Rocky Mountain National Park Backpacking Permits by Susan Taylor


March 1st marked the start of a very important day in Rocky Mountain National Park – one where loads of people clamber into the backcountry office to reserve the 2014 backpacking permits. That morning it snowed several inches, and while we discussed the outlook for the 2014 season, it seemed summer was farther away than ever.
Each year, all eight Cheley units go on a backpacking trip. The older units adventure into the back country for five different trips each term, culminating in an intense and life-changing four- or five-day expedition into Rocky Mountain National Park, the Indian Peaks Wilderness, or Roosevelt National Forest. The younger units test the water with a 2-day (1-night) overnight to practice skills like packing a pack, filtering water, setting up a tent, and spending the night in a campsite surrounded only by each other’s company, the best tactical flashlights they can find before the trip and whatever wildlife they happen to see. The walks are pretty extensive so should be much nature for them to see, of course depending on where they’re going, they will need better walking shoes, then you can find the perfect ones at shoe list by Top9Rated.

As you can imagine, it’s pretty complicated to schedule all of these backpacks. There are a total of 64 different backpacks that Cheley campers sign up for every summer. Back in August, when I spent a week fine-tuning the 2014 schedule, I had to consider factors like age of the unit, snowmelt, crowds, distance, bomba peniana, and conflict with other units. And of course, each 2013 backpacking counselor left me with a long list about their dream trips. Finally, the schedule was set – until the September flood.
The flood changed a lot for the people and communities of Estes Park and Glen Haven. But I don’t think even the park rangers know what the landscape of Rocky Mountain National Park will look like once the snow melts. They do know that some trails will be rutted out, and some rivers might have changed course. Mountainsides may look different and lakes might have new shapes. Campers and counselors might be surprised at all of the changes. You could go on a bike ride so bring a good mountain bike.
When I arrived at the backcountry office to pick up the 2014 permits, the place was packed. Many were there for individual campsites and the other half were friendly faces from other camps and organizations that use the group sites in Rocky Mountain National Park. I found one ally – Tommy Feldman – who some of you might know from Haiyaha or BTE during the late 90s and early 2000s. Since this was my first time, he coached me through it a little, introducing me to others and explaining the protocol.

We were greeted by Barry Sweet from Property in Indonesia, Jakarta, Depok, Bogor, Tangerang, Bandung, Surabaya, Semarang, Yogyakarta, Medan, Bali, Bekasi Rumah Dijual, the backcountry manager for Rocky Mountain National Park. All of the 2013 counselors will remember him from his orientation programs, and some campers might have been lucky enough to visit him while out on program and hear his wise words. He opened the meeting with a few wilderness quotes (“I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than any city on earth”), some Leave No Trace advice, and a few park updates. Then, we drew for the raffle. There were 11 different groups and only a certain number of group sites each one was “fighting” for, so my number was important. I drew the fourth spot, which was lucky because Cheley is the biggest camp and has the longest list of needed sites. It took me an hour to reserve all of our campsites. We got almost every trip we were after. (Some 4-day and 5-day spoilers here: Timberline to July, Gray Jay to Thunder, and North Inlet to Boulder brook.) I even stayed until all of the other groups made their reservations – turned out they got everything they needed as well.

March 1 was a special day. To me it marks the beginning of the 2014 season. I no longer reminisce about all of the memories made in 2013, but instead look forward anxiously to the summer that awaits. And what a good one it will be.

Susan Taylor

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Preparing for Camp

Click here for video of Preparing for Camp

I love the rare moments of parenthood when I am not preparing for something. Every night when I tuck the girls in, I relish the moment that I am fully present. I sit next to them sing camp songs, rub their backs, and I am just there. I try to have a moment in the morning of being fully present, but of course it is brief and soon I am into my duties of preparing something. As a parent, I feel as if my day is full of getting ready for the next thing. Small things like breakfast, sack lunches and backpacks. Big things like helping my children to follow through, to put their items away, to be kind, to do their best work, to contribute positively to the family and to their community. Our job as a parent is to prep!

