With shorter days and chillier temperatures settling in, we thought we’d take some time to recall some of our summertime adventures.
One of our biggest and most memorable programs of the season took place in the majestic Rocky Mountains. We joined the Juvenile Arthritis Foundation in Keystone, Colorado for their annual convention. This is the second year in a row we’ve provide childcare for this wonderful organization, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to participate in their exciting annual jamborees.
Needless to say, caring for nearly 400 children in a small mountain town over the Fourth of July weekend presented some unique challenges! In addition to many local staff from Summit County, we had staff join us from Denver, Colorado Springs, and even had a few come up from Southern California. Many of the staff commuted in every day, but quite a few stayed near Keystone, lodging in campgrounds, motels and hotels. We set up a Facebook page to coordinate rides and lodging, and it was amazing to watch this very diverse group of individuals support one another and come together as a team.
It has to be said: the JA volunteers who plan and execute this massive undertaking every summer are truly astonishing. Many, many people work year round to ensure that the summer gathering is entertaining, informative, and most of all, unforgettable. While CKE is always ready with a wide variety of activities and games, the JA staff had arranged for so many special events that our staff spent a great deal of their time escorting the kids from one entertaining session to another. Some highlights included an amazing Birds of Prey performance and an entertaining session with an incredibly intelligent trained mountain rescue dog.
Perhaps the biggest star of the whole four-day program, however, was the scenery. Keystone Resort sits at the head of a vast, steep sided alpine canyon, just below the Continental Divide and Loveland Pass. It is truly one of the most picturesque locations in the United States.
All in all, this year’s Juvenile Arthritis conference in Keystone proved to be one of the most memorable programs in the long history of CKE. We can’t wait to see what the have in store for next year!