Hey Oh! 

There is no other place on earth like Down Home Ranch! The Ranch is on 410 acres of rolling hills on the Post Oak Savannah just east of Austin, where the Blackland Prairies of Texas meets the sandy loam soil of the Lost Pines and touches the edge of the Texas Hill Country.

The Tonkawa Indians called the area around the Ranch home until the Lawhons settled the area well over 175 years ago. The Lawhon Springs Museum is just 2 miles south of the Ranch's entrance.

What is there to do?

Food and Music

We are located 45 minutes east of Austin, Texas the Live Music Capital of the World. There is no limit to the great things to discover in Austin.

In a short 15 minute drive both ways, you'll come across the towns of Elgin and Taylor. These gems both have great downtown areas with yoga, thrift shops, bars, breweries and some of the best BBQ in Texas.

Snow BBQ voted the best BBQ in Texas for multiple years is in Lexington, Texas just 20 minutes east of the Ranch. Pitmaster Tootsie Tomanetz has been featured on many food media outlets including the Netflix series Chiefs Table.

Road Trips and History

A short drive south of the Ranch will take you back a century as you visit the Painted Churches of Texas. These churches were built in the late 1800s as Czech and German immigrants began placing cultural roots in Texas.

Then just an hour west is San Antonio, one of the most vibrant cities for Mexican American culture in the nation.

The Texas Day Tripper is a local PBS show that guides folks on journeys around Texas as Central Texas being the starting point. There are hundreds of fun and interesting options in their catalog of shows.


There are just too many wonderful places to visit under the big skies of Texas.

The City of Austin has many interesting hikes in its park system, including Mount Bonnell which offers stunning views of the Colorado River.

The Texas State Park system has 89 outstanding state parks, historic sites and natural areas across the state. There are also Guadalupe National Park, which has the highest pike in Texas and Big Bend National Park with some of the most amazing wildlife habit.

Join the Team

Thank you for considering spending your summer with us at Ranch Camp changing lives and changing the world! We have a few different ways you can get involved and be a part of the camp magic in the summer. We have paid positions, internship positions and individual and group volunteer opportunities. 

Come on down for camp! We promise it will be an experience you won’t forget and a summer filled with fun, laughter, friendships and memories that last a lifetime. Below are the positions we are hiring for. 

Check out the Camp Job Position descriptions to learn more about each position and find your best fit.  


Camp is AWESOME and you’re not going to want to miss one minute of it! Camp runs eight, one-week sessions with two weeks of training. We are seeking staff who can commit to all 10 weeks, 6 weeks, or 1-3 weeks of awesomeness! 

Rec. Ranger and Ranch Hand positions need to commit to at least one full session of camp but are welcome to commit to several sessions or the entire summer.  

Full Commitment

  • 8 weeks
  • 2 weeks of training

10 weeks

Partial Commitment

  • 4 weeks
  • 2 weeks of training

6 weeks

Week by Week

  • 1-3 week
  • 3 hours of online training

1 week

The Week by Week commitment can only be selected by returning counselor who has worked at Ranch Camp or another American Camp Association (ACA) camp within the last two years.


  • For staff and interns 18 years and older, we offer no cost onsite housing, no cost meals while on duty, snacks and a light meal while off duty.
  • Our goal is a 1:5 ratio of staff and volunteers to campers, however, we may go up to a 1:10 ratio in some cases.
Training for Full & Partial CommitmentValue
2 Weeks of Introductory to Camp$160
Canoe & Kayak $30
Outdoor Cooking$30
Archery Instruction $30
CPR/AED/First Aid$50
SAMA – Behavioral Crisis Intervention
Programs 1,2,3 & 4
Value of Included Trainings$375
Training for Week by WeekValue
3 hour Online Introductory to Camp$100
CPR/AED/First Aid$50
SAMA – Behavioral Crisis Intervention
Programs 1 Online
Value of Included Trainings$180
Professional DevelopmentValue
Camp Leadership Staff $150
Lifeguard Training On Site $500


Program Rover (Lifeguard)$325/week
Program Coordinator$400/week
Counselor Coordinator$400/week

Training Weeks

Paid training is held from May 22,2023 – June 22, 2023 at Down Home Ranch.

If you think training is going to be two solid weeks of boring classroom lectures, you’re wrong. This is camp, not school, and many staff rate training weeks as a highlight. 

