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Deaf Camp Picnic


July 17-19

2014 brings the second year of the return of the legendary Deaf Camp Picnic.

Guests come from around the nation for some fun under the sun on the slopes of Snowmass. Great music, delicious food, and friendly company add up to an amazing weekend one will never forget. The best part of the event? Feeling right at home with the friendly folks you will meet and dance with. And all for a great cause.

Deaf Camp Picnic was established in the 60’s with the help of John Denver, Jimmy  Buffet, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and the likes to support the great things Aspen Camp does for deaf and hard of hearing kids. We brought this legendary event back in 2014 and included a John Denver Tribute, which will happen again 2015. Read more about the history of Deaf Camp Picnic below.

Proceeds to this event goes to Aspen Camp, a non-profit whose focus is on improving the lives of the Deaf and hard of hearing community through education, experiences, and networking. Learn more about Aspen Camp at www.aspencamp.org.

Official Lodging Partner:

Snowmass Hospitality

Friday night is free to everyone. Tickets are for Saturday’s festivities.

General Admission
$30 in advance
$35 day-of

VIP Upgrade
For only $70 more, you will get the VIP experience throughout the whole weekend. You will get:
VIP wristband for 50% off drinks and meals in the festival area and select restaurants during the weekend
Seat cushion to use while resting your feet from dancing
Access to private viewing area
Stainless Steel water bottle to keep fresh and hydrated during the festivities and on
Tax deduction because you helped out a Deaf kid

Get $5 off General Admission or the VIP upgrade by becoming a Friend of the Camp. As a Friend of the Camp, you will be helping deaf and hard of hearing kids get the experience they need to realize and achieve their dreams. More information at www.aspencamp.org/friendofthecamp.

Buy Tickets

Here’s the story behind Deaf Camp Picnic.

“In 1967 Reed Harris, a close family friend, came to my Mother to see if she would help him start a camp for children with hearing disabilities or total deafness.  Reed had a son who was deaf and he was very passionate about helping the deaf community.  The foundation was based out of Reed’s El Jebel home with most of the administrative tasks performed by my mom from our home office.  They immediately set out to establish the foundation with the necessary funds to make it successful.

In the early years Summer Picnics were established to raise the money to operate the camp.  Local businesses donated items for raffles and the tickets were sold all over town, mainly by family members and friends.   In the second year of Picnic a GMC Truck was the main raffle attraction which was donated by the local Glenwood Springs GMC dealership.

Each year the picnics doubled in size.  The first picnic was held in the backyard of one of the volunteers.  By the second year, the picnic already needed a new home.  The Cattleman’s Association offered up their picnic area up Castle Creek where it remained for the next few years.

Over the years my father had done work for John Denver and he had become a family friend.  Waterhen my mom approached John to see if he and his band would volunteer to play at the picnic, he was more than enthusiastic and offered to invite other bands to play as well.  With John headlining, a larger place for the picnic was needed.  There was a large tract of land at the base of the Campground Chair Lift in the Snowmass Valley made available.  This new location had a lot of room for the picnic as well as plenty of parking.  John secured a bandstand which was large enough to accommodate plenty of musicians and their required equipment.

By John’s second year he started inviting members of The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Jimmy Buffett and some of the Eagles as well as other big names.  The crowds grew exponentially each year and the “Camp” was in good hands financially.  These picnics were my mom’s contribution to the camp and they eventually took their toll.  The work required her full time and she still had a family to take care of and a home based business that she and my father ran.  By the mid-1970 my mother had to step down and pass the picnic on to others to manage.

These picnics provided a lot of entertaining stories to tell but those will have to wait for now.  Reed and my mother are both gone from the camp and each has passed away.  They started something wonderful and their legacy lives on today.”

To learn more about Aspen Camp and how it came to be, visit www.aspencamp.org/history.

