The Camp

Dr. Ed de Zoeten

Medical Volunteer

IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Dr. Ed de Zoeten, Medical Volunteer

When not at Camp I am a: Pediatric Gastroenterologist

Volunteer at Roundup River Ranch since: 2010

Favorite Camp Activity: Zip lining

Favorite Meal at Camp: Breakfast 

Favorite Camp Dance: I love all the dances, it’s fun to just get moving. But I really love“Ice Cream and Cake”.

What do you like to do when you’re not volunteering? I love spending time with my 4 kids and my wife, going to soccer games, plays, recitals. I love 
skiing as much as possible and my new thing is playing the ukelele.

How would you describe camp in three words? Joyous, humbling, laughter

In what volunteer role(s) do you serve at Roundup River Ranch? I am a medical volunteer. I provide medical care for anyone at camp, and 
hopefully provide peace of mind for parents and campers that camp is a safe and positive place even when you have multiple medical issues. But I will do anything that is needed..clean, play, talk, listen.

Why do you think it’s important to provide camp experiences to children with serious illnesses? Providing a “typical” camp experience to kids that, due to their illness, may not be able to experience this outside of Roundup River Ranch is invaluable.  This is often the first time that these campers interact with other kids that have similar issues, they learn they are not alone, they learn independence, they make life long friends.  All of these life experiences are priceless.
 
How do you feel volunteer time has made a difference to Roundup River Ranch campers? 
I think my patients that go to camp see me there acting like a kid, not dressed like a doctor, wearing costumes, or dancing and it changes their perspective of me a bit.  We have something in common that we can reminisce about. In addition, I think as physicians we provide the safety net for campers to stretch their wings in ways they haven’t before.

What motivates you to volunteer at Roundup River Ranch? The joy on the campers' faces and the friends I have made at Roundup River Ranch.

What is your favorite memory as a Roundup River Ranch volunteer? I have so many great memories that it’s hard to pick.  One was when a camper came up to me after dancing and said to me “Dr. Ed... you are so weird! I’m glad you are here!”  Others include night fishing and the first time I was invited to candle chat.

How has your Roundup River Ranch volunteer experience impacted your life? It recharges my batteries every year.  It gives me a different perspective on why I do what I do. It also has shown me how you can impact a child’s life in so many different ways.

Why would you encourage others to volunteer at camp? This is one of the most rewarding things you will ever do. There is no greater gift, for both the giver and the receiver, than making a child smile.

What would you like to say to those who may be interested in volunteering at Roundup River Ranch? Do it!!  You won’t be sorry you did it. Be ready to play, laugh, work, participate and come home re-energized.

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.

Want to be ca camper? Find out how >