“Camp has been one of the best, most fulfilling times in my life. I can't wait to be back next summer.”

-Kristin B., Camp Counselor

You can expect team building, adventures, bonding, activities, fun and lots of enthusiasm! You'll learn some transferable life skills too, like collaboration, communication, critical thinking, behavior management, decision making, etc.

We’ll teach you all the ins and outs of camp and give you the tools you need to excel at your job and make this your best summer yet!  

Rec. Rangers and Ranch Hands who aren’t serving all summer will attend a camp orientation prior to jumping into camp.  

Weeks of Camp for Summer 2023

Session #1: June 4th – June 9th
Session #2: June 11th – June 16th
Session #3: June 18th – June 23rd
Session #4: June 25th – June 30th

Session #5: July 2nd – July 7th
Session #6: July 9th – July 14th
Session #7: July 16th – July 21st
Session #8: July 23rd – July 28th


Camp Job Position Descriptions

We’d love to visit with you more about a Summer Job

Contact camp@downhomeranch.org or 512-856-0128 extension 120 for more information.

Apply For A Summer Camp Job

Individual and Group Volunteer Opportunities


Opportunities vary but may include assisting with activity preparations, sorting and filing paperwork, teaching an activity skill or other supportive camp roles. We’d love to visit with you about your talents and how we can put them to work serving at camp.  


We are looking for groups to help complete work projects prior to camp getting our cabin and activity areas open and ready for campers. Projects vary by time of year, group size and skill but we’d love to visit with you more about how your group can serve our camp program.  

In the summer we also need groups to come host activities with Campers, serve meals and more. Details on summer opportunities will be coming soon!

For more information on volunteer opportunities, or to sign up, please contact volunteers@downhomeranch.org or call 512-856-0128.

Apply for an Internship or Ranch Hand Position

Camp Staff and Volunteer FAQs

Will I get paid to work at camp?

Our camp staff positions all receive a weekly salary in addition to their room and board covered. Salaries vary by position, but are all priced competitively in the camp market. Counselor salaries starts at $300/week with bonuses for returning staff. Internship positions may have a stipend available in addition to room and board. Ranch Hand positions have meals provided while at camp. Of course, regardless of where you're serving at camp, the smiles, laughs and memories are plentiful and you can't put a price on that!

Do I get time off?

Camp sessions run from Sunday afternoon to Noon on Friday. Staff have a 48 hour break between sessions. Staff will also receive one night off a week and one rest period off.

Where will I be living?

The majority of our staff live in air-conditioned cabins with the Campers. Cabins have bathrooms with showers, bunk beds and large porches with rocking chairs.

Do I need to have experience working with individuals with special needs?

No, but you do have to have a heart for serving others. We'll teach you the rest! Honestly, the Campers aren't that different from you. They just might need some extra support to make their camp experience a success.

Is there a place to do my laundry?

Yes, we have laundry facilities on site and promise we won't make you wear dirty clothes all summer.

What is camp food like?

Better than you probably think it is! We offer a main menu for each meal with some al a carte items available. Highlight meals during the week are cookout, where cabin teams cook dinner over a fire, and a night of celebration, where staff and Campers are served a sit-down themed dinner. We also offer camp canteen every afternoon where Campers and staff can get snacks and treats.

What camp activities will I participate in?

Seriously, let the fun begin! We offer diverse activities including arts & crafts, sports & games, nature activities, geocaching, barnyard with horses and chickens, fishing, canoeing/kayaking, outdoor cooking, drama, swimming and lots of fun evening activities such as talent show, camp dance and campfire with s'mores.

What do I need to bring to Camp?

We'll send you the official packing list once you're on Team Camp, but you need weather appropriate clothes for camp activities, a foot-locker is recommended, twin bedding for your bunk, closed-toe shoes, hygiene products, games and bunk décor (optional).

Any COVID-19 Policies?

Our COVID policies follow the CDC and local health department guidelines. We have extra disinfecting protocols in place and the health and well-being of our staff and Campers is priority. We strongly encourage staff and Campers to be fully vaccinated prior to coming to Camp. Please note that these protocols are evolving as guidelines and recommendations change. We'd be happy to discuss specific concerns or questions with you.

Have Additional Questions?

If you have specific questions not answered, email camp@downhomeranch.org or call (512) 856-0128 x120.