YMCA Camp Santa Maria
The YMCA of Boulder Valley's Camp Santa Maria. Camp Santa Maria is an overnight resident camp serving campers ages 6-17. In addition, we offer family programs, group rentals and getaway weekends during the spring and fall. Camp Santa Maria is located 45 minutes west of Denver on US Highway 285, just past Bailey, Colorado, and nestled in the Rocky Mountains. Surrounded by Pike National Forest and the Lost Creek Wilderness area, the camp is located at 8,200 feet in elevation. The YMCA of Boulder Valley has offered residential camp experiences to campers for the past 10 years. In 2007, the YMCA of Boulder Valley created a partnership with the Mary M. Dower Benevolent Corporation, a non-profit family foundation, to allow the YMCA to manage Camp Santa Maria. Both the YMCA of Boulder Valley and the Mary M. Dower Benevolent Corporation share the common goal of providing camp and recreational opportunities for all youth. Our hope is that this partnership will provide the opportunity for campers to share their camp experience and traditions with future generations of their family. YMCA Camp Santa Maria is accredited by the American Camp Association (ACA) and is licensed as a camp for children by the Colorado Department of Social Services. http://ymcacampsantamaria.org/
A Letter of Support from YMCA-CSM Camp Director, Shawn Moriarty
To whom it may concern:
This is a letter of support for Camp to Belong and their partnership with YMCA Camp Santa Maria. YMCA Camp Santa Maria is a traditional overnight/ residential summer camp that is on 1000 acres of property in the Rocky Mountains near Grant Colorado. We run 9 weeks of summer camp each year in addition to serving weekend retreats in the spring and fall.
In 2013 Charlie Lippolis of Camp to Belong Colorado approached me about running a week of Camp to Belong at YMCA Camp Santa Maria after not being able to run a camp in Colorado for 10 years. As soon as Charlie explained what Camp To Belong was, I knew we had to support them by providing the space and support staff for them to run camp. We had 19 foster siblings attend Camp to Belong in 2013, and we are planning on 50-60 in 2014.
Camp Director's Charlie Lippolis and Shawn Moritarty
Having Camp to Belong with us at the end of last summer was a wonderful capstone for me and my staff who stayed to work with Camp to Belong. The energy and commitment of the Camp to Belong staff towards the foster siblings that were at camp was nothing short of inspiring. And we were honored to be there to help provide programs and logistical support for the Camp to Belong campers, and to be their new camp home in Colorado. I believe that 2013 was the first summer of a long tradition of having Camp to Belong serve the foster siblings of Colorado at YMCA Camp Santa Maria.
Not only was the camp inspiring for us, the mission of Camp to Belong to serve foster siblings ties into the history of Camp Santa Maria. The family that owns the property, the Dowers, started Camp Santa Maria as a Catholic retreat center that partnered with Catholic Charities to work with orphans, and children whose families were in need of societal support. And having Camp to Belong at Camp Santa Maria continues the mission of the Dower Family Foundation and the YMCA to provide outdoor opportunities to connect children to themselves, their community, their siblings, and nature.
If you need anything else from me in support of Camp to Belong, please contact me.
In the spirit of adventure,
Foster Care Alumni of America
Foster Care Alumni of America is a national non-profit association that has been founded and is led by alumni of the foster care system. The FCAA is the fiscal sponsor for Camp To Belong Colorado. The term "alumni" describes those of us who have been in foster care during our childhood/youth. The mission of FCAA is to connect the alumni community and to transform foster care policy and practice, ensuring opportunity for people in and from foster care. http://www.fostercarealumni.org/
Camp To Belong International
Camp To Belong's International headquarters serves all our member camps across the globe. Founded by Lynn Price in 1995, Camp To Belong was created out of Lynn’s own childhood experience in the foster care system. At the age of 8, Lynn learned that she had a biological sister living on the other side of town! However, with limited visits throughout their childhood, Lynn and sister Andi only developed a solid friendship as young adults. As their friendship continues to deepen, they realize how much they love and need each other, while sadly realizing how much they missed growing up apart. With this aching etched in Lynn’s heart, she founded CAMP TO BELONG. With a dedicated and committed Board of Directors, Camp To Belong continues to thrive and grow and give siblings their right to reunite! Locations of member camps: Australia, Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, Maine, Nevada, New York, Orange County California, Washington and Northwest (Oregon). http://camptobelong.org/