Wildfire does not pose threat to Rocky Mountain campBy Tim Huber Mennonite World Review
The fire’s biggest impact on camp is likely the knowledge that some camper’s homes might be in the blaze’s path.
In addition to staff and an average of 50-60 campers per week, RMMC is also hosting a Mennonite Disaster Service summer youth program group.
It’s the second year MDS has brought a group of high schoolers to camp for four weeks of fire mitigation projects — cutting low dead branches, thinning trees and replacing wood shingles with fire-resistant shingles or metal roofing.
Project director Paul Unruh of Newton, Kan., and Hesston College disaster management students Krista Rittenhouse and Logan Briarson are leading the group.
“This puts the mitigation kind of theories into immediate practice,” Unruh said. “We appreciate the value in being here, especially during a time like this.”
Last winter, RMMC received a normal amount of snow — 125 inches — but it melted earlier in spring. With a longer gap between the winter melt and summer rain, there have been fewer showers than usual, but camp life has not been dramatically disrupted.
“The springs are still producing water, the well is still producing water, we are operating,” Graber said. “From the camper’s perspective, everything is like it normally is, except for the fire ban.”
The camp has made do with ersatz campfires of flashlights and tissue paper.
“We went on our hike, we do our worship, we’re boating, tie-dying T-shirts,” Graber said. “If I’m a sixth-grader, I’m just enjoying camp.”
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