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FOCUS PROGRAMS

Colorado Mountain Ranch is a confidence-building outdoor adventure summer day camp. 
We offer a variety of focus programs for children entering grades 7-11.

GROW, LEARN & HAVE FUN

Focus Programs

WHO

Rising: 7th-11th Graders

 

WHEN

5-day Weeks: Monday - Friday, June 3 - August 9, 2024

4-day Weeks: July 1-3 & 5, 2024 (NO CAMP THURS, July 4)*

*We are only offering ONE 4-day week for the 2024 season.

HOW TO GET TO CAMP

Transportation provided to and from the Ranch from BOULDER BUS STOP at Calvary Bible Church

 

TIMES

Morning Drop-off: 8:00 - 8:15am (Mountain Locals: 9:00am)

Afternoon Pick-up: 4:45 - 5:00pm (Mountain Locals: 4:00pm)

TUITION

Mountaineers, Gymnasts, Mountainboarders, Artists

$770 Weekly Tuition for 5-day week

$616 Weekly Tuition for 4-day week (week 5)

Western Riders

$842 Weekly Tuition for 5-day week

$674 Weekly Tuition for 4-day week (week 5)

THE CAMP DAY

Focus Campers spend a half day three days per week participating in their Focus Camp Curriculum guided by specialized instructors and counselors. The other half of the day is spent either in team-building games or in other camp activities that the group chooses. Please see our FAQ for information on what campers should bring for Camp and their Focus Program each day.

THE FOCUS CAMPERS

Focus Programs are designed for kids who know  which of the activities they would like to specialize in. In many cases, Focus Campers have previously been at Camp as an Explorer and have discovered a favorite activity among the Ranch's offerings.

 

THE FOCUS PROGRAMS

Each Focus Program offers half days in the Focus Specialized activity three days per week. The session may be a combination of two activity times, morning or afternoon, or a shorter activity time twice. The specialized instructors and counselors guide the Focus Campers at their own pace. There is a progressive curriculum for each specialty.

Explore our Focus Programs to find the right match for your child!

Mountainboarding Focus
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Mountainboarders

For those with an interest in riding the slopes!

Here at the Colorado Mountain Ranch, we don’t need to wait for snow to go boarding down the slopes. Dirt never melts! Mountainboards are like snowboards with fat tires for riding on the terrain park of the course and over forested trails. Mountainboarders learn to maneuver at different speeds over varying terrain, and they master turns and jumps. Balance, confidence, and thrills grow with lots of practice. Whatever your experience or skill level, from beginner to advanced, the terrain park and instructors at the Colorado Mountain Ranch will help you find your best ride! Experience in any board sport gives a head start, yet no previous experience is necessary.

 

SAFETY

Mountainboarders receive progressive instruction and build skills one upon the other.

Each boarder always uses the provided protective safety gear: helmet, leather gloves, and elbow, wrist, and kneepads. 

COURSE FEATURES

The course contains starter and intermediate terrain as well as more advanced terrain, jumps, and other features:

  • 3 table tops

  • 4 jumps

  • 2 rhythm sections

  • Tree course

  • Wallride

  • Rail ride

  • Quarter pipe

TERRAIN AND DESIGN

The full course line is about a 1/4 mile long from the very top to the bottom. The lower segment includes a smooth gradual incline for beginners as well as the most technical portion with it's rhythm sections, table tops, and jumps. The experienced rider starts at the upper table top which drops into the first rhythm section followed by our split-top. This route then breaks off into two lines, intermediate and advanced. The intermediate line starts from the lower side of the split-top and drops into a small kicker (manageable for kids) followed by the last rhythm section. The advanced line drops from the upper side of the split-top to our advanced table top followed by a four foot kicker. At the bottom of the main course, there is a wall ride/kicker combo quarter pipe, stabilized with an added rail/coping. There is another ramp with a grind rail. The open course ends at the beginning of the tree course.

