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 500-acre, 252-bed dude ranch and summer camp, 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, and cruise ship operation including all technical aspects of ship consulting and recreation industries.

Ben Moss

Camp Director

Ben joined Circle F Dude Ranch Camp the summer of 2011 as the Camp Director. Since that time he has worked hard to grow the mission of a camp while staying true to our camp tradition. He works hard to create an environment where every camper and staff member feels cared for and welcomed at all times. With over 19 years of summer camp, outdoor education, and youth development experience, Ben is constantly looking for ways to improve the camp experience and expand our 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 bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois University in speech communications and has worked as a National Registered Paramedic in his hometown of St. Louis, MO. Ben is married to the camp veterinarian Dr. Katie Hennessy and the both recently welcomed their first daughter and future camper Amelia Hennessy-Moss to the world.

Kris Canchon

Assistant Camp Director

Kris joined the Circle F Dude Ranch Camp in 2005 during that time, he has worked his way up from a cabin counselor in the Wranglers and Pioneers divisions, to head of general sports, to his current position as Assistant Director of the Camp. Kris plays an integral part in Camp’s outdoor education, spring break, and group weekend 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 bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing.

Shelby Wilson

Program Director

Shelby joined the Circle F team in 2014 as the Program Director. She has worked in camping since 2004 and is passionate about experiential education, high ropes, and the arts department. Since Shelby grew up attending camp each summer, she knows first-hand how a camp experience provides the opportunity for children to have new experiences, challenge themselves, and develop the skills needed to be a successful adult. Shelby holds a bachelor’s degree in Outdoor Recreation with a concentration in Camp Administration. Shelby and her husband Jonathan have two children, Hunter and Levi.

Anthony Parker

Internet Consultant

Anthony is a specialist in Search Engine Optimization. He is in charge of updating our website and social media so that all of the Circle F Dude Ranch Camp’s 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, he was originally in the cruise ship industry. Anthony has stated how excited he is to be a part of the Circle F Dude Ranch team.

Parent Handbook

Circle F Dude Ranch Camp has worked hard to assemble answers to questions frequently asked by parents regarding our Summer Camp program. The goal of our Camp Handbook is to make preparation for the 2018 Summer Camp experience 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 Summer Camp 2018 Parent Handbook

R

Respect


Through actions and words our staff and campers create an environment where others always feel welcomed and supported. Within this setting of respect we create a place of togetherness and open-minded compassion that allows us to truly explore who we are unencumbered by outside stereotypes. From this commonality, we understand that respect must be extended beyond not just others but to the greater natural world around us. In doing so we know that our actions work to protect and care for our natural environment.

I

Inspire


Staff and campers use inspiration to compel others and themselves to work hard, to achieve their goals and to reach for their highest dreams. Through the support of those closest to us we can develop the courage needed to navigate down the path to self-discovery, and encourage others to do the same. When we inspire others we often find we become inspired ourselves.

P

Play


Our staff encourages purpose driven play which allows our campers to strive to learn through doing. Actively participating in the games, activities and programs which are the foundation of camp creates a meaningful and fun environment which allows everyone to learn and grown at their own pace. This exciting setting motivates us to explore outside of our comfort zone and develop life skills that extend well beyond summer camp. We become better people as we learn the underlying lessons of taking turns, being open minded, playing by the rules, trying hard and treating others fairly.

P

Positive Thinking


Through the use of positive thought, staff and campers can overcome many of the challenges that are placed in their path and lead happier, healthier lives. Positive thought is more than a statement it is a mindset. Everything from how we view ourselves, our obstacles, and the greater world around us has a better outcome when we approach it with an optimistic focus.

L

Leadership


We know that every staff member and camper embodies the traits of a leader. Through this belief, we realize that when put in to practice leadership may look different for each person. The one constant being, that all leaders are role models who lead through their selfless words and actions. We strive to instill in others the confidence needed for their personal progression of skills, knowledge, and character. .

E

Engage


Staff and Campers are encouraged to live a lifestyle that is focused on the journey as much as the destination. Success is not always measured by perfection but rather in how working toward an outcome made us feel and allowed us to grow, recognizing that failure may be an important part of every success. Being uncomfortable is not a reason to disengage from the challenges that surround us. As a strong and supportive camp family we want to give our staff and campers the tools and confidence to engage in their local community to create meaningful and positive change.

FAQ

If you have questions that are not answered below, 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 8:30 AM (doors will not open before 8:30 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 starts 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.
  • 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 your child to succeed in whatever they try. Your child should be ready and willing to accept his or her 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 miss home and it is perfectly normal. You have been their wonderful providers and this is a completely new environment for them. We are very in tune with watching for and caring for those who miss 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, which again, is 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. Please don’t tell them that “the dog can’t sleep,” “the cat cries all day,” or you are “so sad without them.” Please trust that we are caring for and nurturing your child through this adjustment. Our goal is for 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 twice a week each 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?

Sessions One, Two, and Three will participate in an all-camp 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 $160.00 which can be paid at any time by calling the camp office.

Session One – Busch Gardens
Session Two – Islands of Adventure 
Session Three – Universal Studios 
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 collected 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.