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Ekone Ranch...a place for children of all ages!

401 Ekone Rd. | Goldendale, WA | 98620

Summer Camp

at Ekone Ranch

 

FAQ | Testimonials

 

Summer Camp FAQs

Here are the answers to some common questions parents have about summer camp.  Of course, please feel free to call or email us with any additional questions you may have!  

 

You can reach us by phone at 509.773.4536 or by email at summercamp@ekone.org.

Q:  This is my child’s first time spending so long away from home; will I be able to check in?

A:  Camp is a great time to use snail-mail!  Our address is 401 Ekone Rd, Goldendale, WA, and campers love to get mail at camp.  We also encourage them to write letters, if they can find time during our busy days.  Parents are also welcome to call any time and check in with Ekone staff to see how the week is going.  We don’t allow campers to make phone calls unless it’s a real emergency—our years of experience have shown that phone calls home are a leading cause of homesickness.  Ekone staff (including the 4-legged ones) have lots practice working with children who are away from home for the first time, and provide a nurturing and compassionate environment and 24-hour support to ensure that it is a very positive experience.

Q:  What is the food like at camp?  Are you able to accommodate food restrictions and/or allergies?

A:  Meals are always one of the campers’ favorite things about camp!  We provide wholesome, kid-friendly, mostly vegetarian, from-scratch dishes, using lots of fresh produce from our own garden.  Many a child has learned to love vegetables at Ekone.  We commonly accommodate campers who are vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, or have specific mild or moderate food allergies.  In some cases we will ask parents to send specific foods that their child requires. Severe allergies require a discussion with the Camp Director to determine whether we can safely and practically meet the needs of the camper.  We are unable to accept campers diagnosed with Celiac disease.

Q:  My child will be coming with a friend; can they bunk together?

A:  Yes.  For most sessions, girls sleep in the A-frame bunkhouse and the boys sleep in tipis, except when we all sleep out under the stars!

Q:  What is the horseback riding experience of most of your campers?

A:  Because of our small sessions, we can individualize the riding instruction for each child.  For some of our campers, this is the first time they have ever ridden a horse (or even seen one up close!); while other campers may ride at home. We enjoy having a mix of riding levels at each camp, so that we can tailor lessons and rides for small groups of riders with similar levels of experience.  Our horses are also well-suited for a mix of riding levels, and campers will have the opportunity to ride many different horses during their stay.

Q:  What is an average day at Ekone Summer Camp like?

A:  Well, no day at Ekone is ever average!  But here is our usual summer camp daily schedule:

7.00 am:  Rise and shine to greet another beautiful day!

7.30 am:  Time for the set-up crew to head on down to the kitchen to help the cook prepare breakfast, the feeding crew to head to the barn to give the animals their breakfast, and the garden crew to harvest some delicious veggies…or maybe some strawberries?!

8.00 am:  It’s the breakfast bell!  What scrumptious treats await at the Yummy Tummy Café?  After breakfast, the clean-up and dishes crews help to tidy the kitchen so we can move on to morning activities.

9.00 am:  Morning Circle, where we all meet to do some stretching, make announcements, and go over the activities for the day.

9.30 am – 12.00 pm:  One group heads up to the corral to get horses ready and do some riding, while the other group gets started on a craft project, work project, hike, or other activity.

12.00 pm:  Gather the set-up crew to help get lunch ready–tummies are starting to rumble!

12.30 pm:  There’s the lunch bell!

1.30 pm – 3.00 pm:  Ahhh, it’s Siesta time.  Cool off with a swim in the pond, write letters home, read a book, work on a craft project, or take a nap to rest up for some more exciting activities in the afternoon.

3.00 pm – 5.30 pm:  Those that rode in the morning start on a project, while the other group gets the horses ready to go for a ride.

5.30 pm:  Set-up crew heads down to the kitchen

6.00 pm:  There’s the dinner bell down at the Yummy Tummy!  Is it burrito night tonight?  After dinner is a little free time; a great chance to play on the rope swings, work on a song or skit for Creativity Night on Friday, or hang out in the hammock.

7.00 pm – 8.30 pm:  Time for some evening games, or maybe we’ll have a campfire and teach each other some new songs!

8.30 pm:  The sun is going down…must be time to head up to the longhouse and start brushing teeth and finding pajamas.  After everyone is ready, we’ll read some stories, or maybe do some stargazing outside.

9.30 pm:  Zzzzzz…better get some rest, it’s going to be another awesome day tomorrow.  Sweet dreams!​

What Parents & Campers Say

Why do you choose Ekone?

  • We love that there is an opportunity for our children to be in such a beautiful location and to experience nature in the process of activities. It is a welcome alternative to most camps and we value the absence of media and commercialism.

  • We love that you serve good, wholesome food, and that there is great modeling for girls (especially) to be strong, happy, etc. but your program is great for boys, too.

  • Ekone is the only camp where my daughter feels whole, accepted for who she is and totally at ease with herself.

  • Clear articulation of values: girls seen as intelligent and caring, hard working, stewards of the land and able to be positive participants in a strong group.  Plus, clear concern for living in a way that is healthiest for us and best for the environment.

  • Spirituality incorporated in experience and values instilled

  • Ekone is my favorite place on earth that I have been to so far, and I don’t know what I would do without Ekone

  • I love Ekone!

