Vidakovich column: Strive To Thrive special needs camp is coming this summer |

Vidakovich column: Strive To Thrive special needs camp is coming this summer

Mike Vidakovich
Shanna Llewellyn with some of her Strive to Thrive campers.
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The San Diego based Strive to Thrive Summer Camp for special needs kids will be coming to Glenwood Springs this June 22-28.

Glenwood High School graduate Shanna Llewellyn (1984) started the camps five years ago to provide a variety of outdoor experiences and activities for her 15-year-old son Carter and other physically and emotionally challenged youth in a wide age range, stemming from early elementary age to campers who are young adults.

Mike Vidakovich

“For quite a while now, it’s been a dream of mine to have a camp in Glenwood,” said Llewellyn.

The cost for the week long camp is $500 per family, but there will be financial aid made available and the pro-rating of the camp cost is a possibility for families who may not be able to afford the entire cost of the tuition.”

Llewellyn stated that, “We are glad to work with families who can’t pay the full price of the camp and we also have scholarships available through the generosity of some of the local sponsors in Glenwood.”

Many varying activities should provide for an exciting week of fun in Glenwood and the surrounding area.

Right now, on the list of adventures for the Strive to Thrive campers will be a trip to Silt for a day at the Ride Equine Therapy ranch, as well as paddle boarding at Grass Valley Reservoir. The Hot Springs Pool and the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park are included in the week of fun. Hiking trips to Doc Holliday’s Grave and the Rifle Falls State Park will also be included in an itinerary that is not yet fully set in stone.

Llewellyn will be bringing 14 campers from California to experience the Roaring Fork and Colorado River valleys for the first time, but she is encouraging any local families who would like to get involved to please get in touch with her at or by calling her at (760) 859-6643.

“We would like kids from the Glenwood area to attend the camp. They can come for just one or two days, or they can attend the entire six days of the camp,” Llewellyn said.

Llewellyn is looking for more local sponsors to join the growing list of those who are already on board. The more sponsors she gets, the more scholarship assistance she can provide to local families who may be interested in the camp.

Along with the above contact information, Llewellyn can be reached by e-mail at:

Local running races coming up

With the coming of the warmer weather, running races are starting to dot the calendar in the Roaring Fork and Colorado River valleys.

This coming Saturday, April 22, the 5Point Film Festival 5K will take place at Independence Run & Hike in Carbondale with an 8:30 a.m. start time. For those of you who did the Jingle Bell 5K at Independence in December, the course for this Saturday’s run will take you along the exact same path with the finish back at the store. Cost for the race is $30. Register at

Sunday, April 30, the racing scene moves down valley to Silt Veterans’ Park for the Water Wells for Africa 5K. This run is sponsored by the folks at Sonlight Four Square Church who have moved from West Glenwood to their new locale in Silt. Start time is 10 a.m.

On Saturday, May 13, the annual Hogback Hustle 5K will hit the streets (and hills) of Castle Valley in New Castle. The race is directed by the New Castle Recreation Department with a start at the New Castle City Market plaza and a finish on Main Street downtown. Contact New Castle Recreation for further info.

I will try my best to provide race results in this column throughout the summer, as well as putting the spotlight on some locals who kick up their heels at many of these races.

Happy trails.

Glenwood Springs native Mike Vidakovich is a freelance sports writer, teacher and youth sports coach. His column appears on occasion in the Post Independent and at

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