Roundup River Ranch began with a dream to carry out the vision of actor Paul Newman and bring a Hole in the Wall Camp (now SeriousFun Children’s Network) to Colorado. Two members of the Hole in the Wall Board of Directors, David Horvitz and John Forester, envisioned a camp set in the beautiful Rocky Mountain region. As luck would have it, Alison Knapp, a retired executive and local resident, also envisioned a camp in the valley after attending a fundraiser with David for a Florida SeriousFun camp. In 2006, Alison officially founded Roundup River Ranch. Alison recruited a diverse founding Board of Directors and our Founding President and CEO, Ruth Johnson. Over the next five years, the Board and a dedicated group of staff, volunteers, community, and corporate partners worked tirelessly. A $20 million capital campaign was conducted to purchase the property and build a state-of-the-art facility complete with a medical clinic, six camper cabins, a dining hall, a volunteer and staff lodge, an archery range, challenge course, pond, barn, and more. Alison's dream became a reality.
We welcomed our first children with serious illnesses on July 6, 2011 and served 230 campers in our inaugural season. This is a place where, in Paul's words, kids can "raise a little hell" and heal their soul by taking a break from being "a patient."
Today, Roundup River Ranch serves campers with a diverse range of serious medical illnesses from Colorado and the surrounding Rocky Mountain Region. inclusive of Arizona, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming. In 2021 we delivered 52 programs that provided over 5,700 camper experiences. That means we provided more life-changing, friendship-sharing impactful moments for kids with serious illnesses and their families than ever before. In 2021, we confirmed that the pure joy of camp transcends the physical place of camp. It's what happens when we connect with each other, bring campers together, support and encourage families, and celebrate shareed journeys. It lives in the hearts of our campers and their families and can be rekindled in all kinds of camp-tastic ways wherever campers are.
Our programming is all-inclusive and includes:
Summer Camp: A five-day, diagnosis-specific camp for children with serious illnesses to experience the magic of camp with other kids who have similar journeys. Here, the healing power of laughter, friendship, and shared experiences offer kids the chance to make new friends, find the courage to try activities they never thought possible, and build confidence. Summer Camp is open to diagnosed campers ages 7-17.
Family Retreat: A newly imagined onsite weekend program that gives campers and their families the opportunity to enjoy respite, recreation, and the joy of togetherness at camp. Programming will focus on the family unit – each family will have their own unique schedule and will create family memories as they explore camp, enjoy nature, and rejuvenate through the power of play. Family Retreats are open to diagnosed campers ages 5-17, and their families.
Camper Reunion – Programs designed for campers and their families to reconnect through a diverse array of fun and engaging camp experiences in-person around the greater Denver area, or as a Camp Online opportunity. Camper Reunions are aimed at relieving loneliness and providing nurturing environments to strengthen each camper’s resilience through socialization.
Camp Online – Camp Online is an interactive, movement-based, and engaging camp experience that combines all the things we love about traditional camp into an online format. This includes fun activities, positive adult role models, and kids getting to meet other awesome kids on similar life journeys through safe and meaningful programs.
Family Camp Online – Children with serious illnesses and their families join online for a weekend of fun, friendship, and rejuvenation. Families can simply focus on the joy of being together and create cherished memories while participating in camp-inspired activities together. Special time is set aside for Café au Lait for parents and caregivers and Teen Lounge for teenaged campers and siblings during the weekend.
Joy, Delivered – An out-of-the-box camp experience that supports and engages children in fun activities that inspire creativity, compassion, resilience, teamwork, and are screen-free. The magic and joy of camp is delivered to your doorstep with all the supplies, instructions, and activities necessary to experience the joy of camp individually or collaboratively.
Camp In Your Community - A community partnership program that brings camp activity boxes and other resources to like-minded organizations (such as Brent’s Place, Morgridge Academy, Hope Kids, or Ronald McDonald House). Camp In Your Community is offered to families who may or may not traditionally qualify for Roundup River Ranch’s onsite and online camp programs.