Challenge Aspen camp burglarized |

Challenge Aspen camp burglarized

Volunteers and participants taking part in Challenge Aspen's Adventure Camp.
Aspen Times file

More than $7,000 worth of property was stolen from Challenge Aspen’s camp in the Fryingpan Valley last weekend, an official with the nonprofit said Wednesday.

The burglary occurred either Saturday night or early Sunday morning at the 130-acre camp the nonprofit owns near Ruedi Reservoir when a thief or thieves apparently walked around a locked gate and broke into unlocked storage sheds, said Anne Adams, the nonprofit’s chief operating officer.

“It’s just sad that it happened,” she said. “It makes us feel like we’ve been invaded.”

The locked gate was not tampered with, so it’s unclear if a vehicle was used to steal the items, she said.

Taken from the sheds were two chainsaws, 15 sets of trekking poles, four fly-fishing rods, five archery bows and a set of binoculars, Adams said. The thieves also took sunscreen and bug repellent, but were selective and left behind other gear, she said.

The sheds can’t be seen from Fryingpan Road, so it’s not clear if the thieves previously knew about the items or stumbled onto it, she said.

A Challenge Aspen staff member was up at the camp Saturday afternoon and Adams said she went up early Sunday afternoon and found the sheds open and the items gone.

“It’s a big bummer for us,” she said, adding that she wasn’t sure how the organization was going to replace the gear.

The camp is perched above Ruedi and features a tent village, a 60-foot climbing tower, a fishing pond and an outdoor archery range, Adams said. It’s been part of Challenge Aspen’s curriculum for at least 20 years, though it hasn’t been used yet this summer because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Adams said she filed a police report with the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office, but wasn’t confident anyone would be caught.

A message left for an Eagle County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson was not returned Wednesday.

Challenge Aspen is dedicated to creating adaptive experiences for people with cognitive or physical disabilities.