There’s no better way to set the tone for your entire summer than with an adventure. Avid4 Adventure, to be exact. This was our fourth summer with this camp that teaches children lifetimes of empowering outdoor adventure. I was a bit worried my kids would take a been-there, done-that attitude but their experience could not have been farther from the truth. Avid4 Adventure does a fantastic job expanding upon past years of kayaking, canoeing, rock climbing, biking and hiking.
Here’s a glimpse at my kids’ week with Avid4 Adventure. How do I know? Not only did we receive a “report card” at the end with all the things they learned or are still working on, the counselors took pictures every day so parents could follow vicariously at home. As it turns out, my commentary is a wee bit different of what my son Bode had to say about it.
Day 1–Kayaking at Big Soda Lake
Bode: “This was a really fun day. I liked how I learned to navigate through the water with my own kayak. I enjoyed playing the game Stinky Fish where we’d try to throw a wet sponge into another person’s kayak. If you get the sponge into a person’s kayak, you get a point. The goal is to get the most points!”
Me: Kayaking Big Soda Lake at Bear Creek Lake Park…or sleeping on the job?
Fortunately, he figured it out.
It was a total coincidence I happened to be mountain biking nearby and took this picture as they were receiving instruction.
My daughter accused me of being a stalker. I prefer “supportive parent.”
Day 2–Rock Climbing in Morrison
Bode: “Rock climbing was really fun. We got to climb up different rock walls and each path was hard in a different way. I made it up most of the climbs but I was really challenged on the hardest rock wall–I was pretty frustrated when I didn’t make it but only one person did. We had lunch on a rock and I got to sit very high up with beautiful views of Morrison. My older sister didn’t do as well as I did rappelling down. I did pretty good rappelling down a very steep slope.
Me: Clinging to a rock face hanging on for dear life never looked so cute. I know I certainly wouldn’t.
Day 3–Mountain Biking Bear Creek Lake Park
Bode: “On this day, we got to mountain bike a lot and we went on many adventures. We had a slow race, which is a test to see who can go the slowest and not touch the ground. The last person who could make it across the finish line and hadn’t touched the ground or fallen over wins. I came in fourth! On the very steep hill, our instructors told us to use both of our brakes so we could get down slowly but one of the girls (not my sister this time) was going too fast down the hill and landed in the grass and peeled off some skin. We were all grossed out but she was OK. No one else had a big fall.”
Me: Both kids had a blast mountain biking. They were lucky to get sunny conditions because another group went the next day when it rained and they were covered head-to-toe in mud (and looked pretty darn happy about it; my laundry wouldn’t have been so pleased. 🙂
Now, let’s observe how my son does stream crossings:
I’m sensing a pattern. Last summer, we visited Avid4 Adventure’s bike playground for National Get Outdoors Day at City Park.
Perhaps mountain biking side saddle is a new thing?
Day 4–Canoeing Big Soda Lake
Bode: “In the morning, I learned how to use a paddle and canoe before 12 p.m. because my mom was coming to see what we learned. The three points of contact when getting into a canoe are that you have to have two hands and one foot touching something solid. Canoeing was really fun when my mom came because we got to canoe together. Oh, by the way, we tried showing our mom a dead white fish that was bitten into but it sank. My mom said that she almost died because we were shaking the boat a lot. I had a blast when I went canoeinnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg.”
Me: I’ve been in my share of canoes, most of which have capsized at some point. So, I was leery when I found out that parent’s day would be on the water. I just hoped I would not end up in the water. My kids took me out in a canoe, along with a darling girl and they informed me they had a surprise for me as they furiously paddled west. “What kind of surprise.” The girl confessed, “Well, it’s not a very pleasant surprise.” Yes, it was that dead, bloated fish but fortunately for me, my “surprise” sank before we could find it.
My kids loved paddling, playing Stinky Fish with other boats and jumping into the water. I did NOT like the latter because it would rock the boat (literally). My daughter was particularly comfortable in the water. Here she is having a canoe race standing up.
Both kids took delight in my paranoia.
“So help me if you tip this canoe, I’ll abandon ship and swim to shore.”
“You can’t swim in this portion of the lake, Mom.”
“I’ll take my chances.
I proved I am not a water person one threat at a time.
Day 5–Hiking Corwina Park
Bode: “On this day, we played many games when we went hiking. We played Camouflage, which is like hide-and-go-seek, but the person who is ‘it’ has to stay in one place and tries to see people and call them out. We hiked to the top of the mountain and we ate our lunch where we saw a chipmunk. I enjoyed this hike (and that I stopped for bathroom breaks) very much.”
Me: Corwina Park. I hesitate to even mention this hike because it has been my best-kept secret hike in Denver’s Front Range. So, whatever you do, don’t look at those views of Kittredge and Mount Evans. They’re ugly.
That final picture is a game of Camouflage in progress. Here’s for hoping it’s also not a picture of Bode ducking behind a tree enjoying his many bathroom breaks.
About Avid4 Adventure
Avid4 Adventure day camps are offered in Boulder, Golden, Highlands Ranch, Washington Park and Stapleton. They also have Colorado Mountain Camp, a sleep away camp located at Windy Peak, a beautiful location near Bailey, Colorado. For campers who has just finished camp, be sure to check-out Avid4 Adventure’s “Continue the Adventure” campaign, which has awesome information on their blog to get the whole family outside using new skills and local resources learned at camp. In partnership with Mile High Mamas.