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YMCA of the Rockies Love Stories

January 26, 2022

At YMCA of the Rockies, we love to hear love stories!

We’ve heard many stories over the years about people who met here as staff members or guests who ultimately got married or are sharing their lives together. To celebrate love this Valentine's Day, we asked to hear your stories so we could share them with the world. Take a look at some YMCA of the Rockies love stories below. 

If you are interested in celebrating your own love story with a stay at YMCA of the Rockies, check out our February lodging special

Lauri and Dennis Burgesser, 1979

My Husband and I met there in the Spring of 1979. Our 2 churches combined to do a Confirmation Retreat. We think it was in April between our birthdays. I was 14 and he was 13. When we arrived there  seems to have been some sort of mixup. I believe they lost our group's reservation. They had 30 or so teenagers, plus chaperones. We were put up in a lodge that was due to be torn down the next week.


My husband was in the "bad" boy room ...The bad boys had also brought in their own jury rigged stereo and dared to play questionable music such as Fleetwood Mac and Styx.


I was quite the bookworm and barely left the room. But my roommates were a bit wild so they convinced me to go down to the "bad" boys room. We listened to music for a bit and talked ( with the room door left open) I noticed him right away because he was quite tall and dark haired and just very sure of himself.


I kept my eye on him the whole weekend. Then we went home


2 years later I heard there was a new boy school, when I heard the name I knew exactly who it was. I told all the other girls how cute he was, so he had a ready made group of girls waiting for him. He remembered me which surprised me and we were friends. There were a few obstacles but eventually we did become boyfriend and girlfriend. However once again his "badboy" reputation came up and he was invited to leave our school


Eventually we lost touch until my Mom's quick eye saw him and we reconnected


We have now been married for over 37 years, we have 5 children and 4 grandchildren


I convinced our Quilt group to have a Retreat at the YMCA in 2011 just so we could go there again.


When we picture our peaceful places YMCA is always one of those places. We hope to get back there again one of these days. It just makes us happy to even drive up to the property and drive through


Thank you for listening! - Lauri and Dennis Burgesser

Ann and Steve Creaney, 2014

My now husband, Steve, and I didn't exactly meet at the Y camp and fall love but our story involves the YMCA of the Rockies. 


But first, a little back story. My grandfather used to work for a company that had yearly company retreat to the Y camp back in the late 50s/early 60s. My grandparents would pack up their 4 children and make their way for a week’s vacation in the summer. 


25 years later, those 4 kids start to have their own kids and they bring their families. And the tradition continues with the next generation. I have my first memories of the camp around 3 years old. My 10 cousins and I did camp, sang songs, slept in bunk beds, shopping and hiking! We did it all. Here in 2022, we are still coming to Estes park and the Y camp every other year. Our family has grown from the original 6 to 32 people making our way from Chicago to Estes Park for a weeks long vacation in my favorite place with my favorite people. 


Estes Park has always been apart of my heart. The Rockies are my happy place. My husband came with us in 2014 for his first Colorado trip with our Clan! I didn’t realize how special this trip would be. It was a cloudy, rainy mess of a day but everyone took a trek to Baldpate Inn for lunch to watch the hummingbirds. Followed by a stroll around the Stanley Hotel and finally back to our cabin for a nap! My dad suggested Steve and I go for an afternoon trip to Bear Lake inside Rocky Mountain Park! Steve knows this is my happy place. Ever since I can remember I’ve always had an attachment to Bear Lake. It was a struggle to get up there. It was cold and rainy and foggy but we made it. We couldn’t see much but it was still perfect. 


Steve found a horse trail and we made our way up. Once it was level he turned me around, got down on one knee and proposed! I did not expect it! I am so happy he picked RMNP and we will forever have our spot. We got married in 2015. 


Every other year we find our way back to Estes. In 2018 I was pregnant with our daughter Scarlett. In 2020, Scarlett was a year and a half and enjoyed her first time in Estes with our family, friends and the mountains.  We are heading back this summer as we always do. I hope Scarlett can start her memories of camp and other fun things. 


I may not have found my forever love the Y camp but I will forever find love at the base of the Rockies and the YMCA. 


Thanks for reading!

- Ann and Steve Creaney

Picture of Ann and Steve Creaney

Leah Garza and Tyler Grossman, 2021

Hi there! My name is Leah and my fiancé is Tyler. We didn't meet at the Y, but my family has been going to the Y since 2004. On October 9, 2021 my fiancé took me up to the Y and we went on one of the hikes that's right by the entrance (the one by the lake). We got to the bridge on the trail and began to play Pooh Sticks from Winnie the Pooh. When I dropped my stick into the stream, Tyler didn't come with me, I turned around and he was on one knee! The Y has always had a very special place in my heart, and I'm so glad he proposed there! It's even more special now! 

- Leah Garza and Tyler Grossman

Judy (Koehler) Peoples, 1988

My story is while I was working in the group sales office...1988.  Dave Thomas was the marketing director, Jerry Donner was the Director of Sales. (Hopefully I have their titles labeled correctly).


There was a business trip to Lake George, NY that Jerry and Dave were supposed to attend in June 1988.  Not sure why, but somehow I was able to go in place of Dave Thomas. So Jerry (and his new wife Debbie) and I flew to NY.It was in Lake George, NY while working the YMCA booth that I met my husband (he's from DE).  Our first date was June 10, 1988 in Lake George.


I always say ..if it wasn't for Dave Thomas I would never have met my husband, Bill.  We got married in Estes Park on September 9,1989.


- Judy (Koehler) Peoples

Picture of Judy and Bill

Assigned Categories: Estes Park Center, Snow Mountain Ranch

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