As a 93 year old organization we are grateful to have so many hands that have contributed to our successes. If you ever go on a camp tour with Don Cheley he can tell you who built a certain wall, who painted what totem poles and who built each building. We take great pride in our facility, our grounds and in the people that make it all happen.
We are honored to have had Chris Schrader on our year round team since the summer of 2008. He started out on our Transportation and Maintenance Crew and it quickly became apparent that he was the kind of guy we would like to keep around. We hired him to be on our year round team and he stayed to work maintenance throughout the winter and work as the Director of Transportation during the summer.
We got together this week to have lunch as a team and to celebrate Chris’s time here. It was fun to talk with him about his experience of the last 6 years. He told me the story of how he met Taylor. It was Precamp of 2008 and the crew was standing in morning circle, getting their job assignments for the day and answering an interesting question like: if you could have any super power what would it be. Chris remembers looking across the circle and seeing Taylor, who was the Riflery counselor in Lower Chipeta, and it was a done deal. They dated that summer and into the next and when she was finished with school they got married. They started their lives and family together while at camp
He has contributed to the facility in so many ways. Due to beetle kill, he has cut down over 1000 trees! 1000 trees, I find that amazing, but atleast they weren’t the beautiful Crepe Myrtles at The Tree Center that he planted last year. He said the most stressful tree was a big one that had to come down between The Power House and The Barns and avoid some power lines, but thankfully they pulled it off. Chris has even built us a cabin where we could keep safe propane tent heaters for camping, before which we were not able to offer this to our clients. He has either made or freshened up over 50 signs that hang throughout camp. He helped to build Chip Inn and stained all of the trim (which he mentioned was his least favorite job), he helped look for historic remodels on the Philadelphia Main Line to remodel the Honcho House and Cooks Inn, built the bathrooms for Senior Chipeta and Lower Chipeta Director quarters and helped build wagon 5 ½ at GTE. The list goes on and on.
As the Transportation Director, it takes some brain power to figure out the comings and goings of 500 campers to get over Trail Ridge Road, or through Nederland, to the Poudre Canyon for rafting, from Land O Peaks to the Trails’ End Ranches. And to have a fleet of 65 vehicles to maintain and make sure they are in working order. Chris did this job with a smile on his face and with an eagerness to help anyone that needed it.
Chris, his lovely wife Taylor and sweet baby Hailey are moving to Mesa, Arizona where they can be closer to her family. Taylor has a great job as a float nurse at Banner Baywood Hospital and Chris is still in the process of looking. We wish them the best of luck in their new chapter and we thank them from the bottom of our hearts for their contribution to the Cheley experience.