  • Staff seemed willing to work with my son who is diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome

  • Small, thoughtful, FUN and deep thinking is what we wanted; something different and not an out of control social “scene”.

  • NOT a club-med.  Seeking right amount of funk factor.

  • Wholesome, healthy & down to earth atmosphere, with emphasis in appreciating and respecting our earth and what it gives to us.

Testimonials:

  • Overall, my daughter enjoyed the camp and felt a sense of accomplishment and felt at home there and loved the nature emphasis.  She talks about her trip to Ekone all the time.

  • Life at Ekone brings you back to a simpler, more connected life in nature instead of against nature. The atmosphere at Ekone helps kids make connections and learn what it is to live in community.  A great experience. Thank you.

  • My daughter ALWAYS returns from camp more confident in herself, more eager and willing to participate in the daily rhythms of family life and grounded in who she is and where she fits into the world.

  • I don’t know how to put this experience into words.

  • The time spent with the horses and the other animals was a great experience for our daughter. She loves the horses and would like to take them all home with her.

  • Our niece had fun, worked hard, matured a lot, made lifelong friends, had a transformational experience in Passage for Girls, and hopes to come back every year and become a Summer Camp Horse Wrangler. Thank you for providing her with an amazing and memorable opportunity to grow.

  • The week after we got home our son told us “I feel older now”.

 

General camp comments:

  • We really liked the energy and spirit invested in the camp programs this year.  I love the little films from the camp week: so sweet.

  • Shonie was very reassuring when I shared my (parental) pre-camp anxiety with her. After we picked our daughter up at camp we had an even more positive impression of the individuals who come together to care for and share with the children.

  • Awesome, awesome, awesome–that’s a direct quote.

  • Our camper had a blast.  He’s never ridden a horse or worked on a ranch.   The food was incredible.  Those cooks are really something!

  • My daughter said it was the best thing she ever did!

  • The staff are fantastic – they demanded (and received) the respect of the children.  Our daughter enjoyed working in the kitchen and sharing the responsibilities of the dishes. 

  • O came away from camp feeling more confident and strong.  She explodes into the largest grin possible when we talk of Ekone.  We will be coming back next year and telling all our friends about it.  What a magical place!!

 

Tuition comments:

  • A carefully considered expense but very well worth it, year after year. Ekone has been a beautiful summertime tradition and home away from home for our children. We love visiting, too. We are especially appreciative of the wholesome food and beautiful environment.

  • It is fair value for an exceptional program at an exceptional place.

  • The tuition is totally reasonable given the experience.

  • We appreciate the flexibility of being able to pay over time.

Best thing about camp:

  • We loved the original ethics inspired in part by Ray, but also the new energy. We do want to see the continuation of a strong work ethic, and appreciation of the environment, etc. but you seem to know what you’re doing! The smaller size is a big draw.

  • The Ekone staff

  • The people and how they interacted with the kids and encouraged them.

  • WONDERFUL camp staff, beautiful setting

  • Great food and like the involvement the kids have in creating and cleaning up after the meal.

  • I came back to this camp because it had less structure than other ones and because I could walk around barefoot.

  • The horses!

  • Since you are only asking for ONE thing: programs that accommodate age & experience divisions (younger from older/beginners from accomplished riders)

  • Size of groups and overall style of the program

  • Daily chores!

  • The single best thing is the commitment of the leaders and volunteers running the camp.  It is clearly about so much more than the horses.

  • We feel that this last year’s programs succeeded in capturing the feeling that existed when Ray ran Ekone (who, in many ways, was Ekone). The staff did a fine job in presenting a friendly and wholesome environment which was very reminiscent of that earlier Ekone. We have always appreciated the vision that Ray had for Ekone, one that honored the earth and our children, and one that offered security, and belonging, and sharing, and horses, and healthful food, and more and more.

  • Sleep out under the stars.

  • The food and interactions with the horses.

  • We loved everything about Ekone, but especially the horses and the staff.

  • The food is awesome!  My kids loved it and I know they ate well during their week at camp!  THANK YOU!

  • Horses!

  • Keeping the values, message and spirit of founder present and deeply infused with the experience.

  • It was an inspirational week for our daughter – from gaining confidence on a horse, loading hay bales with glee, sleeping under the stars, helping with camp chores – she truly came away with a greater sense of self, a deeper appreciation for nature, and a wonderful sense of community.

  • The atmosphere, the horse program and small group setting.

  • Small size groups. Great staff and ratios. Horses – focus on the relationship as much as the riding. Focus on being outside, self reliance and sustainability.

  • The food! Especially Sunday Rolls and the poppyseed honey.

  • The independence that you foster in the kids.

  • The land, the food, the rad cowgirls, the animals, all of the extras (mask making, felting, songs), it was timeless with modern sensibilities.

  • I value that its a working camp and the kids are hands on and involved in taking care of Ekone while they are there.  It’s important to learn to give, and give back, and care for our environment.

  • My son says, “Everything!”

  • My child comes home happy and with a major confidence boost.

  • I love the flexibility that you’re able to bring to scheduling, activities, everything. You’re so responsive to the needs and wants of the kids you get.

 

Coming up!

September 28

A family festival & fundraiser!