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.
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.
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 am grateful for the girls that Skeet, Sandy and Rue had as our counselors because of the character and leadership they taught me. I love them all. Many are my friends still and I cannot wait to see them again year after year. We are all grown, some mothers now, some in interesting careers, but all of us sharing one special thing in common -- outside of careers, husbands, family and schooling -- the RRR Spirit that endures in our everyday life.
Rocky River Ranch is like my second home. It is such a comfortable, fun place to be! I am planning to be here as long as possible, and want my future daughters and granddaughters to experience this camp. Rocky River has a special place in my heart, and is a big part of my life.
The experiences at camp gave me a confidence and feeling of accomplishment. First, just being able to take care of myself away from home (with the counselors help, or course) allowed me my first feelings of independence. Being able to try different activities in a non-threatening environment — things I probably never would have tried at home — was a great way of discovering who I was. Then, later on having the responsibility of caring for children by being a big sis to a younger camper and then CIT, gave me a life-long heart for children. Enough so I became a registered nurse working in the pediatric intensive care. I don't believe I would be the person I am today without those many experiences at camp.
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.