City Kids Returns to Broken Arrow Ranch
By: Colleen McHugh, Director of Programs
As I write this, it is hard to believe that we are a week away from wrapping up our 2021 summer at Broken Arrow Ranch in Jackson Hole, WY. In an effort to reduce the risk of a Covid-19 outbreak, we modified programs to include testing, masking, cohorting, distancing, and staggered facility use, all the while preserving the magic of camp. It goes without saying that it took a lot of work to get here, but we were able to safely transport nearly 100 youth to the ranch from DC and host them during six total sessions this summer!
We kicked off the summer with our Mountaineer campers that included horseback riding, karaoke, swimming, and 9-square on the ranch; backpacking trips in the Gros Ventre Wilderness and a two-night canoeing trip in Grand Teton National Park.
Session Two brought our 6th grade Rangers to the ranch for their first Wyoming experience. The Ranger class was full of energy and enthusiasm for silly jokes and dancing, as they traveled Yellowstone National Park for a 3-day car camping trip and a 3-day canoeing trip in Grand Teton National Park. The Rangers loved the ranch where they put on an epic talent show and showed their team spirit during the Olympics.
Session Three was filled with outdoor adventure for our high school Elite and Leadership campers. Elite campers went on multi-day backpacking, kayaking, and canoeing trips. Our Leadership campers spent 24 hours alone in the wilderness during their solos, did a climbing trip, and wrapped up their session by white water kayaking the Snake River.
All the while, our 11th and 12th grade JETs ran a modified Career Exploration Internship Session that prioritized post-secondary planning workshops, group job shadows, and workplace tours that allowed for masking and social distancing, and outdoor activities. JETs also had the opportunity to be part of a new programmatic offering, “Outdoor Session” that took them hiking for six days along the Teton Crest Trail. Three of the JETs from the Outdoor Session used this hike as pre-training for their successful climb of the Grand Teton– the ultimate City Kids experience.
None of this would have been possible without our amazing staff team this summer, including our Camp Director Meena, Program Managers Paige & N’Dea, and our incredible seasonal staff and JET Camp Leaders who led camp activities, supported youth, and ran trips off the ranch this summer. Thank you so much for all that you do for City Kids– this was a challenging summer but we achieved our goal of creating a fun and exciting environment for our youth. Well done and here’s to hoping for a 2022 summer without COVID!