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Carolyn’s Corner: Family Reunion – Estes Park Center

Dave and I celebrated our 50th anniversary at the beginning of January, 2012.  We had decided about five years earlier that we wanted the 50th celebration and reunion to take place at the YMCA of the Rockies, Estes Park Center, instead of in our hometown.  We have been coming to the YMCA of the Rockies for over forty years, and our family has had four generations that have joined us here at the Y over those 40 years and we have also made lifelong friends. A get together in Estes Park meant a lot to our whole family.  We sent out a “save the date” to family and reserved the Everhart Reunion Cabin which has six bedrooms and three baths, plus a large kitchen/dining area.

As happens in every family, things change in five years.  Our oldest grandson is a senior in college and accepted a summer internship and wasn’t able to attend.  Two of our grandchildren had summer school and it wasn’t over until after our reservation was ended in the reunion cabin.  We changed our plans and rented two cabins with two separate check-in and check-out times and that way everyone was eventually able to arrive in Estes to help us celebrate.

The YMCA of the Rockies offers so many activities that everyone was able to have a great time.  Our granddaughter Jill spent most of her time in the craft shop and made some really beautiful jewelry and a few tie dye shirts.  She also hiked and accompanied the family on fly fishing trips.  Jill usually went to Day Camp in the past years where she would do fun things with the group, including white river rafting.  This year she decided to take advantage of all the other things the Y had to offer and for the first time in many years skipped Day Camp.

Stephen spent his time at the lodge with his computer and books.  He is taking an AP history course this next semester and had to have eight chapters finished before he started school.  The lodge is a perfect place to spread out your books, hook up your computer and study.  Snacks are readily available at the Rustic Room for the late night munchies.  He was able to join the family for cards, games, swimming and other fun activities – and still get all his advanced history completed.

Jeffrey, our youngest grandson, went to day camp and there he found friends and activities to keep himself busy.  He enjoyed having breakfast in the Aspen Dining Room each day before Day Camp.  He also had time to go fly fishing and to make two beautiful magic shirts at the craft shop.

Brian, our youngest son, loves fly fishing.  He and Jeffrey signed up to go on the Sunday evening fly fishing trip to Sprague Lake with Sasquatch.  You can sign up for that at the Program Building.  Jeffrey caught five trout that night, and Brian caught a few himself.  They were also able to fly fish in Moraine Park and they did that one night, taking along Dave, Greg and Jill.

Greg, our oldest son, loves to hike.  He went for many early morning hikes and would end up at our cabin for breakfast and conversation.  He also went on family hikes, swam and enjoyed many other things the Y has to offer.

Our daughter-in-laws also loved the craft shop and made many beautiful pieces of jewelry to take home with them. They enjoyed lunching in the Pine Room and taking walks around the Y grounds.  Sitting on the porch and reading books was another pleasurable event.

Diane, my sister, came all the way from Ireland to spend time with the family.  She and her husband John had married in Estes over 30 years ago and had not been back since.  Each morning Diane would get up and go into the park right from our cabin and would hike for several hours, often before everyone else was up.  She also enjoyed the craft shop, hiking in the National Park with family and a trip over Trail Ridge Road to visit Snow Mountain Ranch.  She was able to get many beautiful pictures of the ever changing mountain views that she will use to do oil paintings when she goes back home.

Night time found the family swimming at the Dorsey Pool, attending informative lectures at Burning Issues or attending one of the many concerts that are available, and of course the always popular mini golf tournaments.  We also had time in our cabin for cards and games and a lot of porch sitting.

One of the highlights of the two weeks was an anniversary party held in our cabin for our friends and family.  The Director of Food Service, Michael Kingston, planned a wonderful array of food for us to serve.  Mary, in the Y bakery, made a beautiful anniversary cake.  We had about 80 people come to the cabin to help us celebrate the wonderful event.

If you are planning a reunion or a special event in the future, I suggest you call the Y and book a reunion cabin, lodge rooms or individual cabins for your family.  There isn’t a better place to have a reunion since there is something for every member of your family available at the YMCA of the Rockies, both at the Estes Park Center and Snow Mountain Ranch.

This 50th anniversary will be one we will remember since we were able to share it in such a special place with family and longtime friends.

About The Author

Carolyn Thomas is a volunteer for Snow Mountain Ranch in Guest and Membership Relations. Four generations of her family have been vacationing at the Y for over 40 years, creating many happy family memories.

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