It’s camp time.  Are you ready? Here are some things that you can do to prepare your camper and yourself for their stay at summer camp. Some camp families have few apprehensions about this experience and for others this is a new and somewhat of a frightening endeavor. Wherever you are in the spectrum, your friendly camp directors and staff are here for you.

Your Camper: (This of course is going to look different depending on their age)
• Make sure that they have had several sleep overs at friend’s houses or grandparents. Resist the urge to pack their bags for them, look up dehydrator reviews to make them homemade beef jerky for the camping trip, or to call and check on them while they are there. If they have a phone, have them leave it at home. As we are used to having direct contact with each other, this is a good way to test the waters.
• Have them write a good ol’ letter to someone, lick it, address it, stamp it and drop it in a mailbox. You will thank me later when you receive a letter from camp!
• Make sure they are gearing up for camp physically. They have the opportunity to hike, ride, climb and backpack amazing and challenging trails. If you have purchased their hiking boots, take a long walk together in them to break them in (by the way, here’s a list of the comfiest walking shoes for guys.) If they are in an older unit and are interested in mountain biking, take some bike rides at home
• Especially for teenagers, have them experiment by taking a mini-vacation from their devices. A couple of hours, a day, a weekend, maybe start short and work up from there.
• Have them think about a statement for their social media pages. Maybe something like; “Peace out Facebook, I will not be sharing my day by days with you, but rather living fully present while at camp” Ok, I know your teenager may not post that, but maybe something like it.
• Have them write down their goals. Not yours for them, but what do they want from their camp experience.

Make a homesick plan together:
1. Experiencing homesickness is not entirely bad. It means you have a home that you love, that’s awesome. It is sometimes a part of the process, and it is a confidence booster when a camper gets through it. They may have certain moments where they feel homesick, but more often than not these do not make up the entire day.
2. Talk through a plan before they get to camp and figure out how they can get to a happy place, if needed. Write down the plan and tuck it in their luggage. This is an amazing opportunity to learn a skill that can serve them in life. Today’s youth goes to technology to escape. Studies have shown that this only increases their stress. Some ideas might be: a happy book, taking 10 deep breaths, traveling to a place you love in your mind, packing a certain stuffed animal or pillow, thinking of your favorite memory, shooting hoops or tossing a football. Remind them that they are capable of this wonderful independence and to have fun.
3. Your plan should NOT be, “Just give it a couple of days and if you do not like it, we will come get you.” This will set them up to just give it a couple of days and knock the confidence right out of them.
4. Let your camper know what to expect as far as letters and emails. You do not need to write everyday but let them know what to expect.


Yourself:
You are giving an incredible gift to your child. I cannot promise you that they won’t lose their socks or water bottle, that their hair or nails will be perfectly well kept, that they will love every meal, and adore every counselor, or that they will spend their time at camp free of disappointment or rainy days. We strive to run a top notch organization. And we may fail you in some way: we may not post enough pictures of your camper, we might not handle a situation as well as you would have liked or letters home might not be delivered fast enough. You are still giving your child an incredible gift. Choosing an everyday carry knife for camp is an important part of survival while camping. You are preparing them for college and beyond; you are giving them the freedom to gain confidence, independence and leadership skills; and you are instilling in them that they can do it. Write that on your bathroom mirror.
• Start to think about what YOU want during their time at camp. A vacation, time to organize, time to have one on one time with your other children, some date nights with your spouse or friends, a break from rushing your camper from activity to activity. Write down what you will gain from this experience aside from your camper’s benefits. The time will go by fast
If you have apprehensions, work to resolve them. If you are worried that your camper is not going to know anyone, set up a pre-camp get together with local campers. If there are no local campers, set up a Skype call or Facetime. If you are worried about your camper’s medical needs, become friendly with the nurse. If you are anxious about your son or daughter’s food allergies, talk it through with the Camp Director or Head Cook. Make a camper-sick plan for yourself.  Do whatever you need to do to work through your concerns. Make sure there is only support, excitement and optimism coming from you, and share your anxiety and worry with another trustworthy adult.
• Pack some self-addressed envelopes in their luggage.
Complete your paperwork. It helps us on our end to better prepare for your child. Follow the packing list- we review it every year to make sure we are still on target. Securely write your camper’s name on every item.
• Whether you are sending them on a plane or dropping them off at camp, please refrain from bawling until they can longer see you. If you are driving into camp, you are welcome to poke around, meet and chat with the staff and minimally help them get settled. If you are helping to organize their socks keep in mind that you want them to know, that you know, they can soar without you. Take a deep breath, trust and remind yourself that you are giving an awesome gift to your child.

