LEADERSHIP PROGRAM

Rocky River Ranch Leadership Program

For campers entering 9th, 10th and 11th grade.

We believe the early teenage years are the ideal age for girls to spread their wings in a controlled, active, safe, and hands-on environment while developing their personal leadership styles. We consider it an incredible honor to play a pivotal role in nurturing a girl’s growing sense of independence and interest in taking care of herself and assisting those around her. The skills she will learn and practice during this three-year program will carry into her everyday life, in school and beyond. The leadership, teamwork and confidence she grows will benefit her in all she does. 

The summer before your camper's 9th grade year, she will automatically become a part of the Leadership Program at Rocky River Ranch. Each year her counselors will work with her during the session to help her practice and improve her leadership, teamwork and communication skills while also having fun at camp. At the end of the session, her counselors will give her feedback and review the session with her. They will also complete a written evaluation of each camper in the leadership program. The directors will use these evaluations to help decide which girls have the skills, attitude and aptitude to continue in the program. The girls are notified by letter in September with information regarding the following summer.

Because of the nature of the program and how each year builds on the previous experience, girls need to attend each year of the Leadership Program in consecutive summers and must begin the program the summer before 9th grade.


First Year: Trainee

Rising 9th Graders - Focus on self reflection and growth

Our three-year Leadership Program begins with the Trainee level. All campers who are
 rising ninth graders are automatically placed in this level.  Girls will “adopt” a Camp Little Sister, lead camp songs as a group, attend a high ropes program at the Texas State G.O.A.L. Course, participate in Counselor-for-a-Day, and facilitate Carnival Capers – an evening program with game stations for the whole camp! All of this will be done with the help of their “Trainee Moms” – staff members who have been selected and trained by the directors to guide the campers through the session. View the Trainee Program Overview here.

Second Year: SIT 1

Rising 10th Graders - Focus on being part of a team and communication skills

The SIT, or Staff-In-Training program comprises the second and third levels of the Leadership Program. SIT 1’s are the oldest campers to live in a cabin with other girls their age and must attend either a two-week or 10-day session – Session 2, 3 or 5. They will work closely with both their "SIT Moms" and the Leadership Director to develop skills in effective communication, decision-making and problem-solving. Their additional programming includes planning activities, presentations and a meal for their cabin-mates, as well as for the entire camp. They will also attend a low ropes program at the Texas State G.O.A.L. Course in addition to team-building activities led daily by their SIT Moms. On Sunday night, the girls will attend a camp-out at Pedernales Falls State Park. Click here to read more about it! View the SIT 1 Program Overview here.

Third Year: SIT 2

Rising 11th Graders - Focus on using skills learned to assist younger campers

The final year of the Leadership Program is SIT 2-year where girls are “in-training” to be effective staff-members in the future. SIT 2’s will experience what it is like to be a Rocky River counselor by living in cabins with younger campers and supporting the staff in that cabin. They will attend camp classes during the day, like the other campers, but will meet during free swim to discuss how their session is going, spend time with their fellow SIT 2's, and plan the end of session Campfire for all of camp. The girls who attend a longer session will also plan and execute a service project over the weekend, decided upon by the directors and the SIT 2 group. Each session on one of the last days, they will have a fun outing with the directors to look forward to! View the SIT 2 Program Overview here.

TraineeSIT 1sSIT 2s
From left to right: Trainees help their "little sisters" find their classes and plan a special party for them in the session. Many SIT 1's pitch a tent for the first time on their overnight campout at Pedernales Falls State Park! SIT 2's work closely with a director to complete a service project for camp. 

Rocky River Ranch | Summer Camp Programs

Summer Camp Programs

The perfect summer is waiting for your daughter aged 5 to 14 at Rocky River— filled to the brim with new friendships, challenging activities and, most importantly, lots of fun! Check out our day camp and resident camp options.

Rocky River Ranch | Weekend Programs

Weekend Programs

In the hot summer months, we’re an all-girls camp, but the rest of the year, we offer year ‘round fun at our Great Escapes for women and Mother-Daughter weekends!

Rocky River Ranch | Event Rentals

Event Rentals

Rocky River Ranch is the perfect solution for your special event! We host family reunions, church retreats, teacher work days, company picnics, Girl Scout groups, and more with lodging for up to 150 guests.

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Rocky River Ranch experience

I am still amazed and in awe of the subtle and mysterious way that simple activities and experiences weave together to leave an indelible impression of love ... confidence ... appreciation. They seem so simple there in the moment ... the singing of camp songs, Friendship Circle at the end of an evening program, the Cowpoke/Wrangler drawing, saddling a horse for the first time, scooting down the rapids ... but each song, with each tug on the halter rope, with each stroke of the canoe oar, with each ring of "Goodnight, campers!" a new brush of color is being painted on her childhood experience. From those "colors" spring forth amazing women as evidenced by the many remarkable people that now call themselves Rocky River alumni.

‒  Alyson Stringer Steakley Years at camp: 1982-1989, 1993

Oh how I wish I could still be a young girl and go to RRR every summer! I truly miss those wonderful weeks of absolute fun and excitement. This camp holds a very special place in my heart and will always throughout my life. I cannot wait until the day that my newborn little girl will be able to drive through the gate and live the summer days that not only her mother lived, but her grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-great-grandmother enjoyed. I cannot wait until the day that I can tell her all about her special great-great-grandmother (we called her GG, but most knew her as Mama Knolk) that opened beautiful Rocky River Ranch and created a place for many girls to create memories from. I am truly happy to see Mama Knolk's spirit still living on. May it continue to live on the dream that she always wanted.

‒  Allison Turley Torres Years at camp: 1986-1994

We still can't believe it has been 50 years since my mother, Mama Knolk, started RRR. We are so proud that it is still the same as she built it and still has the same spirit upon which it was founded. Our children and grandchildren have had the wonderful opportunity to attend camp and we all can still sing some of the songs when we get together. May the spirit of Mama Knolk stay with all that have attended RRR.

‒  Polly Knolk Denham

I love Rocky River Ranch. It was a place I could go and feel accepted for the person I was — not the person I was expected to be. When we passed under that arch, the playing field was leveled and I was free to be myself, or even to reinvent myself! If I could ride, if I could swim, if I could do crafts or even if my only talent was spitting watermelon seeds, I was accepted!

‒  Britany Beever Just Years at camp: 1979-1984, 1987-1988

Attending RRR is a tradition in my family — aunts, cousins, sisters, and best friends all have great memories that we still talk about today. I am waiting for the summer that my daughter is old enough to attend and experience the same wonderful times that I had. My memories of summers at RRR are so special to me. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Skeet and Sandy, and all of the staff from every session, for the ten years of summertime bliss!

‒  Melissa Ross Crispin Years at camp: 1984-1994

I have said for years that RRR made me the person that I am today. Actually it wasn’t just RRR, but also the counselors that shaped my experiences and helped me be the best I could be. I learned to problem solve, lead others and to be a leader others wanted to follow. I learned to do my part and that I can do anything I decided to do. I learned to say 'I can' a lot more than 'I cannot.' I learned to co-exist with others which helps me to this day. As a young girl I learned what others around me now in their 30s still do not know. I learned to take care of and respect myself, respect others and the world around me.

‒  Hara Chasis Cootes Years at camp: 1978-1991