Captain Paul H. Wells

Owner

“The purpose of Circle F Dude Ranch Camp is to provide a unique, natural atmosphere in a ranch setting that fosters the emotional, physical and social growth of an individual. “

Paul has owned Circle F Dude Ranch Camp LLC from 2000-Present.  He acquired Circle F from the original owners who started the camp in 1952. Paul is responsible for the overall operation of the 252-bed camp. The 500-acre dude ranch and summer camp is located in Central Florida.

Paul Wells is also Chairman and Founder of Ocean Renewable Power Company, LLC.
Captain Wells has more than forty years of experience in the shipping, shipbuilding, cruise ship operation, including all technical aspects, ship consulting and recreation industries.

Ben Moss

Camp Director

Ben joined Circle F Dude Ranch Camp two years ago as the Camp Director.   Since that time he has worked hard to grow and continue the Circle F tradition and mission of a camp environment where every camper and staff member feels cared for and welcomed at all times.    With over 15 years of summer camp, outdoor education, and youth development experience Ben is constantly looking for ways to improve the campers experience and expand the camp program.  Ben’s love for outdoor education helped to spark the creation of the Circle F Dude Ranch Camp Outdoor Education Center.  Ben holds a Bachelors  Degree in Speech Communications and has worked as a National Registered Paramedic in his hometown of St. Louis, MO.

Kris Canchon

Assistant Camp Director

Kris joined the Circle F Dude Ranch Camp nine years ago.   During that time He has worked his way up from a cabin counselor role in the  wranglers and pioneers divisions , to head of general sports,  to three years ago becoming the Assistant Director of camp.   Kris plays integral part in camp’s outdoor education, spring break, and group weekends programs.   His philosophy is to give each camper individual attention in order to help them grow emotionally and with a sense of confidence in life.    Kris is fluent in Spanish and is in the process of learning French.  Kris holds a bachelors degree in business administration with a concentration in Marketing.

Sheila d

Camp Content Strategist/Photographer

Sheila d is the camp content strategist /photographer working closely with Paul and Ben to create and bring updated Social Media and creative ideas to the ranch. Sheila has been involved with art and education for over thirty-five years. Her MAF in Fine Art Photography has helped create the digital photography studio at Circle F Summer Camp and brought a new level of art to our summer program.

Anthony Parker

Internet Consultant

Anthony is a specialist at   “word optimization” for the world wide web. He is in charge of updating our website, and  Social Media  so that all of the Circle F Dude Ranch Camp extended family and friends can find us easily whenever they  need information on the latest upcoming events at the ranch.
Originally from the United Kingdom, Anthony now works and lives in Miami, Florida. He has been involved in on-line information for many years and like Paul (the Ranch owner)  he originally was in the cruise ship industry. Anthony stated how excited he is to be a part of  the Circle F Dude Ranch team.

Department Heads

Aya Ortega - Head Counselor of Upper Girls – As a past Circle F Dude Ranch camper and counselor, Aya is excited to take on the role of girls Head Counselor this summer. Aya joins us from Bogota, Colombia where she is studying economics at the University of De Los Andes.

Chris Moon – Head Counselor of Upper Boys – The familiar face of Chris Moon is returning to camp this summer as boys Head Counselor for the summer. Chris has spent four summers at Circle F Dude ranch camp and has worked his way up from cabin counselor to most recently the Head of Rock Wall. During the school year Chris works as a behavior specialist at a local children’s academy.

Jon Buck – Head Counselor of Lower Boys – With over four years’ experience in the camping industry Jon is ready to join the Circle F Team as a boy’s head counselor. Jon just completed his master’s degree in Entrepreneurship at University of Florida this spring.

Aaron MedinaDepartment Head of Water Front – Aaron has experience working as head lifeguard at both camps and pools. Aaron has achieved his lifeguard Instructor certification in this last year and looks forward to training both the Circle F Dude Ranch camp staff, but also our pioneer campers in lifeguarding. Aaron has graduated with his bachelors from Trinity College.

Christopher GriffithsDepartment Head of Photography – Christopher has spent the last two years of his college career studying photography and is excited to bring his experiences to our photography program. Christopher is joining us from the United Kingdom where he is pursuing a degree in Graphic Design, Photography, and Fine arts from Neath Port Talbot College.

Gil O’BrienDepartment Head of General Sports - Gil returns to Circle F Dude Ranch camp this summer after taking several years off to pursue other interests. Returning to his position as Head of General Sports Gil is excited to be back at camp for the summer. Gil spends his winters working as a snowboard instructor and is pursuing a degree in Film at the Colorado Film School.

Tierney WhalenDepartment Head of Riding - Tierney Whalen returns to camp this summer as the Head of Riding. She has formally been a cabin counselor and riding counselor. She is looking forward to the challenge of being the head of riding this summer. Tierney currently works at sawhorse Farm and looks forward to pursuing her dream of being a large animal veterinarian this fall. She has graduated from University of Florida with her bachelors in Animal Biology

Cody LennonDepartment Head of Rockwall/Alpine - Cody has spent his last two summers working as a climbing instructor at our Rockwall department. He is looking forward to stepping into the challenge of being the Department head and our new Alpine Tower. He is currently pursuing a degree in history at the University of Florida.

