Boulder Summer Day Camps

Grow, Learn & Have Fun at Colorado Mountain Ranch's confidence-building outdoor summer day camps. We offer a variety of programs for children entering grades 2-11.

The Relevance of Summer Camp Today... Now more than ever, children need connection with the natural world and with other people in a positive community. Many recent studies show that these connections and outdoor free play contribute to young people's healthy emotional and physical development, success in school and in getting along with others. Children need to understand their place in nature in order to move into the future with an understanding of living sustainably. And community is essential for young people to work together with others to develop compassion and meaning in their lives.





Philosophy... The Colorado Mountain Ranch believes in the value of confidence-building outdoor summer activity for children. The Outdoor Adventure experience is an opportunity to learn, grow, and have fun.

Mission... To support youth to develop a positive foundation in self and community.

Summer Camp

Goals... The Colorado Mountain Ranch strives to provide opportunities for children to gain understanding and build relationships with self, others, nature, and community; to connect with Place, People and Programs; to build skills physically, mentally and socially. The Colorado Mountain Ranch offers outdoor activities with qualified instruction emphasizing enjoyment and personal skill development, aiming to build confidence to move forward comfortably in today's world..

A Sense of Place... A feature of The Colorado Mountain Ranch Summer Day Camp is that it is really a Camp in every way. Not only are there Camp Songs, Camp Spirit, Camp Traditions and Camp Staff in residence for the summer, but there is a true sense of Camp being a Special Place. The land. Outdoors. In the mountains. With forests and wildflower meadows, Weather Hill, the Amphitheatre, the Campfire ring, the Challenge course, the corrals and the Barn, the Lodge, the Peak, arts and crafts shop, the Tipi, the Harmony Hut for yoga, Mountainboarding Course, archery range, the Fort (built, shared, and maintained by campers year after year), the Council Fire, the Ponderosa, Blue Spruce, Columbine, and Arapahoe cabins for overnights... Connection to this beautiful home-base in the mountains gives children a comfortable sense of belonging, a foundation from which to build skills and relationships, a place to call their own.

The Walker Family... Mike, Lynn, and Gail, the owners and administrators of The Colorado Mountain Ranch, are lifetime youth workers and educators. Kate, Josie, and Rosie Walker are now third generation work team. Read About Us

Summer Camp

And Our Amazing Staff... Many on our summer staff come from different states, and some from different countries. All staff members live at The Ranch each season and create a home-away-from-home atmosphere for themselves and each of the children. Many are teachers or students specializing in education and recreation. Counselors are selected on the basis of personality, abilities, enthusiasm, creativity, sincerity, sensitivity, and commitment to guiding children toward their full potential. Before being hired, they are each interviewed by the directors and must provide references from past employers and others who are knowledgeable about their character, qualifications and ability to care for children. Background checks are thorough.

Staff Training... Before summer camp programs begin, staff members participate in a six-day-and-evening training covering The Colorado Mountain Ranch policies and procedures, team-building, child abuse laws, specific skill trainings, discipline, and child development. In addition to the staff orientation week, we also provide ongoing in-service trainings throughout the summer. Over half the staff are returnees summer after summer. The Staff and Campers all become Ranch Family.

Summer Camp

Staff to Child Ratio... Our overall program staff ratio is one to six, which provides each child with a high level of individual attention. Groups number 8-12. Instructors present a program of progressive instruction in each area. Staff members give encouragement, inspiration, friendship, and guidance. Safety comes first!

Programs!... Since 1947, The Walker Family has provided quality summer camping experiences for boys and girls 7-16. Today's Day Camp highlights both Mountain Adventure programs for Boulder youth going into grades 2-11, specialty Focus Camps for grades 5-11, Water focus forgrades 2-10, and a leadership program for teenagers to become Counselors-in-Training (CITs). The Colorado Mountain Ranch offers confidence-building activities supervised and instructed with a positive approach aimed toward successful skill-building, passionate learning, and FUN!

Fun Activities... include Western riding, horse and animal care, mountainboarding, swimming, gymnastics and trampoline, arts and crafts, leatherwork, archery, Native American Indian Lore, dramatics, music, dance, yoga, Frisbee golf, nature explorations, fire ecology and environmental appreciation, primitive and outdoor living skills, hiking, camping, tracking, organic gardening, green experiences in sustainable living, sports and games, teen leadership, and problem-solving team challenges on the low ropes course. Specialized activity directors present a program of progressive instruction in each area, geared toward indivual skill levels. Campers who participate for several weeks or longer may more fully, explore each activity, develop skills and build relationships. Optional weekly overnights and campouts round out each week. Bus transportation is provided to and from Boulder.

Summer Camp

Adventure!... The Colorado Mountain Ranch offers one of the most extensive and well-rounded Day Camp programs available anywhere. The entire staff lives at The Ranch, creating a community of enthusiastic, qualified, caring people dedicated to making your child part of The Colorado Mountain Ranch Family. Children in the Day Camp have the opportunity for outdoor fun, education and recreation in the Colorado Rockies. We are at an elevation of 8,500 feet, 10 miles west of Boulder and a quarter-mile west of Gold Hill.

Groups, Counselors, and Friends!... Groups number 8-12, with a group counselor who is always with the group, giving encouragement, inspiration, friendship, and guidance. WE acknowledge that children seem happiest when they connect with a peer as a pal. Groups are organized by grades, then further divided so that pairs or small groups who are already friends are together, and those who are looking for new friends are together. Group counselors participate in trainings to coach children in how to be a friend, how to make friends, and how to build and retain friendships.

Transportation... Our buses pick up and return your children at North Boulder Park at 7th and Dellwood in Boulder.

North Boulder Park:

      • Our staff and busses are at The Park at 7:45 each morning
      • Have your child at the park no later than 8:10 am.
      • Every Child Must Be signed In and Out!
      • In the afternoon we arrive at 4:30 with supervision until 5:15
      • Please leave the park side of Dellwood open for the busses!

Honors ... At the end of each week, each group finds a special place to recap the week, and then everyone in Camp gathers at the amphitheatre for the Honoring Ceremony full of camp songs and sharing. All campers are acknowledged for their efforts and accomplishments. Some campers may earn specific activity awards, Camp Archery Association target awards, and swimming cards. Counselors-in-Training (CITs) receive documents for volunteer community service.

Child Care Licensing...The Colorado Mountain Ranch programs are licensed by the Colorado State Department of Social Services.

Summer Camp

Adventure Day Camp

The perfect introduction for first-time campers and if your child would like to be involved in the whole array of camp activities. Regular highlights include Horseback Riding, Mountainboarding, Team-building Ropes Course Challenges, Arts and Crafts, Dramatics, Native American Indian Lore, Gymnastics and Trampoline, Archery, Yoga, Nature, Primitive and Outdoor Living Skills, experiences in Sustainability, and Traditional Games and Sports. Campers who participate for several weeks or longer may more fully explore each activity, develop skills, and build relationships.(Campers do not have access to electronics - mobile phones, tablets, TVs, or computers.)

Focus Day Camps

Focus Camps, for ages 10-16, give the opportunity to specialize in one of the Focus Areas for a half day every day. The other half of the day includes team-building challenges and choices from all the other activities. Focus Camps include: Horses, Gymnastics and Trampoline, Mountainboarding, Trailblazers, Earth, Frolf! (Disc golf with frisbees), Water! and CIT's! (Counselor-in-Training for Teenagers). The Water! Focus Camp extends to all ages, 7-16, and includes pool and lake swimming, boating, stream and lake wading, water ecology and explorations.