For the first three years, campers are paired up with another camper, their same age, and these two campers are paired with a mentor. The two campers and their mentor take part in exciting, outdoor adventure activities such as white water rafting, shooting, archery, rock climbing, high and low ropes course, horseback riding, water skiing, mountain biking, canoeing, fishing, hiking and much more. Our goal is to push our kids outside of their comfort zone and teach them to be boundless, overcoming their self-imposed limitations. Succumbing to fear and allowing it to govern our lives limits potential. It is our hope that children who attend KOH will learn that the only limits they have, are the limits they place on themselves. We also teach them that their loss is tragic, but, it should not define who they are and it should not create a sense of entitlement. This summer camp program is a source of spiritual renewal for campers and mentors.
After three years at KOH, campers are moved into the high adventure program. This program focuses on building leadership skills, teamwork, and self-reliance. Groups of 5-7 campers and 2-3 mentors spend up to 4 nights on back country excursions. The campers must purify their water, cook for themselves, and carry everything they need while hiking up to 10 miles per day. The groups will remain together until the kids graduate from the program at the age of 18. The pinnacle event at KOH is the graduation summer, where campers complete the iconic 4-pass loop in Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness.
The Knights of Heroes premise of building relationships and offering character building experiences also extends to the moms and younger siblings. While the kids are at camp, the mothers are offered the opportunity to spend time with other women who have experienced a similar loss and are facing similar challenges raising their children. It is a time for sharing, friendship, and laughter. They participate in planned activities such as horseback riding and white water rafting in addition to spending 'free time' with other moms and younger siblings. Participants stay at the same location creating an opportunity for relationships to grow. Knights of Heroes moms are a diverse group from all over the country, representing all branches of services and in different stages of their journey. The friendships formed reach beyond the week they spend in Colorado.
The program is available to the moms for the first two years.
First year moms attend the program at no cost. They take part in a structured program with some mandatory activities and some optional activities. We typically invite 4-6 new families each year year. An example schedule is as follows:
Saturday - Arrive in Colorado
Sunday - Kids leave for camp, group dinner and social hour
Monday - Whitewater Rafting
Tuesday - Zoo Tour
Wednesday - Horseback Riding
Thursday - Friday - Free time
Saturday - Farewell at the camp
Sunday - Depart Colorado
2nd Year Moms:
KOH covers airfare and lodging costs. There are no formally scheduled activities. One group leader will facilitate optional events for the group. Second year moms are responsible for covering the cost of any activities they take part in during the week (rafting, horseback riding, etc.). There are no mandatory events or schedules to adhere to.