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Gates Camp Gives Boys & Girls Club Members An Outdoor Experience

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DENVER (CBS4)The Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver held their annual Gates Camp fundraising breakfast on Thursday.

Gates Camp offers Boys & Girls Club members the complete camp experience. In the five days they’re at camp, they play games, try new sports, go on hikes and participate in camp fire fun.

“Five days later we can’t get them quiet. They’ve had so much fun, learning new camp songs and being with new-found friends,” said Erin Porteous, Vice President of Development for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver.

Dane, 12, and his sister Skye, 10, have gone to the camp a few times. Both say it was scary the first time they went, but for different reasons. Skye said that she was nervous about not knowing anyone, and Dane said he was worried that wild animals might try to hurt him. But both children says that once they got over their initial fears, they had a blast.

“I was doing canoeing there,” Dane explained to CBS4 with a laugh. “Until my second year actually … that one wasn’t a good experience. I accidentally tipped over our boat.”

More than 500 Boys & Girls Club members get to go to Gates Camp every summer. The families pay just $10 for the week-long camp experience. Running Gates Camp costs the Boys & Girls Clubs nearly $250,000 every year, so Porteous says that they rely on the generosity of Coloradans to help fund the program.

“For many Boys & Girls Club kids … when they are at home, they have to play the role sometimes as parent — taking care of their younger siblings, maybe helping contribute to the family financially,” Porteous told CBS4. “And when they go up to Gates Camp, it’s all about them.”

It’s a chance to be a child again — to explore, and be adventurous.

“I know a lot of new stuff that I didn’t know before,” said Skye.

“We learn survival skills and how to do archery, rock climbing and the other activities they have there,” Dane added. “And we get to learn a new game called Gaga Ball … and we get to learn new people.”

You can support the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver and programs like the Gates Camp by buying a ticket for the 2014 Denver Dream House Raffle. The raffle runs until May 30, with the last day to buy tickets on May 16. Tickets cost $150 for one, $400 for three, or $550 for five. The grand prize is a $2.5 million dream house. The 5,800 square foot home has 4 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms. In addition to the dream home, there are 1,100 other prizes you can win through the raffle, including luxury vacations, cars, or cash.

The 2014 Denver Dream House Raffle is a CBS4 Sponsored Event.

- Written for CBSDenver.com by Special Projects Producer Libby Smith

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