Download a PDF version of our Pointers to Parents here.
Admission as a Rocky River camper carries many privileges and responsibilities. We expect campers to participate in the total life of camp ─ to work, play, and live together. Almost all girls are able to do this with little to no issues. However, if after intervention and in partnership with the parents, if a camper is unable to assimilate to camp life, or if a camper becomes a risk to herself or others, we reserve the right to dismiss her without a refund.
Please supervise what your child packs. We do not allow: cell phones, tobacco, alcohol, illegal drugs or weapons. Bringing these items may result in dismissal from camp without a refund.
We are happy to transport campers to and from the Austin airport. We just need notification in writing, by fax or email, at least two weeks in advance. Also, please confirm arrival of faxed or emailed notification by phone. There is a $30 fee per person for each trip to the airport. Please check with your airline about rules regarding unaccompanied minors traveling.
There is a suggested packing list for camp. We suggest packing in a trunk, small stacking plastic drawers, a suitcase, or duffel bag. Campers place their luggage under or at the foot of their bunk. Due to the unique design of our Wagons, they cannot accommodate trunks. If your camper is in the Wagons, please pack her belongings in a duffel, suitcase, or plastic drawers that can slide underneath her bunk (13-inch clearance).
We recommend including your camper in selecting her clothes and packing. Please don’t go buy new items for camp - we suggest sending old or inexpensive items. We also highly recommend labeling each item she brings with her name. Labels or permanent markers work great for this!
We have clocks, ceiling fans, and air conditioners in each cabin. Battery-operated personal fans are allowed.
If found, these items will be confiscated and kept in the office until the end of the session, but we cannot take responsibility for their safety. Furthermore, bringing any of these items could result in dismissal from camp without refund, so please pack with your camper. *Cell phones are NOT ALLOWED. If you have any questions regarding this policy, please contact the camp director prior to arrival or on check-in day.
Camp is all about unplugging from the digital world and plugging into real conversations, experiences and skill development. Because we cannot properly supervise the sharing of content or monitor communications, and to help campers focus on the camp experience, we do not allow electronic devices, e.g. cell phones, smartwatches, iPod Touches, Kindles, laptops, tablets, electronic games, CD players, DVD players, iPods or MP3 players. Digital cameras are allowed, but not permitted for use inside cabins. Each cabin is equipped with approved music for campers to enjoy. If you have questions or concerns about this policy, please contact the camp director.
If your child is in or might switch into, a horseback class, jeans or long pants are required. Helmets and cowboy boots with a smooth, hard sole and at least 1-inch heel are also required. We have helmets and cowboy boots to loan; please do not feel the need to purchase them for your camper. Due to safety issues, lace-up boots and/or thick rubber-sole hiking boots are not suitable.
If a camper wishes to bring a musical instrument (which we love), it can be kept in the office for safe-keeping. It will be for your child’s use only and not shared with anyone else.
We hope you understand that we cannot assume liability for any camper’s personal property. For this reason, please leave articles of value (monetary or sentimental) at home.
Please send a laundry bag with your camper’s name printed in large letters on the outside of the bag. Please label all items with your camper’s name.
During the session, a photographer will take each camper’s photo and a group photo of the entire cabin and counselors. A 5x7 group photo will be given to you at check-out for no charge. Purchase of your camper’s individual photo is optional and can be done through your account at rockyriverranch.com. We will upload snapshots of activities during each session ─ these may be purchased as well. Packing an inexpensive disposable camera or inexpensive digital camera will allow your camper to record her own special memories of camp too.
Camp life strives to teach your child to be responsible for and take care of her belongings. It helps for her to be involved in labeling and packing her own clothes, towels, and bedding so she will be aware that they belong to her if they show up in the Lost & Found.
Please label all items with your child’s name. We will make every attempt to reunite lost items with the rightful owner before the session ends. If items are left at camp, please contact us and describe (in detail) the missing item, and we will contact you in regards to shipping cost.
