Steamboat Springs Forty to 50 families gathered in a line outside the Parks and Recreation Office to sign up their children for summer camp nearly two weeks ago.
"We always have a line, but this was the biggest line I've seen in years," said Jennifer Rose, youth program coordinator for the City of Steamboat Springs Recreation Department.
And since May 10, the program was left with numerous spaces open to first through eighth graders for 54 days of summer activities.
Steven Schibline began the line at 5:30 a.m., two hours before the Parks and Rec offices open, to sign up his children for the Rocky Mountain Thrill Seekers and the Rocky Mountain Adventure Club.
"I was out there at 5:30 5:25. I just took my Thermos and a fold-out chair and a Discman, and read the newspaper," Schibline said.
For the seventh year in a row, Schibline has sat and waited for the Parks and Rec doors to open at 7:30 a.m. to sign up his children for summer camp.
"If you're not the first 32 parents, you start losing days after that," Schibline said.
Rose said when she asked Schibline what time he arrived at the building to wait in line, her jaw dropped to the floor in amazement.
"It's typical to have a line, but this is the biggest one. The line was pretty much cleared by 8:30 a.m.," Rose said.
Two years ago, Schibline said he had to ditch the line to get to work and missed enough sign up days that the summer became a challenge for child care.
Parents signing up their children for either of the two youngest groups can register for $23 a day, the two older groups are $18 a day.
Of the 54 days of summer camp beginning June 11 through Aug. 24, parents can sign up their children for specific days.
Each day is considered a session, and Rose said parents sign up according to their children's want or a parent's need for child care.
The first and second graders' program is the Incredible Steamboat Sneakers, allowing 24 students in each group. The Sneakers can enjoy days at a wave pool, exploring the Yampa Valley and going on scavenger hunts, among many others.
Rose said the Sneakers have 35 days open for registration.
The third- and fourth-graders' program is the Steamboat Explorer's Club, allowing 24 students in each group also. The Explorer's Club will canoe, camp out in Steamboat and hike around the valley, among many others.
Rose said the Explorer's Club has only 10 days open for registration.
Fifth- and sixth-graders can join the Rocky Mountain Adventure Club, which also allows 24 students maximum. Adventure Club activities include: rock climbing, relaxing in the hot springs and mountain biking, among many others.
Rose said this group has 30 open days for registration.
The Rocky Mountain Thrill Seekers, for seventh- and eighth-graders, only allows 16 students maximum, but still has 43 days open for registration, Rose said.
The Thrill Seekers are the oldest students allowed in the summer camp program.