Source: http://doogerbeck.com/2011/09/10/deaf-camp-picnics-where-it-all-began-2/


Thursday, July 17 (Free show/Fanny Hill)
6:15pm – 9:00pm: Hot Buttered Rum

Friday, July 18 (Free show/Base Village)
5:30pm - 8:00pm: Silent Auction
6:00pm - 7:00pm: John Denver Tribute
7:00pm - 8:00pm: Rich Ganson
8:00pm - 9:00pm: John Denver Tribute

Saturday, July 19 (Ticketed show/Fanny Hill)
1:00pm: Doors Open
2:30pm: Red Molly
3:50pm: Starwood
5:00pm: Aspen Camp campers
5:20pm: The John Denver Band
7:00pm: Ricky Skaggs

  • Red Molly

    Since 2004, Americana trio Red Molly has been bringing audiences to their feet with gorgeous three-part harmonies, crisp musicianship, and their warm, engaging stage presence. The band consists of Laurie MacAllister (bass, banjo), Abbie Gardner (dobro, banjo) and Molly Venter (guitar). This past year, the ladies were invited to open multiple shows for music legend Willie Nelson and they performed at the venerable RockyGrass festival in CO. Their new CD "Light in the Sky" spent 20 weeks on the Americana Music Association's Top 40 radio chart and charted as Folk DJ's #3 Top Album of 2012. In 2013, the band will spend the month of March touring throughout Australia, and in August will head to Europe for the first time, for Denmark's Tonder Festival. They have also been invited to appear for the third time at NC's legendary music gathering, MerleFest. Also scheduled is a fourth appearance at the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion, where in September 2012 the Bristol Herald Courier dubbed Red Molly "The Twin City's sweethearts", saying the band "lit up the stage, as a massive crowd of adoring fans sat mesmerized by their silky smooth harmonies and superb musicianship."

  • Ricky Skaggs

    --A life full of music.  That's the story of Ricky Skaggs.  By age 21, he was already considered a "recognized master" of one of America's most demanding art forms, but his career took him in other directions, catapulting him to popularity and success in the mainstream of country music.  His life's path has taken him to various musical genres, from where it all began in bluegrass music, to striking out on new musical journeys, while still leaving his musical roots intact.

    Ricky Skaggs has often said that he is "just trying to make a living" playing the music he loves.  But it's clear that his passion for it puts him in the position to bring his lively, distinctively American form of music out of isolation and into the ears and hearts of audiences across the country and around the world.  Ricky Skaggs is always forging ahead with cross-cultural, genre-bending musical ideas and inspirations.

  • Starwood

    Starwood is a local Aspen treasure. They were signed to Columbia Records and toured with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Santana, Journey, and Eddie Money. They appeared on the Merv Griffin Show with John Denver and the Starland Vocal Band. Bob Carpenter of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band was an original member along with Bobby Mason, Michael Buono, Haden Gregg, David Holster, Bernie Mysior, and Bryan Savage.

  • Pete Huttlinger

    Pete Huttlinger has become widely known as one of the most awe-inspiring acoustic guitar players in the world. His unique arrangements and spellbinding musicality and precision have entertained audiences all from Los Angeles to Milan. As a recording artist Huttlinger has released numerous albums and received wide-acceptance ranging from his critically acclaimed Naked Pop continuing to his current instrumental tour de force, The Black Swan. Praise from the media has been overwhelmingly positive and Huttlinger continues to expand his musical breadth.

  • Chris Nole

    Songwriter/composer, accomplished session musician, producer, and recording artist, Chris Nole performs both here in the United States and around the world. Chris has toured and recorded with numerous top recording acts including superstar Faith Hill, singer/songwriter icon John Denver, country-rocker Travis Tritt, Gospel-Pop-Country Music legends the Oak Ridge Boys, and acclaimed vocalist Shelby Lynne. Chris Nole’s songs have been recorded by various recording artists ranging from Faith Hill to The  Swamphonky’s and have been used in such television productions as Men of a Certain Age, Heroes, and E True Holly Wood Story.

  • Mack Bailey and Rachel Levy

    Using John Denver’s music, Mack taught himself to play the guitar, so it was a thrill for Mack when he had the privilege of trading verses to “Thank God I’m a Country Boy” with Denver in front of 9000 people shortly before John’s death.  Today, the Limeliters and John Denver continue to play an active role in Mack’s professional life, even as he pursues his successful solo career.  Mack has caught the attention of national folk music audiences with not only his Limeliters performances, but also with his prominent role in the nationally touring show “A Musical Tribute to John Denver” with many of John’s former band members and production crew.

