IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Greer Gardner , Volunteer
When not at Camp I am a: Town of Vail community host, golfer, skier, and a volunteer for Bravo! and Roundup River Ranch.
Volunteer at Roundup River Ranch since: 2009
How would you describe camp in three words? Life-changing experience.
In what volunteer role do you serve at Roundup River Ranch?
I volunteer in the administrative office. I write notes to our donors, make phone calls, solicit in-kind donations, and help with special projects. I am also a member of the Board of Directors.
Why do you think it is important to provide camp experiences to children with serious illnesses? I spent 11 years as a patient
advocate and insurance specialist at Children’s Hospital in Denver, so I witnessed the toll a serious illness takes on a family.
Children with serious illnesses focus so much on their illnesses- they have few friends and are often isolated from everything except hospitals, doctors,
nurses, and medication schedules. After a diagnosis, “normal” childhood ceases. Camp offers the chance for children with serious illnesses to simply focus on being kids.
How do you think you’ve made a difference as a Roundup River Ranch volunteer? My time is spent encouraging others to support camp or thanking them for their generosity so that camp can continue to offer experiences totally free to our campers and their families. I have also introduced several of my friends to the magic of Roundup River Ranch at camp events, A Grateful Harvest and A Taste of Camp.
What motivates you to volunteer at Roundup River Ranch? I can see that “outside” help is a benefit to the staff so that they can focus on other tasks. The projects I complete are often just “time consuming” and relieve the staff to focus on other things.
What is your favorite memory from volunteering? I have served on the A Grateful Harvest committee for three years and it is very gratifying to see that unique evening be a resounding success.
How has your Roundup River Ranch volunteer experience impacted your life? It continues to make me realize how grateful I am to be a small part of such a dedicated group as the Roundup River Ranch family.
To paraphrase Paul Newman “You can leave camp, but camp never leaves you.” When you hear a camper describe what camp has meant to him or her, you know that all you do to support the continued mission of camp is so important. I am so proud to be a part of the Roundup River Ranch team- the most professional, dedicated, and enthusiastic group I have ever been associated with.
Know what’s most extraordinary about camp? How it makes kids with serious illnesses feel like “ordinary” kids.
Our campers are giggling, laughing, conspiring, art-making, arrow-shooting, horseback-riding, canoe-paddling kids. That is both exhilarating and healing. Eye-opening and inspiring. Ordinary and extraordinary.
The truth is, our campers are sick and tired of being labeled as “sick.” They’re just kids who want to be kids. And that is precisely what every day (and s’more-roasting night) is all about. (And of course, it’s all always free of charge!)
Not only are we nestled in one of the most beautiful places in the Colorado mountains (see awe-inspiring photos right here), but we’re also a place that has a real honest-to-goodness magical quality about it. Campers discover that they are more courageous than they thought, more capable than they imagined, and more blissfully “ordinary” than they had realized.
More than 1,000 campers experience Roundup River Ranch each year and we welcome campers from across Colorado and an 11-state region. That makes for a huge number of potential new BFFs!
Our intentional programming philosophy means campers choose what they want to tackle, push themselves to try new things, and celebrate with all of camp for their accomplishments. Read more of the feel-great details here.
Here’s just a sampling of the things that make Roundup River Ranch so much more than simply camp:
• A crazy-fun zip line.
• The awesome climbing wall.
• A special seat that helps all kids zip line. (Yay for everyone getting to zip!)
• Canoes, beautiful canoes.
• A fishing lake. (Catch, wish, and release please)
• Big, beautiful, ride-me-today horses.
• Archery (How’s your aim?)
• An Art Yurt. (You have to see it to believe it.)
Songs, dancing, Stage Night, ridiculous costumes, star-gazing, cabin mates, fantastic counselors, and so, so, so much more.