Philosphy

We believe that children thrive in an atmosphere where both individuality and community are nurtured with warm, seasoned leadership.

At the Bar 717 Ranch, campers follow their hearts: to long mornings on horseback, silk-screening in the art room, backpacking in the Trinity Alps, navigating the ropes course. They’re also encouraged to try new activities (blacksmithing, anyone?), learn new skills (there are fences to mend and goats to milk), and assume new responsibilities as part of our large ranch family.

Life on the Ranch provides a vital respite from the digital culture that has become an imposing presence for many children. There are no gadgets or electronics in campers’ lives here. We work and play side-by-side, face-to-face, and completely unplugged. Whether baling hay, baking bread, or creating a skit, each day offers campers remarkable opportunities to cultivate self-awareness and social skills.

The pioneer traditions of cooperation and resourcefulness, which have defined and sustained the Bar 717 Ranch for generations, still apply today.

Nature is our constant companion. By taking time to appreciate the beauty of the land, by swimming in rivers and climbing mountains, by growing gardens, raising our own food and making compost, we foster in campers a deep understanding and appreciation of the environment.

Camp life is as wholesome, practical and rewarding as it is just plain fun. We learn by doing and we grow together. Campers often return home with a newfound sense of both self-reliance and deep community that endures for a lifetime.