City kids play mountain games |

City kids play mountain games

Nikki Katz
Nic Corbett/vdeditintern@vaildaily.comJordan, 15, tried the rock climbing wall despite his intense fear of heights.

VAIL ” Brianne Butler went rock climbing Friday with one wet shoe.

Butler, a 12-year-old Denver native, said she was so distracted by Gore Creek, she could hardly eat her roast beef sandwich. Holding both of her shoes in her hands, she waded out into the rapids until she heard a small splash.

She shrieked, reached down to rescue her shoe and retreated to her group of friends ” 11 other children visiting Vail with one of the Denver Boys and Girls Clubs.

The clubs sent about 80 inner-city Denver kids to Vail for four hours Friday to participate in some of the Teva Games clinics. The kids, ages 11 to 18, traveled in groups of about 10, accompanied by adult supervisors.

Butler said her favorite activity was scaling the 25-foot rock-climbing wall.

“I never done it. I’d been seeing it on TV,” Butler said. “But I’m not scared because the strings help pull you up.”

Butler and her friends said the scariest activity of the day was kayaking in the 2-foot pool in Slifer Plaza.

“People were bumping into me, and I was just trying to get back (to the edge of the pool), but it was hard,” Butler said.

Yazmin Atmore, 12, who had been canoeing once before, said she was nervous about kayaking. The kids in the pool were bumping into one another, screaming and splashing each other with their hands and paddles.

“(The instructors) told me how to go forwards and backwards and all over,” Atmore said after kayaking, as she wiped water drops from her glasses. “It was hard, but fun too.”

After so much excitement, fly fishing seemed to be a disappointment for the kids, who were only entrusted with poles with lanyard strings attached. The kids said they got bored shortly after fly fishermen from a local fishing shop taught them how to cast.

The kids could be easily spotted in Vail Village, wearing red-and-blue cowboy hats and lugging goods from the various tents. They left Vail at 3 p.m. with dog-sized T-shirts, sports drinks and granola bars.

The Denver Boys and Girls Club provides after-school programs and summer activities for low-income families in the Denver area. Membership is only $2 a year, and programs are provided all year.

The Outdoor Industry Foundation, a nonprofit organization, worked with the Denver Boys and Girls Clubs to give its kids a chance to rock climb, kayak, mountain bike and fish.

Although the trip to Vail seemed to be a success, 17-year-old Victoria Riley preferred their recent visit to Keystone.

“In Keystone, they were giving conferences talking about the future, about getting into college,” she said. “That’s more important to me right now.”

Nikki Katz can be reached at

Vail, Colorado

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