Maria MagnusDepartment Head of Arts and Crafts - Maria has had a love of art since she was a child. She has been on a constant journey since then of learning, trying and teaching different mediums of art. She is in her senior year at Boise State University in Idaho pursuing a degree in communications.

Chandler Ball - Department Head of Skate Park  - After many years as a camper and spending last year as a jr. counselor we are excited to see Chandler move into not only a full counselor role but as head of the Skate park. Chandler has a passion for skating which shows every time he is out at the skate park. He is currently pursuing a bachelors in psychology at University of West Florida.

Scott PorterDepartment Head of Camp Craft -  Scott is returning to camp for his second summer. After spending last summer as a wilderness staff counselor he is ready to put his own twist on Circle F Dude Ranch Camps wilderness and camp craft program. Scott joins us from Newberg, Oregon where he has been working with at risk youth.


Parent Handbook

Circle F Dude Ranch Camp has worked hard to assemble all of the questions and answers that parents ask us about our Summer camp program and place them in one location.   That is our camp handbook.   Our goal is to make preparation and experiencing summer camp as easy as possible.    Please download a copy of our handbook to discover more about our camp and its policies.    We believe that this handbook will help you and your camper have an amazing summer.

Download Parent Handbook

R

Respect


Everyone and everything deserves respect and will be treated with respect, no matter who they are, or who they become, or who they might want to become.

I

Inspire


Everyone will be inspired to work hard to achieve their goals and dreams both during summer camp and beyond because they are surrounded by people that whole heartily support and believe in them.

P

Play


Everyone plays with a purpose and remembers sometimes the best skills in life are learned when we just go out and have fun with each other.

P

Positive Thinking


Everyone will use positive words to describe themselves and others. Through positive thought we overcome many obstacles that are placed in our way.

L

Leadership


We believe every camper has the ability to be a leader and to understand that leadership comes in many forms. True leaders understand it is about working hard, living up to responsibilities, and not just leading from the front but understanding the needs of their whole team.

E

Engage


Everyone must reach out and try new things to grow. We can only do this when we engage in the world around us and take an active part and no longer live life as a bystander.


FAQ

If you have questions that are not answered here, please contact us at 863-676-4113.

1.Opening Day

As you may have noticed, there are many important forms that must be completed and collected prior to your arrival at camp.   New and Returning families please note that we must have the Camper Health Care packet completed and sent to camp TWO WEEKS prior to arrival (it is impossible to fill this form out onsite).   Without it your camper will not be accepted to camp. Please note that families who have an unpaid balance and/or forms that have not been completed prior to their arrival at registration may face wait times of up to 1 hour plus due to the fact that of our sessions traditionally sellout.   We highly encourage you to complete all forms and payments in the comfort of your own home. Circle F Dude Ranch Camp Directors and representatives will be available throughout your whole registration process to assist and guide you in the proper direction and address any questions or concerns

 Opening Days are Sunday and begin at 9:30 AM (doors will not open before 9:30 AM) in the Round Up. Upon arrival you will be directed to the proper station based on your completed paper work and/or you current balance.

 

The three registration stations upon your arrival are.

  • • Station 1 Check-in and Form Review – If all forms are complete then you will be cleared to proceed to the next appropriate station.   If any forms have not been complete your family will be asked to complete them before retuning back to the line.
  • • Station 2 Finance Station – Your family will have to stop here if there’s an unpaid balance, you would like to add optional items,   or if leaving spending money for excursions or pizza.  If you balance is settled and you have no additions or adding spending money you can proceed past this station.
  • • Station 3 Health Screen Station – Every family must stop at this station to have their medications checked-in, receive their pre-camp health screen, and review of their camper healthcare packet with parent or legal guardian.  Your health care packet being turned in prior to the start of your session will help us to expedite this process
  • Once your camper’s health screen is completed you will be greeted by one of your camper’s cabin counselors who will escort you and your camper to their cabin.   This is an excellent opportunity to relay your expectations or concerns for your camper’s summer experience to your child’s cabin counselor.
  • At the cabin you will, most likely, have an opportunity to meet your camper’s bunkmates.   Bunks are assigned on a first come first serve basis.   Please keep this in mind when planning what time to attend registration. Please note you will not be allowed in your cabin until you have completed the registration process.
  • After you have had the opportunity to settle your camper in you and your family are welcome to explore the camp.  Maps  are available at registration and we encourage you to get acquainted with Circle F Dude Ranch.   Summer Camp officially starts at 12:25 PM so we ask that you conclude your visit and exit camp by then.
2.Closing day
  • Closing Days are held on Saturday for sessions one, two, and three and on Tuesday for session four.   The camp gate will officially be opened at 8:30 AM for camper pickup.   If you need to arrange and earlier pick up time  please contact the Camp Main Office at 863-676-4113
  • Campers that participate in the riding program will more than likely be part of the Circle F Dude Ranch Camp Rodeo that is held on the closing day of each session (except session four). The Rodeo start promptly at 10:00 AM in the Circle F Arena located near the front gate.  Bench seating is provided and families are encouraged to bring their cameras.  If you are unsure if your camper will be in the Rodeo feel free to contact the Camp office.  Attendance of the Rodeo is not mandatory for families to attend but is highly encouraged since campers work hard all summer so that they can demonstrate their skills in the program and look forward to their families watching.
  • Circle F Dude Ranch must ensure that every camper leaves with the family member listed on their registration form.  If you would like your camper to be picked up by someone other than yourself please submit a written request to the Camp office two weeks prior to pick up.  All families will need to officially check-out in the camp office this year where they will receive a gate pass to exit the Ranch.
  • Campers will be able to pick up the following items upon checkout in the office.
  • Their bunk and horse photo (if horse photo is taken)
  • Any unused medications
  • Lost and found
  • Arts & crafts or other projects from their session
  • Older campers may collect their cell phones
  • All campers are required to be picked up no later than 12:00 Noon on closing day so that we can prepare for our next session.
3.How do I get my child ready for the camp experience?

