At Roundup River Ranch, we’ve always known that camp is much more than just a place. It’s a feeling. And now, more than ever, we hope you’ll join us in Fueling the Feeling for our campers and their families, wherever they call home.
The world is different. The magic of camp isn’t. While the world has changed over the past few months, one thing will never change at Roundup River Ranch: we remain focused on providing unforgettable opportunities for our campers and their families to discover joy, celebrate friendships, and build confidence. In fact, the magic of camp is stronger than ever, even as much of it has been taking place behind the scenes. I couldn’t be more proud of the way our community members, Board, donors, staff, and volunteers have been creative, inspiring, and dedicated to ensuring our campers and their families feel the love and joy of camp wherever they are.
You’ve helped fuel the feeling of pure childhood joy. So, we want to give you a look at camp for 2020. Just as “can’t” isn’t a word we use at camp, it also wasn’t a word we used when we realized we would not be able to host our campers on-site for the 2020 season. In true Roundup River Ranch spirit, we said “We can do this!” and we turned our talents and energy into creating exciting, dynamic, meaningful opportunities and experiences that will keep our families and campers feeling supported and connected.
The best of camp, wherever kids with serious illnesses are. Starting in mid-March, we rolled out the Best Week Ever — a weekly e-newsletter sent to camper families and our broader community. It contains family-friendly camp activities, caregiver resources, conversation starters, and other elements to foster our traditional camp connections. As one camper said, “Thank you for bringing camp home to me. I miss camp, but this gives me something to look forward to every week.”
This summer, since we can’t all be packed into a cabin or sharing slurpy spaghetti together, we’re taking camp on the road, through the mail, into computer screens, across the state, and right into the hearts of campers and their families wherever they may be.
With brainstorming, collaboration, and good ol’ camp grit, we have developed Here We Go Online. It’s an innovative virtual way to host camp with all the things we love about traditional camp, including fun activities, inspiring role models, and kids getting to meet other awesome kids on similar life journeys. All through a safe and fun online experience.
As dedicated volunteer Jeff said, “Every time I experience camp it changes me. To be able to be around so much positivity for a whole week is the greatest thing ever. I take that back out into the world.”
Thinking outside the box. Delivering Joy to our campers. Keeping our entire community in mind, we know Here We Go Online may not be a fit for everyone. So we also created Joy, Delivered. This boxed kit provides activities and directions for families who need more flexibility than scheduled virtual experiences but still wish to engage in the fun, games, and happiness of camp. You can even order your own Joy, Delivered Out-of-the-Box Camp Experience for a child in your life and gift one to a camper at the same time!
“Roundup River Ranch camp experience is second to none! To offer children with serious illnesses an authentic camp experience – we are truly grateful. I love that Lilly comes home buzzing with positive energy and confidence. What an empowering opportunity.” -Carly, Camper Mom
A sense of community is more important than ever. Social distancing is difficult for everyone’s mental health and our campers are perhaps even more vulnerable to the side effects of isolation. As campers need us now more than ever, we hope you’ll continue to join us to provide moments of hope and healing to campers near and far.
Little did we know how fitting our camp theme of “Here We Go!” would be as we began navigating 2020. But, Here We Go! indeed. As we continue to create the magic of camp for you, our campers, and our community, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your loyalty and belief in the Roundup River Ranch mission. We are excited about the world of possibilities that 2020 has presented us and we look forward to working together to ignite the feelings, connections, and magic of camp through our common bond of camp this summer. As the lyrics of our closing song “Stars in the Sky” say, “No matter where you are, we are all looking up at the same night sky.” We hope that you will join us in Fueling the Feeling this summer at Roundup River Ranch through our various opportunities listed below.
With sincere gratitude,
Ruth B. Johnson, JD
President & CEO
PS – If you would like to experience and see for yourself a bit of virtual camp, please consider joining us for one or all of our interactive virtual activities, hosted specifically for our stakeholders.
June 24 – Virtual Best Day Ever
Join us for a virtual Best Day Ever at 10:00 a.m. MDT on our Facebook page and YouTube Channel. Hear from campers, volunteers, and staff about what makes Roundup River Ranch their happy, happy, place! Our Best Day Ever camp tradition lives on in virtual camp through our Best Week Ever newsletter including community sharing, jokes, songs, and quotes.
June 29 – Virtual Candle Chat
Join for a virtual Candle Chat at 6:00 p.m. MDT on our Facebook page and YouTube channel. Candle Chat is a reflective camp activity at the end of each day. It is critical to the intentionality of our programming and we are continuing it through Here We Go Online and our Best Week Ever newsletter. It provides a space for campers to share their thoughts and feelings, promoting inclusivity and acceptance.
July 1 – Virtual Closing Ceremonies
Join us for a virtual Closing Ceremony at 2:00 p.m. MDT on our Facebook page and YouTube channel. This tradition is full of gratitude and reflection as campers share their wish stars, sing camp songs, and learn about taking the feelings of camp out into the world to inspire change and positivity. Join in and experience firsthand the lasting impact of your support.
P.P.S. One more bit of camp news! We’re having one big virtual gathering! This year A Taste of Camp and A Grateful Harvest will be combined into one virtual gathering on August 10, called A Grateful Gathering. For more information about this once-in-a-lifetime event, please visit AGratefulGathering.com.