Programs

Freedom is the watchword during Program time on the Ranch, when campers are free to decide where they want to go and what they want to do.

Every morning after breakfast a wide variety of activities are opened, staffed and run by skilled counselors who bring equal parts enthusiasm and expertise to their program areas. There really is something for everyone here, from horsemanship, ceramics, ropes course, and animal care to archery, drama, cooking, and photography, and those are just a few of the choices.

Click on the program names 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 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.

Backpacking show details

Each session offers a variety of backpacking trips, from overnights to multi-day trips into the near-by Trinity Alps. The range of destinations offers campers the option of choosing an out-trip that matches their skills and hiking endurance. Trips to the Trinity Alps are open to campers 12 and up.

Our backpacking program is designed to give campers an opportunity to test themselves physically, while exploring the rugged and beautiful mountains that surround the Ranch. Physical challenge, small group size, and strong leadership combine to create an experience where the bonds of friendship form easily. The sense of shared accomplishment gives campers a hands-on awareness of the innate satisfaction that comes with effective teamwork.

At Camp Trinity, we hire experienced staff specifically to plan and lead these challenging multi-day adventures. Trips are carefully planned with a detailed itinerary. The Out-Trip Room is stocked with equipment and supplies for backcountry cooking, water filtration, and emergency communications. For recommendations on what equipment campers need for backpacking trips, please see our packing and equipment list.

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 Camp Trinity is dance night. Starting with the Hokey Pokey, you can learn “that’s what it’s all about”. Then, we’ll teach you square dances, line dances, folk dances, and even a few original dances invented right here.

Our Saturday night dance follows the long tradition of grand country dances; a gathering of the whole community to enjoy the companionship of friends, the pleasure that accompanies good music, and the kick-up-your-heels delight that comes with that great combination.

Saturday night dances are for everyone. We take the time to teach all the moves and steps you need to be ‘allemande-lefting’ to Oh Johnny, or flapping the’ funky chicken’ during the Hyampom Hustle. Many Old-Timers have written stories of life 10 years ago here in our little town of Hyampom in which they recall the community dances they attended as some of the happiest memories from their young lives. We hear the same type of recollections from old-time campers who remember the Saturday night dance as just a plain old great time.

Drama show details

Write your own skit, play improve games, or hunt through the Costume Shop to invent your latest character. Our counseling staff will help campers tap their thespian ambitions. With Staff guidance, campers can plan skits, plays or entertainment for Special Events such as the 4th of July or Horse Show.

Each session includes an "Untalent Show" at Camp Trinity. As the name implies, all acts are welcome--no talent required--so anyone and everyone can participate.

Farm Animals show details

Our 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.

The Small Animal barn is home to chickens, turkeys, rabbits, goats, pigs, and more. Every morning before breakfast, campers can join our staff to feed the animals, help with milk the cow and goats, slop the pigs or collect eggs. The Small Animals barn is open during program time for campers to visit. They can hold a chicken, sit with the rabbits, or help clean a pen. Interested campers can adopt an animal for the session, taking some responsibility for the care and feeding of that animal while they are at Camp.

Our program allows interested campers to have a hands-on experience of caring for farm animals. We emphasize that keeping animals requires responsibility, work, and respect for the life in your charge. Raising and caring for animals connects us to the cycles of life on the Ranch, and gives campers 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.

Fishing show details

Two ponds on the Ranch provide campers the opportunity to try their hand at fishing for bass or Rainbow Trout

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.

Hiking and Overnights show details

With miles of trails, and many beautiful destinations accessible only on foot, we hike a lot at Camp Trinity. Campers hike to the river and back almost every day to swim.

Every Tuesday night is Overnight Night. In groups of 10-15 people, campers and staff hike from Main Camp to one of the many great camping spots on or near the Ranch. Meals are cooked over a campfire and everyone sleeps out under the stars.

Camping away from Main Camp fosters friendships and encourages social connections as campers experience physical challenges and the often unfamiliar rigors of outdoor life without their usual peer group. Overnights are a time for great adventures, whether exploring new country, hiking to the top of Gates Mountain, or just sleeping under a sky full of stars.

Horsemanship show details

Our Horsemanship program includes trail rides, lessons, jumping and vaulting, horse overnights and pack trips. Our 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 campers in our horsemanship program.

During Camp, we group riders based on their experience, skill, and comfort level while on horseback. Each riding group is scheduled 2-3 times a week. Campers who want to ride more often can come to the barn to be on hand for openings in lessons or trail rides. Overnights and pack trips are open to all campers, but participating campers must posses the necessary skills and experience as evaluated by our Horsemanship Staff.

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 generations to ancestors that, back in the early days of Camp, pulled wagons or packed supplies to the far corners of

the Ranch. Today, we continue to breed and raise most of the horses we use in our riding program. Raising our own horses gives them the chance to work with and observe them over a long period of time before deciding if the will be suitable for our camp Program.

