Vail Valley spotlight: Roundup River Ranch |

Vail Valley spotlight: Roundup River Ranch

Vail Daily
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Vail DailyCampers in Roundup River Ranch's On the Road Program show their excitement for camp last summer. Roundup River Ranch is opening a local camp for children with serious medical illnesses next year near Dotsero.

Vail Valley organization name: Roundup River Ranch

Executive Director/president: Ruth B. Johnson, JD. Ruth was the first employee and has led the organization since July 2006.

Location: The Roundup River Ranch administrative offices are located in the Alpine Bank Building in Avon, at 10 West Beaver Creek Blvd. The campsite is located 8 miles north of Dotsero on a breathtaking 85-acres along the Colorado River.

Phone number: 970-748-9983.

Web address: To learn more about Roundup River Ranch, please visit us online at

Hours: Our office hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Years in business: Roundup River Ranch has been in operation for four years. The first three and a half years of operation were devoted to fundraising for our $20 million capital campaign, designing plans for camp facilities, and establishing the foundation for camp. We look forward to Summer 2011 when our camp will open for operation.

What is the organization’s mission and who benefits from its work? Roundup River Ranch’s mission is “to enrich the lives of children with life-threatening illnesses by providing free, year-round camping experiences with appropriate medical care that are fun, safe and empowering.”

Roundup River Ranch is a provisional member of the Association of Hole in the Wall Camps, an international organization founded by Paul Newman over two decades ago and is now the largest family of medical-specialty camps.

Roundup River Ranch will serve children ages 7 to 17 with arthritis and other rheumatologic conditions, asthma and severe respiratory diseases, cancer, cardiovascular conditions, diabetes, epilepsy, hemophilia, HIV/AIDS, sickle cell, spina bifida, traumatic brain injuries, burn injuries, organ transplants, and others as appropriate.

Children from an 11-state region, including Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North and South Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming, will be referred to Roundup River Ranch by our medical partners located in each state.

Where does your funding come from?

Our annual operating budget for our first year serving campers is $2 million. We will achieve this goal through individual and corporate donors, grant funding and event revenue.

In January 2010 we completed a $20 million capital campaign – this funding will cover the cost of construction and operations through 2010. The achievement of this $20 million goal was achieved from the support of nearly 430 donors.

When we open in 2011, it will cost approximately $2,500 to bring each child to camp. We will accommodate 60 campers per session throughout the year. Support to fund our operations is needed, and every contribution makes a difference. Whether someone decides to donate $25 to share in the experience of bringing a child to camp to someone who contributes $150,000 to sponsor an entire session of camp, each gift provides a child with an empowering and enriching opportunity to experience the simple joys of being a child.

How many staff members work for you?

We currently have nine full-time employees, and will have 14 employees by the end of the year. The camp medical director, former Colorado Mountain Medical Pediatrician Dr. Marita Bledsoe, will join the team in June 2010, and our camp director will begin in September.

In addition to Roundup River Ranch employees, the camp construction project will bring more than 400 jobs to the area. Once operational, part-time staff will be hired to serve as counselors and support programmatic areas.

Anything else you’d like the community to know about the organization?

The support from the community is essential to our ability to bring kids to camp. Our campers will discover unknown talents, gain confidence in themselves and their abilities and have opportunities to explore the Rocky Mountain wilderness. The impact of these experiences is profound, creating lasting impressions on our campers and their families. We encourage you to help our campers imagine the magic of camp by donating to our campaign. Every gift is appreciated and makes a difference in the lives of our campers.

Colorado tax payers who donate to Roundup River Ranch are eligible to receive an additional 50 percent tax deduction on top of federal deductions through the Colorado Child Care Tax Credit. Approved by the State of Colorado as a licensed child care organization, cash donations from individuals and corporations are eligible for this benefit. Please contact Roundup River Ranch or your tax advisor to receive further information.

If you are interested in learning more about giving opportunities to Roundup River Ranch, please contact Amy Militi, director of development at 970-748-9983, extension 5, or Gifts can also be made online at

Contact Tiana Carlson at to learn more about volunteer opportunities.

Roundup River Ranch will send approximately 40 campers to operating Hole in the Wall Camps around the country through our On the Road Program to have similar experiences to what will be offered here next summer. At the conclusion of the summer, nearly 100 children, including campers from Eagle County, will have attended camp.

Contact Community Editor Lauren Glendenning for details at, or 970-748-2983.

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