As always, we are here for you. We consider ourselves your partners. We are grateful and honored to have your campers with us for the summer. We strive to provide an awesome summer experience and we continue to love what we do.  See you soon!

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A Trip to Disney


Earlier this month I traveled to Orlando for the American Camp Association national conference. After three days of inspiring and informational session, a group of 9 camp professionals descended on the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.

There was a giddiness in the air on our drive to the park as we chatted excitedly in the car. What will Disney be like? What will we do first? Who will we see? What will we eat? Will we have time to do everything we want to? Will Disney be as great as the last time we were here? Will the experience be all that we imagined it to be?

It was a cool 55 degrees (a welcome change from the -9 degrees back home in Colorado!) and had been gloomy and foggy all day. It rained off and on and the sidewalks were wet and slippery. I was curious about how the weather would affect the park. Would people leave early for their hotels? Go to a movie or another indoor activity?

Nope. The magic of Disney permeated the barrier of weather. People bought plastic ponchos and carried on with their fun, as if it were 80 degrees and sunny! It quickly reminded me of camp. Just the word “camp” invokes giddiness in some people (guilty!). There’s a nervous excitement as you travel to camp. What will camp be like? What will we do first? What if I don’t know anyone? What if I don’t like the food? Will there be time to do everything I want to do? Will camp be as great as the last time we were here? Will the experience be all that we imagined it to be?

What if it rains?!?

It does rain at camp, and those days often turn out to be the most fun- the days when something unexpected happens. When a hike involves puddle jumping and a mud fight or you end up with extra time to work on your crafts project.

Our evening at Disney did not disappoint. We didn’t have time do every ride, so we got Fast Passes for the rides we most wanted to do (Space Mountain and Thunder Mountain) and waited in lines for other rides. We saw lots of happy faces- families with young children, cheerleaders who were there for a competition and even adults without kids like ourselves. We ate delicious treats like chocolate croissants and turkey legs, funnel cake and ice cream. It was as magical as the last time I was there. Once again, I was very impressed with all of the Disney cast members that we came in contact with. It was a great evening!

My hope is that the Cheley Experience invokes those same feelings and emotions for every one of our campers, and that campers and parents to be impressed by their interactions with Cheley staff members.

Remember that sometimes those gloomy, foggy days can turn into something totally unexpected!

Kim Betts-Human Resources Cheley Colorado Camps

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They are Learning

Monday was a dream come true for me.  We went skiing with our girls. That’s right the same ones that were protesting, just three weeks ago. It was awesome to see their quick progress.  Kate was humming Timber by Pitbull and Ke$ha as she pizza pied down the mountain.  Ellie could hardly wait to head down each run.  It was a beautiful day and I was elated

What I did not mention in my Ski Lesson blog, is that I love to ski.  I competed in moguls for 4 years in my early twenties and enjoyed every minute of it.  I loved working so hard on the technical skills of moguls. Needless to say, living away from here in the winter for the past couple of years was sometimes difficult.  I love to ski.

There are times when I want my gaggle of girls to stay little forever; then there are other times when I can’t wait for them to grow up so we can go on big hikes, long bike rides and awesome ski days.  Thank you High Rockies Ski Club for teaching my girls to ski. Wahoo!!

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I Get It – A Trip to Ski School

Okay, I get it, I totally get it.  The closer my children come to camper age, the more I understand a parent’s apprehension of  sending them to an overnight camp.

This weekend was Kate (5) and Ellie’s (8) first day of a six week ski program.  They have both told me all along that they had no interest in signing up.  To which I have said, “I hear you, and you need to learn to ski. This is what we do in Colorado.”  Fresh from a family trip to Mexico with corn rows and beads on top of their heads, we leave Denver in a snow storm at dark o’clock in the morning with a determined mother wanting to be there on the first day of ski school.