BE POSITIVE! The experience begins at home with you. Let your child know how excited you are for them and their new experience. Help your child understand the time period that they will be at camp. Do not tell your child that they may come home if they don’t like it. If you do, you are instilling the idea that commitments can be broken and you take away commitment on your part and on the camper’s part, as well. We know you want to your child to succeed in whatever they try. Your child should be ready and willing to accept his or her complete stay at camp with trust, a willingness to change, grow and to become more independent.

4.How do I deal with my child missing home?

Yes, some children do experience missing home and it is perfectly normal. You have been their wonderful providers and it is all new and different. We are very in tune with watching for and caring for those who experience missing home. We acknowledge their feelings and are sympathetic but we do not encourage it. Helping your child to adjust is a team effort at Circle F. It has been our experience that campers want to tell their parents much more about the difficult aspects of their new camp life rather than their new friends and adventures. Please realize that to campers you are their confidant, which is a wonderful thing. Your child wants someone to know how hard it all is. To us, they want to appear brave and may not confide any negative feelings, again perfectly normal. They cannot see their own growth but we can and are always willing to share with you. Last but not least, they truly miss you and worry that you are not okay without them. It is so important in your correspondence with your child to stay positive in your conversation. Please don’t tell them that “the dog can’t sleep”, “the cat cries all day” or you are “so sad without them”. I can tell you that the only children that have gone home because of missing home were because they were not encouraged to adjust. Please let your child grow and spread their wings. What a blessing for them to realize that they can complete something that may not be easy for them. Please trust that we are caring for and nurturing your child through this adjustment and will not let them be miserable. We want your child to have the most exciting and memorable experience possible.

5.How does laundry work at camp?

Each camper is provided with wash, dry and fold service once in the first week of camp and then twice a week every week thereafter. Clothing must be WELL MARKED to prevent possible mix up or loss. Campers are provided a take-home laundry bag for their use at camp and one to bring their laundry home in. Lost or missing clothing is not the responsibility of circle F. We will make every effort to find and notify you of any lost or missing clothing.

6.What is the all camp trip?

This year in sessions one, two, and three the whole camp will take a trip to an area attraction. Campers under the age of ten will be traveling to LEGOLAND. Campers over the age of ten will go to an area waterpark such as Typhoon Lagoon, Aquatica, or Blizzard Beach. 

7.Is it possible to have my camper picked up/dropped off at the airport?

Parents/ legal guardians of campers who require transportation to/from the Orlando airport must notify the camp office of the specific details. There is a charge of $100.00 per camper per trip for this service. Please have your camper arrive and/or depart from the airport in the late morning/early afternoon when possible. Written confirmation of flights must be provided.

8.What is the climate like at Camp?

Our climate is rather ideal for camping. Regular summer clothing is adequate. Our days are warm but pleasant and the nights are mild. Cabins and public buildings are outfitted with air conditioning.

9.Are there any special activities or trips that my camper will need money for?

Each session camp takes an optional trip to a local major amusement park. The cost for the trip which included transportation, tickets, and meals at the part is $140.00 which can be paid at any time by calling the camp office.

Session One – Islands of Adventure
Session Two – Universal Studios 
Session Three – Busch Gardens 
Session Four – Magic Kingdom 

Paintball is held three times per week for two periods (about 2 ½ hours each day). The charge for this is $65.00 per week. We supply all guns (Specially designed not to fire at full speed), balls, and safety equipment. Campers my not bring their own equipment and must be 10 years of age. Some families like to leave spending money in a camper account with the camp office for souvenirs or extra food and drink on excursions. Older campers often to like to order pizza for a late night snack at camp. It is not mandatory to leave money for this purpose and should be discussed with your camper and their counselor to determine need. Any money left for a camper is collect at registration and will be distributed by the camp per your instructions. In the case of excursions, the money is given to the camper the morning of the trip. For the younger campers, you may want their counselor to hold the money for them.