Ranch Camp is a horse lover’s paradise! Campers learn horsemanship, basic riding skills, and safety practices, while having loads of fun! Campers are housed near the horses in open-air cabins, with staff housed in nearby cabins. Our Ranch site is located at the top of Camp Namanu, about a 30-minute hike from main camp. With their own smaller facility, Ranch Campers will live, ride, and enjoy activities in a unique, equine-focused community. While most Ranch activities take place in this space away from the hustle and bustle of main camp, Ranch Campers are free to participate in some main Camp Namanu activities including fabric weaving, swimming, rock climbing on the tower, high and low ropes courses, and camp fires.
Ranch Campers can expect to ride both in the arena and on beautiful wooded trails, and have both mounted and unmounted (Horse 411) activity blocks most days. All Ranch Campers learn/review equestrian basics, including grooming, saddling and bridling, how to care for tack, and horse care, feeding, and mucking. They learn how horses think, how they see and hear, and how to read a horse’s mood (Horse Psychology 101). Campers will learn basics under saddle including safely mounting/dismounting, correct seat, leg and hand positions, balance, steering, turning, stopping, and upward/downward transitions of gait. They learn parts of the horse, and breeds. Campers will participate in exercises and games structured to be both fun and skill building at the same time. Ranch sessions are “co-ed”, and we have cabin space to accommodate any ratio.
Ranch A: Ranch A is offered during the extended session (7/14-7/24) and is designed to accommodate Campers who are in 8th-12th grades, have attended at least one Ranch Camp at Namanu (or another riding camp), have taken at least a dozen or more professional riding lessons or ride their own horse regularly. Ranch A expects a Camper who can groom, saddle, and bridle a horse independently (with little to no assistance from staff beyond a quick reminder) and demonstrates an ability to do more complex exercises/games at the trot (involving precise steering and changes of speed) and are (or might be) ready to canter. Campers meeting these criteria will be given preference in registering for this session. In addition, we often bring special guests who demonstrate/teach unique skills, such as vaulting (gymnastics on horseback), Western arts (roping, cutting, or reining), natural horsemanship, or a field trip to a competitive riding event. These activities are different each summer and vary depending on timing/availability.
Ranch B: Ranch B is our standard one-week session designed for Campers in 7th-12th grades, and for all riding levels. Ranch B is offered Sessions 1, 2, 5, and 6. Campers will be evaluated as to experience and comfort working around and riding horses, and be matched with a horse and riding group that best accommodates their skills and confidence. This session is designed for riders who are developing equestrian skills (some for the first time, and also for those who primarily ride at Ranch Camp each summer) and it is rare for our Campers to canter (fastest gait) during their stay unless they demonstrate solid control of the horse and the “seat security” to do so safely.
Ranch C: Ranch C is offered as a half session during Session 7 (8/11-8/14 or 8/14-8/17). It is designed to accommodate Campers who are in 5th-7th grades, who are at least 4 feet 8 inches tall, who are maybe just exploring the notion of riding these majestic animals, and haven’t had much exposure to horses before. With this shorter session activities move at a pace that works well for very beginning riders, and/or those who may feel a little uncertain. This can be a great starting point for Campers who want to check out Ranch Camp for a few days before participating for a full week.
Camp Namanu is proud to provide financial assistance to youth each summer. Scholarships are provided through generous donations from individuals, organizations, and partners.
Please register for your first choice of sessions and pay a required deposit before submitting applications for financial assistance.
Questions: Contact Registrar@campfirecolumbia.org or call (971) 340-1608 or (971) 340-1607.
Namanu alum and mom to Kasen
Kasen, attended Mini Blue Wing for his first time at the age of 6 though his first visit was to family camp in 2009 when he was 9 days old. Since then he has returned for Family Camp every year it has been offered and many service weekends, initially hanging out in Raker doing arts and crafts, and now eagerly wanting to go on hikes and write letters to Mr Skriggleboggle.