2012-2013 Exchange Trip
Posted: September 5, 2012
After six long months of planning, the Somerset County 4-H Exchange Club set out for their adventure to Douglas County, Colorado. 15 teenagers and four chaperones piled into vans and headed to the airport. Upon arriving late and being hungry, we found out our plane was delayed two hours. The travel issues were soon forgotten, as we were greeted by a few of our Douglas Co. host parents and kids. We then traveled to the Quinns' house, where we got acquainted to our individual host families and were treated to a potluck! Since we had a two hour time difference, we cut the potluck short and headed to our "homes" for the week to catch some sleep.
Monday - We went to the Holt Ranch, where we got to know each other better, while having water fights, playing volleyball, and going on paddle boat rides in their big pond. It was our first introduction to the very hot and dry climate of Douglas Co. The temperatures were setting an all time high and wild fires were a topic of conversation, since several were occurring very close to our location. Later that day, we all split up and enjoyed some time with our "families".
Tuesday - We met at their extension office to head off on our journey to Estes Park for a few days. Once we arrived at the YMCA, where we'd be staying, we broke up into groups and played team building activities. Later on, we went on a hike--some went further than others--because the majority of the group decided to cut it in half and go swimming! During the walk, we saw what kind of vegetation they had. It was very different from ours, considering they get 14 inches of rain, and we receive 41.
Wednesday was spent on boats riding the Estes Lake and playing volleyball. No one went swimming (besides the one who fell in the water!) Later that day, we went on a tour of the beautiful Stanley Hotel and heard many ghost stories about the supposed haunted hotel. To end the day, we went shopping and ate at a local pizza shop.
Thursday - We left Estes and went to see the Rocky Mountains. It was a very interesting, scenic, and a bit scary drive, as we went 14,000 feet up. In the afternoon, we went to hot sulfur springs, which went from 94 to 112 degrees. To top the evening off, we went for an alpine slide ride and a dinner theatre, where several of our exchange members were drafted to participate in the live drama "One Enchanted Evening".
Friday - We went to the Lowell Ranch, which is a facility where city kids can have animals and gardens of their very own. While there, we had a scavenger hunt, which was fun--minus the few people who stepped on cacti!
The week was wrapped up with a potluck and games at the extension office in Castle Rock, where we toured the fairgrounds and met some people who were camping there, because their houses were evacuated because of wild fires. There were a lot of friendships started, memories made, and horizons broadened in the last seven days. Goodbyes were eased by the fact that it is more like "until we see you next year" and promise to keep in touch!
Written by Janna Shober