Mountain Rec will battle teen boredom this summer | VailDaily.com

Mountain Rec will battle teen boredom this summer

New 2019 camp options include everything from backcountry trekking to mountain gardening

Mountain Recreation's new partnership with SOS means local teens will have an array of backcountry camp options this summer.
Special to the Daily

EAGLE — Summertime can stretch exceedingly long for the parents of teenagers in the valley.

For kids who are too young for summer jobs and too old for day camps, summer hours are often whiled away in front of electronic screens in between excursions of a house messing-up nature.

But this summer, Mountain Recreation is offering a slate of new summer activities for Eagle County teens.

“We have so much cool stuff, people are going to wish they were 14 years old,” said Mountain Rec marketing and communications manager Scott Robinson.

Not too old

For many years — under the auspices of its former iteration as the Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District — local kids kind of aged out of rec district programs.

“We are tired of hearing ‘My kids are too old to do Mountain Rec stuff,'” said Robinson, “so we have come up with a bunch of nontraditional programs for older age kids”

The centerpiece of this new focus is a partnership with the Snowboard Outreach Society to offer wilderness overnight camps. SOS holds USFS special use permits to provide outfitting and guiding services within the Eagle-Holy Cross and Dillon ranger districts of the White River National Forest. SOS is providing staff expertize and all the gear teen campers will need.

“Kids just need to show up with a toothbrush. They can make everything else work,” Robinson said.

This summer’s adventure camp options for 14- to 17-year-olds include five-day trips to either the Flattops Wilderness area or the Holy Cross Wilderness area during July and August. These multi-day over-night camps concentrate on teaching the fundamentals of backcountry navigation and camping skills.

But if a local teen isn’t quite ready to tackle a backcountry trek or if he or she isn’t quite old enough for the trip, Mountain Rec has designed a feeder program to set the stage.

Building up

Along with its popular Rec Kids and sports camps options, this summer Mountain Recreation is launching a series of camps and programs that will feed kids into other outdoor adventure options as they get older.

Beginning at 3 years old, the Wee Outdoors programs in Eagle and Edwards will introduce kids to outdoor activities with a series of 45-minute classes. The fee for the sessions is $25.

From there, the Young Explorers program in Eagle, for kids ages 5 to 8, offers hourlong classes for $45. Backyard Adventure Day Camps meet in Edwards and Gypsum and offer various outdoor sports opportunities for kids ages 7 to 12 years. The cost is $125 per session.

SOS is also partnering with Mountain Recreation for Explorer Camps for kids ages 7 to 17. The sessions will be offered in Edwards and Gypsum. Backyard Adventure Day Camps, also offered in Edwards and Gypsum, will feature rock climbing and other outdoor adventure sports.

“We are getting a lot of traction with the backyard explorer camp program. Some of these camps are on wait list already,” Robinson said. “It’s great to see people are recognizing the new programs we are offering.”

Finally, for kids who enjoy being outside, but who aren’t attracted to adventure sports, Mountain Rec is partnering with Eagle County Colorado State University Cooperative Extension Service for a gardening camp. This option, for ages 13- to 15-year-olds, will run through the summer. Cost is $99.

A summerlong gardening program will be offered for local teens through a partnership of Mountain Recreation at Eagle County CSU Cooperative Extension.
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“We are also planning art camps, for kids ages 5 to 12 years old, to hit another need that’s been missing,” Robinson said.

With all of these options, Robinson said Mountain Rec believes it will make inroads with the issue of bored kids during the summer of 2019.

“There is some really cool stuff you can do with your teenager this summer,” he said.

To learn more or to register for Mountain Rec programs, visit mountainrec.org