Last year, the Kaiser Family Foundation provided a startling look at how much time kids are spending in front of screens – television screens, video game screens, MP3 screens, and cell phone screens. According to Dr. Drew Altman, President and CEO of Kaiser, young people are spending “even more than a full-time work week” in front of these various screens (Source: Kaiser Family Foundation http://www.kff.org/entmedia/entmedia012010nr.cfm).
We at Colorado Trails Dude Ranch have a suggestion for parents of children of all ages: Bring them to our Colorado dude ranch for a week of horseback riding, fishing, swimming, camping out underneath the stars, and spending time with their family and friends face to face instead of via a screen.
Programs for Five to Eight Year-Olds
We call the youngest kids in our kids’ program the Buckaroos. They get to hang out with their counselors and kids their own age all day, playing fun, safe, age-appropriate games. They’ll go for a horseback ride at least once a day, if not twice, and one day out of the week they have a ride complete with a picnic lunch. When not riding, they’ll be having quite an adventure learning about archery, riflery and going on scavenger hunts. They’ll learn how to play horseshoes, they’ll visit a petting zoo, and they’ll go for hayrides. At the end of the day, the youngest members of your family will be ready for bed and quickly fall fast asleep.
Programs for Nine to Twelve Year-Olds
Ah, the tweens. These are the years when children start growing up and no longer want to be treated like “little kids.” We’ve had lots of experience at our guest ranch with kids in their tween years, and the Rough Riders program is perfectly designed to meet their needs. Like their younger siblings, Rough Riders’ days are filled with many outdoor activities. There is riding available to them at least twice a day, hiking through the beautiful San Juan Forest, power tubing and swimming, archery, riflery, not to mention fun in the Ruckus Room and visits to the soda fountain. Then there are outdoor sport games like a game of basketball, horseshoes or volleyball with their peers. There aren’t many Rough Riders who don’t leap at the chance to venture out on the kid’s cookout and overnight campout.
Programs for Teens
After a week enjoying our all inclusive family vacations, you’ll hardly recognize your teen. They might even forget to text their friends back home for a few hours because they’ll be having too much fun river rafting, power tubing, learning riflery, and playing rodeo games.
Our kids’ programs are all a little different to meet the needs of children of different ages. The one thing they all have in common, though, is that they give your kids a much-needed break from the world of screens and electronics, and they reintroduce your youngsters to the great fun of the great outdoors.