When two missions converge to provide therapeutic healing to underserved children, transformative synergy occurs. The budding partnership between Candlelight Ranch and Phoenix Center began over eight years ago when the birth of “Camp Phoenix” emerged. In 2008, 24 campers were served, and by 2016, 248 campers experienced the benefits of restorative nature programming at Camp Phoenix!
According to Sarah Garrett, Phoenix Center Executive Director and Founder, “When I first met Jeri, Don and Randy Barr, we had an instant connection. It was evident that Candlelight Ranch was the ideal location for our therapeutic camp sessions.” In 2008, we were the first group to bring overnight camp sessions to Candlelight Ranch. Our organizations have truly grown together over the last 10 years. I am deeply grateful for our collaborative partnership and the extraordinary efforts of the Candlelight Ranch team in support of our mission.”
The “innovative (Camp Phoenix) sessions provide an uninterrupted opportunity for healing, expression, and empowerment in a natural, restorative setting. Therapeutic day and overnight sessions take place at Candlelight Ranch, and include equine therapy, outdoor therapy (high and low ropes challenge courses), art therapy, yoga/wellness, and team building programs.” There is no cost for a child to participate in Camp Phoenix, and four out of five children served are considered low income.
Phoenix Center and Candlelight Ranch have pulled resources together to provide training and volunteers to help further the Camp Phoenix mission. This is an incredible example of how nonprofits can work together to propel the reach of their missions. With exclamation, children at Camp Phoenix declare, “I learned I am unique, brave, strong, and funny” and, “I learned I CAN overcome my fears.” Working with the qualified staff at the Phoenix Center has likewise been an incredible opportunity for Candlelight Ranch to continue to serve others through “therapeutic and educational nature-based experiences to enrich the lives of at-risk youth and children with disabilities.”