 

TECHNICAL FREE-RIDE

Instructors may also take riders off-trail to carve their own paths.

Gymnasts
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Gymnasts

For those who like the feel of different movements!

Members of this focus group learn new skills and practice routines. They have an individually-coached 2-hour workout using equipment of choice three days a week. Apparatus includes tumbling mats, bars, beams, mini-tramps, vaults, and trampolines. As more challenging tricks and progressions become smoother, skills, grace, competence, and confidence soar! Gymnasts set personal goals, practice on their own, and develop form and skills with coaching. Groups of campers often gather around to watch the Gymnastics Focus Campers practice and perform. A passion to learn and a willingness to try make progress easier, yet no gymnastics experience is required.

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Artists

Artists

For those who wish to imagine and create!

Camp is a place where creativity can thrive. Acceptance and support for individual expression is a traditional part of Camp. Opportunities are plentiful; artistic mediums are everywhere. Artists may choose one or a combination of instructional areas to spend their focus time.

From the Creative Cabin, the possibilities are endless! Natural materials abound. A nature walk can reveal all sorts of possibilities - leaves, little rocks, pine needles, sticks, flowers, seeds, even bits of trash can be recycled and artfully put together with paper and glue to make note paper or a wall decoration. Or grab a paintbrush and some watercolors or acrylics, a chunk of clay for molding, chalk or pastels and paper, a pencil and a sketchbook, some string and yarn, a block of soft wood and carving tools. The list goes on and on!

 

Global Indigenous arts & crafts, beading, music, dance, and games emerge from the Tipi on the Hill.  An impromptu outdoor drumming session might come together after making drums and other percussion instruments and whistles from natural and recycled material.  

 

The amphitheatre in the woods behind the Lodge is the setting for skits, stunts, and short plays. “Really fun” dramatic games explore body language, styles of expression, presentation, public speaking, and performance.

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Mountaineers
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Mountaineers

For those who love the outdoors!

Mountaineer experiences foster connection with nature through ecological awareness and environmental appreciation. Campers learn to respect, enjoy, and survive in the wilderness while gaining perspective through outdoor living skills, hiking, and archery. Water activities supervised by a Red Cross Certified Lifeguard.​

The Mountaineer Program builds outdoor skills:

  • Camp stove use and outdoor cooking

  • Building and maintaining a safe campfire 

  • Orienteering

  • Low-impact camping 

  • Backcountry first aid

  • Knot tying

  • Ecosystems from the Plains to the Alpine

  • What to do if lost in the backcountry

  • Edible and medicinal plant use

  • Survival shelter building

  • Archery

Western Riders

Western Riders

For those who love horses and riding!

Western Riders develop riding skills while connecting with horses from the ground and from the riding perspective. Western Riders spend most of their time at the Barn and with the horses. This is a horse lover's dream. They get to enjoy two-hour ride times either in the morning or afternoon three days a week. The agenda includes lessons in horse psychology and communication, grooming, learning to lead a horse, plus tack and untack. The day is filled with horse experiences, learning more about horses, their dietary and health care needs, building relationships with them and all the other animals, too. Western Riders learn how to care for farm animals and their living spaces. They work with horses from the ground up. Western Riders spend about 7 hours of horseback riding per week, plus even more "horse, goat, and Barn time. Western Riders may be the only program of its kind in the Boulder area. Take advantage of this fantastic opportunity. Register early as sessions fill up! NOTE: Please read our Important Prerequisites.

GROUPS & EXPERIENCE

Western Riders are organized into groups based on grade level along with friends, if indicated. To get the most out of this program, riders should respect and appreciate horses, have previous riding experience on their own, and be comfortable in a Western saddle at a walk and trot. Ride Like The Wind; Riders gain confidence with riding on a loose-rein at each gate progressively, starting with the walk, then the trot, then the lope or canter. Each rider lopes or canters his or her horse on a designated stretch of trail or road one at a time for safety and to receive individualized pointers.

