Five reasons to send your child to summer camp at Annunciation Heights

Luke Hlavin is the Assistant Program Director at Annunciation Heights.

Summer is quickly approaching.  School will soon be drawing to a close. Alongside the excitement and anticipation that the change in seasons brings, there also comes the perennial question every parent faces: “What is my child going to do to stay busy and active this summer?”  With the ever-present reality of video games and phones dominating every free moment of the day, there are so many things that might fill your child’s free time.

But what if summer could be a time of adventure and transformation, faith and friendship?  What if your child could experience something new and different in the Rocky Mountains, right in your backyard?  With the inaugural season of Annunciation Heights Summer Camp, that indeed could become your child’s reality!

There are at least five ways your child or children could benefit from a week of camp at Annunciation Heights.  Here they are:

1. Adventure in the great outdoors
Annunciation Heights sits in the Tahosa Valley, at the base of Twin Sister’s Mountain, with a full view of Long’s Peak. At this unique location, AH offers your child an opportunity to get outdoors and have some good, old-fashioned fun.  Always mindful of creating a safe and supervised environment in which your child can grow and play, we offer a 40-foot climbing wall, a high ropes adventure course, a 1000-foot zip-line and a hiking trail on the property!   On our lake, we have kayaks and stand-up paddleboards!  Not to mention the amazing day hikes we have planned for our campers!  Your child will truly be able to experience all that the Colorado Rockies have to offer.

2. Growth in friendship
Relationship is at the core of the camp experience! The pace of life is often overwhelming, and at times it is difficult to find time to intentionally deepen friendships. With a week spent sharing the intense and powerful experience of summer camp, deep and lasting friendships easily form and grow, friendships founded on genuine encounter with one another.  Your child just may come out of camp with a lifelong friend.

3. Role-modeling
How better to guide your child’s growth than by putting good role models in their life? This year’s summer staff team is full of faith-filled, energetic, and dedicated men and women excited to spend the summer with your child.  These college student staffers come from all over the country, excited to contribute to the unique mission of Annunciation Heights: to encounter the Creator through the beauty of creation, and to share that with others.  What an opportunity for your child to have an older brother or sister in Christ!

4. Disconnect from technology
Annunciation Heights has the unique privilege of truly being off the grid. Without cell-coverage or Wi-Fi, your child will be encouraged to meet others in direct, personal ways.  While technology can easily become the wall every child or teenager hides behind, here at AH, there are no walls, because there are no phones!  With this comes the real potential for personal encounter with others, with God, and with oneself.

5. Deepening of faith
Most importantly, Annunciation Heights exists to provide a space to deepen one’s relationship with Christ. Each member of the AH family is motivated by a desire to share the love they themselves have received from God with others. The ultimate goal for all involved at Annunciation Heights is that your child walks away from camp a better follower of Christ, more in love with the Church, and more committed to the Christian values at the core of your family life.  Christ is at the center of this camp, and we want Him to be the center of your child’s life.

Yes, this summer can be full to overflowing with all this and more!  It only takes one week for an experience to galvanize the faith and friendships already planted deep within your child’s heart!  It only takes one week to begin a yearly tradition, a tradition that will have life-giving impact on the life of your child and your family. This is indeed our first year, and with it comes the potential for you and your child to help shape and create the culture that will become a mainstay in the Catholic life of the archdiocese.

Annunciation Heights’ staff are getting excited, the mountains are beginning to thaw out, and Annunciation Heights is ready to welcome this year’s campers to a summer unlike any other!  Register today, become a part of the Annunciation Heights family, and discover what summer camp can do for your child, and your family.

Visit to register for summer camp.

COMING UP: Don’t miss out on summer camp at Annunciation Heights

Sign up for a digital subscription to Denver Catholic!

By Topher Aderhold

Topher Aderhold is the Camp Director at Annunciation Heights.

“Every day that passes, I fall more desperately in love with the mountains… I am ever more determined to climb the mountains, to scale the mighty peaks, to feel that pure joy which can only be felt in the mountains.”  – Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

When it comes to commentary on the joy that is found in the mountains, Frassati said it best. Up in the mountains near Estes Park, located a stone’s throw from historic Camp St. Malo, a new Catholic youth and family camp — Annunciation Heights — is making monumental plans for Summer Camp 2019, the inaugural Summer Camp experience for The Heights.

While the calendar reads January, and snow and freezing temps are the norm up here at 9,000 feet, summer is coming, and we couldn’t be more excited. We’re creating a place where young people will have the opportunity to leave the busyness of everyday life behind (including their cell phones!). With the guidance of amazing, top-notch young adults, campers will be challenged to grow, to learn, to try new things, and to have loads of fun. Campers, most importantly, will make lasting friendships, and they’ll be encouraged to grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ.

While there are countless amazing activities on property — zip-lining, rock climbing, canoeing, archery, fishing, sports, crafts, etc. — we’ll also be taking our campers off camp. With Rocky Mountain National Park just a two minute drive away, campers will be led by counselors into the wilderness on day hikes and, for some, up to the summits of peaks. Hikes will be age-appropriate — to conquer a mountain, regardless of the elevation, is an accomplishment that campers will cherish.

There is indeed a pure joy that can only be felt in the mountains. Surrounding our property on all sides are peaks of all sizes, with Longs Peak — the famous 14’er — standing the tallest right in our front yard. Added to the stunning views, the joy of the mountains, and the awesome activities we’ll be doing at The Heights, is our shared Catholic faith — it’s Jesus Christ. He is the true Source and Summit.

In mid-January, the Annunciation Heights community welcomed our new chaplain, Fr. Donatian Kaigoma. Fr. Donatian’s presence, and the sacraments he’ll be offering for our campers and staffers every day, will create an atmosphere in which all of us — campers and staffers alike — will grow in our love for Jesus Christ and His Church.

Yes, it’s winter, but summer is coming, and we’re absolutely thrilled to welcome you to the mountain of Annunciation Heights.

We invite you to come be a part of our inaugural Summer Camp experience — an experience your camper will never forget. Summer Camp at Annunciation Heights is being offered for campers entering 4th-12th grade. With only five one-week sessions being offered this first summer, space is limited.

In closing, to once more quote Blessed Pier Giorgio Frasatti, “Verso l’alto!”

To the Heights!