camper applications are now being accepted for the 2019 season.

summer 2019 Camp Sessions

  • Session 1: June 9 – 14
  • Session 2: June 16 – 21
  • Session 3: June 23 – 28

There will be lots of games, singing and dancing starting June 9th and continuing on through the three sessions of camp. For the 2019 season, we are offering 40 spots per week-long session. We offer so many opportunities to learn new skills and make new friends. Campers will have the chance to make crafts, participate in all sorts of sports, go swimming in our pool, show off their dancing, music and drama skills, participate in the care of our animals and see the beautiful Post Oak Savannah on hayrides and nature walks. Applications for the 2019 season are now open! Click here to download a Camper application for the 2019 season.

Please be sure to read the DHR Privacy Practices to better understand how your personal information, submitted through camper applications, will be used.

Camp 101

What fun we have! Every year we add more opportunities to the list. We take care of animals and learn how to fish. We swim, run races, toast marshmallows, paddle a boat, go for hikes, put on plays and sing camp songs. It’s everything summer camp should be – and so much more.

Our campers are 18+ years old and have a range of cognitive disabilities. Please Note:  Ranch Camp is for campers who enjoy group activities and the hustle and bustle of camp life.  Campers who are disturbed by loud noise, crowds of people and disruptions in routine will not enjoy Ranch Camp and should not apply. To meet the needs of all Campers, we are assembling a crew of the finest, most qualified camp counselors, making sure that everyone has a fun and enjoyable camp. (Future camp employees and volunteers will be needed, so stay tuned for applications!)

We are thrilled to welcome 120 total Campers in 2019! Each session will be limited to 40 Campers, 20 male and 20 female. The 2019 schedule will consist of three sessions, all of which run from 5pm Sunday to 11am Friday:

  • June 9 – 14
  • June 16 – 21
  • June 23 – 28

Be sure and submit your application and $50 non-refundable application fee as soon as possible. There are limited spots available. Once your application and application fee are received, it will be evaluated by DHR staff in order to make sure that your Camper would thrive at Ranch Camp. If approved, your Camper will receive a welcome email from the Camp Directors, complete with info on how to pay for camp and any applicable deadlines. The $50 application fee will be applied towards the overall cost of camp. A waiting list will be formed after all 120 camp spots are filled.


We accept:

  • Private Pay
  • Contracted rates through Texas IDD waivers including Home and Community Based Services (HCS), Texas Home Living (TxHmL), Community Living Assistance and Support Services (CLASS) and other programs that offer respite in their service array
  • Contract General Revenue (GR) rates from the Local Intellectual Development Disability Authorities (LIDDA), such as Bluebonnet Trails Community Services and Integral Care


The cost of camp is $900 per session. When welcome emails are sent out, information on payment options and deadlines will be included. It is your responsibility to submit all payments by their stated deadlines. Failure to do so will forfeit your Camper’s spot and it will be offered to the next person on our waiting list.


Can my child attend camp if they’re under 18? Currently, Ranch Camp is only open to people 18 years of age and older. For a list of overnight camp options for campers under the age of 18, please check out this resource guide.

What if my camper gets homesick? It’s not unusual for campers, especially those away for the first time, to feel a bit homesick at first. Most get over it quickly and go on to have a wonderful time. We provide structure and keep campers busy from the moment they arrive, which helps to shift their focus away from home to new friends and having fun. In the rare instance that a camper is truly struggling, we will contact you.

Can I send letters to my camper? Everyone loves getting mail. If you would like to send your camper an email, we will pass those along to your camper before the next meal time. Please send your email to [email protected] and in the subject line please make sure your camper’s name is there (For example: Hello Mary Sue).

Will I be able to see what my camper is doing? You will not have day-to-day viewing of your camper’s activities, however, a DVD of all camp activities will be given out on the final day of camp and will feature pictures from each day of camp. This memento will be yours to take home and enjoy for years to come!

What does the camp registration fee cover? Camp registration covers all activities, evening programs, lodging, meals, Ranch Camp t-shirt, a DVD of camp memories and equipment usage.