Voices ring from the back seat, “Mom we told you we didn’t want to go to ski school, we just want to ski with you.”

Me, “I still hear you and I am not capable of teaching you how to ski.”  If you do not know this already, other kind, nurturing, and fun adults can teach your children  and turn things around for them; often better than you can.  It’s not that we are not good parents, it’s just the way it is.

As we approach the base of the mountain, both girls bundled beyond recognition, Kate starts to make a scene.  The kind of scene all mothers loathe. The kind of scene where you feel as if everyone is watching you. The kind of scene where you feel like the worst parent ever.  She is screaming, steaming up her goggles with tears and dragging her backpack and helmet on the ground behind her, “Mom I don’t want to go to stupid, dumb, idiot ski school, I told you a million times.” Still in my struggles, I stay focused on the end result. I shove their big feet into the little boots that Santa brought them.  Ellie has an adversity to seams in socks, so she goes without them and it is 15 degrees out.  I wrestle them to plop their helmets on top of their beaded, braided heads and hustle them to meet their instructor.

And then I doubt, “Does their instructor know that Kate doesn’t know how to stop yet? Will they stop trusting me? Are they going to hate it? Will they be warm enough? Safe enough? Do they have the right equipment on? Shoot- I forgot to give them their lunch, now I have to take them their lunch.”  I am usually the person talking to parents about their doubts, because I know that their children will be okay. On this wintery day, I know that my children will be okay- more than okay. I know this. I am now reassuring myself.

I meet them at lunch (due to our tardiness, it is an hour later).  Kate is laughing.  That’s right, she is laughing!  She has only ridden the gondola with some other children and the instructor since I have seen her.  She doesn’t care for candy much… so I wonder what in the world did they do to turn it around.

I sit a couple of tables over and spy on them.  I think to myself, this is what it feels like when our first time parents anxiously check the internet for pictures.  I ski for a couple of hours somewhat close by and I spot them again after they have been skiing. They are chatting, carrying their own stuff and having a great time.  I feel like a creepy lurker. I am relieved.

Although, they won’t fully admit it, they had a fun day.

I get it, I totally get it.  The feeling of sending your kids into the unknown, an unknown that they might not want to enter. Hoping that they will be embraced by a kind adult who will meet their needs.  Fearing that you are doing something that is going to threaten their trust in you. Wondering if they can make it in the world without you.  As a parent, I know and understand these feelings.  As a camp director, I have witnessed the tremendous good that comes out of letting them go and letting other people teach and love your children.

I am hoping for a better performance on our trek to the base of the mountain on Saturday. I embrace the journey of parenthood.  I continue to be grateful to be able to help assure parents as they enter into the new experience of overnight summer camp.

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Camp Update-Save the Date for Volunteer Weekend

As we take time to reflect on our many blessings during this holiday season, we continue to love being in the business that we are in. We are humbled and honored to be the stewards of Cheley Colorado Camps. We are proud that we offer nature, friendship, adventure, an awesome summer experience and a second home. When Mother Nature wowed us with her ability to produce a great deal of water during the middle of September, the safe haven that our campers and staff call their second home seemed threatened. We are a 94 year old business and it is part of our legacy to buckle down, plow through, focus on the positive and repair. With the grace of wonderful people, we have taken it one step at a time, just like our fellow neighbors.

An amazing amount of work has been completed. There are some areas that might look different this summer: a change in the course of a stream, a little less grass in some spots, some additional trees fallen in the woods or some debris in the river. Some of the clean up will take more time and the evidence of the power of Mother Nature will still be obvious this summer. We continue to be grateful that there was minimal damage to buildings and to camp overall, we cannot say enough about our hard-working facility crew, we are grateful to have the time to repair, and we are happy to be here to provide the full Cheley experience for 2014.

