Campout for the Cause returns to Rancho del Rio, June 2-5 | SummitDaily.com

Campout for the Cause returns to Rancho del Rio, June 2-5

Katie Coakley
Special to the Daily

Growing a grassroots experience while keeping the original spirit can be a difficult task: Get too big too fast, and you loose the essence; neglect to grow at all, and you'll stagnate. Campout for the Cause, now in its eighth year, has found the sweet spot. With expanded programming, including the new Stand Up Paddle Colorado Invitational, this year's Campout offers attendees even more to love but retains the family-friendly, low-key vibe that defines the event.

Timing is everything

For the first time, Campout for the Cause is taking place the weekend after Memorial Day, Thursday, June 2, through Sunday, June 5, instead of over the holiday weekend. The feedback, said Scot Stoughton, founder and festival organizer, has been positive.

"I think everyone has Memorial Day obligations. … Most people have been excited that it's the following weekend," Stoughton said. "There's also not as much river traffic, so there's more of a peaceful vibe. Heaven's willing, it'll be better weather, but we're pleased with whatever she wants to deliver."

Pushing the event a week will get people excited about being on the river and cued up for the upcoming Go Pro Mountain Games, Stoughton said, which take place the following weekend.

Leading the enthusiasm will be the Stand Up Paddle Colorado Invitational, a new event on Sunday, June 5, that will take racers on the Upper Colorado, a four-mile stretch that's similar in length to the stretch of Gore Creek that competitors take on in the Go Pro Mountain Games.

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"I do expect people to use it as a training and warm-up event for Mountain Games," said Bradley Hilton, of Stand Up Paddle Colorado.

However, Hilton said the goal was to make it accessible for various levels of paddlers — not just pros. The stretch of river for the competition isn't quite as difficult as the Class III rapids of Gore Creek. Additionally, there will be a race that afternoon at Rancho del Rio on gentler water.

"It's spectator friendly and will give festivalgoers, who don't have experience paddling whitewater or racing, a chance to get out there racing," Hilton said. "It's a welcoming atmosphere."

Other water events include a Colorado River Surf Co. Expression Session, a free community surf event, at Gore Wave at 10 a.m. on Saturday.

A lifestyle experience

Also new this year is The Bend, a space curated by Colorado-based yoga and adventure company In Your Element. Featuring workshops that highlight various topics such as permaculture and nutrition, The Bend is a dedicated space where festivalgoers can hang out during the day, learning and interacting with other people.

"We're bringing in a bunch of teachers and creating an awesome schedule," said Kim Fuller, one of the founders of In Your Element. "We're creating an area where people can gather and hang out … with informative activities that people can take advantage of when they're not at the stage enjoying the music."

Featured yogis include Gina Caputo, Rachel Nelson, Julia Clarke, Bobby L'Heureux, Moonstone Jackson, Mariah Schuette and Fuller. In addition to the multiple yoga classes on the land, there will also be an opportunity to practice poses on a stand-up paddleboard.

"Playing in the river will be an exciting new element to Campout," Fuller said. "People won't know what to do, there's going to be so much."

Sounds of the season

Though there are plenty of activities for festivalgoers both on and off the river, the music remains one of the biggest draws for the weekend. This year's lineup includes performances by more than 15 bands, plus campfire "family jams."

It's no secret that the event is an anticipated experience for the bands, as well as the attendees.

Joe Lessard, who plays violin and sings with headlining band Head for the Hills, said Campout for the Cause is one of their favorite events of the summer due to several factors, including having a good team to work with in Bonfire Entertainment, the setting on the river and the fact that it's connected to giving back to causes they care about.

"There's the vibe that you get when … everyone is there for the same reasons, and that ends up feeling good," Lessard said. "It's still a family festival, but also people can party but everyone is kind of being responsible and respectful. That's what we're looking for in any festival we play, especially one where we're going to be staying and hanging out."

Head for the Hills is just one of the bands that will be playing — and hanging out — over the weekend. It's an opportunity for them to bring their families and recharge, Lessard said, and to have a little fun; maybe even try some paddleboarding.

"We're looking forward to this one," he said

The live music starts at 4 p.m. on Friday and 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday during the festival. Headliners include Head for the Hills, Paper Bird, Trout Steak Revival, The California Honeydrops, Drunken Hearts and The Lil' Smokies. Performers on The Soapbox stage include We Dream Dawn, Tyler Grant and Old Salt Union. The Thursday evening early entry features an exclusive campfire family jam with The Lil' Smokies.

