Frequently Asked Questions
FAQs for Parents
Here are answers to many of the questions we are asked by parents:
What does your summer camp offer that makes it unique?
Our summer camp is more than just a traditional summer camp that has hundreds of kids per session. We are a boutique summer camp and we keep our sessions small so that each camper gets individualized attention. Attending camp here allows your child to be part of the Castle Rock Ranch family and small group sizes allow us to custom-tailor activities based on individual interests.
Our small camp size allows campers to get to know everyone here, in addition to experiencing and playing a vital role in a self-sufficient, ranch lifestyle. We create a positive place, full of potential for adventure and the opportunity to learn exciting new skills that will contribute to making your child more independent, self-sufficient, and better able to cope with new situations. We strive to create a safe but fun environment where kids can still be kids, but they also get the opportunity to work with their hands: learning to plant lettuce seeds to grow their own salad, learning to groom and saddle a horse on their own, and learning how to milk a goat. These are all easily attainable experiences at our camp, in addition to fishing, hiking, swimming and spending lots of time outside.
We are a girls-only camp at the moment, so campers can also benefit from a single-sex environment.
What are the ages of the kids that attend your camp?
Girls ages 8 – 15 attend our camp, and campers of all ages participate in each activity they express an interest in. The most common ages of our campers is 10 – 13.
What are your facilities like?
Our summer camp is located on a 100-acre ranch, with one mile of frontage on the Coeur D’Alene river. The ranch is made up of 50 acres of pasture, used rotationally for grazing cattle; it’s also used to grow hay throughout the summer. There is a ranch house, barn, storage building for haying equipment, and the camp bunkhouse, in addition to a large garden. Part of the property also includes the 40 acres of forested land immediately surrounding the ranch that includes a riding and hiking trail. Bordering the property are thousands of acres of pristine and rugged Panhandle National Forest that we have access to for hiking and trail riding.
What are the sleeping facilities like?
Campers stay in teepees with 2 – 6 girls per teepee, depending on teepee size. The counselors and directors stay in separate accommodations in the same area, just a few feet away. Each teepee has cots and sleeping pads for every camper, but it is necessary for each camper to bring her own sleeping bag and pillow.
What is the camp bunkhouse like?
The camp bunkhouse includes an indoor bathroom with hot shower, the camp kitchen, and an area for food prep, laundry, and some hang out space for different activities. There are also two outdoor toilets and an outdoor sink. Meals are served family style, outside on picnic tables.
Can girls come to camp if they’ve never been on a horse before?
Of course! We have a whole range of horse-enthusiasts at camp, from girls who have never ridden to girls who take lessons and ride every week. We start out as slow as necessary and in an enclosed area to make sure new riders are comfortable on and around horses.
Is your riding program interesting enough for an experienced horse person?
I’m an experienced horse-person and this is how I like to spend my days riding! We cater our riding activities to the skill level of the group and if we have a mix of beginners and advanced riders, we split into two groups so that everyone can have fun at the level they’re comfortable with. Advanced riders can participate in a variety of experiences unavailable anywhere else – driving our cows up the mountainside to graze; an all-day, 20-mile trail ride over back country; half-day lunch trail rides; working with a rescue horse; jumping over logs in the pasture; swimming the horses in the river; moving the cows from one end of the ranch to the other.
What is the food like at camp?
The food at the Castle Rock Ranch Camp is different from a lot of other camps or school settings. We avoid pre-packaged, frozen, or prepared foods and create meals from the abundance around us. This not only makes food that tastes better, but it also gives everyone a chance to be more involved with the preparation, from seed to fork. Campers can decide for themselves if raspberry jam tastes better when they harvested and washed the berries themselves, and then helped make the jam. All of the fruit and vegetables we eat comes from the garden that is just steps from the kitchen. We provide three hearty meals and a snack per day, with access to fruit at all three meals, and salad with both lunch and dinner.
Can you cater to specials diets (vegetarian, gluten intolerant, etc)?
Certainly! We’ve frequently had vegetarian, diabetic and gluten-free kids who all thrived at camp. It can be a fun experience for us to learn how to make good food that might be different from how we normally eat. Accommodating special dietary needs is no problem, but please be sure to let us know all the details in advance on the Medical Form required with the Registration Application. Please feel free to call Jordan with any additional concerns you may have regarding your child’s dietary needs: (504) 617-2436.
What if a camper needs regular medication?
