Meet Quinn! A volunteer from Fort Collins, Colo., who joined our Roundup River Ranch family back in 2019, when he was working with his advisor at Colorado State University for opportunities to fill his summer.
“During my first summer volunteering at camp, I didn’t really know what to expect. I was pretty nervous about it. After the first day of being there, I felt very comfortable and at home. I’ve never been to a place where there are so many awesome people selflessly devoting their time to help other people – specifically these kids with serious illnesses.”
This year, Quinn has volunteered at numerous camp online programs including: Family Camp, Summer Camp, Weekend Kids Camp, and Day Camp. When asked what it felt like seeing camp come to life on screen, he shared, “Camp is really about the people and our connections together, it doesn’t have to be at camp itself. As camp online has gone on, I have felt that way more and more. I’m super stoked to have the opportunity to connect online with all of these kids, and the camp staff as well – even though we are all in different places.”
Quinn said that one of the things that surprised him most about camp online was how engaged and excited the campers were each day. During every activity, he saw campers smiling, giggling, and chatting about how much fun they were having.
During this pandemic, children with serious illnesses are isolated more than ever before. Quinn expressed how important it is to still bring the fun and peer connection of camp to our campers. “Our campers rely on Roundup River Ranch for awesome experiences that bring them together with other kids they can connect with. The fact that we can still do this online, and still give them the benefits of camp is such an incredible thing. Whether it’s online or not, camp gives them the space to just be themselves and really experience the joy of being a kid without having to worry about where they are going to fit in, or if they are to be able to do something because of their medical condition.”
When asked about his favorite memory from his volunteer experience, Quinn shared a moment he had with a camper family at the Challenge Course last fall. “I was down at the Challenge Course with one of the families in my cabin. I watched the kids climb the wall and go down the Zipline – but the parents refrained from doing it. The kids were so excited after they finished that they convinced their parents to try it too. The kids cheered for their parents the whole way through the course. Once they finished, you could see how connected the family felt and how it brought them closer together. Unfortunately, the majority of these families lose a lot of their typical family time because they are focusing on their child’s diagnosis, treatment, and care. Having those moments together at camp allowed them to really center and enjoy each other’s company in a worry-free environment.”
We rely on people power at Roundup River Ranch. Without our dedicated volunteers, like Quinn, we would not be able to host such impactful and intentional camp programs for kids and their families. Quinn is proud to be able to help make camp happen, and he keeps coming back to volunteer because, “Camp has changed my life. It’s given me something that I whole-heartedly want to be part of it. I feel like volunteering has made me more of an empathetic person. I’ve learned how to relate to people that have very different lives from me, but we can always find ways to connect. Camp has helped me branch out in being more of an outgoing person, and it has also helped me grow my leadership abilities.”