All horses raised on the Ranch spend time with an experienced trainer, and are then ridden by Staff until we feel they are ready to become a regular part of our herd. Many of our horses spend they off-season (September-June) at the UC Davis Equestrian Center where they are used to teach beginning Western lessons.

Music and Singing 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.

Nature Study show details

The Curiosity Shop at the Bar 717 Ranch is our natural history resource room. Here we have terrariums to temporarily house critters and reference books to help identify what those critters may be. In the Curiosity Shop campers may also find animal skeletons, pressed plants, rocks, and pretty much any other cool item that lives or grows around the Ranch.

The Bar 717 Ranch is located within the Klamath Bioregion, home to a huge variety of plants and animals. We see Columbia Blacktail deer, foxes and coyotes, Douglas Gray squirrels, Stallers Jays California Quail, crayfish and Rainbow Trout. If you are lucky, you might catch a glimpse of a Black Bear or a Bald Eagle.

Many other rare species have also been seen around the Ranch, including: northern spotted owl, red tailed hawk, osprey, goshawk, golden eagle, ruffed grouse, Pacific fisher, mountain lion, American Trinity bristle snail, red-legged frog, and Chinook salmon.

Photography show details

The Camp Trinity darkroom is fully equipped for developing and printing black and white film. We supply bulk film and paper. Campers can use in their own cameras, or one of ours.

Photographs document life at Camp, capturing memories of places visited, friends made, and adventures shared. Each summer, in a tradition going back to the 1930’s, we assemble photos from the summer into a slide show and an album to share with future generations of campers. These albums, and the photographs they contain, are a great trove of memories, ideas, and history that highlight all the ways in which Camp Trinity has changed (and stayed the same) over so many years.

Homesteading and Ranch Projects show details

There is always work to be done around the Ranch. From splitting firewood, to fixing fences, to stacking hay, interested campers can always join in the work that makes the Ranch go.

Building something, making something with your hands, leaving something that will be used for years by others, this ‘work’ creates a singular feeling of accomplishment and connection to the people you work with, and the place you live. We want everyone to feel the unique sense of satisfaction that comes from contributing physical effort to an activity that benefits the whole community.

Much of what exists here on the Ranch (barns, platforms, trails, riding rings) has been built over the years with the help of generations of campers. This collective effort over almost eight decades has helped to make the Ranch a great place for kids. As we work we ‘add ourselves’ to the Ranch, gaining satisfaction and pride of ownership that transforms this from’ the Ranch’ to ‘your Ranch’. Work is what makes a ‘home’ out of a homestead.

Riflery show details

A new Camp rifle range allows campers the opportunity to develop their marksmanship skills under the supervision of an experienced Range Instructor. All campers interested in participating in Riflery must attend a rifle safety session prior to going to the range. Once at the range, campers can shoot .22 caliber rifles at a variety of paper targets.

River Swimming show details

Beautiful Hayfork Creek flows through the Ranch, a short walk down the hill from Main Camp. Campers spend most afternoons at the Swim Hole, relaxing on the beach, floating in an inner tube, or jumping off the jumping board. The cool green waters of Hayfork creek are the perfect place to spend summer afternoons.

Up and down the river campers can enjoy many great other great spots: Girls Camp with its wide sandy beach, Below Mays with its legendary jumping rock, and the great campsite at Diamond Back Beach. Campers can also join ‘Riverwalks’, donning tennis shoes and exploring the many creeks that flow through the Ranch.

All Camp Trinity counselors hold current Red Cross Lifeguard Certification. Lifeguards are always on duty whenever campers are swimming.

Ropes Course (Overview) 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.

Ropes Course (High Elements) show details

The Pole
The participant is dressed in a parachute harness and hooked into three safety lines called ‘belays’. They then climb a pole, 35 feet high. From the ground, they climb a ladder for the first 16 feet, then rungs to the top of the tree. When they reach the top, they transition onto a round platform, 1 foot in diameter. If the person is able to stand on the platform, they turn 180 degrees and face a trapeze, which is adjusted, seemingly out of reach. They jump for the trapeze and if they are successful at catching the bar, they let go and are immediately caught by their safety lines and are lowered to the ground. Not catching the trapeze saves the last step and supports the premise that “winning” is a process that requires a person to utilize all available resources (oneself, as well as the energy and support of teammates, peers, co-workers.). This event allows a participant to challenge perceptions of limitations, and realize the union between support and inspiration.

The High Vee
This event is done in pairs. The participants are paired up, then geared up in parachute harnesses and safety lines (2 lines per participant). Together, they then ascend a tree, climbing 35 feet to cables called “V’s”. They’re nicknamed “V’s” because the cables start at the tree they have just climbed and go out to two other trees thus forming a giant V-shape. The participants walk out on the lines holding each other as they get further and further apart. In other words they rely on each other for balance and support, as they get further out on the lines. They eventually fall toward the wide end of the V’s and are lowered by their safety lines. This event reveals the power of teamwork and partnership, effective communication, and commitment (you cannot get very far out on the V unless you are talking with your partner, leaning in on each other, and trusting your partner for support.

