For Shanda Poitra’s family, getting together to celebrate her sister’s birthday turned into a post-pandemic family reunion at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.
Shanda Poitra, a self-defense instructor for Native American women, along with 16 members of her extended family gathered together for a much-anticipated post-pandemic family reunion and birthday celebration at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park recently. The excitement of being together after many months of separation combined with the opportunity to let loose and create memories as a family was a driving factor for the group in choosing the Adventure Park.
Family Reunion a Release Valve for Pandemic-Related Stresses
Poitra and her family are members of the Turtle Mountain Reservation Band of Chippewas in Belcourt, North Dakota, but her family is spread out over the country. “I see some of my family on regular basis, but some I haven’t seen in years,” said Poitra, who is excited that except for her brother, every one of the extended clan was able to make the trip to Glenwood Springs.
“We wanted to have a big family vacation and celebrate my sister Tammy’s birthday,” she said. “We knew we wanted to come to Colorado and that the destination had to be family-friendly, yet someplace where adults could hang out. In choosing Glenwood Springs, the Adventure Park was the main draw.”
The past year was stressful for everyone, but Poitra and her family have felt the effects of the pandemic more than most. A self-defense instructor, Poitra travels the country teaching Native American women how to defend themselves against physical attacks. According to the Department of Justice, Native women are killed at a rate 10 times the national average, a tragic statistic. While Poitra works to empower women, other family members who are employed as essential medical workers were also stretched thin and tired from the demands of the pandemic.
The Perfect Place for a Family Reunion
With the easing of COVID restrictions and Tammy’s birthday on the horizon, Poitra thought the timing was right to finally get together to smile, laugh and create memories as a family—even if some of them were afraid of heights!
What rides are Poitra and her group most looking forward to? “All of them,” she said. Tammy piped in too, “I can’t wait to play laser tag, and I definitely want to do the cave tours.” Poitra’s partner Travis was excited to ride the Alpine Coaster. To avoid crowds and make the most of the opportunity for unlimited rides using their Funday tickets, the group decided to plan their visit to the Adventure Park midweek instead of on the weekend.
Helping to make their family reunion a success, Poitra worked closely with the Adventure Park’s group sales manager, Christine Goodale. “I just want to say thank you to Christine who has been working with us for months. She’s been so accommodating in helping us to have our best experience.”
After much planning, Poitra and her family are ready to let loose at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, enjoying all the rides and attractions. We wish Tammy a very happy birthday and the rest of the family a wonderful, fun-filled experience at the Park, and look forward to seeing all their smiling faces back for more in the future.