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Guided Hope to offer special group roundups, friendraiser

By: Shelley Widhalm | The Surveyor | July 29, 2022 | Local News

If working on a ranch is appealing but a ranch isn’t to be had, Guided Hope in Berthoud has a solution.

Courtesy photo – Volunteers work with participants at Guided Hope.

Come out for a day for a family or special group roundup to experience life on a ranch. Or attend the Farm Fun and Friendraiser on July 30 for a meal, special program and sampling of ranch activities.

“We open up our ranch here to be a place of hope and encouragement for others,” said Kaarin Scoma, executive director of Guided Hope, a nonprofit she cofounded with her husband, Guy, in 2014, and the name of the ranch.

Guided Hope is based on four pillars, that of mentoring children, strengthening families, sharing hope and inspiring service. The pillars are carried out on the 7-acre working family ranch, 1028 N. County Road 21, that raises beef, pork, chicken and goats.

Visitors to the ranch can sign up for family roundups of one to two families, a group of friends or a church or corporate group. Or they can attend a special group roundup with others of shared interests, such as first responders and military personnel.

The roundups provide instruction on ranch life and give visitors an opportunity to interact with the livestock and animal ambassadors, including horses, llamas, goats, rabbits and chickens.

Visits start with a stop at the boot barn to be fitted into cowboy boots on loan for a day in the country. Volunteers give a talk about Guided Hope, lead a tour of the ranch and introduce the animal ambassadors, offering fun facts about them.

Then it’s time to get to “work,” with volunteers and visitors doing chores together, such as mucking the stalls, cleaning the pens, checking the water, collecting eggs, grooming the animals and moving fences, all the things involved with owning a ranch.

The volunteers include wranglers and trained teens and adults who work alongside the guests, doing chores every morning and night, plus ranch hands who do weekly chores and help out with on-call projects. There are 70 volunteers total, but more are needed.

“We are always open to new volunteers in either of those categories,” Scoma said.

Visitors get horse safety lessons to learn how to be around and groom the animals, plus can participate in games like wheelbarrow and egg-and-spoon races for some fellowship time.

“Families come here of all backgrounds. Some have been through grief, medical hardships, military service, adoption and truly anyone who desires to come out with their family,” Scoma said. “We started the ranch based on personal experience with some of those things.”

The special group roundups began July 23 and will continue through September. They include:

  • Aug. 27 morning: Families Experiencing Grief
  • Sept. 10 morning: First Responder Families
  • Sept. 10 afternoon: Military Families
  • Sept. 24 morning: Foster and Adoptive Families

Roundups in the morning are 9 a.m.-noon and afternoon roundups are 1-4 p.m. The family roundups include horseback riding lessons on a second visit, but the group roundups are too large to include the activity. Family roundups generally are 10 people and the group roundups can include up to 40 people.

“Our group roundups are designed to have people come out with a shared experience,” Scoma said. “We want people that have a shared experience to come together and make connections with people walking through similar experiences.”

The Farm Fun and Friendraiser 4-7:30 p.m. July 30 will be at the farm—visitors are asked to register and give a suggested donation for the meal.

“It’s a great time to spend a night of country fun both with our critters and friendships with others to raise support for a great community cause,” Scoma said.

The friendraising event will kick off with ranch activities, games, horseback riding with lead lines, and visits with the animal ambassadors, plus a silent auction. The meal will follow at 5:30 p.m., plus there will be a program about Guided Hope’s highlights from the past year.

“The opportunity to take care of the land and animals god gave us, it’s very healing,” Scoma said. “We all want to care for others. We all want to care for land.”

For more information about Guided Hope, visit www.guidedhope.org or contact 303-717-8372 or [email protected]

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