Submitted by Penny Roberts
Northern & Northeastern CO
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!
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