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CCO is committed to creating a welcoming and inclusive space, providing an opportunity for all to connect with the outdoors. CCO is committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion within our summer camp community. Our goal is to allow all campers and staff to be their authentic and best self at CCO. 

Your Camp Self is Your Best Self

Camp Chief Ouray is committed to ensuring that everyone, regardless of gender identity, race, faith, ability, and sexual orientation has the opportunity to reach their full potential with dignity. CCO is a place to be yourself, a place where diversity is celebrated.

Strategies to Strengthen Inclusion

YMCA of the Rockies puts Christian principles into practice through programs, staff, and facilities in an environment that builds healthy spirit, mind, and body for all. Our goal is to offer challenging experiences to build leaders through life-long skill development in a safe, imaginative, natural setting. We instill confidence through independence and interpersonal skills. We challenge our campers to discover their true selves.

CCO programs focus on our core values of Caring, Honesty, Respect, Responsibility, and Faith.

The YMCA of the Rockies will reach out to and welcome all people and organizations of goodwill and ensure that the rich gifts of diversity are reflected and respected at all levels.

We will serve a diverse population, inclusive of all people of goodwill.  Reflecting our Christian Mission, we will be inclusive and welcoming of all people of goodwill. Our activities and facilities will be inclusive, accessible, and available to the diverse worldwide community we serve.

Camp Chief Ouray wants to make sure anyone who wants to be at summer camp has a way of attaining it. We do this in many ways; individual scholarships, partnerships with organizations, and third-party sponsors and donors.

We know costs are rising everywhere, and camp is no different. The move to offer more equitable pay for our camp counselor staff, combined with rising costs in the goods and services needed to offer a quality camp experience, has required us to raise our camp fees. Please do not let the cost of summer camp prevent your camper from an experience at CCO. Thanks to the continuous generous support of our donors, we are able to offer a variety of ways to help offset the cost of a week of summer camp for anyone interested.

For more information on our scholarships, visit this webpage

Camp Chief Ouray is committed to ensuring that everyone, regardless of gender identity, race, faith, ability, and sexual orientation has the opportunity to reach their full potential with dignity. CCO is a place to be yourself, a place where diversity is celebrated.  

At CCO, we create cabin groups based on gender identity. While overnight camp cabins remain divided by a binary gender identity, we understand that not all staff or campers fall into binary gender identities, and we welcome staff and campers across the gender spectrum. Our North Village and Woods Lodge are the cabin spaces for male-identifying campers and staff, and our South Village, Monarch Village, and Wild Bunkhouse are the cabin spaces for female-identifying campers and staff. We welcome campers and staff to choose which Village they feel most comfortable living in.

No matter the Village campers and staff choose to reside in, privacy and personal boundaries will remain an expectation. Campers will be fully supervised and always have trained staff members within hearing or sight of campers. All expectations about respect, modesty, civility, and boundaries apply, no matter what cabin or bathroom a person chooses to use. Every cabin is equipped with a private changing space. Each cabin or group is assigned at least two staff, and we maintain an appropriate adult to camper ratio in each cabin that corresponds to the gender identities of the residing campers.  

Privacy is an essential and fundamental right of everyone at CCO. This includes toilets, changing areas, and showers, which are all single use. As required by Colorado Child Care Licensing, we ensure a staff member supervises campers in bathroom and shower settings. This means a staff member is always within hearing distance of campers.  

Campers have an individual bed at CCO, which is theirs alone and not shared with others. Campers have separate sleeping spaces from staff members, however staff are required by Child Care Licensing to be within hearing or sight distance of campers at all times. Staff cover expectations with campers on how and when to wake a staff member for help overnight, and campers have access to the staff sleeping area. Campers are grouped in living units by gender identity and then age. 

Diversity, equity, and inclusion training are integral for both full-time and seasonal staff at CCO. During our interview process, all applicants are asked questions about inclusion and how they feel they can make our CCO community a space of belonging for all people. Our seasonal staff training evolves every summer to address relevant topics, such as microaggressions, implicit bias, and restorative justice practices. Seasonal staff training is also focused on how to watch for red-flag behaviors or those straying from policy, including how to report these behaviors to supervisors.

Is your camper ready for CCO?

CCO understands that every camper develops at their own pace and aims to provide an enriching summer camp experience for everyone. We are committed to meeting each camper where they are in their development journey and do our best to provide the appropriate accommodation to support them.  If your camper does not meet the requirements below, please contact us to discuss your camper’s individual support needs and any potential barriers to a positive summer camp experience.   

There are many factors that go into deciding if a camper is ready to attend CCO. Below are some of the core elements of our program that campers should meet. Campers must be: 

  • Age 5 to 18 (5 for Day Camp, 7 for Overnight Camp) to participate in CCO programming 
  • Able to function with a 1 to 5 counselor to camper ratio 
  • Able to take care of their own personal hygiene independently (getting dressed, showering, keeping track of belongings, etc.) 
  • Able to handle the physical demands of summer camp, including walking between activities (up to two miles at a time and including steep hills), being outside for most of the day, etc. Summer Camp days are much more physical and longer than school days. 
  • Willing and able to participate in a group setting (able to transition among activities with group, follow instructions from staff, remain with the group, take turns, ask for help). 
  • Able to adapt to the summer camp environment, which at times can be loud, time spent in large groups or people, and fast paced. 
  • Capable of maintaining effective mental, emotional, physical and social interactions and boundaries with self, campers, and staff. 
  • Able to interact effectively with individuals and groups respecting social and cultural diversity 
  • (For Overnight Camp): able to share personal space with at least 10 other people; able to sleep in a group setting. Nighttime routines can be done in a non-home setting. 

Scholarships for All

We believe every young person should have access to a summer camp experience. Camp Chief Ouray offers scholarships on a sliding scale. We invite you to apply!

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