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BEACON Senior News

Base Camp 40: Warriors in the Wild

Nov 06, 2018 02:45AM ● By Melanie Wiseman

Base Camp 40 takes veterans on hunting, fishing and outdoor adventure trips to promote reflection, restoration and camaraderie.

When it comes to showing gratitude, Glade Park resident Paul Bristol doesn’t do anything on a small scale.

In 2011, Bristol started Whistler Entertainment, Inc., a nonprofit that supports other charitable organizations by promoting and organizing music festivals and other special events.

“The first event, Pickin’ On The Pinyon music festival, was to honor HopeWest workers who changed my life during my father’s journey battling cancer,” said Bristol. “It’s now our main in-house fundraiser held every August.”

That’s where Bristol befriended Scott Brown, a former U.S. Marine and frontman of the Texas-based Scooter Brown Band, a group of musicians known for their performances at military events across Texas. They bonded over their love of the outdoors and their passions for gratitude and giving back.

Pickin’ on the Pinyon, 2018.

Taking in the incredible views of Glade Park’s rim of Unaweep Canyon, Brown urged Bristol to do a veterans event on the Bedford Ranch he was managing, which became the basis of Base Camp 40 (BC40), Warriors in the Wild.

The name comes from the organization’s “base camp”—its headquarters on Glade Park—and refers to Colorado Game management unit 40.

Like most Colorado outdoorsmen, Bristol understands the power that comes with being surrounded by nature’s solace and the gifts the mountains can deliver.

BC40 takes veterans on hunting, fishing and outdoor adventure trips to promote reflection, restoration and camaraderie. Numerous ranchers on Glade Park and across the country answered Bristol’s call to allow veteran hunts on their land. He said their donation of time and property for the veterans is the cornerstone of what BC40 does.

“Our mission is to open doors where veterans can reset during their search to rediscover inner peace they may feel is lost forever,” said Bristol. “It’s not lost, but only covered up by the burden of war.”

BC40 hunting trips have fulfilled the lifelong dreams of many veterans and expand beyond Glade Park to Parachute, Ridgway, Louisiana, Kentucky, Montana, Oklahoma and South Africa. A group of Gold Star Fathers recently returned from a fishing trip to Lake Powell.

Most trips average three to five days and group sizes are limited. Due to limited resources, 40-50 veterans from around the country take BC40 trips each year. The waiting list is staggering.

“The hardest part of this mission is that not all of the hundreds who apply for the trips are chosen,” said Bristol. “One hundred percent of the cost is covered. What we offer is just a drop in the bucket compared to their sacrifice.”

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