What’s the weather like? Texas summers are full of sunshine. The average highs get into the 90s and the lows into the 70s. Adequate amounts of shade, water and breaks will be allowed to ensure the safety of your camper.

Is the camp staff trained to work with this population? At Down Home Ranch, we hire only those that are passionate and excited about working with individuals with a variety of cognitive and physical disabilities. All camp staff have been interviewed, passed a background check and are certified in CPR. Along with this, all counselors are required to attend training which addresses various aspects specific to Down Home Ranch Camp.

What should my camper bring to camp? Once your camper’s application is accepted, we will send you an email that will include packing list/requirements for your camper.

What is the staff-to-camper ratio? There is one fulltime counselor for every 5 campers, then several layers of support staff to help that counselor.

What if my child has food allergies or special dietary needs? Because we’re serving so many, it’s not always possible for us to meet special dietary needs. However, sometimes we can make an exception. If your child has any kind of food allergy or dietary need, please contact us before registering to see if we can meet your child’s needs.

What if my camper gets sick or hurt? Your camper’s safety is the utmost importance to our staff. We will have a nurse on location who will be able to take care of any minor wounds and injuries. For emergencies or a sickness that requires for your camper to leave camp early, we will contact you immediately. Should we need to take a camper to the ER, Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in Taylor, TX will be our primary hospital.

Can Ranch Camp accept payment from a waiver program, insurance or general revenue? We currently accept contracted rates through Texas IDD waivers including Home and Community Based Services (HCS), Texas Home Living (TxHmL), Community Living Assistance and Support Services (CLASS). Additionally, we accept contracted General Revenue (GR) rates from the Local Intellectual Development Disability Authorities (LIDDA), such as Bluebonnet Trails Community Services and Integral Care. We are open to contracting with others. Please contact us [email protected] if you’d like us to consider contracting with a provider not listed above.

If you have any further questions, please submit those in the box below and someone will reach out within 3 business days. If you do not receive a response in a timely manner, please feel free to call (512) 856-0128 x120 or e-mail [email protected].

Please enter your email, so we can follow up with you.

Want to work or volunteer at Ranch Camp?

Ranch Camp Employees
The qualified Ranch Camp Staff applicant is an extraordinary, excited individual who can encourage, enrich and empower our exceptional campers. Our staff is carefully screened and trained. The staff to camper ratio is 1:5 or fewer. Everyone involved in camp must have a love for both camping in general and for our campers in particular. We can safely say that most people fall in love with both their first week at camp!
-Wages vary ($337/week – $435/week) depending upon position and experience. All positions include room and board, as well as extensive training.
-REQUIRED Commitment: Staff Training -June 3, 2019 – June 7, 2019
Be on the lookout for an announcement regarding applications for camp employment. Applications will be submitted to [email protected].
Ranch Camp Volunteers
Just like our employees, we want our Ranch Camp volunteers to be extraordinary, excited individuals who can encourage, enrich and empower our exceptional campers! We will update this page when the 2019 volunteer application is available. When fully completed and signed, submit to [email protected].

Interested in camping with us in the future?

Please fill out the interest form below to be added to our Ranch Camp email list.
All Campers must be at least 18 years of age at the start of camp.

History of Ranch Camp

As told by the Founders: “Ranch Camp began in 1995 with two sessions: one for adults and one for teenagers. Seeing as the Ranch was just in the beginning stages, we borrowed tents and cots from the Texas National Guard, rented a few port-a-potties, got together a trusting bunch of friends and their teenaged kids and opened for business!  We went to Taylor to swim, fed the baby calves with bottles, fished at Harken’s pond, hunted for eggs, did drama and sing-a-longs around the campfire and rounded up the donkeys when they got out of their pen. That summer we served 23 campers in all, and agreed we’d never worked so hard, slept so little or had so much fun. The campers agreed, and every year Ranch Camp grew, serving several hundred campers through the years, living in comfortable, air-conditioned bunks and swimming in our own 52’ pool.”

Ranch Camp ceased operations after the 2013 season, as residential needs became the main focus for DHR. 2018 was the first season back, with measures in place to ensure that everyone, Campers and Ranchers alike, enjoyed the weeks of camp.