Tuesday, May 26, 2020
Camp Rainbow Gold’s New Camp Includes Observatory
Campers and counselors give a cheer during a recent Family Camp at Camp Perkins near Stanley.
Thursday, October 31, 2019


A miniature golf course. An observatory. A swimming pool. An aspen grove with a hammock village.

Sounds like a pretty nifty resort!

Actually, this Disney-like camp is what Camp Rainbow Gold—a camp for kids with cancer and their families--will look like in a few years if all goes according to plan.

Camp Rainbow Gold’s Executive Director Elizabeth Lizberg, Camp Founder Dr. Dave McClusky, Share Your Heart Ball Co-Founder Kris Nardechhia and others trotted out the master plan for the Hidden Paradise Camp Tuesday evening at Ketchum’s Limelight Hotel.

It will be a welcoming safe space that doesn’t currently exist in Idaho Lizberg said. Already, numerous organizations have indicated interest in using the facilities, including Higher Ground and an organization that serves kids with medical conditions that do not involve cancer.

Lizberg said Camp Rainbow Gold plans to tackle infrastructure in 2020. Boise-area builders have agreed to take one day in 2021 to construct a group of cabins for boys and another group of cabins for girls. Camp Rainbow Gold hopes to move in in 2022.

The camp just received a million-dollar donation, Lizberg said, and is hoping others will offer anything from $150,000 to build a welcome fountain or lake boardwalk to $1.25 million for the dining area or kitchen.

The design calls for a horse corral and post with pavilion for Swiftsure Ranch to bring horses for trail rides. There’ll be an outdoor movie venue in a nook on the side of a hill, a garden and greenhouse, zip line and outdoor amphitheater.

And a charming little “jail house” already on the property will be turned into a Sweet Shack for ice cream.

There’ll be a climbing wall, playground, archery range, ropes course, bike trails, sports court for basketball, badminton, pickleball and tennis, as well as a clubhouse that will house ping pong, pool, air hockey, board games, puzzles and books.

There also will be a fishing and boating pond, a play field, memorial garden and the all-important health center and art shack, which will be named after Dr. Dave McClusky, who founded Camp Rainbow Gold.

“Dr. McClusky always ends up at the Art Shack when he’s at camp because he says that’s where the hope and healing takes place,” said Lizberg.

Camp Rainbow Gold has used Cathedral Pines north of Ketchum since its inception.

But the new camp frees it from the worry of a year-to-year lease. It allows it to build permanent facilities like the medical building and provide cabins that will better accommodate children using wheelchairs.

“We’re going to build a slide going down the hill from the observatory,” Lizberg said. “We’re offering  the pool to the community to use when there’s not a camp in session. And we won’t have to turn sick children and their families away because we don’t have the space to accommodate them.”

For more information, visit www.camprainbowgold.org.


Kris Nardecchia, the former Hailey resident who co-founded Share Your Heart Ball 18 years ago, has announced that this will be her last year chairing the ball, which raises funds to keep Camp Rainbow Gold free for children and their families.

This year’s ball will be held March 14, 2020, at the Limelight Room at Sun Valley Resort. For information, visit www.shareyourheartball.org or contact Christl Holzl at christl@camprainbowgold.org.


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