It means enough that I have returned to EP almost every year since 1967.
My husband and our daughters started coming in 97 or 98 and came yearly until my husband passed away in 04. That last year was special because we brought his parents along too. John loved the outdoors and all that the YMCA of the Rockies offered. We went on hay rides (hay back rides as my daughter called it), enjoyed the times at the campfire, fishing and my daughters grew up in Bennett, Jellison and Leggett. It brought us all closer as a family and allowed my husband to share his love of outdoors with our children. We came one year after his death with all of our extended together. Last year we returned with my new husband and his children and all had a wonderful time.
Four friends and I wanted to ‘get away’ from the hustle and bustle of life. We love doing art together and decided that the YMCA camp at Estes Park would be a great place for a 3 day art retreat. We came and were SHOCKED by how wonderful our 3 bedroom cabin was. It was LOADED with every amenity we could possibly imagine. How fun!
Visiting the YMCA of the Rockies has been a special family time for many years. Our oldest graduated from high school this year, and so it is the last time we will come as a family living all together. It was also a “first” for our newest, youngest child, who is five months old, and this story has a lot to do with him.
Our family headed out on our summer vacation today. Because of the baby, we decided to fly to Colorado rather than drive. So, in less than a day, we went from hot, humid home to the cool temperatures of Estes Park and YMCA of the Rockies. We made a few stops on the way from the airport to the YMCA grounds and didn’t check in until nearly midnight.
We had rented two cars and Don had been a few minutes ahead of me. By the time we reached the registration parking lot, Mariel was running out to tell me which cabin we had and that we had been in it before. There are A LOT of cabins on the YMCA property, so to be in the same one twice is pretty unlikely.
Don led the way in the dark. I followed him up the asphalt paved roads and then to the dirt road that wound its way to our cabin.
In the dark, I REMEMBERED. I remembered which cabin it was. I remembered what God had promised me as I stood on the porch almost seven years ago TO THE DAY. I was completely overcome.
God had kept His promise to me. EVERY LAST DETAIL. He meant what He said and it was me that over thought and over analyzed. The majority of the things I wrestled with over the years were me trying to make more out of what He had said than simply WHAT HE SAID:
“The next time you are HERE, you will have another child.”
We had been back to the YMCA of the Rockies twice since I had heard that promise! And twice I had felt sorely let down by God.
Here was not the YMCA of the Rockies in general. Here was the exact same porch I had been standing on!!
What a glorious, awesome, humbling experience to hold my son on THAT porch!!
Our family has been coming to SMR and the Estes Park Center for almost 40 years! We have so many fantastic memories of our time there!
In the summer of 2008, we held a Family Reunion at SMR with 114 cousins ( and one 90-year-old aunt! ) coming from all over the United States, some cousins coming out west for the very first time! We rented the 4 big Reunion Cabins, and had an incredibly wonderful time together!
I was pleasantly surprised at how accommodating the kitchen staff at the Aspen Dining Hall were in preparing three wonderful Vegan dinners for me during my visit from the 31st of July through the 3rd of August, 2014. They went out of their way to ensure that I had three wonderful dinners; tasty, beautiful presentations, and quick. It was obvious to me that they care about their guests and I for one certainly appreciated their efforts. I wish that I could get as well prepared dinners when I dine out in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Kudos and many thanks.
Peacefulness, beauty, family togetherness, fun activities for every age group!
A getaway. A breath of fresh air. An opportunity for a family adventure. When we are at the Y we encounter a new activity each time. As a father, I feel like I can offer this opportunity at the Y more then anywhere else.
It’s a great family vacation. It makes our vacations so much easier to know how many activities there are nearby for our kids to do without spending a lot of money or time driving around. We always have a great time and try to do something new each time we visit.