Started in 1952 as a cowboy summer camp for youth, River Valley Ranch (RVR) in Carroll County, Maryland now serves over 20,000 youth and adults annually as a summer youth camp, retreat facility, outdoor education center, and a destination for exciting seasonal events in a distinctly Christian and wholesome family atmosphere. River Valley Ranch is a non-profit ministry, a part of Peter & John Ministries, Inc., a registered 501 (c)3 non-profit religious organization.
Our Overall Mission
River Valley Ranch cultivates a wholesome environment where guests and staff may grow
towards their full, God given potential. We do this through:
- Christian Summer Camps – provide a physically engaging, socially encouraging and spiritually challenging experience for every camper.
- Retreat Facilities & Programs – serve our guests a comfortable, spiritually refreshing getaway tailored to meet the specific needs of each group.
- School Field Trips – offering regional public and private schools engaging, active, educational outdoor programs to enrich, challenge, and expand upon their students' classroom experiences. Students are challenged to grow in trust, communication, overcoming fears, confidence building, and leadership skills.
- Equestrian Programs – offering private and group lessons, trail rides, and a horse sponsorship program, RVR's Horse Center serves the local equestrian community year round with training and enriching activity.
Summer Camp Overview
At River Valley Ranch, we are committed to provide an excellent summer camp program that engages campers physically, emotionally and spiritually. A carefully planned program is prepared with each age group of campers in mind to achieve these goals.
Since our inception in 1952, experience has been our most valued teacher. We believe it is imperative to have an excellent, trained staff (certified medical personnel, certified lifeguards, certified ropes and climbing instructors, certified horsemen, and well-trained and dedicated counselors) alert to the needs and safety of our campers. At River Valley Ranch you will also find carefully prepared food and clean accommodations approved by the State and County Health and Fire Departments.
In all our summer camps we strive to communicate:
- That God loves us and sent His Son, Jesus, to die for our sins so we could have an eternal relationship with Him.
- That loving God also means loving others.
- That we are accountable to God and must live under His authority.
- That being a Christian is the most exciting and fulfilling experience that anyone can ever have.
Summer Camp FAQ:
Q) I Noticed You are a Christian Camp. What does that mean?
A) We are a Christian camp, and therefore teach Christian principles and values from the Bible in our summer camping programs. We also hire mature Christian staff who we expect will model a Godly lifestyle that we hope campers will want to emulate. In each camp, we give campers the opportunity to make a decision to follow Jesus Christ and his example. However, we recognize that it is a personal choice to become a Christian and fully respect each individual's decision. We do not force nor use scare tactics to try and make someone do something they don't want to do. Since we are a non-denominational Christian camp, we do not ascribe to a particular denomination or other church. This means it is our practice to present the simple message of the Gospel as found in the Bible and teach Christian values without promoting nor condemning any denomination or church. If you have any questions about who we are and the Christian messages and values we teach, please call us at 443.712.1010.
River Valley Ranch offers two types of retreat programs:
- Retreat Rentals – these retreats are designed to allow guests the most flexibility in arranging their schedules. The retreat groups organize and implement all meetings. RVR provides the meals, lodging and optional activities for the group. While most retreat rentals are Christian churches & schools, we also welcome groups that do not have a religious purpose (i.e. schools, non-profits, businesses, etc.) so long as the activities and programs of these groups are not in conflict with our Statement of Faith and values. We are confident that our faith convictions enable us to better serve your group, whether or not you fully subscribe to our beliefs. We simply ask that you respect our principles and abide by our conduct requirements while you are at River Valley Ranch.
- Programmed Retreats – these retreats are designed as an all-inclusive experience for church groups of all sizes. RVR provides all meals, lodging, activities, meetings, music, and speakers. The focus of these weekends is encouraging Christians in their spiritual walk and/or inviting non-professing Christians to make a personal commitment to Christ. Currently, our programmed retreats consist of Winter Meltdown which is held during the months of January through March.
School Field Trips Overview
The River Valley Ranch Outdoor Education Program is designed to engage students & adults with the outdoors to help teach leadership skills, overcome obstacles and learn to value the creation around us. The curriculum is designed to teach through personal discovery with the goal of increasing awareness and retention. For public schools, we have designed a curriculum that will work with your existing curriculum to achieve your academic and personal development goals. For private Christian schools, we have a curriculum that can provide the added spiritual emphasis and development that you desire along with your academic and personal development goals.
Outdoor Education Overview FAQ:
Q) I notice you are a Christian ministry and we are a public school or other
non-religious group. Will you proselytize for the Christian faith while we are
A) We welcome groups that do not have a religious purpose (i.e. schools, charities, businesses, etc.) so long as the activities of these groups do not conflict with our Statement of Faith and values. We are confident that our faith convictions enable us to better serve your group, whether or not you fully subscribe to our beliefs. We simply ask that you respect our principles and abide by our conduct requirements while you are at River Valley Ranch.
Horse Center Overview
There's nothing like taking a scenic trail ride winding your way through God's beautiful creation perched on top of a majestic creature like a horse. Horses and RVR go all the way back to our founding and have stayed a vital part of our programs.
RVR's barn staff cares for approximately 50 horses year round, which are used for private and group lessons, weekly riding clubs, and private group trail rides. Groups that come to partake in a retreat or school program may also have the chance to enjoy this program, and all who visit our property are blessed by the peaceful sight of pasture lands and herds calmly grazing.