up in the morning, at breakin’ of day,” – – that’s for sure, and “Bed is too small for my tiredness.” Long days, warm skies, too many things to do in too short a time.
This year, a total of 39 women gathered and offered their favorite activities, or requested ideas of what they would like to do to maximize their time in the Colorado high country. A “Big Circle Tour” acquainted us all with the camp property, its trails, views and details. The flowers are absolutely spectacular this year. It seems that spring, summer and fall vegetation and colors have all become jumbled and mixed because of the weather this year. The grass is nearly 4’ high in the back meadow. (Break out the allergy medicine, that’s for sure, at least for some!)
A group gathered at 6:15 a.m. for the early-morning hike to the top of Vista Spur, where all the mountain peaks are visible in a 360-degree spectacular view.
Let’s talk about the food for a while, OK? Susan Baker is our culinary guru, with the help of several of her Girl Scout troop, who did the menu planning, shopping and organizing. To say the food was fabulous is an understatement! It’s almost more than we can do to wait to see what surprises are in store for the next meal. We cooked over fires again this year, which is a true blessing, and one of my favorite things to do. Other cooking opportunities involved propane stoves, charcoal and a reflector oven. A feature attraction was a TV cooking show-type bake-off with veterans competing against the younger girls to see who made the best pineapple upside down cake in a dutch oven. Who won? Too close to call, we decided, and we made quick work of all of it!
Fresh produce was donated in the form of cantaloupes from Rocky Ford and homegrown rhubarb from the Denver area. The cantaloupes were gobbled up entirely every time they were served and the rhubarb was featured in strawberry-rhubarb crisp made in a reflector oven and homemade rhubarb jam cooked in the lodge kitchen. THANKS to Debbie, Tajer and Nancy for helping us have extra fun with food.
The GSCO History Group gathered on Tuesday morning to complete the history display in the Homestead House. Their efforts were supplemented by new items discovered in the basement of the lodge and ephemera and memorabilia brought by folks to be added. Be sure to stop in at the Homestead House each and every time you come to MMR to learn more about the history of this unique property.
A respectful and moving ceremony was held after lunch that day to burn several U.S. and Colorado flags. It is appropriate to hoist one of the flags to be burned on the flagpole, talk about how and why these flags are being retired, and then gather amid friends before a very hot fire to be sure the flags are completely consumed.
Well, there were many other things to do – – a “Margaret Party” with an old-style movie version of the “Golden Eaglet” movie, campfire every night, sing-alongs every time we got together, crafts, hikes, nature activities, more cooking, more singing………don’t forget story time for a full-length reading of James Thurber’s “The 13 Clocks,” and “The Tajer Tales.”
Kapers, which seem tedious when you do them at home, are actually fun at camp! Cooking, doing dishes, cleaning the biffy, waste management all take on meaning by way of keeping camp clean and safe. MMR has instituted a “Zero Waste” program, and we women needed several tutorials to refine our trash disposal techniques each day.
Sadly, most women left at the end of the Women’s Week event, but several intrepid volunteers remained to operate the Core Camp for troops. Over 100 girls and leaders arrived that afternoon and enjoyed three nights of non-stop fun and outdoor frivolity at MMR. Core Camp is an event that grew out of the desire of several MMR staff alums who wanted to make sure that more girls were able to experience MMR in all its high summer glory. From the surveys conducted at the end, they were not disappointed! (A separate blog posting is coming along shortly to detail the events of Core Camp.)
To close, Women’s Week and Core Camp at MMR this summer leave us with more fond memories to add to our Girl Scout history and experiences. Plans are even now underway to bring these two events to everyone again next summer. Watch the publications for that information.
Lime Gulch Fire Update: The fire is about 15 miles from Tomahawk Ranch (which is still a very long way from camp) and moving in the opposite direction from camp. The local fire personnel have reassured GSCO that even though smoke is visible from camp, there is no present danger to our campers. The safety of our girls is always our top priority. GSCO has strong emergency action and evacuation plans in place. We are in frequent contact with all local authorities so that we are prepared to deal with any fire conditions.