Driving the now all-too-familiar 700-mile stretch of highway from Sunnyvale, Texas, to Abiquiu, N.M, it’s “Ghost Ranch or bust” for the Crownover and Lobrecht families.
For six years, three generations of this one family have regularly converged at the storied Presbyterian retreat center to connect, learn and to simply have fun.
"It was cool to learn to use a drill press when I was seven years old,” says Micah Crownover, now age 10, “and I made some awesome bird houses with my mom and grandpa."
He, his parents and his extended family are once again looking forward to enjoying the rich variety of workshops, recreational opportunities, and especially the musical gifts of Tom and Tim Zehnder during this year’s event, to be held June 29-July 5, 2015.
“We invite families of all shapes and sizes to create their own family adventure,” says Linda Seebantz, Ghost Ranch’s director of marketing and communications. “Although summer weeks typically require a stay for the full week, for this particular Family Week, families can come for a minimum of two nights or up to all six nights.”
Included in the special Presbyterian fee, families receive their lodging, meals, workshops and special Family Week activities. For those who choose the camping option, separate meal tickets are available for purchase.
Juliana Crownover—the retreat center’s current artist-in-residence—first discovered Family Week when it fell between two weeks when she was already there teaching art. “Our family tried it and loved it,” she says.
She and her husband, Matt—a teaching elder who is currently taking over his family’s business after having served in hospital chaplaincy for 17 years—are the parents of Micah and his siblings, Noah, age 13; Miriam, age 8; and Lydia, age 5.
“Ghost Ranch is a wonderful place that nourishes the soul,” she adds. “It is a place to grow families and friendships.”
So much so, in fact, that her parents decided to join in the experience.
“Family Week at Ghost Ranch with my daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren was one of the best weeks we’ve ever had as a family,” says Merry Lobrecht, Juliana Crownover’s mother. “It was so much fun taking classes with my grandchildren. I took a fused glass jewelry making class with my grandsons. I was amazed at how creative they were and how thoughtful; they made gifts for both my daughter and me. Our family took advantage of our time together sharing meals, family hikes, enjoying the beautiful landscape and worshipping together. I recommend Family Week to all grandparents.”
Lobrecht and her husband Richard, who live in Kingwood, Texas, say they appreciate the intentional design of Family Week.
“We have come to Ghost Ranch other weeks, but the structure of Family Week encourages spending more individual time with the kids,” says Richard Lobrecht.
Evening activities include campfires, games, family activities, Coffee House (talent show), a musical concert and Ghost Ranch’s spectacular 4th of July celebration, including a parade and fireworks.
"I love the parade!" says Lydia Crownover.
And who doesn’t love a parade.
For information about special rates and registration, please call 505-685-1001 (Mon.-Sat., 8am-5pm MDT).