Roundup River Ranch ready to roll |

Roundup River Ranch ready to roll

CVR RRR Tour DT 6-6-11

DOTSERO, Colorado – After millions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours, Roundup River Ranch is finally a reality.

And now the real work begins.

The camp for seriously ill children hosts its first campers beginning July 6.

There’s still work to be done and money to be raised, so they’re hosting a fundraising dinner Saturday at the ranch, north of Dotsero on the Colorado River Road.

They’re always recruiting campers, donors and volunteers, said Ruth Johnson, Roundup River Ranch’s CEO.

“Dine First is a very special event that will embrace the spirit of camp, while raising funds to support our campers,” Johnson said. “This is the first ever event held in our dining hall and will be a memorable evening.”

Roundup River Ranch is on 85 acres in northwestern Eagle County, and it will be the eighth member of Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall Camps. They’re summer camps for kids with life-threatening illnesses.

Johnson and several other true believers launched the Roundup River Ranch vision in 2006 and now, finally, it’s time to bring in the kids.

They have a few spots open in some of this summer’s four sessions. They’re figuring on 40 kids per session during this opening summer, and more than 100 per session next year and afterward.

Family camps are scheduled for this fall and through the winter. Plans are to run the camp year round.

“An incredible community of donors, friends, board members, vendors, staff and volunteers helped create Roundup River Ranch,” Johnson said. “On July 6, when we welcome our first campers, we hope the people of this community will understand the profound gift this is to our campers and their families.”

The camp is for kids ages 7 to 17, and has all the normal summer camp stuff. But you don’t get too far away from its core mission. Defibrillators are everywhere. There are doctors and nurses on staff and on site. The medical center, where campers’ medications are stored, looks like a huge ranch house and is designed to be unobtrusive, even though it’s in the middle of everything.

“Roundup River Ranch will forever change the lives of children with life-threatening illnesses,” Johnson said. “The level of medical supervision and design of our camp programs enable kids to be kids. Through our donor support, camp is free, allowing parents and families to focus on the ongoing costs of medical care.”

Roundup River Ranch’s sponsors include: Alpine Bank, The Beck Group, Cathie Bennett, Fred Frailey, Susan C. Buck, Tyco International, Wells Fargo Bank, Edwards Building Center, 1stBank, Susan and Tom Washing, JVA Consulting Engineers, Kingsbery/Baris/Vogel/Nuttal CPAs and US Bank.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or

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