Character Talk Tuesday-Ethan Charm

Welcome, introduce yourself.

I’m Ethan Charm. I moved here to Peakview with my mom last fall. I’m fifteen and a freshman at Mountain High School.

What activities are you involved in?

I’m a runner, so I’m on the high school’s cross country and track teams. At first it was hard running at such a high altitude with my asthma, but I’m getting more use to it now. The elevation is much higher than where we came from in Nebraska.

How do you like Peakview?

It’s great. I’ve made a lot of friends. Everyone is very down to earth and friendly. I like being at a rural school. Now that mom and Jake are married, I love living on our ranch. We have so many animals. I love them all, but my favorite it my cat, Carrie. I was there the day she was born. She was the runt of the litter, but what she lacks in size, she makes up for in personality.

What are you doing for the summer?

I help Jake around the ranch and I’ve been working part time for Jerry at Heart’s Haven doing some repair work and trimming of trees and lawn stuff. I like it. It’s good to be outdoors in the mountains in the summer. In my spare time, I like to fish and hang out with the cross country guys. We have practices all summer, so running continues. I’ll go back to Nebraska for a couple of weeks with my dad, but I’ll be ready to come back. This town really does feel like home.

CHARACTER TALK TUESDAY-MELANIE DALTON

We’re here at Sophie’s Choice bookstore with the owner, Melanie Dalton. Tell us about how you came to open the bookstore.

It’s a long story. I came to Peakview with my daughter a couple of years ago in search of a father I had never known. He’d turned out to be none other than Howard Crandall. He hadn’t known that my mother was pregnant or that I existed. He and Sophie bonded almost immediately, and we decided to stay in Peakview and give the relationship a chance. I’ve never regretted that decision. Anyway, I found this old house. It was cheap and in need of repair. It seemed like the perfect place for a home and a business. Sophie and I lived upstairs until I married Hank and moved to our ranch. Along the way we adopted our foster daughter, Marissa, and a rescue dog named, Scruffy.

How’s business?

Great. This town really needed a book store. During the summer, the tourists keep us hopping. It slows down in the winter which is fine by me.

I see you’re expecting. When’s the baby due?

In September. We can’t wait. It’s a boy. Hank is so excited. It’s his first biological child, although he’s adopted both Sophie and Marissa. He’s a great dad.

What do you like best about Peakview?

That we’re all one big family. I’d never had that. My mom never stayed in one place for long, and we always lived in big cities. I’m so happy to raise my children in a place like Peakview. Finding this town was a dream come true for us. Stop by and see us anytime.

CHARACTER TALK TUESDAY–WILLOW HAYWOOD

I hear you’re a native of Peakview.

Yeah, born and raised. I grew up going to Peakview Elementary and Mountain High School, both about a mile from my current residence.

Tell us about your business.

My husband, Ryan, and I own Peak Adventure Camp. It’s a camp for disadvantaged kids. We get grants to paly for their stay. Lots of foster kids, kids who’ve been in trouble with law, or have behavioral issues. Most of them are from the Denver area. It gives them the chance to get away and have fun in the outdoors for a week. They ride horses, hike, fish and other age appropriate activities. We have kiddos as young as five and all the way up to eighteen.

Are you open year round?

Pretty much. We started out as a summer camp, but there was so much need. We got a grant and hired Penny Walker to work for us as camp manager, full time. That gave us the ability to do weekends throughout the year. It’s amazing. We’ve been able to add skiing and sledding in the winter. It’s so fun to see these city kids fall in love with the mountains. Our son, River, is almost a year and a half now. He loves all the kids and activity. It’s a great place for him to grow up.

Do you have other staff?

We have teenagers who live at the ranch fill time during the summer months. In the winter, we cut back. Some kids drive up from college in Denver, Fort Collins and Boulder to help out on weekends. Penny has a baby at home now too, so we try and give her a break every once in a while.

Do you keep in touch with the campers and track if you’ve made a difference in their lives?

Sometimes. Some kids we never hear from again. You always wonder if you had a positive impact. Others come back year after year, or are able to keep in touch through social media. We love those who do. Melanie and Hank’s daughter, Marissa, was a camper of ours. She was in a horrible foster situation at the time. Through meeting her while she was at camp, Melanie was able to become her foster mom, and later she and hank adopted her. She’s a great child. That’s definitely a success story. She even wants to come work at the camp when she’d older.

What’s the most important thing kids take away for Peak Adventures?

We’re all about positivity. We teach them to believe in themselves, to never give up, to be kind to other people and animals, and that they are in charge of their own destiny. I hope that take some of that home with them. That and we’re always here for them, if they need us.