A loud thunderous cheer comes from the crowd as one of our Circle F girls rounds the 3rd barrel in her run of the Terrible T — one of the many events that take place during the Circle F Dude Ranch summer camp rodeo. She is determined and in complete control. Her timing and movements are so precise; it’s as if she was one with her horse.
This wasn’t her first rodeo. Parents, spectators, and other campers could tell she had worked hard to make this summer camp horseback riding event something special. At Circle F, staff and campers believe our history and traditions are worth carrying forward into the future. Going back to 1952 when we opened our doors to boys and girls, our summer camp was rooted in classic dude ranch values — hard work, practice, perseverance, courage, and grit.
Our horse program is competitive, but kids are still fiercely supportive of fellow riders, constantly pushing each other to be better. As a result of their supportive nature, they connect because they are going through new adventures and challenges together. These connections might be one of the best parts of a sleep-away camp experience.
Girls and boys get tremendous support from our experienced and passionate camp counselors and equestrian riding staff. College-aged riders from around the world can’t wait to come together at Circle F to teach horseback riding. Many have been campers themselves and experienced those same rodeo moments. They are now finding themselves giving back and passing that torch on. They tell us, “This is the best summer camp ranch job ever!”
In a world where kids are used to getting rewarded for not trying hard, Circle F gives children the opportunity to win a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place ribbon. The Circle F Rodeo is about those moments where boys and girls who have worked their hardest experience the excitement and honor of being chosen as Flag Team Captain, being selected for the elite Circle F Drill Team, or the highest honor — becoming the Drill Team Captain.
The greatest of these moments for our staff, though, is when campers hop off their horses and run over to their family, counselors, and cabin mates, and are showered with praise because of their hard work, dedication, and grit.
Our summer camp is a one-of-a-kind adventure. We grow healthy kids here! We believe the authentic experiences offered by our dude ranch make the lifelong memories that develop the character kids need.