The Flying Squirrel
The Flying Squirrel consists of two ropes suspended through pulleys which are attached to a cable strung between two trees 35’ above the ground. A participant is clipped to the ropes and then is lifted aloft as the two teams of belayers walks or runs in unison for a designated distance. The participant can start their flight by standing still, or by running down slope parallel to the belay teams. For the participant, the sensation is that of being able to fly—a ‘Peter Pan’ moment.

The Zip Line
The Zip line consists of two parallel independent cables attached above the platform and anchored at a lower elevation to another large tree located 500 feet across the meadow. Participants are clipped into a trolley that rides on the cables. They jump from the Platform and ride down the Zip line, accelerating until they reach the low point in the cable, and then decelerating as the cable ascends toward the far tree. Participants are unclipped from the Zip line by a facilitator who reaches them via a ladder after they come to a stop in the field. Together they descend back to earth.

The Platform
The Platform is a wooden structure constructed 45 feet in the air between two trees. There are three events that utilize The Platform: the Zip line, the Edge, and the Rappel. The Platform is also one end of the Burma Bridge. Participants can reach the platform either by climbing the tree via staples, or by climbing to the far end of the Burma Bridge and then crossing over to the Platform. On climbing either route, participants are fitted into parachute harnesses and then are on belay from two independent ropes, each with two belayers. Once on the platform, participants are clipped into overhead safety lines via daisy chains.

The Rappel
The Rappel consists of an anchor point above the Platform that allows properly harnessed participants to rappel back to the ground. The event is constructed in such a way that as participants begin their decent, they are leaning back with their feet in contact with the tree. As they descend, the natural lean of he tree carries them away from the trunk so that the last half of the descent is in mid air.

The Edge
The Edge is the simplest, but one of the most powerful events on the Ropes Course. Participants ascend to the platform and then are clipped via a daisy chain from their harness to an anchor point slightly above and behind them. They then approach the edge of the platform and place their feet so that their toes are extended beyond the lip. At this point, the participant leans forward passing their balance point while the facilitator controls the speed of their lean until they reach the end of the daisy chain. From there they are suspended with a panoramic view of the mountains and the meadow.

Burma Bridge
The Burma Bridge is made up of three lines beginning aloft 35’ in one tree, extending parallel to another tree at the same height 50’ away. One line is at foot level and is strung like a tight rope between the beginning and end points. The other two lines are at shoulder height and are stung about 1 foot wider then shoulders width. The participant crosses the tight rope bridge using the two shoulder height lines for balance. During the crossing, participants are clipped into two pulleys that ride on cables stung above the shoulder height lines. The Burma Bridge is wobbly, bouncy, and flexible. Successfully traversing the Bridge requires balance, patience, and a willingness to step out into the unknown.

Ropes Course (Low Elements) show details

The Wall
The wall is a vertical structure 14 feet high with a flat surface devoid of hand or foot holds. The back of the wall consists of a platform 3 feet below the top of the Wall from which participants who have made it up the Wall can assist those still on the ground. Once 6 people have made it up and over then the first person up descends via a ladder in back to be replaced assisting others by the next person up. Participants work as a team to get all the members of the group over the wall. No other props are used. At the start, the entire group is on the ground in front of the wall. As participants successfully ascend, lifted and pulled up by their team, the group on the ground diminishes until they have all been up and over. Anyone not climbing the Wall acts as a ‘spotter’ and cannot assist in any other way to help the remaining people. Team dynamics are paramount during this event. It provides an opportunity for both the individual and the team to notice strengths and weaknesses within the team.

The Low Vee
Similar to the High Vee, except the lines are only 4 feet above the ground. On the Low Vee 2 participants stand facing in on separate tight ropes while leaning towards their partner with their hands on each other’s shoulders. As the participants begin to step out on their individual wires they must lean further on each other for stability and support. Eventually their wires get so far apart that the pair falls into the arms of the spotters. The objective is to go as far as possible. The purpose is to point out areas of trust and distrust, and for the group to realize the power of support and commitment.

The Beam
The Low Beam consists of a small diameter (8”-10”) pole, 20’ long, blocked a few inches above the ground. Participants use the Low Beam to practice balance and teamwork through initiatives designed to challenge their physical and organizational skills

Silk Screening show details

In the Silkscreen Shop, 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 campers in need of an extra for silk screening or tie dying.

Special Events show details

Every session contains a number of Special Events. These include:

A 4th of July celebration,
The Community Bar-B-Q,
The Harvest Festival,
Untalent Shows,
Horse Shows
Taffy pulls
International dinners
All-Ranch dinners
And more…

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.

Special events are designed to give campers opportunities to participate in planning, organizing, and carrying out activities that involve the whole camp. They can be designers, stagehands, MC’s, hosts, cooks, performers, and participants.

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.