LONGER RIDES

For Western Riders, horse and barn times are generally 1/2 day, three days a week. When riders are scheduled for a Western Rider group, those campers do not participate in the daily morning or afternoon gatherings for flag-raising, songs, and sharing. Instead, they head on over to the Barn in the morning and stay out longer for their afternoon ride. On Wednesdays, the Western Riders help pack their lunches into saddle bags to ride out to find a pretty spot to tie the horses, sit in the grass or on rocks, and eat lunch together.  For many, this is the favorite ride of the week.

ANIMAL CARE & GROUNDWORK

First, Western Riders get comfortable with horses from the ground, exploring personal fears and respect for all the animals – the riding horses, the dogs, and nanny goats with their kids. Groundwork includes relating with all the animals, hands-on grooming, tacking and untacking, routine health care, feeding, watering, mucking, and daily maintenance of the animals and their corrals. They become competent in also leading, bridling, and saddling horses.

BARN ACTIVITIES

Learn to draw and paint horses and how to spin and throw the rope to catch "cattle" (horse troughs with horns) with names like Bertha and Tofu. During “Equus* Sessions” Western Riders gather around the barn area to share interesting facts about horses. They expand their knowledge on breeds, colors, conformation, and the history of horses, as well as various riding styles and events. When there is time for other camp activities, the Western Riders vote on which of their favorite activities they want to fill out their days.

THE SAFETY OF THE CHILDREN AND THE HORSES IS THE HIGHEST PRIORITY!

THE CMR HORSES

The Colorado Mountain Ranch horses are well-trained and treated with kindness. Therefore, they generally have good dispositions and they like people. They are strong and steady, come in all colors and sizes, and are kept shod for our rocky terrain. Our horses belong to us, so each horse is like family. They are old friends with us and the campers year after year. The local mountain country is wide open for exploring the pine and aspen forests and wildflower meadows in "Old West" style. At the Colorado Mountain Ranch, folks can still just "get out and ride" with excellent wranglers to supervise the experience.

 

MIKE WALKER'S GENTLE APPROACH & OUR WRANGLERS

Mike has directed the Western Riding programs at the Colorado Mountain Ranch for over 40 years. His gentle, natural approach emphasizes communication, respect, trust, balance, and enjoyment for both horse and human. Mike has developed his own eclectic "horse-whisperer" approach to training and riding, through practice and study with famous trainers beginning years ago with “natural horsemanship” originals Tom Dorrance and Ray Hunt. He builds a partnership rather than dominates, works with horses rather than breaks them, and fosters unity of mind, body, and spirit with the horse. His ways with horses are similar to those popularized by today’s “natural horsemanship" approach of Pat Parelli and Buck Branaman. Many horse people today refer to Mike as "the best horseman" they know. One of Mike's special gifts is sharing his horsemanship knowledge and abilities with others, especially children. Western Riders may get a chance to observe Mike or another wrangler working in the round pen with a horse that is just starting out or could use a "tune-up." Mike's often humorous ongoing commentary introduces the Riders to Mike's and CMR's way of respectfully communicating with horses and people of all ages, children included, of course! 2024 boasts a high returnee rate among our riding staff who are familiar and practiced in Mike's way with horses. All wranglers arrive early for special training and to get the horses ready for campers after their winter vacation.

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TESTIMONIALS

We now know what a truly wonderful camp we have in our very own backyard! My daughter loved your camp and is looking forward to more mountainboarding this summer! When I came up to visit on the last day of camp, I was astonished at the beautiful setting, the expansive area, the deep charming character of your camp! Thanks again, we are truly honored to spend time there. 

- BS, Parent

Miller in his 4th year at CMR and first time in House Focus declared, “it just keeps getting better and better!” Thank you so much for providing such a wonderful and safe space for our children to have an authentic and real camp experience. We love you all!

 - Brooke Davison, Parents of Miller & Chase

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