There’s only one place I think of when I hear the word ‘summer’. It’s a place that embodies every good and exciting quality that the season entails. That place is Rocky Ridge Ranch.

The first thing you see at Rocky Ridge Ranch is the beauty of summer. As a kid, I loved the feeling of freedom that came along with driving over the hill through the luscious forestry and seeing, what seems like, a new world opening up before my eyes. It’s the feeling of freedom that comes with the summer season. The next thing you experience is warmth. There’s the obvious warm air that comes with the summer months, but there’s also the warm family atmosphere that greets you in at the front gates and leaves with you on the way out, which makes it feel like you never left home.

For most campers and staff members like me, the Ranch is our secIMG_2597 (1280x960)ond home. I can’t even call it my ‘home away from home’ because I don’t ever feel like I’m ‘away from home’.

The Ranch offers places and spaces where I’ve always loved to play games like dodgeball at the court, horse-back riding at the barn and swimming at the pool, but the most important thing that Rocky Ridge Ranch has offered me is opportunity. The opportunity to make new friends, try new things and, most importantly, learn about Jesus.

But, like any opportunity, the outcome is determined by how you take advantage of the situations. My experiences and opportunities at the Ranch have helped me build strong friendships that are bonded by Bob Hardy Cups, the smell of Dave’s burgers and that one day every summer when Santa comes during Christmas in July.

Leaving the Ranch at the end of my stays has never been easy but I’ve always left with 365 new memories that last until the next summer, where I find myself reuniting old friendships and igniting new ones.