Lantern Review of Jameson Ranch Camp
Tucked into the foothills of the Sierras on 500 sprawling acres of rugged hillside and pasture lies this 80 year-old working ranch camp. To say that this camp is a departure from the typical view of camping would be an understatement. It is, at its most basic, a revival of the simple, happy and pioneering spirit of the West.
In embracing the simple life, however, we mean that it has an intentional focus on a return to the basics. For Jameson Ranch Camp (JRC), the time-tested values of the rewards of hard work, the appreciation of clean air and the recognition of personal responsibility to a supportive community are guiding principles that dictate the daily program design and camp culture. There is a rustic simplicity to their facilities, whether that be the well-worn dirt paths or the open-air showers, that reinforces the notion that the campers should look beyond the material and creature comforts to reveal the real business of living. At JRC, self-discovery is a priority that is fostered by sincere and talented staff and created through a true ranch-style program.
The daily program is up to each camper who chooses from a range of 20 activities. Most activities are as you would expect to find on a ranch, including a wonderful Western horseback riding program. Overnight pack or rock climbing trips send small groups into the Sierra wilderness, while surprising JRC-created “trenting” activities add spontaneity, excitement and even silliness through non skill-based activities like ‘extreme barrel rolling’ or ‘downhill running.’ Importantly consistent with a ranch-style life is an expectation that the campers help with daily chores around camp. What grows from this expectation is a healthy “ownership” of JRC and pride for the place.
Now in its third generation of family ownership, the JRC community is a tight-knit one. A high return rate feeds the traditions and it is their happy, supportive community that continues to attract a very high number of alumni children to JRC.
- 80 Campers per Session
- Founded in 1934
When asked how campers and alumni describe camp, the word I typically use is "home." While this may be perfectly natural for me, I grew up at JRC, it is always humbling to hear others describe it as such. When my grandfather started Jameson Ranch Camp so many years ago, he created a place that is bigger than my family, bigger than the ranch itself; camp is its own world, its own place. A space that brings magic into the hearts of children, and allows them to forget the rest of the world, to be young, to live simply, and to find friendship among strangers. We honor that vision, and continue the pursuit of his dream.
- 20 Activities
- Arts & Crafts
- Individual Activities
Top 5 Activities
- Horseback Riding
- Mountain Biking
- Rope Swing
Car to camp, limited van service from LA and San Diego, Bakersfield Airport
Jameson Ranch Camp