Who can believe that Shadowcliff’s 2017 season has reached its midpoint? Time does fly when you’re having fun. At Shadowcliff, we’re working hard, and we’re having fun. Here are a few highlights.
Molding a Staff. Imagine being thrown into an environment where everything is new–The people, the place, the job, everything. That description fits our wonderful staff. The most asked question by our staff following May’s volunteer carnival was: “Is it always like this?” May is filled with disorganized and highly productive chaos. Once we open, we add a little bit of structure to the days and tasks. Adjusting to roommates, altitude, the rhythm and flow of Shadowcliff workshops and groups, experiencing the wonder and beauty of wild places in Rocky Mountain National Park, learning new systems and tasks and more requires patience, and an open heart and mind. Suffice it to say, that we have become an outstanding staff eager to serve the needs and interests of our guests. In our spare moments, we explore, make excellent music, and grow and learn as people.
Shadowcliff Workshops and Groups. Since May 29, Shadowcliff has hosted 11 separate and diverse workshops and groups. Early on, we entertained a group of Atlanta based ninth graders who were spending a few weeks exploring the Colorado River watershed. Their journey began at Shadowcliff and concluded in Utah, following the watershed along the way. Shadowcliff’s Critters, Creeks and Crows family workshop brought us kids (and their parents) ranging in age from six to eleven who spent several days hiking and exploring streams, tundra, trails and more. We also entertained a large group of high school cross country runners from Kansas City who inspired us with their trail running efforts. We hosted groups of environmental educators, an Adventures in Good Company workshop teaching women the beauty and fun of back packing, Lighthouse Writers (a Denver based group) with participants from all over the world, our annual HIV retreat, and closed out the month with a Tai Chi workshop. Whew—now I see where the time goes.
The beauty of our many diverse workshop offerings and groups is our ability to relay the Shadowcliff story to many different individuals and an opportunity for our staff and individual guests to connect and engage with one another.
The Place. Shadowcliff remains a wonderful and magical place. It continues to inspire and provide an environment for guests and staff to reflect, restore and renew. With many new beds and windows, our guests are truly enjoying their Shadowcliff experience. Long time guests often comment about these new changes while also appreciating that the heart and spirit of Shadowcliff remains the same. And, believe it or not, there are very early signs of wildlife beginning their preparations for the Winter season that are now observable. Moreover, the roaring sounds of the North Inlet Stream which were so present in June are a little less so as Spring runoff has been replaced with a more modest water flow.
Looking ahead. The Town of Grand Lake has been a busy place this season as Rocky Mountain National Park and surrounding areas are enjoying another record breaking year of visitors. If you’re concerned about crowds, we have some good news for you. The crowds decrease once school starts up, and Shadowcliff has plenty of room for you to come and enjoy all that is Shadowcliff, Grand Lake and Rocky Mountain National Park. More on that when we recap the last two months of the season later in September. Spoiler alert: expect to hear a lot about aspen leaves changing color, brisk mornings, elk rut, Shadowcliff programs involving wildlife photography, yoga, and sharing nature, and all the other things that make late season at Shadowcliff so special.