Children's Hospital Colorado

First Steps Camp 2023: Family Education and Experience Program

At Children’s Hospital Colorado, we treat the big things, the small things and everything in between.


First Steps Camp held its first weekend camp in 2007 at Easterseals Colorado's Rocky Mountain Village in Empire, Colorado.

First Steps Camp is an intensive parent training program for children who have recently received a speech-generating device, or augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) system. This program was created by Children's Hospital Colorado for children who use an AAC system as their main way of communicating. Families also attend camp to learn how to use the AAC system.

Camp dates

Fall 2023 First Steps Camp

Date: October 19-22, 2023

Check-in time: Thursday, October 19 from 4:30 p.m.

Check-out time: Sunday, October 22 at 12:00 p.m.

Instructor: Various Instructors


Rocky Mountain Village Camp, Easterseals Colorado
Empire, CO

Location directions:

The camp is located near Empire, Colorado, just off I-70 (west) about 1 ½ hour driving time from Denver.

Application information

The application for Fall 2023 will open Aug. 7, 2023 and will close Sep. 1, 2023.

All completed applications will be entered into a lottery system for the available camp spots as well as for the waitlist order. Acceptance and waitlist letters will be sent out no later than Sep. 22, 2023.

Applications are all online:

Please contact us at if you would prefer a paper application.

Once all applications are received, you will receive a confirmation email from that you have been entered into the lottery system.

Cost and funding options

Thanks to the Scottish Rite Foundation, there are scholarships available to cover costs for Colorado families. Families are asked to complete one application per family. Please note that scholarships are only available to children from Colorado. Children who apply from out of state will need to pay the full program fee.

  • Camper fee: $1,566 ($986 Children's Hospital Colorado program fee + $580 Easterseals camp fee)*
    This program fee covers all training and educational materials provided by Children’s Hospital Colorado. This camp fee covers room, board, activities, counselors, etc., at camp for the camper provided by Easterseals Colorado.
  • Sibling fee: $515* (3 years and older)
    This camp fee covers room, board, activities, counselors, etc. at camp for the camper's brother or sister.
  • Sibling fee: $0 (0 to 36 months)
    Rocky Mountain Village Staff does not provide care during camp for children ages 0-36 months. Children ages 0-36 months are welcome to stay at camp. Parents will be responsible for providing direct care or coordinating care with a grandparent, older sibling (over 14 years), or other caregiver while at camp.
  • Adult fee: $295* (per adult, per weekend)

*Amount is total, out-of-pocket cost. It does not include possible scholarship or use of third-party funding.


If you are a graduate students wanting to gain Augmentative & Alternative Communication (AAC) training, you are welcome to complete an application to participate.

Two graduate students are accepted each camp. Graduate students will participate in family education and trainings, support families with implementation of devices in meaningful activities, and learn from Children’s Hospital Colorado speech-language pathologists.

Room and board is the responsibility of the student applying and is the rate of the adult fee ($295). No application fee. Scholarships are available through the Scottish Rite  Foundation.

Applications are due Friday, Sep. 1, 2023.

Contact us

Children’s Hospital Colorado
Attention: AAC Camps (First Steps Camp)
860 North Potomac Circle, Box 385
Aurora, CO 80011

Or email:

Or fax: 720-478-7095 with Attention: Hennessy Mendoza

If you have any questions, please contact:
Caroline Woeber
Team Lead for Augmentative Communication Camps
Phone: 720-478-2353

Future camps

If you are interested in First Steps Camp, but cannot join us this time, please consider applying for the next session. 

Sign up for the AAC Camps mailing list to receive updates.