A diagnosis of pediatric cancer causes a child to grow up very fast. Often, carefree, joy-filled days of laugher and play with friends are taken away and replaced with isolation, appointments, and hospital stays. The opportunity to feel like a "regular" kid can disappear and be replaced with feelings of anxiety and embarrassment for being seen as different. Sky High Hope Camp is a magical and transforming place that provides these incredible children time and a community to put their worries aside and just be a kid.
OUR MISSION is to enrich the lives of children and teens with current or past cancer and their siblings through a one-week, Colorado outdoors-based summer camp. We understand how these conditions affect the entire family and welcome siblings of these children as well. Campers range in age from 8-18 and the cost to attend is free-of-charge to families. There is always medical staff on-site who are able to provide needed care and/or administer medications and chemotherapy.
Sky High Hope Camp offers a fun, safe, and adaptable program at the beautiful Buckhorn Summer Camp and Retreat Center in Bellvue, CO, west of Ft. Collins. The facilities include cabins with electricity and bathrooms, an infirmary, a dining room, and a camp store.
Campers build on their self-esteem, self-confidence, social skills, and independence in this mountain setting. They make new friends or reconnect with old, establish new skills, often participate in new experiences like rock climbing or paddle boarding, and create positive memories that last a lifetime.
Activities include arts and crafts, nature studies, canoeing and fishing, low ropes course, volleyball, archery, a themed dance, camper skits and music, and much more. Campers are encouraged to participate in all activities, however, arrangements are made for individual needs and we do encourage challenge-by-choice.
Sky High Hope Camp is a certified member of the COCA-I (Children's Oncology Camping Association-International) Gold Ribbon Accreditation Program. This education program is intended to help COCA-I member camp organizations identify policies and practices, specific to their setting and population, that are documented and delivered in the course of providing a medically and emotionally safe pediatric oncology camp experience.
- Camp Directors -
Sky High Hope Camp is run by the tireless efforts of several people who put in countless hours throughout the year to make sure all I's are dotted and T's are crossed. All administrative, medical, and camp staff work entirely on a volunteer basis.
Assistant Camp Director
Assistant Camp Director
- Main Medical Staff -
Reid W.D. Farris, MD, MS
Associate Professor of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine at the University of Washington
Kristine K. Rodrigues, MD
Primary Care and Urgent Care Pediatrics at Denver Health
Mary Maltby, RN
at Denver Health
Jo O'Malia, CCRN
Retired Critical Care Nurse and Oncology Research
- Supporting Medical Staff -
Stephen Withrow, DVM
Director of the Flint Animal Cancer Center at Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Science, University Distinguished Professor, Surgical Oncology
Kevin O. Lillehei, MD
Ogsbury-Kindt Professor of Neurosurgery, Chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center
Colin Catel, PA-C, MMS
Neurological Surgery at
University of Colorado Health Sciences Center
Liz Dickason, PA-C
Physician Assistant, Pediatrics
at Greenwood Pediatrics
- Directions -
Buckhorn Camp is located in the mountains west of Fort Collins atop beautiful Rist Canyon in Bellvue, CO.
To drive to the camp from I-25 take the Highway 14 Exit (269B) and head west into Fort Collins.
Turn North on US 287 (College Avenue) and follow it as it swings west out of town. Do not take the US 287 Exit to Laramie, but continue 2 miles to LaPorte; look for a rustic restaurant called Vern's on your right.
Turn west at this intersection and cross the Cache La Poudre River and drive through Bellvue.
Continue west (uphill) through scenic Rist Canyon for approximately 12 miles.
When you reach the very top of a steep winding section of road, turn left / South on CR-41. Landmarks include a row of mailboxes just passed the drive and that you're at the very top of the ridge.
Follow this road for another ½ mile to a closed gate on the right. Please make sure you have the gate code before coming. If not many are able to find cell service at the mailboxes.
You're almost there so don't give up now, you only have another 1.7 miles to go.
Take this last section slowly as it is scenic and in some places rough and narrow.
Keep on the lookout for wildlife and other travelers. It is wise to allow 1 hour from Fort Collins to reach Buckhorn Camp.
Physical address for GPS and camper mail:
381 Old Camp Road
Bellvue, CO 80512
*note: Some GPSs prefer the old road name:
2021 CR-41, Bellvue, CO 80512
GPS Coordinates: N40°35.954 W105°18.680
PDF file with written directions to Buckhorn Camp