Children's Hospital Colorado

First Steps Camp 2020: Family Education and Experience Program

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This year, we’re celebrating the 13th anniversary of the First Steps Camp 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 long weekend 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.

During Camp, our speech-language pathologists who specialize in AAC systems provide training to parents on how to use their child’s device and children (child with a device and their siblings) get to experience camp life. They will have the opportunity to participate in activities like feeding horses and chickens, rock climbing and ziplining (weather permitting).

Camp dates

October 15 to 18, 2020
Check-in time: Thursday, October 15 from 4:30 to 5:00 p.m.
Check-out time: Sunday, October 18 at 12:00 p.m.


Rocky Mountain Village Camp, Easterseals Colorado
2644 Alvarado Rd
Empire, CO 80438

The camp is near Empire, Colorado. It’s just off I-70 west about 1.5 hours driving time from Denver.

Application information

Applications are due on September 4, 2020 for campers, siblings and trainers.

  • Campers: Campers should apply through our online application, which will be available on August 2020.
  • Siblings: Siblings are invited to participate at camp. Because Easterseals Colorado will care for siblings, you will need fill out an application for each sibling. The application will be available on August 2020.
  • Trainers: If you are a graduate student who wants AAC training, please complete the online application that will be available on August 2020. We accept two graduate students for each camp session. We will review the applications we receive after the deadline if there are still spots left.

Applications are all online. Please contact us at if you would prefer a paper application.

Cost and funding options

Thanks to the Rollie R. Kelley Family 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 camper, sibling and adult fee.

  • Camper fee: The camper fee is $1,844. This camp fee covers a $1,456 program fee (therapy cost) and a $388 camp fee (room, board and counselors).
  • Sibling fee (3 years and older): The camper fee is $345. This camp fee covers room, board, activities, counselors, etc.
  • Sibling fee (up to 3 years old): There is no fee for siblings who are under 3 years old. These children are welcome to stay at camp. Parents are responsible for taking care of or coordinating care with a grandparent, older sibling (over 14 years) or other caregiver while at camp. Rocky Mountain Village staff does not take care of children ages 0 to 36 months.
  • Adult fee: The adult fee is $198 (per adult, per weekend).
  • Trainers: The room and board fee is $198. It is the responsibility of the student to pay for this fee. There is no application fee. A Scottish Rite scholarship is available.

Future camps

If you are interested in First Steps Camp, but cannot join us in October, please consider applying for the next session. Dates for 2021 camps will be posted in October 2020.

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

Contact us

If you need more information or have questions about First Steps Camp, please contact:

Children’s Hospital Colorado
Attention: AAC Camps (First Steps Camp)
860 North Potomac Circle, Box 385
Aurora, CO 80011
Fax: Attention: AAC Camps 720-478-7095