Giving Back

Guest Blog by Emily Moss

There are so many things that I am excited about when I think about returning to Cheley for my ninth summer. First of all, I cannot wait to return to Lower Chipeta, where my Cheley experience began ten years ago. I know that I will have a blast with the girls in Lower, but I also hope I can be a role model to these young ladies and can share what I have learned during my years at camp. During my seven years as a camper at Cheley, I encountered so many wonderful people; from fellow campers to counselors to cooks and everywhere in between.  Those experiences have meant so much to me, and I love the idea of passing the Cheley experience on to a new group of young ladies.

A huge part of the Cheley experience is the self-confidence that comes from being away from home and in the mountains. I am excited to see the young ladies of Lower grow to emerge as kids who know that they can excel at camp and to develop the love for the mountains and camp that has meant so much to me. As an outcamping counselor, I will be taking the girls on overnight camping trips to some spectacular Cheley properties. I know that we will have so much fun, but I also know that outcamping can be a bit scary for someone who does not have camping experience. I can remember being nervous before my first outcamping experience at Cheley (a trip to Rockstock, where we got to be creative and make our own tents with tarps and strings). The idea of sleeping in the wilderness was pretty new and a little scary for me, but I challenged myself, and I ended up having a great time. I am so excited to teach campers that challenging themselves to do something that may be new can end up being a really cool and fun experience. My goal is to teach the girls that the benefits of trying something new also extends to life outside of camp. For example, I am from Bethesda, Maryland, but I go to school at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. If it weren’t for my experiences at Cheley, I may not have had the courage to go to school somewhere as far from home as Madison. The fact that I learned to challenge myself at camp has made a big difference to my life, from where I go to school to the way I approach new friendships.

On a lighter note, I also cannot wait to make delicious meals and sing lots of songs on outcamps. It is so much fun to be creative while cooking meals on an out camp (banana boats and pita pizza are some of my all time favorite meals) and there is nothing I love more than singing camp songs with good friends under the beautiful Colorado stars. I simply cannot wait to return to Estes Park, Colorado for another fantastic summer!

Emily was one of our wonderful Swing Crew staff members last summer and is returning to be an Outcamping counselor in Lower Chipeta.

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