Though Campout for the Cause continues to grow, it retains its original roots: combining music and community to celebrate the outdoor lifestyle. New elements such as the SUP race, expanded programming and even more music just serve to keep it fresh.

It's like stepping in a river: Though it looks familiar, you can never step into the same river twice.

"If you're not trying new things, pushing the envelope, you're moving backwards," Stoughton said. "That's not something that I or this team ever does."

Tickets are now on sale for Campout for the Cause. All yoga, lifestyle workshops, live music and camping are included in the $119, three-day festival ticket price; $20 early entry is available on Thursday, June 2, for three-day pass holders.

All net proceeds from the event benefit 2016 Campout nonprofit partners Big Heart Big Hands, which raises money for mountain rescue organizations; the Education Foundation of Eagle County; and Children's Global Alliance, which offers large-scale volunteer opportunities for children ages 12 to 16.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit http://www.campoutforthecause.org.

Campout for the Cause schedule

Campout for the Cause takes place Friday, June 3, through Sunday, June 5, with early entry on Thursday, June 2. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit http://www.campoutforthecause.org.

Friday, June 3

10 a.m. — SUP yoga

11:30 a.m. — Yoga with Bobby L’Heureux

1 p.m. — PiYoChi with Heath Perry

2:30 p.m. — Yoga with Kim Fuller and Mariah Rose

3 p.m. — Permaculture workshop with Heath Perry

4 p.m. — Yoga with Gina Caputo, music by Ramona

4 p.m. — RY Tayor, The Soapbox stage

5 p.m. — Beard Mafia, Main Stage

5:30 p.m. — Soul Food workshop with Heath Perry

6:45 p.m. — Raven and the Writing Desk, Main Stage

8 p.m. — We Dream Dawn, The Soapbox stage

8:30 p.m. — The Lil’ Smokies, Main Stage

10 p.m. — We Dream Dawn, The Soapbox stage

10:30 p.m. — Trout Steak Revival, Main Stage

Midnight — Campout Family Jam, The Soapbox stage

Saturday, June 4

9 a.m. — Sonic movement mediation with Lisa Carmichael

10 a.m. — Disco yoga with Bobby and Kevin, music by Jon Nedza

10 a.m. — Community surf event

10:30 a.m. — Permaculture workshop with Heath Perry

11:30 a.m. — Yoga with Moonstone Jackson, music by Bonfire Dub

1 p.m. — Yoga with Gina Caputo, music by Ramona

2:30 p.m. — Yoga with Julia Clarke

3 p.m. — Soul food workshop with Heath Perry

3 p.m. — The Altitones, Main Stage

4 p.m. — Acro Yoga

4 p.m. — The Deer, The Soapbox stage

4:30 p.m. — Mama Magnolia, Main Stage

5:30 p.m. — AIReal Yoga

5:45 p.m. — The Deer, The Soapbox stage

6:15 p.m. — We Dream Dawn, Main Stage

7:30 p.m. — Tyler Grant, The Soapbox stage

8 p.m. — Bonfire Dub, Main Stage

9:30 p.m. — Tyler Grant, The Soapbox stage

10 p.m. — Head for the Hills, Main Stage

Midnight — Campout Family Jam, The Soapbox stage

Sunday, June 5

9 a.m. — Sonic movement mediation with Lisa Carmichael

10 a.m. — Yoga with Rachel Nelson

10 a.m. — Downriver SUP race

11 a.m. — Permaculture workshop with Heath Perry

Noon — AwareNEST roundtable

1 p.m. — Yoga slam with all teachers, music by Ramona

2 p.m. — Upriver SUP Sprint race

2:30 p.m. — PiYoChi with Heath Perry

3 p.m. — Town Cavalry, Main Stage

4 p.m. — Soul Food workshop with Heath Perry

4:15 p.m. — Special guest performance, The Soapbox stage

4:45 p.m. — Tallgrass, Main Stage

5:30 p.m. — AIReal Yoga

6 p.m. — RY Taylor, The Soapbox stage

6:30 p.m. — The California Honeydrops, Main Stage

8 p.m. — Old Salt Union, The Soapbox stage

8:30 p.m. — Paper Bird, Main Stage

10 p.m. — Old Salt Union, The Soapbox stage

10:30 p.m. — The Drunken Hearts, Main Stage

Midnight — Campout Family Jam, The Soapbox stage

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