Mary earned her degree in Elementary Education from Texas Tech University and was Field Director for Girl Scouts for 17 years before joining RRR in 1966. Her experience has proven an excellent background for working effectively with children in camping activities. She, along with Sandy Bateman, purchased Rocky River in 1971 with a clear goal in mind — to continue the magical traditions that were founded so lovingly by founders, Carol "Mama" Knolk and Jane Brown. Skeet’s enthusiasm and excitement for the experience of camp is clearly contagious to her cherished campers.
As Skeet’s niece, Rue literally knows camp from the ground up. She has been a Rocky River camper, counselor, Assistant Director and Director. She is now the Executive Director and oversees all areas of camp. Rue earned her Bachelors degree in Child Development from Texas Tech University and her Masters in Education from Texas State, followed by several years of teaching both kindergarten and second grade. Her never-ending love and respect for children are the basis for the continuing success of Rocky River Ranch.
Shanna joined the Rocky River family in 2003, bringing her vast camping experience with her. Her camping career started while she was earning her BA in Child Development from the University of Texas. She spent her summers at John Knox Ranch where she was a counselor, Trip Leader, CIT Director, and eventually became the Assistant Camp Director. Before coming to RRR she spent time as the Director of a YMCA camp and worked with teen girls at a Texas Wilderness Program. Shanna is dedicated to hiring, training and supervising our amazing summer staff and is whole heartedly committed to the mission of growing independent girls. Her vision, leadership and compassion inspires others and she is an outstanding role model for campers and staff alike.
Hannah fell in love with camp and with Rocky River as a 9-year-old girl and has not missed a summer since. She grew up in Austin and then attended Southwestern University in Georgetown. During college she majored in Education, getting her teaching certificate in Early Childhood through 6th grade and Special Education. After graduation, she spent a year in Utah working for Playworks, a non-profit organization focusing on the positive effects of play. During the summer of 2014, she came on board at RRR full time. As Day Camp and Program Director, she creates activities that are thoughtful, intentional, creative and fun.
College students and graduates are carefully screened for counselor positions. Applicants who exhibit strong leadership qualities, personality, teaching abilities, patience and sincere desire to help campers learn new skills and inspire them to be valuable members of society, are chosen. We select counselors with training and experience in working with children as well as skills to share with them.
We feel it is important that counselors enjoy and understand children, are good role models, work well with other adults and enjoy the out-of-doors.
Our counselors share a sense of joy in the camping experience... from participation to leadership. We understand the importance of choosing most carefully the people who will help provide a child the experience of a lifetime.
Many of our counselors are “home-grown” and understand the Rocky River philosophy and way of life from personal experience.
Rising 9th - 12th graders can participate in our special leadership program. Participation in this program, from Trainee to Staff-in-Training (SIT) to Junior Counselor (JC), teaches valuable leadership skills that they will use for the rest of their lives.
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.
My years at Rocky River were some of the most wonderful times in my life. My sister (Laura) and I still spend hours talking about our fun times there. We still remember our days of swimming in the river, riding horses and water skiing. I can't wait until my little girl can experience all the joy and fun I had as a child for herself.
RRR gives young women the chance to excel in areas where they may not have ever had a chance to before … and an opportunity to gain self esteem and confidence. These are such amazing and important gifts that will stay with campers their entire lives. This is why RRR will forever be a "home" to its campers. A place where they feel accepted, and loved and special.
Another favorite camp memory that lives on is the camp songs. I have sung them to my kids when they were babies … and still sing to them to wake them up in the morning ("Good morning to You!"). Last summer my daughter went to camp for the first time (at age 6). She had a great time and is looking forward to going again this summer. She sings camp songs almost daily (I'm ready for her to learn a few new ones other than "Boom Boom, Ain't it Great to be Crazy?" and "I Wish I Were a Little Bar of Soap")!
I honestly believe that I wouldn't be the same person if not for my many years at Rocky River, and each year that passes makes me more aware of the grace I found here and the gift of the chance to become one of the few ... a Rocky River girl. To the land of the triple R, I pledge my heart to you!
The truth is I would not have become the person I am today without RRR! Making decisions for classes at 7 years old (with the help of a big sister and Rue as my counselor), remembering to wear your bathing suit under your jeans so you could go from the barn to the pool without the dreaded trip back to your cabin, remembering not to sign up for your pool class right before horseback … I could go on and on. The mistakes we made there were safe and there was a support system to catch you if you fell. Later I enjoyed working with the campers younger than me. First in WE as a big sister myself and later as a CIT Mom. In 14 years I grew and strengthened my commitment to myself. I felt loved unconditionally and I formed everlasting friendships. Some of them recently re-kindled after a 15-20 year gap as if no time had passed at all. In the last year I received a letter from a former CIT that spoke of my influence on her life. How it made her a better mother and a better woman. I have saved that letter for my children to read one day. I will always feel like Skeet and Sandy helped raise me and they always saw the person I could be! I can never thank them enough for that.
This was my very first camp I ever went to and let me tell you it was the best! I only wish I had found out about it earlier so I could have spent more than just one year there. Y'all are an amazing camp and I hope you keep running for another 50 years.