River Way Ranch Camp

Sanger, California    

Lantern Review of River Way Ranch Camp

A lot of camps tout their dedicated community of camp families and alumni. Generally speaking, they are right to do so, having built a loyal following through profound shared experiences at camp. River Way Ranch Camp, however, stands out in this regard. This camp community reflects a fervent loyalty that’s continually manifesting itself outside of the traditional camp summer season. At River Way, staying plugged into the camp during the school year seems as natural as your daily routine. Indeed, it appears to become a priority.

This loyalty is built at camp through an authentic connection among the campers and staff. This is a grounded bunch of camp directors who challenge their counselors to engage genuinely with their campers and to assert themselves as balanced role-models. To accomplish this, the directors hire a range of personalities in acknowledgement that no one person can connect with every individual. Each prospective counselor is interviewed in person, and any local prospective staff member is required to attend a weekend-long training session at camp prior to the regular staff orientation. This process affords River Way unique insight into their counselors, which guides cabin and activity placement.

The camp program is based on a tiered approach that recognizes that different ages thrive with different opportunities. The youngest campers have a pre-determined program set out by the staff, while the oldest campers have more choice in choosing their daily schedule. As the campers age, the freedom to choose their schedule continually increases. The activity choices are wide-ranging, with several less traditional stand-out programs like wake-boarding, mini-bike and film production.

For many camps, a poignant closing campfire concludes the camp session. You get the idea at River Way Ranch Camp, however, that it is actually a launching point for the rest of the year; a new beginning for an “endless summer” way of being. River Way takes pride in rallying their community to support causes throughout the year, whether it be riding in support of a local Children’s Hospital, or encouraging their families to give generously to Breast Cancer Awareness month. These directors are guided by a genuine desire for their campers to give back, to seek worthy causes and to support their local community. They accomplish this by being enthusiastic cheerleaders of their camp, its campers, staff and alumni.

Fast Facts

  • COED
  • 365 Campers per Session
  • 2-weeks
  • Founded in 1967
  • $$$$

Director's Message

Family owned and operated since 1967, River Way Ranch Camp has grown to become one of the most beloved California summer camps for youth and teens. Our multi-award winning resident program has provided amazing summer experiences for fifty years. Our caring and compassionate staff are dedicated to ensuring that your child or teenager has an outstanding summer adventure in a safe, enjoyable, and educational setting. It’s this level of commitment that River Way prides itself on finding the best staff to be your child’s mentor, counselor and role model.

Program Highlights

  • 75 Activities
  • Team Sports
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Mountains
  • Individual Activities
  • Drama
  • Tripping
  • Waterfront
  • Rural

Top 5 Activities

  • Wakeboarding
  • Horseback Riding
  • Paintballl
  • Waverunners
  • Performing and Media Arts

Travel Information

Bus from Los Angeles, Orange County, & South San Francisco


River Way Ranch Camp

(559) 787-2551

(800) 821-2801

Ashley Oken