For four weeks starting in late June, the North Fork Baptist and West Elk Family churches offered free God and Nature Day Camps at locations in Crawford, Paonia and Hotchkiss.
The annual five-day camps were held from 1-4 p.m. daily from June 29 through the end of July. Each week, youth volunteers from churches in Texas, Arizona and Nevada made the outreach mission trip to the North Fork area, leading between 15-30 children through a series of daily activities, including singing and dancing, games, puppet shows, and daily craft sessions related to Bible stories. For example, said 19-year-old Avery, a college student and group leader from Houston Northwest Church, a sister church to the West Elk church, one story, as told through a puppet show, focused on the parable of the return of the Prodigal Son. Following the presentation, kids made boomerangs to signify how the son went away, then returned.
While in the area, the volunteers made side trips to the Grand Mesa, Colorado National Monument and other attractions, and took daily morning prayer walks. Avery said that on this particular day they hiked P-Hill in Paonia. "It was such a cool view," said Avery, adding that she'd like to return again next year. "It's been amazing" having kids accept Christ and talking about the Gospel.
The last two summers the camp has been held at Willow Heights Park in Hotchkiss, but this summer they expanded to Crawford and Paonia, said Lee Byram, pastor of the West Elk Family Church in Hotchkiss. Camps were held simultaneously in each of the three communities. Byram said organizers hope to expand the camp next summer to include a sports camp.
The election results are in at the local, state and national level, and as expected, Democrats are doing well in state and national races. Colorado has elected Jared Polis as governor; nationally the Republicans appear to retain control of the Senate while Democrats now control the House of Representative.
With a ballot full of local and state measures, voter turnout in Delta County topped 71%, with 15,889 ballots cast. Statewide, voter turnout was just over 52%.
Of the three Delta County residents seeking state offices, Matt Soper won over Thea Chase in State Representative Dist. 54; Mike Mason lost to Julie McCluskie in State Representative Dist. 61; and Olen Lund lost to Kerry Donovan in State Senate Dist. 5.
Locally, in the City of Delta voters rejected a .5% sales tax increase to fund recreation, as well as recreational marijuana sales. The sale of medical marijuana and cultivation/manufacturing facilities was approved by a slim margin. Delta voters also gave the city the green light to move forward with selling or trading the Cottonwood and Riverbend Park, and to sell the old Municipal Light and Power Building.