During Family Camp, a variety of Programs and Activities are offered each day. After breakfast each morning, our staff announce activities they will be leading in the different Program Areas. Family Campers campers can then choose where they want to go and what they want to do. Click on the specific Program below to learn more.
Archery show details
Using classic re-curve bows, campers can learn and practice introductory archery skills Archery is open several times a week up on Friendship Hill. Campers often make their own targets in the Arts and Crafts Shop before pinning them to our straw bale backstops.
Our Archery program emphasizes safety and fun, without competition. Archery teaches campers patience and hand-eye coordination. Using a bow and arrow gives kids a hands-on appreciation of the practice and skill required to master this simple tool, in use by humans for thousands of years.
Arts and Crafts show details
The Craftshop is a busy place during Family Camp. This large, well lit room houses the tools and supplies for a large variety of craft projects such as: beading and jewelry making, drawing and painting, stamping and embossing, sewing, friendship bracelets, candle making, doll making, mask making, tie dying and batik, lanyards, puppetry, macramé, and more.
Campers work on projects with the help and guidance of counselors and Resource Staff. Worktables are set up outside at the edge of the pasture in the shade of a spreading Mulberry Tree. It’s a great place to work, to converse, and to make friends. If you can imagine it, you can make it here.
Blacksmithing show details
Our blacksmith shop is well equipped to introduce campers to the art of working with metal. Using hand cranked forges, hammers, anvils, along with patience and finesse, iron can be formed into useful and beautiful objects.
The Blacksmith shop gives campers the hands-on experience of crafting everyday objects from raw materials. Heating, forming, reheating, and reforming steel is a slow process, one that requires campers to imagine and then retain in their mind the desired end result as they work slowly towards it.
Located next door to the Blacksmith Shop, the Bar 717 Ranch Welding Shop has Arc, MIG, and Oxy-Acetylene welding equipment. In the Welding Shop, we can grind, cut, drill, and stick together just about anything that is made out of metal.
Ceramics show details
The Ceramics Shop is equipped with 2 kick wheels and 1 electric wheel, many hand building tools, plaster molds, a wide variety of glazes, and 2 electric kilns. Our staff can instruct campers in both wheel and hand building techniques. In addition to plates, mugs, and bowls, tiles, hand-prints, wind-chimes, gnomes, fish sculptures and embossed ceramic medallions are some of popular creations made by campers during recent summers.
Cooking and Baking show details
Gates Gables Kitchen is the hub of our cooking and baking program. We want kids to learn the joy and satisfaction that comes from making good food---food that becomes even more enjoyable by sharing the results with the whole extended Ranch family. Campers learn firsthand that nothing tastes better then a dish using ingredients they helped pick, gather, grow, milk, or collect themselves.
Gates Gables Kitchen is equipped with two stoves, a convection oven, commercial mixer, and all the supplies to make great snacks and desserts for the whole camp to enjoy. Campers and counselors make jams, jellies, cookies, goat cheese, and ice cream from food grown right here on the Ranch. When cherries, plums, blackberries, or apples begin to ripen campers can pick the fruit and bake them into pies to be shared with everyone
Once a week, campers help the Gates Gables cook bake enough fresh bread for everyone in Camp. The kitchen is also available for Platforms to reserve so they can make a pizza for dinner, or ice cream with just-picked blackberries for Platform Night.
Dance show details
Saturday night at Family Camp is dance night. Starting with the Hokey Pokey, Family Campers can learn “that’s what it’s all about”. Our Staff will teach you square dances, line dances, folk dances, and even a few original dances we’ve invented right here, like the Hyampom Stomp
Your whole family will join us as we celebrate in the long tradition of grand country dances, gathering together the whole community to enjoy the companionship of friends and the pleasure that accompanies good music, and the kick-up-your-heels delight that comes with that great combination.
Farm Animals show details
Our Small Animal barn is home to chickens, turkeys, rabbits, goats, pigs, and more. Every morning before breakfast, Family Campers can join our Staff as we feed the animals, help milk the cow, or slop the pigs and collect eggs. The Small Animals barn is always open for Family Campers to visit. Your kids can hold a chicken, sit with the rabbits, or help clean a pen
Animals are an integral part of Ranch life. The cow and goats give us milk, the chickens give us eggs, pigs recycle our leftovers, horses provide transportation, and rabbits give us comfort as cuddly companions.
Raising and caring for animals connects us to the cycles of life on the Ranch, and gives everyone a broader understanding of our place in the food chain. The beef and pork we serve at Camp comes from animals raised on the Ranch.
Hiking and Overnights show details
With the pristine wilderness of the Pattison Roadless Area as our backyard, Family Campers can explore miles of trails, and find many beautiful destinations accessible only on foot.
Take a leisurely walk among giant old growth conifers along the Government Trail. For a majestic view, scramble to the top of Gates Mountain. Or, make a day of it and we’ll pack a lunch for you to spend the day exploring the old Gates homestead.
Want to sleep out under the stars? Then join us for an overnight to Emily’s homestead. You can ride on horseback, hike, or drive. Our staff will plan and prepare delicious meals over the campfire. Overnights are always a time for great adventures.
