BY SHALEEN DESTEFANO

Being a mother of three in Colorado means, my kids are no stranger to the outdoors. They’ve been on countless hikes and have skipped rocks with the best of them on their many camping trips in the Rocky Mountains. Two of my children even learned to ride a bike on these camping trips. But when it comes to summer camps, I often feel confined to a more basic form of entertainment for my kids with the common soccer or craft centered day camp. This is when Avid4 Adventure caught my attention.

First of all, they firmly believe in taking kids from all walks of life, all levels of ability and exposures to the outdoors and in return give them confidence and enrich their love of nature through activities like climbing, paddling and biking. It is no secret that children thrive outside of the comforts of their parent’s wing and the Avid4 counselors are armed with safety and first aid training, enough to even put this band-aid toting mama to shame.

I love the idea of my sons and daughter developing their problem solving skills in an outdoor experience without me hovering over them with an answer at the ready. The experiences they have with Avid4 are character and confidence building. It is when they push themselves outside of the box that they realize their full potential and how far they are capable of going to succeed. This, to me, is priceless.

Which brings me to my next point. It’s no secret that these camps aren’t free and the cost for summer entertainment can add up quickly. Avid4 gets this, and they have extended their scholarship program by offering financial assistance to family’s who’s household income is less than $100,000. Avid will provide a 25-50% discount on camp tuition, with specific amounts determined on a case-by-case basis. It is their priority to make these outdoor adventures accessible to every child. If your family does not need financial assistance, and you would like to donate to their scholarship program, Avid will match any donation 100%.

Their dedication to bringing these adventure experiences to kids ages 4-18 is beyond and it shows when you meet their staff and see the smiles on the faces of everyone involved. Here is one Wash Park parent’s story; “We have three sons, all with varying levels of confidence. None of them had ever been to a sleep away camp. The first step in sending them to camp for 2 weeks was for us to have confidence that they could do it. We were most worried about our 10 year old son doing something so epic by himself and at a separate campus than his brothers. On drop-off day, he completely surprised us. Not one tear was shed, not one sad, pitiful look was given. Imagine our relief! He even made a friend before we left that day. His counselors made everything so fun and such an adventure that he didn’t have time to feel sad. The kids in his group were wonderful, caring, and vivacious! We wondered what magic the counselors were using on a kid who is usually reserved and unwilling to try something new unless he feels ready. We watched our son’s confidence bloom in front of our eyes. That is exactly what we were hoping for from this experience. Colorado Mountain Camp is a magical place!”

So to all of you parents scrambling with four weeks left in the school year, please check out Avid4 Adventure. Their compassion for your kids is immeasurable and the experiences they share provide lifelong memories, which is all we can really ask for, right?

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