Hundreds of students from around the world share ‘mountaintop experience’ |

Hundreds of students from around the world share ‘mountaintop experience’

Rachel Weiss
Special to the Sky-Hi

On July 1, more than 250 YMCA international delegates from 45 different countries and regions around the world visited Snow Mountain Ranch in Tabernash, and more than 250 delegates visited Rocky Mountain National Park as part of the 18th YMCA World Council program. Countries and regions represented included Nigeria, Pakistan, Singapore, China, Lebanon, Brazil, India, and Egypt.

“For many, this YMCA journey is a mountaintop experience with many twists and turns along the way,” Jack Melton, another excursion leader, said. “If you look around and observe what is happening, it may take your breath away.”

Rachelle Price, the Rocky Mountain National Park bus tour excursion leader, said the day was an overall success and all of the delegates had a great time.

“Any excursion where there is time to enjoy the beauty of God’s creation together with people from all over the world seems like a great way to build unity and community!”

Carolyn Thomas, a volunteer group leader for the Snow Mountain Ranch excursion, said the day went perfectly and all of the delegates had a wonderful time seeing the beauty of Colorado. The day was full of new experiences for all. “Almost everyone on our bus had never seen snow so we made an unscheduled stop at the snow field on the way,” Carolyn said. “Everyone played in it and got pictures in it — they were so thrilled to see and touch snow!”

Those visiting Snow Mountain Ranch had the option to go hiking, horseback riding, canoeing, zip lining, mountain biking, tour the museum, or take an outdoor education survival class. After the excursions, the group enjoyed a western cookout for dinner.

“We had steaks, filets, hamburgers, veggies burgers, hot dogs, sausages and all the picnic things to go with it,” Carolyn said. “My group was so happy about the meal! We really enjoyed dinner and the opportunity to have lively discussions with each other about our countries.”

Delegates were able to see more of what life in the west was like as chuck wagons and hayrides rode by them. Carolyn said everyone wanted their picture taken on the wagon with the wagon master. Many of the delegates expressed interest in returning to work for the YMCA of the Rockies because they loved the excursion so much.

Visit to find out more about the 80 nations and regions attending the YMCA World Council meeting at YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park.

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