Camp Chief Ouray YMCA of the Rockies
Granby, Colorado
November 12, 2012
http://www.campchiefouray.org/

As soon as we pulled in to the parking lot at YMCA Camp Chief Ouray Marty Fergeson came right up to give us maybe the most welcoming and understanding initial hug of our trip so far. We immediately knew that this was a special place and that we were about to learn a lot about what it takes to be a camp director as well as a lot about this special camp nestled away in the Rockies. In conjunction with Chief Ouray there is Snow Mountain Resort, and the Estes Park Conference center all under the umbrella of YMCA of the Rockies. Chief Ouray is special not only because of its awesome location but because it seems that the staff and the directorship feels such pride in their camp, culture and tradition. As we crunched through the fresh snow around camp we learned about the spirit stick and “camp magic” two things that are celebrated during the campfire at the end of the week. All camps talk about camp magic and at Chief Ouray they truly live it. To begin the closing campfire each week a counselor or two that really went above and beyond during the session start by talking about their camp magic and reach in to the magic jar to throw some magic powder in to the fire. Then campers and staff are welcome to share some of their weeks magic. Spirit stick given to the cabin with the most spirit. The camper with the longest pinky in the cabin gets to measure it out on the stick and then the cabin decorates it in any way they want before it hangs in the dining hall for all eternity to see. Just in these two camp traditions we could see what all the excitement was about for Camp Chief Ouray. 

-Laura

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