It’s not every day people jump up and down in excitement while bidding on things like used sweatshirts, old backpacks and horse masks, but that’s exactly what happened at Camp Chief Ouray’s staff auction held June 7.

The idea is simple; Camp Chief Ouray staff members bring in items they have laying around or offer services like laundry and babysitting. From there, staff bid on the items, and the highest bidder takes them home.

With 100 percent of the auction’s proceeds going towards the Camp Chief Ouray scholarship fund, the event means a lot more than picking up a new hoodie or tent.

This year, over $5,400 was raised for the scholarship fund, bringing in $1,000 more than last year’s.

While a coupon good for four guests to take a scenic plane ride was up for grabs, an old backpack ended up going for $140, making it the single most expensive item. Also on the auctioneers table, everything from brand-new Patagonia shorts with a starting bid of $20, to a can of Campbell’s tomato soup with an asking price of $1 got hands flying and bid wars ensuing.

For the Camp Chief Ouray staff and prospective campers, the auction is a win-win situation. Staff members get rid of old and unwanted things, while taking home something new and also give a child the opportunity to attend camp.

According to Camp Executive Mike Ohl, the money raised this year is enough to send seven kids to Camp Chief Ouray on a full scholarship.

Since 1909, Camp Chief Ouray has been the adventurous playground and traditional overnight camp for kids ages 7-17. Located on 5,100 acres of mountains, valleys, streams and meadows—boredom is simply not an option, and the opportunities for growth and learning are endless.

To learn more about Camp Chief Ouray and how to send more kids to camp, please visit