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A program badge for Ranch Camp

Tucked away in our authentic Western Town, Ranch Camp offers a complete horsemanship experience through instruction, time in the saddle, and the responsibility of caring for a horse of one's own. Half the day is spent riding, feeding, grooming, and other equestrian activities. During the other half ranch campers take advantage of many typical Kitaki activities. Our well-trained, safety conscious wranglers provide riding instruction through exercises and fun games in our arena, as well as trail rides through Kitaki's beautiful forest. Experienced staff will instruct campers on the finer points of tack, safety, equine health, grooming, identifying breeds, and respect for the animal. For safety, all Ranch Campers must wear boots with a heel (1" or less).

Ranch Camp Highlights

Horse Friend

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Each camper will be assigned their own horse to ride and care for throughout the week.

Riding Technique

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Camper's will learn proper Western riding technique through games and activities in our arenas and on the trails.

Ranch Camp Community

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Campers are placed in a cabin group and a riding activity group within the small community of ranch camp.  

Ranch Camp Details


Ranch Campers will:

  • increase competency and confidence through equestrian activities.
  • develop a sense of unit cohesion and group identity.
  • be given opportunites to connect with campers from a wide range of ages.
  • gain an appreciation for the value of responsibility and hard work.

Ranch campers spend half of the day down at the barn taking part in riding lessons, caring for the horses, and learning groundwork skills like grooming and saddling. The other half of the day is spent participating in traditional summer camp activities like crafts, archery, and the pool.

Campers also take part in ranch-only activities like a cookout at Kitaki's lake and all-Ranch evening activities.

Horse Activities

Ranch campers get to spend lots of time around the horses of Kitaki. Riding every day, ranch campers spend time on the trails of camp, and they also practice riding technique in our two arenas. Arena lessons focus on riding skills and working with horses to do what you ask of them, when you ask it. Our wranglers provide tips and hints on better posture and control. While in the arena campers will practice skills, play games, and in the upper levels of ranch camp even practice small jumps.

Ranch campers also attend "Ground School" that provides, through games and activities, more information about horses, their biology, history, tack, and more. 

Ranch campers will need to work, as we want to provide the full experience of working with and owning horses. They will learn to groom and saddle, as well as scoop poop, clean the barn, and do other chores around the barn area.


Ranch camp is a small, tight-knit group. Campers stay in cabin groups based on age, but also travel to activities with a riding group based on their horsemanship experience, and opportunities to make new friends abound. Our energetic and knowledgeable ranch counselors are there to help make every experience even more memorable!

All Ranch Campers stay in Wolfe Canyon, our replica western town!

Ranch Camp Levels

Kitaki's ranch program offers a progression taking into account the camper's riding skills and experience, and presents new challenges based on personal growth and development. To ensure that each camper has a safe and quality experience, ranch campers must verify their skills in each level before moving on. Our ranch camp programs consist of:

  • Ranch Camp: Ranch Camp has three riding groups within it and most campers will spend at a few years learning skills at this level before needing to sign up for Advanced Ranch Camp.
  • Advanced Ranch Camp: Advanced ranch programming includes higher risk activities such as speed work in the arena and on trails, jumping, and riding bareback. Exceptions may be made at the Director's discretion for campers who have extensive experience consisting of:
    • Riding at a minimum once a week for a period longer than a year in riding lessons and demonstrated the ability to ride at walk, trot, and canter while maintaining control of horse.
    • OR: Riding at a minimum once a week for a period longer than six months under guidance of competent adult and demonstrated the ability to ride at walk, trot, and canter while maintaining control of horse. AND ridden in shows and received ribbons showing ability in horsemanship, equitation, reining, jumping, or dressage.
  • Challenge Ranch Camp: Prior to enrollment in Challenge Ranch Camp campers must show their skills in our Advanced Ranch Camp. Due to the high level or risk associated with the skills needed to participate at this level, exceptions will not be made into the Challenge Ranch program.

Because safety is our #1 priority, Camp Kitaki reserves the right to move a camper down in program level should staff determine that a skill, maturity, or competency has not been demonstrated in order to safely participate.