Honor soldiers this Veteran’s Day by learning about Camp Hale: Kids Corner for the week of 11/9/20
Editor’s note: The Vail Daily’s weekly kids section is chock full of activities and fun to keep the young and the young at heart entertained during the pandemic. If you have an idea for the section or would like to get involved, email Entertainment Editor Casey Russell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nov. 11, every year, is Veterans Day, a federal (nationwide) holiday that honors those who served in the United States military. Many businesses and schools are closed to observe the men and women that risked lives to protect our country. Here, in the Vail Valley, we have a very special connection to the military and veterans.
Camp Hale was a U.S. Army training facility constructed in 1942 for what became the 10th Mountain Division. The 10th Mountain Division fought during World War II on skis, and their return to the Colorado Rockies led to the establishment of many ski resorts, including Vail.
Camp Hale is located between Leadville and Red Cliff in the Eagle River Valley. The location was selected because of the 9,200-foot-elevation, access to a railroad, and plentiful snow where soldiers could learn and practice cold weather survival skills, mountain climbing, weapons training and of course, alpine and Nordic skiing.
One year after construction, the camp hosted as many as 14,000 soldiers. Soldiers and military who trained at the camp included the 10th Mountain Division, the 38th Regimental Combat Team, 99th Infantry Battalion, and soldiers from Fort Carson conducting mountain and winter warfare training exercises from 1942 to 1965. Secretly, there were even Tibetan Soldiers trained at the facility.
Today, Camp Hale is decommissioned, which means it’s no longer operational for the military, but does have numerous areas accessible to the public as the lands were returned to the forest service in 1966. The camp is in the White River National Forest and there are overnight camping grounds on the previous military grounds. Nova Guides also operates on land in Camp Hale with a lodge and numerous outdoor adventures.
Did you know that Armistice Day is another term for Veterans Day? This is the original name of the holiday before it was renamed to Veterans Day in 1954.
Who makes up The United States Armed Forces?
- Air Force
- Coast Guard
- Marine Corps
- Space Force
How many people are enlisted in the United States Military?
- Roughly 1.4 million people
Outside Scoop is submitted by freelance journalist Julie Bielenberg. Contact her at email@example.com.
Word of the Week
Learn new words in English and Spanish each week.
soldiers / los soldados
Upper Brush Creek School
The desire of the early ranchers to provide their children with an education prompted a proliferation of small school districts and one-room schools. The intent was to provide schools within reasonable traveling distance for the children who walked or rode horses to class. At one time, Eagle County had 22 different, small school districts, serving different neighborhoods.
When the homesteaders first came to East and West Brush Creek in the late 1800s, the nearest school was in the mining camp of Fulford, about nine miles away. The ranchers on the creek believed a school near the forks of East and West Brush Creeks would better serve their children.
In an 1893 election, the voters of School District No. 17 agreed to close down the Fulford School and build a new school above the forks of Brush Creek. Initially, classes were held in the “Halfway House” stage stop. Money for the school was raised at community suppers and dances. Local ranchers volunteered labor on construction of the school. The first classes were held in 1916. This was a one-room school, with a single teacher responsible for educating children ages 6 to 17.
A number of local women taught at the school, but the most-remembered teacher was Mary Bemis, who was hired in 1923 and taught for 18 years. Mrs. Bemis was the widow of a Fulford miner. She lived at the schoolhouse with her daughter, Sophia Jane.
By the early 1940s, the many small school districts were consolidated into larger districts. As transportation became easier, children could travel greater distances to larger schools. The Upper Brush Creek School closed in 1941. Today, the school building is part of Sylvan Lake State Park. The 104-year-old building was recently stabilized by State Parks and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Time Travel is researched and written by Kathy Heicher, president of the Eagle County Historical Society. Learn more about ECHS at eaglecountyhistoricalsociety.com.
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