We Can’t Serve Our Mission, Without You!!

August 9, 2022

It truly takes a village, and at Candlelight Ranch it takes an army of dedicated volunteers with a positive, can-do attitude to get the job done! This summer we were blessed with incredible sponsors, individual volunteers, and volunteer groups that gave wholeheartedly of their time and talents for the children and families who visited the Ranch. We would like to a moment to recognize and thank these incredible go getters!

Deloitte and Texas Materials employees kicked off our summer with Ranch workdays in June, completing some much-needed projects essential to program safety and property management. Volunteers spent time remediating unwanted cedar and mesquite to help in maintaining our wildlife management plan.  Deloitte employees took advantage of the low lake level to clear out brush that was impeding programming space and created future fish habitats for when the water returns. Corporate volunteer groups, help us tremendously in beautifying and keeping our ranch safe for campers. We believe that many hands make light work, and these volunteers knew how to get the job done!

Nobility in Action, a local Austin, volunteer-based non-profit has partnered with Candlelight Ranch to deliver wholistic programming teaching healthy eating and lifestyle choices through experiential workshops, including cooking classes.  Nobility in Action held lessons during our June Family Day and for our Camp Dreamcatcher youth and the kids and families loved their all-vegetarian meals!  Nobility In Action’s mission is to empower children with the knowledge and tools they need to maximize their full potential. They do this by offering free, interactive workshops that tap into scientific research and proven practical tools to help enhance memory, maximize brain power, tap into the powerful subconscious mind, and set effective goals. Programs are tailored for children and designed to be fun, engaging and have been a big hit amongst campers.  Our partnership with Nobility in Action continues into this fall.

In July, Charles Schwab continued their longstanding relationship with through a sponsorship of our July Military Family Day program.  Led by one of newest board members, Dr. William Fisher, the Schwab team provided an incredible picnic for the families in attendance. Will and his crew jumped directly into ranch programming cooking a delicious BBQ spread for the families. Families were blown away by the delicious meal and left the ranch with their bellies and hearts full.

A Texas sized thank you out to our amazing Master Naturalist volunteers of the Highland Lakes Chapter who led  essential and educational curriculum for campers, including both weeks of Camp Dreamcatcher, Family Days, and Camp Glimmer!  These passionate and knowledgeable volunteers ensure that our children and families leave the ranch with a greater understanding of our unique and vital Central Texas ecosystem through interactive lessons on Central Texas specific mammals, birds, fish, geology and more! Master Naturalist volunteers also provide trained and certified archery instructors who work to instill a growing confidence and newfound skillset for campers and their families. We are beyond grateful for this deeply committed group of knowledgeable and skilled volunteers.

We would also like to give a shout out to the incredible individuals who help make the day-to-day operation of camps possible and continue to create a memorable, joyful experience for our children and their families. Bob Crow was awarded our “Summer Superhero Award.”  Bob is a Master Naturalist, Archery Instructor and Zipline Facilitator!  You can find him most days at the ranch with a big smile on his face engaging the kids in learning and fun.  Bob, thank you for always investing in our campers and making them feel welcome! Paula Richards, awarded our Volunteer of the Year in 2020, continues to orchestrate engaging and educating programming at the Ranch, coordinating multitudes of Master Naturalist volunteers, and giving selflessly of her time on the zipline and archery courses. Russ Miller, is a kayak and archery instructor, zipline facilitator, and Board Member.  Russ loves to connect with campers and share the mission of Candlelight Ranch with the community! Russ has connected not only new volunteers and board members but the North Lake Travis Chamber of Commerce who’s members will be volunteering for a workday and for ranch programs this fall!

Finally, we give a huge thank you to our Board Members Dr. William Fisher, Paul Masschelin, Russ Miller, Jennifer Sellers, and Kelly Bremer for their incredible support with summer programming!  Many of our Board Members connected directly with campers: cooking healthy filling meals, teaching archery, facilitating ziplines, and creating many moments of joy. We love and appreciate our very active, dedicated Board of Directors and Advisory Council Members.

We cannot deliver our mission and provide healing, educational experiences, and fun in nature without the time and talents of our incredible volunteer force! Fall 2022 looks to be another busy season out at the Ranch with our Fall Family Festival on Oct 29, Holiday Parties on Dec 3 & 4, Military Family Days on Oct 1 & Nov 13, our Light A Path Fundraiser on Oct 23, and many, many more weekend and weekday opportunities to help out.  If interested in volunteering, please email [email protected] for more details! We hope to see you out to the Ranch helping make lasting impacts for our children and families soon!