Our staff members are CPR and First Aid certified and we make sure to take meticulous care of every medical situation, including managing daily medications. A Medical Permission Form is required to be completed for every child that comes to camp. If your child takes regular medication, please indicate the exact doses on the form. Also, please make sure that your child arrives at camp with all medications in the original packaging, with prescription, dosage, and doctor’s information on the label.
Can campers receive mail and packages at camp?
Snail mail is great! The drawback is that during a one-week session, there sometimes isn’t enough time to get regular mail to your camper in time. Feel free to email us with “Letter for _________” in the subject line. We will print it out and distribute to your campers. Kids are allowed to receive packages at camp, but we ask that no food be mailed, unless it is to be shared with the entire camp, or is part of special dietary needs and can be kept in the camp kitchen. Food in teepees can lead to bugs, (or an invasion from one of our free-range, nosy ranch dogs), or problems and feelings of exclusion for campers that haven’t received gifts in the mail.
Can campers bring personal electronics or cell phones?
Please don’t! Personal electronics are not allowed at camp. We strive to create a (mostly) technology free atmosphere. Cell phones don’t work in the area and are easily lost when not in use. Part of the camp experience is the chance for kids to get away from the devices and screens that are constantly around them in daily life, enabling them to establish a connection with the ranch, the people here, the animals and the environment surrounding them. If a cell phone is necessary for travel to/from the ranch, please let us know and we can hold it for your camper until needed again at the end of camp.
Can visitors come visit campers during their session?
We don’t encourage visitors during the middle of a session, but they are allowed for dropping off on the first Saturday of camp, and picking up on the last day of camp also Saturday). When visitors come during a session, it tends to be disruptive and can actually cause homesickness. Visitors are welcome during our drop off and pick up times on the first and last day of each session of camp.
Can I call the ranch for an update on how my child is doing?
Yes, you may call the ranch house for an update and to talk with staff members about how your child is doing.
What is the camper to counselor ratio?
The camper to counselor ratio is 2 to 1. This does not take into account the other adults present on the ranch on a daily basis: family, caretakers, and the ranch owner. Learn more about our vibrant, committed counselors on the Staff page.
Do you provide transportation to camp?
We provide free transportation from the Spokane airport. If a camper is flying, we provide transportation to and from the Spokane airport (http://www.spokaneairports.net/). A member of our staff will always be waiting to meet your child at their arrival gate wearing our Castle Rock Ranch Camp shirts. We wait for campers to board their flights when they are returning home. Flights arriving/departing in the noon -4pm range are the best for us, so that we don’t have to wake kids up at the crack of dawn to get to the airport onetime and get them to camp on the first day with time to unpack and get settled before dark.
We are a 45-minute drive from Coeur D’Alene, ID, an hour and a half from Spokane, WA, about a 6-hour drive from Seattle, and a 7 and a half hour drive from Portland, OR. Please visit our Location page for directions.
What are drop off and pick up times at the start and end of camp?
Sessions start on Sundays and end on Saturdays, with the exception of 1st session, our only one-week session, which starts and ends on a Saturday. Drop off on the first Saturday of camp is after 2pm and pick up on the last day of camp is before noon. Feel free to allow enough time to tour our ranch and meet the all animals and staff. Please respect the pick-up/drop off time windows (don’t drop off early on Sunday and pick up late on Saturday) as this is critical down-time/time off for our wonderful and hard-working staff who barely get any time off with no complaints!
Are there laundry services available?
We do kids’ laundry at least twice a week, at no additional charge. Please label your child’s clothes with both first and last names since all camper laundry is done together.
What do the camp tuition and fees cover?
The camp tuition includes everything your child will do at camp. The tuition covers room and board, instruction and materials for activities, laundry services, a camp t shirt, and ice cream on one day when we go to town. We do go into town for ice cream/change of pace usually once a week and you can send your camper with some spending money if you’d like, but no more than $20 (Wallace is a small historic mining town with about 1500 people. The only places for spending money is a few thrift stores and silver souvenir shops).
What is your cancellation policy?
If notice of cancellation is received prior to May 1st, your tuition will be refunded, minus the deposit. If cancellation occurs after May 1st, refunds or rebates cannot be made on tuition due to the fact that our programs are planned in advance based on confirmed camper reservations.
PLEASE DON’T HESITATE TO CONTACT JORDAN WITH ANY OTHER QUESTIONS:
cell phone: (504) 617-2436