Ranch Program

ropes low

Entering grades 3 – 7

The Ranch Program, the flagship program of the Ranch Camp, is jam-packed with non-stop high-energy fun from the minute campers wake up in the morning until long after the sun goes down! Through traditional activities and those they never even dreamed they might try, campers test their personal limits.  In the nurturing camp environment, kids learn to shed others’ expectations of who they should be and become at ease with who they are.

Traditional Sessions VS Specialty Tracks

Traditional Sessions

(June 11 – 25 and July 13 – 30) – In these sessions your child will form deep bonds with their cabin mates as they spend each morning participating in 3 scheduled camp activities with their cabin group!  In the afternoon, campers get to experience elective Chuggim.  Ranch Camp believes in the power of choice and in giving young people the chance to follow their own interests.  Each afternoon has 2 Chuggim options such as: Ropes Course, Water Polo, In-depth art projects, Theatre, hiking, etc.

  • Ranch Camp Activity Options  – High Ropes, Low Ropes, Zipline, Mountain Biking, Swimming, Tie-dye, Art, Crafting, Teva Farm, Hiking/Wildlife, Field Sports, Court Sports, Music, Israeli Dancing, Israeli Culture and Programming, Horseback Riding, Archery and Theatre.
  • Traditional Session Daily Schedule

Each evening the entire camp comes together for evening programs!  These camp favorites range from high-energy, competitive activities (Capture the Flag, Bomberdeer, Gold Rush) to classic camp experiences such as campfire, talent show and staff hunts.

Specialty Tracks

(June 27 – July 11) – Session II Specialty tracks are perfect for campers wanting to pursue specific camp experiences and for those who want to not only have a cabin full of friends but spend time with more campers who share their passions!  The Specialty Tracks offered include: Creative Arts, Sports, Outdoor Adventure, Basic Horsemanship, Traditional Track (2nd – 4th grade) and the Equestrian Program.  Campers will spend a 3 hour block in the morning in their track.  After lunch and menucha (rest hour), campers will have one Chuggim (see Activity Options) followed by a staff led cabin program.

Each evening the entire camp comes together for evening programs!  These camp favorites range from high-energy, competitive activities (Capture the Flag, Bomberdeer, Gold Rush) to classic camp experiences such as campfire, talent show and staff hunts.

Common Questions:

  • How often will my camper ride horses if they are not in EQ or Beginner Horsemanship?

    Campers in our Traditional Ranch programs will ride 3 times.  These lessons have the following goals: Lesson #1 (Orientation/review and practice control at the walk), Lesson #2 (Continued control and stability at the walk and experience the trot), and Lesson #3 (Trail Ride).  We go at the speed of each cabin group’s learning abilities so we will make every effort to get groups to experience all three lesson types however, safety is the most important factor of riding so we cannot guarantee that each group will experience a trail ride.  If your camper would like to have a more robust horse experience we encourage them to choose the Equestrian Chug or sign up for one of our Specialty Programs.

    • Campers in the Session II Specialty tracks of sports, creative arts and outdoor adventure will have the option to ride during Chuggim but will have no scheduled ride times unless they are in the Traditional Track for 2nd – 4th grade campers.
  • Will my camper go on a camp-out?  

    It is our goal that every camper experience an outdoor campout while at Ranch Camp.  Please note that this is very weather dependent.  We do not use tents in most of our camp-out experiences so we require completely clear nights with no chance for rain.

    • Mini Camp Camp-Out – Mini campers will camp out very close to our Inner 40 and will have walking access to a bathroom.
    • Youngest – 5th Camp-Out – Your camper will camp-out at one of our official campsites near to the Inner 40 (ex. Lower Mushroom, Eddie’s Corner, Campfire area, etc) but will be taught and encouraged to use nature as a bathroom!
    • 6th Grade Camp-Out – Our 6th graders will camp-out at one of our more distant sites (Planetarium, Cold Mountain or Upper Mushroom) where they will feel the adventure of being a short hike from camp and any camp facilities.
    • 7th Grade Camp-Out – Our 7th graders will camp-out off-site on their 7th Grade trip.

Specialty Track Camp-Outs – Campers in Specialty tracks may camp-out off-site.  See Program Descriptions.

  • How do Chuggim work?  Can my camper do ______ every day?  

Empowering campers to have control over what they choose to pursue and experience at camp is very important to us at the Ranch Camp.  Each day campers are given two activity periods (traditional program campers) where they are presented with the opportunity to select what they love to do.  These times are called “chugim” which means electives.  Some of these chugim are daily free choice activities and some of them are week long explorations.  Some examples of chugim activities are:

  • Ropes Course, Swimming, Archery, Sports, Drama, Dance, Art and Teva.
  • Fort Building
  • Hiking
  • Yoga/Meditation
  • Outdoor Cooking
  • Ranch Camp Newspaper/Outdoor Poetry
  • Photography
  • Anything you can imagine! Many activities are on a weekly basis by our staff members and often reflect both their individual talents and the desire of campers.

During a time of life when so much is structured in the daily lives of our campers, we feel strongly about providing multiple opportunities for campers to express themselves freely through their choices and we encourage campers to have the courage to follow their passions.

At camp every activity is challenge by choice.  Staff members are trained to encourage campers to try new activities and to step out of their comfort zones but no camper is ever forced to go beyond what they are comfortable with and are instead celebrated when they achieve their personal best!

  • Tell me about Judaism and Shabbat at camp.  

    Being Jewish at camp is seriously the best.  Camp is an amazing community where campers meet Jewish mentors and have the space and support to discover what being Jewish means to them.  At the Ranch Camp we are so proud to be Jewish and show that by introducing Jewish values throughout everyday at camp.  Going to the high ropes course is so much more then just touching the top of the rock wall. It’s about friendship, supporting each other and the concept of torah devonim lo achshav eimatai ( ‘ואם לא עכשיו אימת) or “if not now, when?”

One of the most amazing days at camp is Shabbbat.  On Friday night we start to slow down. We gather as a camp community to enjoy an unforgettable service outside.  This beautiful service is followed by a delicious dinner shared together by the whole community.  Then we sing and dance the night away outside under the Colorado sky.  Saturday starts with a short trek to Eddie’s Corner, our outdoor space for morning services, nestled in the trees and often visited mid-service by a couple of our horses.  Then we enjoy a hands-on Shiur and kiddish lunch.  The rest of Shabbat we enjoy a full afternoon of free choice activities, chocolate canteen and, finally, havdallah.

Our Staff

Ranch Camp staff join us each year from all over the world and bring with them a wide range of experience and talents that they are excited to share with our camp family.  Staff members are often RC alumni themselves and return to camp for multiple summers throughout their university years and beyond!

Staff must attend a week-long, intensive staff training program where we work with our staff on identifying and responding to safety concerns, building a strong cabin dynamic, identifying conflict and bullying, creating unforgettable cabin programming,  and how to provide the best care possible, inspiring their campers to challenge themselves and to be who they are.  Staff members that provide specialty activities at camp such as horseback riding, high ropes, archery, and life guarding receive additional intensive training (and certifications) necessary to facilitate these activities.

Staff members go through a thorough hiring process, must be certified in CPR/First Aid and complete background checks.