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Photo by Jim Reeves[A letter from Buckhorn Camp]

Buckhorn Camp is located on a magnificent 360 acres about 45 minutes mostly west of Fort Collins, CO. Since 1964 Buckhorn Camp has been serving summer campers, adults with disabilities, church groups, retreats and school groups of all sizes.

In the early morning of June 9, 2012 a lightning strike started a wildfire that quickly became known as the High Park Fire-Colorado’s second largest fire in history. 87,284 acres burned, 259 homes were lost and the life of one 62 year old woman was taken.

As for Buckhorn Camp, we lost 3 cabins, 1 house, 1 Arts and crafts building, 1 shower house, 1 meeting barn, 1 shop, 1/4 mile of accessible boardwalk and about 180 acres of trees. The people that were part of Buckhorn began working as soon as they were allowed back in to camp to clean up the damages and were able to run some camp programs the following summer. Needless to say, camp was not the same. Orange fencing bordered most of the forest areas throughout camp to keep campers away from standing dead trees. Most areas left inaccessible and the views were depressing and filled with painful memories.

Photo by Jim ReevesThe Desert Southwest team contacted us in 2014 and brought a tight-knit crew to help cleanup and reopen more areas of camp to campers. We had no idea of the strength, determination, hard work, and dedication this group would bring. This amazing team has returned a few times now with June 1-June 20 as their most recent visit. Not only have they reestablished trails and reopened large sections of camp, but with their vision and tenacity, have restored beauty and created breathtaking views that we never imagined existed. The number of burned trees they have felled tallies up in the thousands. They have brought in and managed other teams to assist in ground work to clean up slash and log piles. They have renewed the land around our pond, helped remove those sad memories, and replaced the mentality of camp staff and campers with hope. They have supported our camp and camp families in ways that now make them all family to us. No amount of thanks is enough. Because of them, Buckhorn Camp is more beautiful than it has ever been!

Gratefully,

The Culby’s and Buckhorn Camp

Photo by Jim ReevesFrom Polly Turner: Since June 2014 the Desert Southwest Conference Early Response Team fielded a sub-specialty chainsaw team to assist the Buckhorn United Methodist Camp in Colorado after the camp lost 1/3 of its buildings from bark beetle damage, a huge fire, and mudslides. Thanks to the chainsaw team, the central part of the camp is fully reopened. Thousands of dead trees were cut, chipped, or stacked into firewood. Trails and campfire circles were rebuilt. Approximately 25 volunteers from this Conference have paid their own way to provide this specialty service. Just the gas, oil, and chain replacements alone make this a major financial donation from participants. Thank you for your dedication and sacrifice.

To find out more about becoming an ERT or UMVIM visit https://www.dscumc.org/ert.

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