Summer of Joy

This summer was an enriching and fun filled nine weeks at Candlelight Ranch in which we delivered programs to more than 1,400 at-risk youth, special needs children and their families. The sounds of their laughter and squeals of excitement echoed off the canyon walls as campers hiked, zip lined, kayaked and canoed on Lake Travis!

After a successful 2015 & 2016, Candlelight Ranch continued Camp Dreamcatcher, a creative and innovative three-day camp for children currently in or adopted from foster care.  This camp provides children with the opportunity to experience summer camp in a safe and supported setting.  Campers participated in a combination of science, nature activities, ecotherapy and had the opportunity to sleep in the treehouse, make s’mores and experience the wonders of nature all while having fun!

In partnership with A Glimmer of Hope Foundation, Candlelight Ranch welcomed back Camp Glimmer for seven weeks this summer.  Camp Glimmer provides under-privileged youth the opportunity to experience a two-day immersive summer camp.  Campers had the opportunity to hike, kayak, fish, sleep in a tent, participate in team building and zip lining, while having fun with their friends, building confidence and self-esteem. We welcomed campers from the following Austin-area nonprofits: I-ACT, Young Journey, River City Youth, Central Texas Tennis Association, YMCA, Life Changers, Roving Leaders, Hello Just, Girls Empowerment Network and Austin Angels.

Longtime partner, the Phoenix Center, returned for another wonderful summer of Camp Phoenix.  Camp Phoenix sessions provide therapeutic day and overnight session that allow campers an uninterrupted opportunity for healing, expression and empowerment.  Camp Phoenix campers participated in equine therapy, high and low challenge course activities, art therapy, yoga and team building.

In addition, Candlelight Ranch added several new programs this summer to enhance the experience for our campers. This included fishing from the Ranch’s new floating dock that was donated by Oldcastle Materials, as well as new nature programs with our partners, Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge and Friends Flying for the Earth. Each partner provided interactive programs each week about conservation and natural resources. Upper Highland Lakes Nature Center continued their great work assisting Candlelight Ranch on our Military and Candlelight Family Days with sensory touch tables, backyard bass and Native American cultural programs.

Finally, we would like to expend a very special thank you to our dedicated volunteers, incredible summer staff and interns who made Summer 2017 such a huge success!  If you are interested in volunteering or becoming an intern please email Lynette@candlelightranch.org

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