Camp Courage staff are all professional outdoor educators.  We are all certified in First Aid and CPR and have had extensive training in the equipment that will be utilized during the camp

John Hite

As camp director for Camp Courage, it is my goal to assemble a quality camp for all participants.

I have been a teacher at the Balarat Outdoor Education Center for twenty years and a classroom teacher previously.  Pre-teaching years were spent with the Forest Service as a Backcountry Ranger and Firefighter.  Once an avid climber, skier and mountain biker, my outdoor adventures now revolve around pursuing these same activities in a tamer fashion and introducing outdoor activities and sports to my two children.



Katie Sullivan Poppert, RN


I have been an oncology nurse involved in Cancer Care at Presbyterian/St. Luke’s hospital in Denver for close to ten years.  Prior to that, I worked in an Emergency Room as an Emergency Medical Technician.  I was born and raised in Denver and received a BA in Biology from the Colorado College then obtained my RN from Regis University. I have a wonderful husband, 4 kids ages 15, 13,12 and 6, two dogs, and a gecko. Recently, I have completed 2 marathons and a century bike ride, raising close to $60,000.00 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I love spending time outdoors and I am very excited to be part of this amazing group!




Erica Simpson


I am a teacher at Balarat with John during the school year in addition to being the Assistant Director of Camp Courage. I have been working in the outdoors for 12 years, and started my career as a camp counselor in Durango, CO. I love getting messy with art projects, hiking in these beautiful mountains of ours, climbing, biking, and acting like a kid. Can’t wait for another great summer!




Lisa Salzman

My name is Lisa Salzman. I’ve been involved with Camp Courage since it’s second year and it is my favorite place to be! My dogs love to come up to camp with me (especially Banjo!). In my free time I like spending time with my husband and hiking.







Kristi VanDeWalker

I jumped on board with Camp Courage a few years ago and it has been one of the most rewarding experiences I could have hoped for.
After college, I taught Junior High School for three years in Japan. I then made my way to Colorado where I met my husband playing music. We now run our restaurant, the Evil Bean Cafe in downtown Denver and try to play as much music as we can fit in with our band Toad in the Hole. I’m looking forward to putting together our camp menu and outside time with these amazing kids!!!



Blake Uren

I became involved with Camp Courage after working with John and Erica as an intern at Balarat. I have lived in Colorado my whole life and enjoy skiing, camping, and mountain biking in my free time. Camp is one of the best weeks of the year and I always look forward to it!





Kevin Sternberg

I was involved with Camp Courage in the second year though Lisa and haven’t missed a year since! I’ve lived in Colorado since I was 5 and love the outdoors. Also Zelda will come up with me this year!


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