Items not claimed by September 1st will be donated to a local women’s shelter.
For the safety of all our campers, we do not allow any visitors during sessions. We do not have a parents’ day during sessions ─ campgrounds are open to parents on opening and closing days only.
Experience has proven that campers adjust more easily to the camp routine without the emotional interruption of visits. We do not want to disrupt the flow of camp, lose the sense of independence, or increase feelings of homsesickness and anxiety that can be experienced when visitors come during session. We will not allow any camper to leave the campgrounds with anyone except her parents or camp personnel without written permission from a parent or guardian. Please update your authorized pick-ups in your online RRR account.
Sometimes a camper has a touch of homesickness the first night or two. Almost all children have some feelings of homesickness when they are away. You might receive a “come and get me” letter, but usually this feeling has passed by the time you receive it. Please resist that tug at your heart, as well as the parental urge to rush to Wimberley. If you have concerns, you are encouraged to contact the office. Campers soon understand that they have the sympathy, respect, and friendship of the entire staff. If we are unable to foster a child’s adjustment to camp life, be assured ─ we will not hesitate to contact you.
Including your child in decisions about camp and classes is vital to her success and sense of autonomy.
Help younger campers understand the length of a camp session by comparing a week to something to which she can relate. Assure your child that you know when to pick her up, and that you will be there.
Provide your camper with away-from-home experience ─ we don’t recommend that camp be her first sleepover experience, Talk through some strategies for dealing with her feelings while she is here. What works for some (pictures, letters, etc.) does not work for all.
If you are anxious about camp, talk to the directors; it’s important to avoid exposing your camper to your own anxiety. If you are feeling anxious, we recommend the following books written for parents: Homesick and Happy: How Time Away from Parents Can Help a Child Grow by Michael Thompson, and The Summer Camp Handbook by Christopher Thurber and Jen C. Malinowski. These can be great resources to read before your camper comes to camp.
Please do not allow your child to bring a cell phone, as she will not be permitted to use it, or even keep it in her cabin. Furthermore, bringing a cell phone may result in dismissal from camp with no refund. A phone call or text might reassure you of her well-being, but it could easily bring on a twinge of homesickness for your camper, as well as others. Given the opportunity, most campers will want to use the available phone to call home or a friend too.
One of the reasons they are in camp is to experience living independently for a short while. Tell your child that you are proud that she is becoming more independent and able to take care of herself. If you are concerned about something specific or your child writes you about something you feel we should know, please call our office.
Do not tell your camper that she can call home if she gets homesick. She will never forget it, and it will hinder her adaptation to camp life. Camp policy states that no child is allowed to use a phone; only directors and staff. Discuss this with your camper and help her understand that she will not be able to call home. Please keep in mind that we will always contact you if there is a problem.
Finally, please don’t make any deals with your camper about early pickup, e.g. “If you don’t like it, I will come and get you.” It sets her up for disappointment and keeps her from focusing on solutions at camp. After discussing the many possibilities, if you decide to take your camper home because of homesickness, the camp fee will not be refunded. It’s important to note that most campers adjust and enjoy their summer camp experience. If your camper is struggling with homesickness, we will make every effort to help her cope and move forward so that she enjoys a positive RRR experience.
Mail Call is one of the campers’ favorite times of each day. It is wonderful to see smiles on campers’ faces when they receive a letter or email. Stamps and stationery are sold in the Canteen, but we suggest self-addressed, stamped envelopes be sent with your child, especially for younger campers. (Place in a ziploc bag to prevent moisture from getting to them.) If you don’t send self-addressed envelopes, or teach your child how to write your address, you may never receive her precious letters!
That said, often a lack of letters to home indicates your child is having a grand time and is too busy to write. Or you might receive a letter saying your child is homesick. Most of these types of letters are written shortly after arrival before your camper has made friends and become busy. Call the directors if you have concerns, but write back positively about your confidence in your child and excitement about her session.
