This was a very meaningful project to be part of, because Trail West Lodge and Young Life have been a huge part of my family history. Trail West Lodge is a Young Life family camp in the epic mountains of Buena Vista, Colorado. This year Trail West Lodge is celebrating 50 years of Young Life ministry to families. What makes this truly unique is that my family has been impacted by, and been part of this ministry since the 60's.
My grandpa Flowers ran the horse ranch (Rancho Caballo) for Trail West as well as the horse program at Frontier Ranch. My grandpa Chisman served as director for both Frontier Ranch and Trail West Lodge (Fort Chisman the large fort in the illustration was named after him!). My father ran the horse ranch after my grandfather, and now my younger brother runs the horse ranch. My mother ran the gift shop at Trail West Lodge when we were young. For my 2 brothers and I, Trail West was the greatest daycare we could dream of! My mom would run the shop, hooking us up with ice cream cones, we would play in the game room for hours, go swimming, and enjoy endless adventures in the aspen grove. Of course, living on the horse ranch provided more memories that I could try to fit into this space. My parents were also Young Life leaders in Buena Vista and this provided us with countless nights of laughter, learning about the life and love of Christ at the weekly Young Life Club gatherings.
The legacy of Young Life continued into my own career and story when I moved to Denver to attend Rocky Mountain College of Art. I served on field staff as a WyldLife (ministry to middle school students) while I attended college. After I graduated, I took a job with Young Life as the lead designer in the Creative Services at Young Life headquarters in Colorado Springs, CO from 2000-2010. I could go on and on about the memories, impact and legacy of Young Life in my families lives, but instead I recommend you check out younglife.org and perhaps you too can connect with Young Life in your area of the world as see what adventures await you! Or perhaps you already have a connection to Young Life, and I would LOVE to hear that story too.