    Joining Mack on Saturday’s show will be his wife, Rachel Levy, who is an Aspen native. The duo have been likened to a “similar pairing 40 years ago of Gram Parsons and a very young Emmylou Harris”. “Lucky Man”, written by Mack and Rachel, was chosen as a finalist in the 2006 mid-atlantic song contest in the country/bluegrass category and was also selected to be profiled in sing out! Magazine. In addition, this past fall “Lucky Man” was a feature song on NASCAR Angels.

  • John Denver Tribute

    We will sing and dance to the tunes of John Denver performed by Denver’s very own bandmates and friends. In this inspiring set, you will see Pete Huttlinger, Chris Nole, Mack Bailey, Rachel Levy, Alan Deremo, Richie Garcia, Mollie Weaver, Jim Horn, and Kenn Roberts. Come and be the driving part of this legendary event.

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Volunteer at Deaf Camp Picnic and you’ll get the best of both worlds: helping and being a part of community while enjoying the festivities! Volunteers will get complimentary access to the festivities and a shirt to show your pride for the event and Aspen Camp.

All volunteer shift combinations are predetermined to ensure everyone has equal time on the clock. This means no one is ever forced to miss the entire show and it keeps you from working to exhaustion. We want all our volunteers to be able to enjoy their weekends too! Volunteer opportunities are separated into the categories below:

  • Ticketing & Bag Check

  • Security

  • Stage Management

  • Photography and cinematography

Please be prepared to check in at the main volunteer tent ONE hour prior to your shift start time.

Interested? Fill out the form below and we’ll get in touch with you.

Want your organization to bring a group of volunteers and be recognized for your contribution to the community? Email volunteer@aspencamp.org.

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City & State:

Areas of Interest:
 Ticketing & Bag Check Security Stage Management Photography & Cinematography

Shifts Available:
 Friday Afternoon Saturday Morning Saturday Afternoon


Our sponsor community enriches Deaf Camp Picnic and help sustain year-round programs of not-for-profit Aspen Camp.

Sponsor Deaf Camp Picnic and connect with your market in an unique, fun, and interactive way! Over 1,800 people came to Deaf Camp Picnic in 2014. Most of our guests were from Colorado but a handful were from out of state. This year, we’re predicting a higher number. Grab this opportunity to be a part of something big and give back to the community!

A $5,000 sponsorship gets you:

  • Signage in the venue

  • Recognition on all promotions and social media

  • Recognition on Deaf Camp Picnic website

  • Opportunity for unique posts on Facebook and emails to our mailing list

  • Stage time for custom announcements

  • Recognition in Aspen Camp’s Annual Report

  • and other benefits are negotiable

  • Gold Lodging Partner

    SNOWMASS HOSPITALITY from $115/night

    Snowmass Hospitality has a myriad of lodging options, all within walking distance of the concert venue and has something to suit every guests’ needs.  For more information call 877-734-7771 or visit www.snowmasshospitality.com and mention Deaf Camp Picnic 2014.

  • THE CRESTWOOD from $110/night

    Featuring slopeside 1,2,3 & 4 condos at value-based prices, the Crestwood is located just steps away from the concert venue. For more information visit www.thecrestwood.com or call 800.356.5949 and mention the Deaf Camp Picnic 2014. When booking online, please be sure to enter “DCP14” in the Group Code box.


    From slopeside, economy hotels to luxurious condominiums, Destination Resorts has it all, all within minutes of the Snowmass town core and the concert venue.  For more information call 800-922-7242 or visit online at www.destinationsnowmass.com and use group code DEAFCAMP.


    Located on Fanny Hill, The Timberline offers a collection of slopeside 1,2 & 3-bedroom condos all within walking distance of the concert venue.  For more information and to book visit www.thetimberline.com or call 800-922-4001 and mention the Deaf Camp Picnic 2014.


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