Colorado summer camp

Our Commitment to
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Inclusion at Cheley Colorado Camps
At Cheley Colorado Camps, we live by our core values and beliefs, which embrace harmony, honesty, integrity, unselfish love, and concern for human dignity. We are passionate about creating an inclusive camp community that celebrates, supports, and thrives on diversity. With infinite elements of one’s identity, we welcome, affirm, and support youth no matter their background or how they choose to identify themselves.

As professionals in youth development, it is our responsibility to help each camper in bringing their authentic selves to camp and in navigating a diverse world both at camp and beyond. We also know that it’s imperative to have honest and brave conversations regarding identity. We believe that inclusion is a value best learned in childhood and it is our responsibility to provide a supportive environment in which that learning can occur.
Inclusion Statement
Cheley Colorado Camps accepts children regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability (assuming the disability permits safe participation in the Cheley Experience), faith or religion, cultural observance, national or ethnic origin, family status, appearance, body type/size, educational background, and any other category people use to define themselves or others.

Equity Statement
The Cheley Experience thrives on creating an environment where everyone is comfortable bringing their authentic selves to camp. While we are fortunate to have a rich history of being a welcoming community centered around the Code of Living, we are acutely aware that many families have not had access to camp nor felt included in the camp experience. Therefore, our priority is to increase access to Cheley Colorado Camps for groups historically underrepresented at camp and to ensure that all young people feel the same sense of belonging. We recognize that our efforts will be ongoing and evolving as we work toward an equitable future.

Land Acknowledgement

At Cheley Colorado Camps, we have a deep and abiding respect and care for the natural world. The joy of being outside and in nature is one of the highest joys that humanity can possess; therefore, it is within our responsibility to understand the long-standing history of these lands and waters and to seek to understand our place within that history.

Cheley Colorado Camps acknowledges, with respect, that the land we are on today is on the traditional and ancestral homelands of the Arapaho, Cheyenne, Ute (Núu-agha-tʉvʉ-pʉ̱), and Eastern Shoshone peoples. Our properties – Land O’Peaks, Trail’s End Ranch for Boys and for Girls, the Outpost, and Pierson – were also a place of trade, gathering, and healing for numerous other Native tribes.

We are conscious of and saddened by the exclusions and erasures of Indigenous peoples that resulted in our being on stolen land. While the Treaty of Fort Laramie (1851 and 1861) and Cession 426 promised friendship, it elicited the displacement of people with the forced removal from their lands. Despite these atrocities, the continued cultural vibrancy, resilience, and traditions live on with Indigenous communities today.

At Cheley Colorado Camps, we honor with gratitude the legacy and the history of these tribes – past, present, and future. We also recognize the contributions Indigenous peoples have made, both in shaping and strengthening our community in particular and our state and country as a whole. Friendship Circle was originally based on circular gatherings, which are deeply rooted in the traditional practices of several First Nations (e.g. healing circles). Chipeta is a namesake from the wife of Ouray – the chief of the Tabeguache (Uncompahgre) band of the Ute tribe – who Frank Cheley greatly admired for being outspoken and lobbying for her people’s rights. Additionally, in Arapaho, Haiyaha means “big rocks.”

This acknowledgment, brief and in no way complete, demonstrates a commitment toward the healing of these lands and waters and is a step toward reconciliation with these Native communities. We call on our peers in the Summer Camp industry and in our community to join us in acknowledging the Indigenous peoples as original stewards of this land. As we enjoy the privilege and beauty of these lands and waters, we must continue to recognize their significance to the people who came before us and those that are still here today.
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