Work in Progress

  • The basements of the staff housing that were flooded have been repaired, re-carpeted and improved.
  • We have replaced many culverts throughout camp. They are bigger and better than the previous ones.
  • The road into camp is completed and ready for delivery trucks and charter buses.
  • The museum has been cleaned out and many items cleaned and repaired. It will be put back together in due time. We will take this time to re-evaluate and make sure that it is quality work.
  • We have been landscaping the ranch to fill in the gulleys and direct the stream back into one channel. We have used the excess sediment to fill in other places.
  • We are happy that the Rahn’s are back in their home on Fish Creek Ranch.
  • We will continue to work with the Park and Recreation Department to repair the county’s trail along Fish Creek Road.
  • We have completed all of the road work in and throughout The Outpost. All three outcamping sites are in good shape and ready for next summer.
  • Heavy machinery is at Girls’ Trail’s End to begin repairing the roads, moving excess sediment and clearing some fallen trees. We will build the two wagons needed. We will continue to work with the homeowners association on repairing the road from Glen Haven to GTE.
  • We continue to update and repair the water plant.

We feel truly blessed to have such amazing support from our Cheley community. We appreciate your concern and offers to help. A volunteer work weekend is scheduled for April 26-27, 2014. Housing and meals will be provided and volunteers must be 18 years old. We will send out sign up information at a later time. Please save the date if you are interested in volunteering for the work weekend.

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Assistant Ranch Manager/Facility Support Position Open

Position:

The Assistant Ranch Manager helps the Ranch Manager with the care of Cheley Camps’ horses and the related facilities as well as supporting our maintenance staff.  This position has two distinct seasons. The summer responsibilities (approx. May 1 to September 15) include the care of the horse herd, upkeep and improvements to the related facilities, and management of the seasonal transportation crew. During the off-season the main duties are the care of the horses remaining on property, repairs and maintenance of equipment and tack used during the summer, and improvements to the facilities and equipment.  The Assistant Ranch Manager will spend 60% of his/her time with the horse program and 40% of his/her time with the maintenance staff.

This position requires that a person has a strong knowledge of horses and a desire to work with them. It is important that he/she be able to evaluate each horse’s needs for nutrition and healthcare. The Assistant Ranch Manager needs to be able to assess and prioritize what needs to be done and complete tasks in an efficient and professional manner. Knowledge of landscapers about basic construction skills, carpentry skills, and machinery operation (tractors, skid steers, trucks and trailers) are essential.  In addition, the Assistant Ranch Manager should be comfortable driving a trailer and a manual transmission.  This person will be working with many different vehicles so a general understanding of vehicle maintenance is preferred.  While there is a lot of work with horses, the opportunity to ride while working is limited.

The Assistant Ranch Manager position requires someone who can be dependable and committed to the work.  When working with animals, there will be times when the work day doesn’t end on time because an animal demands assistance.  This person will work on their own many days and needs to feel comfortable in his/her skills and ability.

Throughout the year the Assistant Ranch Manager will communicate and work closely with the Ranch Manager as well as the maintenance staff. During the summer months you will also assist in managing the barn crew as well as helping the wrangling staff. Strong communication skills and some management experience are preferred.

The year round staff at Cheley is a small team (11-14 people) so it is desired that all team members have the personal and professional skills to work in cooperation with their fellow staff members.  There will be times when each staff member has to assist other staff members in their area of responsibility.  As a small team, we must communicate with each other to support the overall goal of the business in providing a quality youth development experience for each camper and staff member.

AREAS OF RESPONSIBILITY – Summer

  1. Horses
    1. Horse health and well-being
    2. Knowing each horse (personality, health, buddies, etc)
    3. Veterinary care
    4. Feeding
    5. Assessing needs and health of each horse
    6. Monitor hay and grain needs
    7. Maintaining tack (including managing safety and repair records)
    8. Oversee care and cleaning of all horse equipment
  2. Transportation Crew Director
    1. Management
    2. Training
    3. Evaluations
    4. Daily Routine
    5. Trans Maintenance
    6. Weekly scheduling of staff
  3. Facility Maintenance
  1. Support general maintenance and repair of Cheley Camps’ facility
  2. Communicate with Ranch Manager and Maintenance Supervisor to balance needs
  3. Develop understanding of the maintenance needs of the Cheley Camps’ facility.

