Aspen Camp

For over 50+ years, Aspen Camp has served thousands of deaf and hard of hearing children and youth across the country at its modest camp 17-acre riparian environment nestled along the Snowmass Creek near Aspen, Colorado.

Our Beginnings

Aspen Camp is 15+ acre riparian forest nestled along the Snowmass Creek situated  7,582′ above elevation in the Roaring Fork Valley, Colorado. With six programming facilities, Aspen Camp is the only year-round camp serving the hearing loss population and the sign language community.

Founded in 1967 by Reed Harris, Tom Sardy, and Lt. General William Martin along with support from the Pabst family and the Aspen Rotary Club. Aspen Camp continued to prosper, hosting well over 25,000 campers and families on its modest campground. 

In 1974, the first Deaf Camp picnic was hosted, which John Denver and Jimmy Buffet frequently headlined.

Although Aspen Camp was met with a series of unfortunate events leading it to temporarily close its doors. It has since then overhauled the entire leadership team and completely revitalized itself.

Today, with the unwavering commitment from its board members, our  neighbors, the Roaring Fork Valley, and the deaf and hard of hearing community, Aspen Camp is proud to welcome everyone back and offer our renown outdoor experiential and educational programs.

Every child needs nature. Not just the ones whose parents appreciate nature. Not only those of a certain economic class or culture or set of abilities. Every child.

Mission Statement

Aspen Camp provides diverse experiential, educational, outdoor, and recreational experiences for deaf and hard of hearing individuals to connect with nature, others in the signing community, and with themselves.



Karen Immerso

Eric Kaika

Stefan Vest

Gunnison, Colorado
Washington, D.C
Consultant, father of CODA
Santa Fe, New Mexico
HS educator, father of deaf child

A Board member since 2017 who lives in Gunnison, Colorado, Karen is a guide and facilitator who has worked with groups in outdoor/ experiential programs throughout her career.  She brings strength, humor, caring, strong relational skills, listening skills and organizational skills: all assets to her role on the Board.  She has a Masters in Education and has worked with many different populations with a dedication to growth and life-long learning.

A native Washingtonian, graduate of Gallaudet University and lifelong community advocate for deaf and hard of hearing people, Kaika is a seasoned executive and successful entrepreneur with over 15 years of nonprofit leadership.

Stefan joined the board in the fall of 2022.  He has a Masters in Educational Leadership and experience as both a teacher and a school administrator.  Currently a Transition Teacher at the New Mexico School for the Deaf, Stefan brings experience in experiential education and program development to the team.

Marty Keller

Jeb Willoughby

Sabrina Valencia

Alpine, California
HS educator
Colorado Springs, CO
Insurance Underwriter
Colorado Springs, Colorado
ASL Assistant Professor

Dr. Martin (Marty) P. Keller has been involved in the field of Deaf Education in a wide array of roles such as administrator and teacher for more than 20 years and is a passionate nature lover, hiker, biker and camper.  He is currently involved in the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy’s 6 month training to become a certified guide in the DHH community.  Marty is a proud father of a 2 year old Deaf daughter.  It’s Marty’s passion is to provide support for ACDHH to bring high-quality educational camp programs to DHH children every summer.

This former aspen camper’s journey began with memorable experiences in 2008 and 2010, where he engaged in rafting and backcountry camping.  These moments ignited his dream of living in Colorado, which he fulfilled in 2020.  His profound love for hiking, biking and snow skiing resonates perfectly with the state’s outdoor culture. His dedication to resurrecting summer camp opportunities for youth underscore his commitment of sharing the transformative impact of his own camp adventures.

Living in Colorado Springs for six years have brought me closer to nature. With the rustling leaves and nature’s communal spirit, my love for nature grows. Having been to camps as a kid, I developed a passion for the outdoors and a sense of community. My journey involves creating community bonds, experiencing outdoor adventures, and blending nature. In my free time, I enjoy hiking, running, and other activities that gets me closer to nature.  With my love for the camp and nature, Aspen Camp of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is the place where I can grow and contribute to the continued growth to community connection and nature. That’s why I am here.

Our Timeline


Aspen Summer Camp founded by Reed Harris, with help of Tom Hardy and Lt. Gen. William Martin. Becomes the 2nd nonprofit in the Roaring Fork Valley.


Shorty and Patty Pabst lease one acre in Old Snowmass. Main Lodge built. Rotary Club of Aspen founded as source of funding and community support for Camp.


Renamed: Aspen Camp School for the Deaf.


Camper Cabins constructed.


John Denver begins starring the Deaf Camp Picnic, our most well-known annual fundraiser.


The Pabsts donate an additional 13 acres. Aspen Camp starts hosting winter program.


Camp expands facilities, adding: Art Center, Bathhouse / Hole in the Wall, and Nature Center.


Snowmass Village Mayor Jefferson Tippett proclaims the week of June 26 to July 3 as Aspen Camp School for the Deaf Week and July 3 as Snowmass Deaf Camp Day.


BJ Brubaker Blocker selected as first full-time Executive Director.


Wildcat Ranch deeds an additional 3 acres, bringing the total to 17 acres, making it our present day campus.


Renamed Aspen Camp of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, expands its program offerings into winter.


BJ Brubaker Blocker ends 20 years of service as Executive Director. A series of ED successions: Judith Cross (2005-2008), Sandi Johnston (2008-2010), Lesa Thomas (2010-2018)


Camp revitalizes itself, partners with Town of Snowmass for its Thursday Night Concert Series


Camp reignites its programming activities. Major fundraising efforts, Expansion of the Board & cadre of volunteers.

Our Donors and Volunteers


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