As Labor Day quickly approaches, so too does the end of summer. The sun begins to cast longer shadows, and the warmth of summer slowly yields to autumn’s changing leaves and crisp air. Still, luckily, the magic of summer has found its forever home among the Rocky Mountains.
This sentiment is especially true for children battling serious illnesses like cancer, blood disorders, organ transplants, and more. Life often becomes a labyrinth of medical appointments, treatments, and physical limitations for these children.
A year-round summer camp
Roundup River Ranch, located in Gypsum, Colorado, allows children to take a break from their medical routines and experience the common childhood experience of camp.
Social Support and Community
With social support being pivotal for resilience, engagement, and recovery, camper reunions are designed for campers and their families to reconnect through diverse adventures and experiences such as dancing, participating in fall-themed activities, and simply hanging out!
These gatherings, held both in-person and online, can serve as a joyous prelude to the upcoming adventure of Family Camp. The laughter, shared memories, and a sense of unity during these reunions are a testament to the lasting impact of Roundup River Ranch.
As families reconnect and children share stories of their triumphs, sense of community fills the air, reminding us of the heartfelt and enduring bonds forged at Summer Camp just a few months ago.
Opportunities to Triumph Together
Similar to the Camper Reunions, the impact of Family Camp is as profound as the changing seasons. It creates a sense of belonging, weaving together the stories of children who have faced hardships that most people may never understand.
Activities that once seemed overwhelming suddenly transform into opportunities for triumph as campers scale rock walls, paddle through pristine waters, and revel in the joy of camaraderie. These small, yet important, victories resonate beyond the campfires, reminding children that they possess the strength to overcome any obstacle that life presents.
Healing Benefits for Caregivers
Equally powerful are the healing benefits that Camper Reunions and Family Camps provide parents and caregivers, as the demands of caring for a child with a life-altering illness often overshadow self-care. Roundup River Ranch gives caretakers the gift of watching their children conquer fears, connect with others, and thrive in an environment that accepts their uniqueness.
In these moments of adversity, the importance of year-round programming shines through. The ripples of change initiated by these camp experiences continue to last long after the last s’more has been savored or the last campfire has been put out. Children and their families carry the lessons learned throughout their lifetime, motivating them to defeat life’s challenges.
Sanctuary of Hope
Roundup River Ranch is not just a camp; it’s a sanctuary of hope and renewal. It’s a safe space where children and their families step out of the confines of hospital rooms and embrace the untamed beauty of the natural world. And most importantly, it’s a place where the magic of summer lives on year-round.
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Sarah Johnson is the president and CEO of Roundup River Ranch, a Colorado-based nonprofit that offers free, medically supported camp programs for children with serious illnesses. Sarah Johnson’s career brings a wealth of knowledge in education, fundraising, law, and business acumen, and comes to Roundup River Ranch after three years at the Vail Valley Foundation (VVF), where she previously served as the senior vice president of philanthropy. Prior to VVF, she spent five years at Vail Mountain School where she was the director of advancement and community engagement. Moreover, she has a true passion for philanthropy, which is evident in her time as a board chair for United Way Quad Cities. Among other positions she has held, Sarah was general counsel and director of risk management for Augustana College and has her J.D. from DePaul University College of Law and her undergraduate degree in human and organizational development from Vanderbilt University.
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