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Celebrating fall with treats, games, and food to warm the soul

by Patty Unruh

Trick or Treat at Base Camp

“Beware of ghost crossing!” was the cheery warning at Base Camp at Golden Gate Campground on Monday night, October 29, as the campground hosted its third annual Halloween night. 100 Trick-or-treaters and their parents, in costumes ranging from cute to creepy, turned out to collect sweet treats and admire the eerily decked-out cabins.

In addition to distributing 200 pounds of candy, the employees of Base Camp collected $250 in donations for Second Wind Fund to help prevent youth and teen suicide.

Elves, animals, bugs, Sesame Street characters, military and first responder wanna-be’s, zombies, and vampires received goodies at each of nine cabins, thanking the generous employees, other volunteer helpers, and even a few campers who were excited to get in on the fun.

The campground owners are Tom and Cary Ihme, who hosted the Oktoberfest cabin, complete with a real German flag hung on the door and costumes imported from Germany. The cabin was also decorated with small international flags, beer steins, and large inflated pretzels.

Employees and volunteers included Sherry Myer, Crystal Lautrup, Amy Dodd, Liz Presley, Stephanie Wyrosdick, Trevor Dziedzic, Ashlynn Cortez, Brian Unruh, Lexi Lautrup, Len and Robin Cortez of AC Plumbing, Russ Coshow, Matt Meadows, Brooke Perez, Kennedy Perez, and Nancy Hough. Campers lending a hand were Renee Arkoos, Jason Brown, and Michelle Braning.

There were many new thrillingly spooky decorations this year, including a huge inflated two-headed dragon, a giant bat, hairy spiders, child-sized werewolf and Frankenstein figures, witches tending a bubbling cauldron, a fog machine, a cheery haunted house, and revolving lights with images of witches and skulls. Tom Ihme had raided Home Depot to get these items. Decorations had been donated for the first year’s event, and last year there was a combination of donated and purchased items.

Base Camp at Golden Gate Campground is located at 661 Highway 46, across from the Timberline Fire Station.

Harvest Party at CTK Church

For those who preferred their fall celebration a little less scary, the folks at Christ the King Community Church hosted a free fall Harvest Party and chili cook-off on Saturday, October 27, with refreshments, candy, and prizes.

About 50 children, teens, and adults enjoyed fun and fellowship in the church’s casual atmosphere. People wore their everyday clothing or came dressed in clever, non-scary costumes. All enjoyed a bountiful table of tasty snacks, including meat and cheese trays, apples with caramel dip, mini banana muffins, taquitos, and more. Fall garlands in red and gold festooned the halls, and contemporary Christian tunes and classic kids’ songs like the spiritual “Dem Bones” kept things moving.

Those wishing to enter their chili specialties in the contest paid a $5.00 entry fee, with prizes for the winners. Although the church has put on many similar fall parties in the past, this was the first year for the chili contest. Participants and tasters all definitely agreed to do it again! Top winners were: 1st – John Merrick, Jerrick’s Mountain Chili; 2nd – Kim McMahon, Tornado through Texas; 3rd – Sherry Myer, Pork Green Chili; 4th – Allie McMahon, Allie’s Special.

The games were definitely not just for the kids. The young and young-at-heart enjoyed putt-putt golf, pumpkin bowling, basketball toss, limbo, floating pumpkins, cake walk, and scores of other festive activities. Prizes were granted to folks who guessed the number of marbles in a jar (1,145) and the weight of various pumpkins (three pounds, eight pounds, and 18 pounds).

CTK Church will host Hawk Quest on Saturday, November 17, at 2:00 p.m. The one-hour show is free and will be accompanied by refreshments. The Hawk Quest group also visited the church last year with its eagle, owl, falcon, and hawk, and guests enjoyed an interactive program complete with a flying demonstration in the church sanctuary. People of all ages are invited to attend and see these amazing birds of prey.

Christ the King Community Church is non-denominational and is located at 971 Highway 46, across from the Gilpin County Fairgrounds.

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