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Pagosa Springs Youth Center Day Camp in its fourth week
Monday, November 22, 2010

Hard to believe that three weeks have passed since the licensed Xtreme Day Camp opened under the directorship of Karen Carpenter and some wonderful counselors, junior counselors and counselors-in-training at the new Pagosa Springs Youth Center (formerly the Power House).

Filling a need in the community for additional youth services so quickly has been a healthy challenge, but it is one we will continue to meet. Many great ideas and opportunities have graced the Youth Center project in such a short time.

The Xtreme Day Camp includes all the supervised activities that any camp might offer, but the add-ons make the camp special. Recently, the carnival that comes to town for the Fourth of July holiday gave the kids tickets to enjoy some of the rides in the afternoon. The carnival being right next door was a bonus. The owners even made a donation to the Youth Center.

Don Volger, retired Pagosa Springs chief of police, came to the center and worked with the campers to introduce them to the tools needed to solve a crime: gathering evidence, what kind of questions to ask, how to determine necessary action at a crime scene and then hopefully how to solve the crime. A CSI crime scene investigation was staged the second day to see if the campers could solve the crime ... and they did!

Andrea Lyle, mom of junior counselor Kelsey Lyle, gave a class on horsemanship that prepared the kids to take horseback rides at the downtown trail ride concession. Up close, hands-on learning can be fun and that is what Andrea was able to bring to the Xtreme Day Camp participants at Town Park. Casey, the horse, was an excellent animal to have the kids learn on; he had the patience and the stamina to deal with the outdoor classroom setup.

Silas Thompson, a counselor-in-training, has spent many days with the campers and has a special talent — juggling and balloon artistry. The campers have fun relating to the youthfulness of the CITs and enjoy Silas, Will Smock-Egan, Maya Novak and Mitch Higby.

Mitch Higby can be found working with swim instructor Tiffany Candeleria at The Spa twice a week. Besides play time, each camper is offered group swim lessons. The river is another great play area for the campers.

Photos are being taken throughout the summer and campers will be able to scrapbook their experiences. During the Ruby Sisson Library program, children’s librarian Stephanie Graveson included the kids from the camp at the library’s weekly program. The campers are enjoying their time and the wonderful environment that Pagosa Springs has to offer.

Tonight, local youngsters ages 13-18 will have an opportunity to enjoy a free dinner and discuss the next step of opening the center for the teens. The dinner is at 6:30 p.m.

For more information on the Xtreme Day Camp, to volunteer to help with youth programming at the center, or to make a donation, call Joanne or Karen at 264-5030.