Aspen Camp Faces Struggles as Zero Staff Remain
Ryan Commerson, board president of Aspen Camp announced today that they lost their two remaining staff members sometime over the past couple of months. This is shortly following the loss of their executive director at the beginning of the fall season.
On November 27, 2018, Snowmass Sun, a local news site announced that Aspen Camp was facing financial troubles with the IRS
"According to a federal tax lien filed in August of 2018, Aspen Camp for the Deaf owes more than $145,000 in payroll taxes from September 2014 through 2016." (Erica Robbie) and with further investigation, information has been found to support this statement on the assessor's website for Pitkin County in Colorado where Aspen Camp is located.
This announcement came to a shock to the community when no information had been revealed until this article was published.
"Aspen Camp for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is suspending its operations for a year and closing the doors to its Old Snowmass campus in an effort to focus on a "reinvention," the 51-year-old nonprofit announced today." Erica Robbie
Since November, they’ve requested assistance from the community several times. Even after ending of 2017 with $700 thousand dollars in assets they still had to reach out to the community for finding assistance over the weekend when the camp had pipes burst causing damage to campus. $5,000 is needed for down payment for repairs and they are also asking for more money to do additional repairs needed such as asbestos removal among other things.
Ryan also announced in this video that they are aiming to fundraise $300,000 to start up camp again which they hope to have happen by 2020.
Aspen Camp has been one of the premiere camps for deaf children for over 50 years. With a long and rich history, many people are hoping that this is not the end of the road. There are many issues however Ryan continues to be optimistic and share news about Vanguard which is an attempt at discovering new ideas including the exploration of hack schooling. The community is questioning whether Ryan and his board can find a way to save Aspen Camp and bring it back to the heights of its glory days.
"Since opening its doors in 1967, the camp has welcomed more than 21,000 deaf people from 47 states and 12 countries," camp director Lesa Thomas told the Snowmass Sun in an interview in July of 2017.