We are excited to bring back Ranch Camp to DHR!
Those fun-filled days of summer may be several months away, but the staff at Down Home Ranch are busy planning a fantastic 2018 summer Ranch Camp.
- Session 1: June 10 – 15
- Session 2: June 17 – 22
- Session 3: June 24 – 29
There will be lots of games, singing and dancing starting June 10th and continuing on through the three sessions of camp. 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 Texas Hill Country on hayrides and nature walks. We are sure to fill up fast, so be sure to submit your application soon.
The regular deadline has passed, but we are still accepting applications for wait list spots. In the case that a spot opens up, Campers on our wait list will be contacted in the order received.
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 should apply now! Deadline is April 30)
We are thrilled to welcome 90 total Campers this summer! Each session will be limited to 30 Campers, 15 male and 15 female. The 2018 schedule will consist of three sessions, all of which run from 5pm Sunday to 11am Friday:
- June 10 – 15
- June 17 – 22
- June 24 – 29
Be sure and submit your application as soon as possible. There are limited spots available and we expect them to fill up fast. Once your application is 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. A waiting list will be formed after all spots are filled.
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 page 17 and 18 of 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 be invited to a private Facebook Camp Page that will allow you to see the daily activities of camp. Each day, photos will be uploaded to this page. If you do not wish for your camper’s photos to be uploaded, you will need to sign off on this when you bring your camper the day of registration. Only the administration of Down Home Ranch Camp will be allowed to extend and accept invitations to this page.
What does the camp registration fee cover? Camp registration covers all activities, evening programs, lodging, meals, Ranch Camp t-shirt 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? This year, Ranch Camp has no plans to accept these payment sources. If this is prohibitive to attending camp, please contact us [email protected]
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].
Want to work or volunteer at Ranch Camp?
Ranch Camp Employees
Ranch Camp Volunteers
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 will be the first season back, with measures in place to ensure that everyone, Campers and Ranchers alike, enjoy the weeks of camp.