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Colorado Experience | The Healing Power of Joy

Driving along a windy Colorado canyon road, the anticipation of arriving at your destination couldn’t be higher. The mountains block your view of the horizon, and every turn only makes you more eager. Finally, a valley opens to reveal Roundup River Ranch Camp. 

“We talk a lot about that feeling that you get in your stomach as you drive down Colorado River Road and you see the gates coming,” said Sterling Leija, the vice president of operations at the camp. “We talk a lot about how you can leave camp, but camp never leaves you. And I think part of that is created by that incredible healing power of place.”  

Roundup River Ranch Camp is part of the SeriousFun Children’s Network,  a global network of camps that provide free summer camps for children with serious illnesses. Actor and philanthropist Paul Newman founded the organization.  

“Paul Newman said that he wanted his camps to be a place where kids could kick back and raise a little hell, which is exactly how he would have presented it, and that's the philosophy, I think, that drives us today,” described Dr. Lia Gore, a pediatric oncologist, volunteer physician and board of directors' member.  

Roundup River Ranch Camp, which sits at a little over 6,000 feet in altitude so it’s not too high for various medical conditions, first welcomed campers in 2011 after several years of building not only the infrastructure but also the culture. 

"Colorado Experience | The Healing Power of Joy" premiers Thursday, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. on Rocky Mountain PBS and our YouTube

You can watch a preview below.

Colorado Experience: The Healing Power of Joy preview

A summer camp that allows kids with a medical diagnosis to just be kids.

Learn more about the episode below

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