My name is Laura, but in the Girl Scout community many of you know me as my camp name, Cappy, which is short for Cappuccino. I have been involved in Girl Scouts since kindergarten when my mom became a troop leader in Colorado Springs. Shortly after joining, my mom sent me off to Sky High Ranch for resident camp. I quickly fell in love with the camp and all of the new opportunities it had to offer. I attended Sky High as a camper for ten years. Once I was old enough, it was my dream to become a camp counselor. I worked at Sky High for eight years until resident camp ended. The closure of Sky High as a resident camp was heartbreaking. Everything ended so quickly. It was like there was never a chance for closure and when I went back to camp to visit, it was like time had stood still. Everything was exactly as we left it when we were evacuated due to the Waldo Canyon fire in July of 2012.
On June 14th of 2014, a dream came true for me. I was married to my wonderful husband at Sky High Ranch surrounded by family and friends, including many former staff members, who have became my longest and most faithful friends. We had the ceremony in the meadow by the parking lot with a perfect view of the mountains in the background. As I sat there at the head table, looking out across the lodge, a tear came to my eye. I began to think about all of the memories I have shared with so many people in this place. I have experience both happiness and sadness, laughter and tears, found confidence, and faced struggles. I look back on the crazy dance parties, chaotic check-in’s and my favorite campfires in the lodge. All I could think was how blessed I was to have my wedding in this magical place. I can now say that my wedding is one of my favorite memories at camp.
There is something about Sky High Ranch that is truly magical. I know everyone says this about their “home” summer camp, but there is just something different about Sky High.
Although some children and adults may frown upon them, I absolutely love the rustic elements of the camp. The rustic elements such as latrines, no electricity and long walks just add to the camp experience. The whole point of camp is for children to grow and learn. It is important for the girls to experience things they would never experience in the “real world” and step outside of their comfort zone. I can honestly say I would not be the person I am today if I had not gone to camp at Sky High.
The summer of 2012 was the 60th anniversary of Sky High Ranch as a resident camp. It is so exciting that the camp will be reopening as a resident camp in the summer of 2015. Looking forward to next summer, I know that the magic will be kept alive in this special place. It is important to remember the history of the camp, see struggles as opportunities for growth, and most importantly create an environment where the girls gain a love for the outdoors. There is no place else in the world where you can run around like a ninja, dance on the benches while singing “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey, or experience the way it feels when you reach the top of Crash Landing. The long walks allow time for friendships to grow through conversation. The facilities may be small but with team work and flexibility Girl Scouts can make anything work. There are endless possibilities with the beautiful outdoor space offered at Sky High. The best part of the day is waking up to a cool crisp morning and splashing that ice cold water on your face. Each and every day is a new adventure where you never know what will happen next.
There is such a great love for Sky High in the southern Colorado Community. I still meet people to this day that attended the camp at a different time and we instantly share a special bond. It is impossible to put into words the love I feel for camp and the campers. All I can say is that the best memories of my life are at Sky High. I am so thankful for all of the amazing people I have met at camp, both camper and counselors included. Each and every one of these people has taught me something new and made an impact on my life. I can only hope that I made a difference in the lives of the campers and staff members. I am proud to say that I love Sky High Ranch. I am so elated that the camp will be reopening as a resident camp and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for this magical place.