MEET THE WALKERS
Mike, Lynn, and Gail, the owners and administrators of the Colorado Mountain Ranch, are lifetime youth workers and educators. All three live and work at the Ranch year round. Lynn and Mike’s daughters Kate, Josie, and Rosie Walker, are part of the third-generation Ranch work team. The Walkers always have been and continue to be dedicated to kids!
Known to spontaneously break out into song and knows every tune in the camp song book. When she’s not reminding everyone to drink more water and wear sunscreen, she’s leading the Camp office as Executive Manager and Director, Health Care Supervisor, and Supply Manager. Her laugh is contagious and her band-aids, hugs, and lively Camp stories come easily. Gail is usually found with her doggy sidekick Tika, a cute-as-can-be rescue, and spends her time with friends in Southern Colorado during Camp’s off-season. She is retired after many successful winters working with Boulder Valley Schools during the school year.
Mike Walker manages the Ranch facility and horses year-round. Known by some as “the best horseman around,” Mike has a gentle way with both horses and campers. Growing up on the Ranch, he's become a fine craftsman, resourcefully making things work from materials on hand, fixing anything from electrical to plumbing, constructing with wood and metal, and he’s no stranger to a shovel! He is always on-the-go with a positive, fun-loving attitude, impressing the value of a hard day’s work on all who meet him, only slowing down to enjoy a moment with the grandchildren. If you’re lucky enough to be the subject of one of Mike’s poems, you’ll feel like you’ve starred in your own personalized Western ballad. Our ode to Mike is, “He can take a lickin’ and keep on kickin’.’’
“The Camp Mom,” making the Ranch feel like home to everyone, always pulling up a chair for a heart-to-heart chat to offer words of support. She strives to remember every camper’s name, appreciating the uniqueness and strengths in every individual. Lynn was first hired by Coach Walker in 1970 as a camp counselor, fell in love with Camp and then Mike Walker, and soon officially became part of the Ranch family. Today she leads staff and program development for the Ranch. Lynn holds degrees from CU in Psychology and Sociology and an American Montessori Directress certificate. Lynn loves the refreshing feel of her feet in a cool mountain stream and has a deep love for all children.
Feels at home in the kitchen, cooking for family, friends, and Ranch events every chance she gets. When she’s not looking up recipes, she’s crunching numbers in the office or on a supply run, and if that’s not enough she also drives Camp busses, all while raising her son.
Her unique connection to children and all things in nature has guided her to carry the Camp Spirit in all she does. When not playing with the kids or discovering new insects, she’s operating heavy machinery for Ranch projects, counseling teen leaders (CITs), and driving Camp busses. In the off-season, she helps with all things in the office and ensures that all the horses get fed and that their water is ice-free twice a day.
Her love of horses since she was a small child led her to apprentice with Mike as horse manager and Western riding instructor with the Horse Focus campers. She also established the Colorado Mountain Horse Rescue and is passing on her passion for horses to her daughters, Jade and Alanah.
the Ranch’s liveliest and youngest Walker family members, helping everyone remember one of Coach Walker’s favorite messages: “Stay with youth, and it will keep you young.”
fancies herself a bit of a nomad, calling Australia a second home and traveling the world at every opportunity. Yet she always finds herself called back to her roots in Gold Hill with the Ranch family where she grew up as a camper, teen leader (CIT), and Camp staff at the Ranch. JoJo’s driving forces are learning and teaching primitive and ancestral skills, offering team-building facilitation, and training Camp staff in her role as the Ranch’s Program Director. Challenge her to dance off and you’ll find a fast friend! JoJo is always up for a good dance party and wins costume contests galore. She holds a Masters in Organizational Leadership and utilizes her education to support the Ranch’s mission.
joined the Ranch family as Kate’s husband and is an invaluable asset with his IT knowledge. He builds and manages the Ranch computers and keeps the internet up and running.
The work you do for the youth of Boulder County is amazing. Over 60 years, owned and operated by one family! Quite the accomplishment.”
DB – Parent and Alum
We are so grateful for your support and love of my son. He really thrives with you all. He comes home everyday from camp, with such happiness and content. It has been incredible to see how much he has grown in your community!
– Edica Pacha, parent, 2015