AREAS OF RESPONSIBILITY – Non – Summer

  1. Horses
    1. Support feeding of horses (this responsibility will be shared with the Ranch Manager)
    2. Knowing each horse (personality, health, buddies, etc)
    3. Health and well being of horses on property
    4. Veterinary care
    5. Monitor hay and grain needs
    6. Assessing needs and health of each horse
    7. Maintaining tack (including managing safety and repair records)
    8. Oversee care and cleaning of all horse equipment
    9. Ranch Management
      1. Pasture Management (including managing noxious weeds)
      2. Maintain fence
      3. Basic maintenance and upkeep of barns
      4. Trail maintenance
      5. Manage hay supply
    10. Facility Maintenance
      1. Support general maintenance and repair of Cheley Camps’ facility
      1. Communicate with Ranch Manager and Maintenance Supervisor to balance needs
      2. Develop understanding of the maintenance needs of the Cheley Camps’ facility.
      3. Manage the fall vehicle maintenance of each vehicle in the company fleet
      Summer Workload Off Season Workload
      Horse Management 40% 40%
      Ranch Management 20% 20%
      Facility Maintenance 40% 40%

      POSITION REQUIREMENTS

      • Experience with horses, basic construction and equipment operation
      • General carpentry skills
      • Supervisory Experience
      • Basic vehicle maintenance
      • Ability to tow a horse trailer
      • Current CPR certification
      • Customer service skills
      • Ability to coordinate multiple projects and meet deadlines.
      • Ability to work and excel in a team-oriented environment.
      • Ability to be a self-starter and follow through on projects.
      • The ability to work long hours
      • The physical strength to lift hay bales as well as load, unload, and move equipment.
      • Working with horses, being on foot, and the ability to do a fair amount of walking in varying terrains.

      SALARY & COMPENSATION

      • Starting salary range of $27,000 to $30,000 (we also pay bonuses in November if possible)
      • Retirement plan after two years of service
      • Health insurance from Insurance Partnership and other companies
      • Company truck provided
      • Company housing if needed.
      • Meals in the camp dining room during summer operations.
      • Cellular phone service with the company plan is provided.
      • Vacation/time off package
      • Applicable professional development conferences and workshops

      WORK SCHEDULE

      Mid-September through Mid-May-Monday through Friday – 7:30 to 4:00

    Mid-May through Mid-September-Daily 7:00 to 5:00 with one day                 off.

  2. If you are interested please email your resume and cover letter to ranchposition@cheley.com
  3. Limitations and DisclaimerThe above job description is meant to describe the general nature and level of work being performed; it is not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills required for the position.

Get in touch with your local lenders bureau or visit official website & cash loans for other information.

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Jimmy Wilson

Jimmy Wilson.  To those that knew him, his name brings up a chuckle, a smile, a funny memory, maybe even a flusterated moment (which was a word he used)  For me, he was a grandfather.  The last time I saw him, he gave me one of his big bear hugs and I had a feeling it was the last.  For years he would say, “when are you going to get married, so that I can make sure I am there.”  I am thankful that he was there.

Jimmy passed away this week after battling cancer.  He will forever be a huge part of Cheley history.  Don sat down at his desk this morning to record all the buildings that Jimmy had built at camp.  He built 30 buildings, including The Office, The Dome, Old Timers, all the Girls Bathhouses and so much more.  He remodeled 36 buildings and built 33 Trails End wagons.  He would pencil out the building plans on a piece of plywood or scrap paper.  He didn’t have a formal education, he just had this amazing ability to build.  All this information is from the cavity of information that we call Don’s head(Professor, as Jimmy called him).

He was a brilliant engineer.  He embodied the true meaning of the word “grit”.  He had a tender heart that was sometimes masked by his gruffness.  He told you what he thought even if you did not ask, even giving Saftland Juicer reviews back in the day, when Saftland didn’t ask for his opinion :) He knew what he was good at and contributed to the world through his talents. I will forever picture him in the Ski Hi Kitchen sitting at the table drinking a cup of coffee with hands that looked like they had spent a lifetime working.