Horsemanship show details
The Ranch is home to approximately 25 horses. Our horses are like family. Many of our herd bloodlines trace back more then 50 years, (or five horse generations) to ancestors that, back in the early days of Camp, pulled wagons or packed supplies to the far corners of the Ranch.
During Family Camp, rides are offered for a variety of different levels of skill and experience, including trail rides, lessons, swim rides, and horse overnights. Children who are too young to go on the trail won’t miss out on saddle time. They can come down for a pony ride in the round pen.
The Bar 717 Ranch horsemanship program is designed and directed by a Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) Instructor.
We emphasize that Horsemanship is more then just riding. Feeding, cleaning stalls, vet care, brushing and bathing, tacking up, training, barn and trail maintenance, and, of course, friendship, are all part of living with horses. All of these activities are open to Family Campers in our horsemanship program.
Gardening show details
Our gardens teach campers the incredible abundance the Earth can provide; how work, patience, and a little know-how born from experience can turn dirt into food. And oh what food! There is no tomato so good as one picked and eaten on the spot, no potato like the one you dug that afternoon to be cooked that night for dinner.
Two large organic gardens supply us with fresh produce throughout the summer. Tomatoes, carrots, peas, beans, cabbage, potatoes, corn, and much more are grown and harvested by campers and staff. The gardens are always open, for everyone to enjoy, to work, or just to visit. Planting, weeding, watering, harvesting, and (of course) eating vegetables are activities enjoyed by all.
We supplement the soil with compost made from lawn clippings, kitchen scraps, sawdust from our sawmill, and manure collected as we clean the corrals. Along with vegetables, fruit trees and flowers thrive in the long warmth of summer’s days. Late in the summer, we can pears and make apples sauce to store and serve next year.
Music show details
Music and singing are a part of daily life at Camp Trinity; on the grass under the apple trees before lunch, after the dance on Saturday night, or gathered around a campfire after a long day. Our Camp songbook contains a collection of folk songs and favorites, both old and new. Singing together is inspiring; it binds a group together, each individual voice adding to the amazing sound that comes with many people singing together.
Campers and staff with musical talent often bring instruments to Camp and can offer lessons or pointers to beginning musicians.
After dinner on Sunday we gather at sunset to share thoughts and to reflect on the week gone by. During this time, campers and staff often choose music and songs to express their feelings and to share their experiences of Camp.
Ranch Projects show details
Ropes Course show details
The Bar 717 Ranch Ropes Course contains 8 high and 3 low elements. The course is built among the trees, next to a large meadow along Hayfork Creek. The course can accommodate groups as small as 12 people, and as large as 150 people.
Our ropes course is many things: exciting, scary, intimidating…and fun. Most of all, the ropes course is a great tool for facilitating communication. Nothing gets you talking (and thinking!) like being 50’ off the ground, relying on someone else to get you down. Our course combines physical challenges with problem solving exercises to push participants beyond their ‘comfort zone’.
Click on the links below for a detailed description of each event.
River Swimming show details
Beautiful Hayfork Creek flows through the Ranch, a short walk down the hill from Main Camp. Family Campers can spend their afternoons relaxing on the beach at our Swim Hole floating on one of our innertubes, or jumping off the jumping board.
The cool green waters of Hayfork Creek are the perfect place to spend a summer afternoon. For literally miles, both upstream and down, the river is yours to explore and enjoy. We can point the way to all of our favorite spots, including Girls Camp with its wide sandy beach, Below Mays with its legendary jumping rock, and the great swim spot at Diamond Back Beach.
Silk Screening show details
In the Silkscreen Shop, Family Campers can use one of our many permanent screens, or design one of their own. Any kind of artwork, drawings, phrases, logos, etc., can be printed on a T-shirt, sweatshirt, pillowcase, or anything made of fabric. The Silkscreen Shop contains all the materials and supplies needed to create permanent, wearable works of art.
We stock white cotton tee shirts in many sizes in the Trading Post for those of you in need of an extra for silk screening or tie dying.
Special Events show details
During Family Camp, we schedule a number of Special Events, including:
A BBQ cookout at the Homestead
A Taffy Pull
Wine Tasting featuring wines from local vineyards
An all-Ranch dinner (the whole meal grown or made on the Ranch
Special Events are all-camp events. We gather as a community to commemorate holidays, show off- skills, demonstrate talent (or lack of it!), enjoy food, dance, visit with neighbors, celebrate the harvest, play games, and just to have fun.
Woodshop show details
The Ranch woodshop is equipped with a band saw, chop saw, small power tools, work benches, and many hand tools for working with wood. All the wood we use is salvaged, recycled/reused, or milled using our own sawmill from dead and dying trees harvested from the Ranch property.
Campers can build anything, from small projects such as a toy boat or picture frame, to larger scale projects like benches, tables and shelves for use around the Ranch. The woodshop program teaches tool safety, along with the simple joy of creating beautiful and useful objects using a combination of practice, patience, and creativity.