IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Joanne Beda, Volunteer
When Not at Camp I am a: busy retiree
Volunteer at Roundup River Ranch since: 2011
Favorite Camp Activity: Dancing
Favorite Meal at Camp: Breakfast
Favorite Camp Dance: “Rather Be”
How would you describe camp in three words? Fun, heart-warming, and busy
In what volunteer role(s) do you serve at Roundup River Ranch? I volunteer at the medical desk in The Depot.
Why do you think it is important to provide camp experiences to children with serious illnesses? Children with serious illnesses are still children and deserve to have experiences that they may not be able to have except at camp. Camp is an opportunity for children with serious illnesses to have fun, make new friends, and see their medical practitioners in a safe and friendly place where the focus is on the activities and not their illness.
How do you feel your volunteer time has made a difference to Roundup River Ranch campers? It is my hope that I am one more friendly face to the campers who helps make their time at camp memorable.
What motivates you to volunteer at Roundup River Ranch? Seeing the strength that campers display while dealing with an illness puts my life in perspective and makes me want to be a stronger, more positive person.
What is your favorite memory as a Roundup River Ranch volunteer? A few years ago, I happened to be dancing near a few boys who were at camp for the first time. They were reluctant to join in, so I encouraged them and eventually they started to dance. After that, their cabin counselor told me that they would look for me and wait until I joined them before they would start dancing.
How has your Roundup River Ranch volunteer experience impacted your life? The children I see at camp have reminded me what is important in life and not to take your health, friendships, and having fun for granted.
Why would you encourage others to volunteer at camp? This is an experience that will change your life and become a part of you no matter how many times you are at camp.
What would you like to say to those who may be interested in volunteering at Roundup River Ranch? Just try it! I have never seen or heard about anyone who did not have a wonderful volunteer experience. One thing that I have enjoyed about camp is meeting some of the most interesting people I have ever met. Campers, staff, and other volunteers are some of the nicest, warmest, most caring, and energetic people that anyone can ever hope to meet. Being at camp has enriched my life and the people I’ve met are why I continue to volunteer.
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.