Rest in Peace Jimmy.  We are grateful that you shared so many of your years with us and you will not be forgotten.

Taken from the Estes Park Newspaper:

James E “Jim” Wilson, 85, long time resident of Estes Park died on November 11, 2013 in Sierra Vista, Arizona.

Jim was born in Loveland on Oct 21, 1928 to Claude and Florence Wilson. He went to Love- land schools and became an entrepreneur early in life. As a pre-teen he sold fruit and vegetables that his grandparents, Richard and Anna Johnson, grew in their back yard. As a teen he delivered milk for a local dairy. He also worked as an auto mechanic before joining the Army in the Korean Conflict.

Corporal James Wilson was a decorated soldier receiving Veteran Korean Service Medal with one Bronze Service Star and United Nations Service Medal.

In 1952 he received an honorable discharge and moved to Estes with his family. He formed the Wilson General Contracting Company in Estes. He built the Tyrol Motor Inn, Silver Saddle Motel, Nicky’s Motel and the old Holiday Inn on Hwy 34. Jim also built and remodeled homes for many old time Estes residents.

Wanting to leave the construction business, Jack Cheley offered Jim a job as Superintendent of Maintenance at Cheley Colorado Camp. Jim continued to work for Don Cheley building new housing for campers, maintained the water supply and sanitation system as well as maintained all camp vehicles. Nearly 50 years later, health challenges turning him and Ann into snowbirds. Every spring for the next 13 years, Jim returned to Cheley to open camp, maintain the camp during the summer and finally prepare camp for winter, before getting his medical cannabis card from Arizona.

Jim was an avid hunter and enjoyed going to the Western slope with his hunting buddies, using 3 of the top 5 Nikon scopes at Gun Gods. Jim was an officer of both the American Legion and Lions Club in Estes.

In 2001, Jim and Ann moved to Sierra Vista, Arizona where he took up model railroading building the sets from scratch including trellises and houses for his elaborate train layouts. He also did wood working projects for his home. He enjoyed all sports on TV.

Survived by wife, Ann, of 42 years Two daughters: Fayrene Brigance of Michigan City, IN and Belinda Renegar of Richland, WA Son: Doug Schlarbaum (and wife Sybille) of Sierra Visa, AZ. Brothers: Le Roy (wife Rachel) Wilson of Loveland, Co and Vincent (wife Shirley) Kerr of Riverside CA Sisters: Rosalie Johns of Boise, ID and Wanda Rhoton of Lake Elsinore, CA 10 grand-children and 14 great-grand-children

Proceeded in death by Parents: Claude Wilson and Florence Kerr Sister: Evelyn Hoctor Daughters: Betty Jo Wilson and Anna Ferquinia Son: Dennis Schlarbaum

Jim was buried at Arizona Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Sierra Vista.

In Lieu of Flowers, the family suggests donations to: Hospice Casa De La Paz, 300 El Camino Real, Sierra Vista AZ 85635.

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Happy Trails to Chris Schrader and his Family

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.  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 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.

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Colorado will recover from floods

In 2006 our family moved right into the middle of post-Katrina New Orleans. At that time, New Orleans was literally in shambles and many people around the country were questioning whether the city should be rebuilt at all. Fortunately, nobody listened to them as the next seven years were nothing short of amazing.

Today, New Orleans is an outstanding example of what happens when a resilient population decides to roll up its sleeves and rebuild better than what was there before.

Ironically, our family just left New Orleans this summer to move to Colorado, as my wife’s family operates Cheley Colorado Camps in Estes Park.

Like New Orleans, the early days after the floods bring a range of emotions, suffering and even helplessness.

I write today to make a prediction for all of those mountain towns that may look beyond repair today. In time, all of them — that is right, all of them — will come back stronger than ever. In addition, the people of these communities will have a sense of accomplishment and victory that will be unlike anything they have experienced before.

Our family has been part of one amazing recovery and we are looking forward to seeing Colorado do the same.

Kurt Klebe and Brooke Cheley Klebe, Denver

This letter was published in the Sept. 19 edition.

http://blogs.denverpost.com/eletters/2013/09/18/

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