COWBOY CAMP

FOSTERING A SPIRIT OF ADVENTURE

Part of being a hero is having a spirit of adventure.

Through Cowboy Camp, in partnership with Western Destinations’ Flying E Ranch in Wickenburg, AZ, foster youth get a chance to live out a once in a lifetime experience as a cowboy/cowgirl at an authentic Arizona dude ranch.

You haven’t seen excitement until you’ve seen a foster youth, who rarely have fun for fun’s sake, learn to trust a beautiful horse while feeding it, open up around a campfire to excitedly tell volunteers what they want to be when they grow up, see them playing Marco Polo in the pool for the first time, watching them enjoy the thrill of riding in a side-by-sides through the desert, watch them sign the branded souvenir board, seeing them pick out clothes and toiletries before they leave to head back to their group home.

Cowboy Camp helps these youth interact in areas they have never experienced before that will positively impact them for the rest of their lives.

In the future Fostering Heroes Foundation will be working with Western Destinations’ Canyon Creek Ranch in Black Canyon City, AZ to provide half and full day horse therapy sessions for foster youth with the mission of helping foster youth with their social and emotional development.

COWBOY CAMP

2024 Goal Number of foster youth to be impacted: 400

BECAUSE EVERY FOSTER
YOUTH DESERVES A CHANCE
AT A GREAT LIFE.

EMPOWERING
foster YOUTH
WITH THE
OPPORTUNITY
FOR A GREAT
LIFE

You can send a child to cowboy camp

One time donation

Item Charge
Donation $NONE
Fees ( 3% ) $NONE
Total $No Charge
 

SEND A FOSTER YOUTH TO COWBOY CAMP
WITH YOUR MONTHLY DONATION

Item Charge
Donation $NONE
Fees ( 3% ) $NONE
Total $No Charge
 

SEND A FOSTER YOUTH TO COWBOY CAMP
WITH YOUR MONTHLY DONATION

GET TO KNOW THE 'E'

75+ years of ranch history; immeasurable amount of love for helping foster youth.

Back in 1946, Lee Eyerly from Salem, Oregon purchased 3000 acres and established the original Flying E Ranch. Lee and his crew built the original lodge, eight guest ranch rooms, the picturesque “Oregon”-style barn, and a 3200-foot airstrip.

Mr. Eyerly fashioned the Flying E brand with its distinctive wings to reflect his surname and his love for flying. The certified brand is still owned and used by the ranch today.

George and Vi Wellik first circled the ranch in their private plane in April 1949. “Looks like a motel in the middle of the desert” was Vi’s remark.

Concluding their stay at the Camelback Inn in Phoenix, George and Vi flipped a coin to decide whether to go back and visit the Flying E or continue on to their original destination, the Flying W in Bandera, Texas. A flip of a coin completely changed the lives of the Bellflower, California residents. George and Vi landed their private plane at the E, thus beginning their ranch legacy.
While still occupying their residence in California and with George continuing to run his tire and land developing businesses, the Welliks became frequent visitors to the Flying E and by 1952 found themselves in full ownership of the Arizona guest ranch.

A few changes have occurred over the years. George donated land to the town, and Wellik Field, named in his memory, now serves as the municipal airport of Wickenburg. The original airstrip is now a beautiful grass horse pasture. Various land parcels were also donated by the Wellik family to Wickenburg for city parks, schools, and the development of residential and industrial parcels. The ranch still maintains 20,000 acres to ride and roam.

The guest ranch still proudly operates the cow/calf operation, raising a few of the offspring from the original Murray Grey cows that Vi started breeding on the ranch in the mid-1980s. They mix with our modern-day Angus, Hereford, and Barzona stock.

A rancher’s dream, a flip of a coin, and a “hotel in the desert,” all brought together what the Flying E Ranch still offers today: The way of the West for dudes and cowpokes alike to enjoy the serenity and tranquility of the peaceful ranch life.

With a wild spirit and the love for impacting youth, the Brown family actively works with the foster youth community providing the ranch for the annual ‘Cowboy Camp.’ This event brings hundreds of foster kids to the ranch to partake in a once in a lifetime experience of being a cowboy or cowgirl. It’s an amazing opportunity for the volunteers and ranch staff to connect with these youth to express their love and pour into the kids a hope for the future. Cowboy Camp is truly an amazing experience that deeply impacts the youth beyond words can describe. Fostering Heroes Foundation is proud to partner with the Brown family and the Flying E Ranch to provide the 2023 Cowboy Camp!