Programs for Veterans

Serving Veterans at Sylvan Dale Ranch

creativity ~ relaxation ~ community ~ healing

Sylvan Dale Ranch is a historic guest ranch with 3,000 beautiful acres in the foothills just west of Loveland. Only 30 minutes from Fort Collins and 45 minutes from Greeley, this incredible place is now available as a resource for Northern Colorado Veterans from all branches, all years.

Heart-J Center is proud to partner with veteran's group Health4Heroes to offer monthly hikes and hangouts for Northern Colorado veterans and first responders. These family-friendly events are a great way to get outside, explore the Ranch, and meet cool people! 

Special Upcoming Wellness Retreats and Events for Veterans


SongwritingWith:Soldiers Retreat

October 15-17, 2021

For the fourth year, Heart-J Center is honored to partner with SongwritingWith:Soldiers to offer a life-changing weekend of creativity, camaraderie, healing, and fun. SongwritingWith:Soldiers operates from a simple principle — pair veterans and active-duty service members with professional songwriters to craft songs about their military experiences. SongwritingWith:Soldiers holds weekend retreats across the U.S. for veterans from all conflicts. Since 2012, SW:S has connected with hundreds of veterans and military families, creating a safe and inspiring environment to share their experiences and write songs with professional songwriters. These songs have been recorded and streamed across the internet, reaching and connecting more veterans and raising civilian awareness of the challenges the military community faces. Heart-J Center has partnered with SW:S since 2017 as the Colorado home for this powerful retreat.

You will collaborate with professional songwriters to write songs based on your military experiences and the return home. The resulting songs will provide a unique bridge between the military and civilian communities, helping to build awareness of Veterans’ issues, needs, and strengths. In addition to songwriting, you'll enjoy relaxation and additional creativity sessions in areas such as photography, visual arts, and much more.

No musical experience is necessary. The songwriters are experienced at working together to draw find your story and put it to music.

With incredible songwriters as your guides, you'll create songs that honor your past and set the stage for the future.

Participants, musicians, and staff will stay at Sylvan Dale Ranch, a historic Colorado guest ranch that offers beautiful scenery, exceptional privacy, comfortable Western hospitality, and delicious meals in the foothills west of Loveland. Lodging and meals are provided, along with relaxation, recreation, and creativity sessions.

Participants receive a CD of the songs, photo/lyric book, and DVD of the performances. All are registered with ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) as co-writers of their songs.

Limited enrollment. Participants are welcomed on a first come, first served basis.

Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, this retreat is offered at no charge to Veterans and active duty service members.

Recent retreat participants told us:

“I wouldn’t be standing here today if it wasn’t for this program.”

“This was the best welcome home I ever had.”

The SongwritingWith:Soldiers Loveland Retreat includes:

• Three days/two nights lodging in comfortable cabins and guest houses at Sylvan Dale Ranch (family owned and operated since 1946!)

• Delicious home-cooked meals, snacks, and desserts

• The chance to work with professional songwriters who are experienced at working with Veterans to tell the stories of military service and the return to civilian life.

• Your song will be professionally recorded - you'll receive a CD of the song you wrote!

If you'd like to learn more, or register, please contact Laura Armstrong.

Warriors Write! A Creativity and Wellness Program for Women Veterans

New monthly format launching in 2021!

Warriors Write! serves women veterans in Colorado with a blend of creativity, wellness, and recreational activities. Work with published authors to learn to put your thoughts and memories to paper and to discover that your story is important and your voice needs to be heard.

Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, this program is offered to veterans at no charge!

This annual retreat, launched in 2018, has served 27 women veterans ranging in age from 26 to 63, and representing all branches of service. Each participant has found community, healing, and inspiration through creativity and the power of telling her story.

Your story is waiting to be told! 

Apply Here for the Warriors Write! Program

Warriors Write! is about exploration and discovery. Our faculty of female writers from Northern Colorado provide instruction in different writing genres and styles -- memoir, poetry, fiction, journaling -- so you can discover the way your story wants to be told. Some participants will decide to publish a book, others will keep their writing private. We'll personalize the program to fit your goals and interests.

This program is for you if:

• You are a woman who served in the military

• You want to learn about the writing process and are open to exploring different ways to find your voice and tell your story

• You would like to experience new things, connect with other women veterans, and spend time relaxing in a beautiful setting

New Format for 2021 and Beyond!

Warriors Write is a monthly program that includes writing instruction from Northern Colorado writers, creativity workshops, and recreational activities in the Colorado foothills. Participants not only take home tools for health, wellness, and creativity, but also find support in a sisterhood of fellow women veterans.

Contact Laura Armstrong to get on our mailing list and learn more about the new format for Warriors Write!

Warriors Write! takes place at Sylvan Dale Ranch, a historic Colorado guest ranch in the foothills west of Loveland. Sylvan Dale offers beautiful scenery, exceptional privacy, comfortable Western hospitality, and delicious meals. Lodging and meals are included, along with relaxation, recreation, and creativity sessions.

Ashli - US Air Force (active duty)

Adrienne - US Army Veteran

Ruthie - US Navy Veteran

This retreat has forever changed me. I typically strive for the absence of misery, but this week I was actually happy. Not only was I able to develop new friendships with my veteran sisters, but I was able to rediscover a part of me that I thought I had lost.

- Michelle, Warriors Write! participant

Heart-J Veterans