We urge campers to write often and suggest that you and other relatives write often to your camper. Please leave out the “we miss you unbearably” variety and avoid telling the child what they’re missing while they are away at camp. Sometimes parents write that they cannot get along without their camper. We understand this feeling, but it is not what your child needs to hear while at camp.
If you have any negative news that must be shared with your child, such as the death of a pet, or something happening to a friend, please call the directors so they can help the camper deal with it. Alternately, consider saving such news for when you are with your child. Parents, this is very important ─ please think about how your words will affect your child. If you are unsure about how to communicate news, please call the camp director and make a plan together of how (and when) would be best.
The first Monday is an excellent day for mail. It gives special attention to your child and makes her feel good because you wrote on the first day. Letters and packages may be left in The Forty Niner on check-in day and will be delivered on the requested day of the week. Due to storage issues, packages left in The Forty Niner are limited to two per week and must be in a sealed envelope (see Care Package Info, page 8). You may leave unlimited letters (6x8 inch envelopes or smaller).
Our address for letters is:
P.O. Box 109
Wimberley, TX 78676
We will print and deliver emails to your camper during Mail Call. Emails are sent via your account on rockyriverranch.com. Once you have logged in, click the “Email a Camper” button under the “Additional Options” menu. Emails are purchased in $5 blocks, $1 per email. Emails are printed at 10:30 am daily. Note: there is no Mail Call on check out days, so emails cannot be delivered. Remember: Your camper cannot send you emails while she attends camp.
There are several ways to provide care packages for your camper...
If you use another delivery service, ie UPS, FedEx, etc., you must use our physical address or it will not be delivered. Rocky River cannot be responsible for missing packages.
100 Flite Acres Road
Wimberley, TX 78676
If you want to send care packages, we suggest sending a small package the first day or two, and saving a special one for the last couple of days at camp. For a child experiencing a little homesickness, a letter suggesting a surprise at the end of the session gives her something fun to look forward to.
Campers enjoy canteen time each day after rest period (by cabin) where they can choose an ice cream, candy or snack item. Cabins are able to shop for T-shirts and souvenirs once a week. Your camper’s canteen account is included in camp tuition and set up as a debit system. We will be able to give her an accurate accounting of funds available, should she ask. Campers are not allowed to keep cash in their cabins. We will encourage your camper to spend her Canteen money during her session. However, if she has any money leftover, you will have the option to spend it on check-out day or donate it to the Campership Fund.
Cancellations received in writing by our office prior to May 1st will receive a full refund (minus the nonrefundable deposit). Cancellations after May 1st are not eligible for refunds.
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.
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 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.
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.
I would not be the person I have become today if it were not for Skeet and Sandy. One of the biggest lessons I ever learned in life was from Sandy — I fell off a horse and Sandy made me get right back on. I had no idea what impact that lesson would mean to my life, but I have to say it has become one of the most valuable.
RRR is not just two months of SCREAMING prepubescent girls singing songs in the Grubstake, Free Swim at the river or raids on other cabins, it becomes a way of life that helps guide you through the rest of your life. Not unlike the Marines who are brothers for life, those of us who were campers and counselors are sisters for life and will do anything to help each other, no questions asked!
I had a wonderful experience of being a counselor at RRR 1960-61 and 1966-67. Those first 2 years I knew and loved both Mama Knolk and Jane. Later, I was there with Skeet and Sandy. I have great memories of all those special people and all the fun times at camp. I'm so glad the camp is still going strong!
I loved performing on stage and modeling in the fashion show. I learned how to shoot a bow and arrow, and how to do synchronized swimming. I wrote a 'Snoopy' column for the newspaper. In fact, a lot of the things I loved then are things I still love today.
Mama Knolk — what a wonderful and gentle lady. She always wanted the best for us and for us to be our best.