Ekone Summer Camps
Since 1986, Ekone Summer Camps have provided children and young adults with a unique opportunity to experience life on a working ranch, connect with the natural world, learn horsemanship skills, and foster positive peer relationships.
Ekone Ranch is located on 1060 acres of permanently protected forests, meadows, and steppe at the edge of the Columbia River Gorge in south-central Washington State. The land is stewarded by Sacred Earth Foundation, and provides many miles of scenic wild lands for trail rides, hikes, overnight camp-outs.
Ekone is home to 20 horses, most of whom have been raised and trained right here on the ranch. We have horses and instruction for all skill levels; from the gentlest and wisest matriarch who eases the fears of a first-time rider, to spirited and energetic mounts to expand the skills of more experienced riders. Additionally, Ekone campers get to ride several different horses during their stay, as opposed to many camps that assign one horse to each rider for the duration. We feel that each horse has something different to teach us, and we work to help the children discover that lesson and develop a strong relationship with each horse they experience. We do a great deal of bareback riding, finding that the children learn fastest with that close connection. Because of our small camp sessions, we are able to spend lots of time working one-on-one with the campers, and the children are able to spend lots of time riding, grooming, and getting to know the horses…which our horses enjoy almost as much as the campers do!
While most children come to Ekone because of our horses, our camps also include many other activities such as swimming, crafts, hiking, gardening, cooking, and games. We have done some fantastic art, building, forest, garden, cooking and land projects over the years, and have a great team of talented adult volunteers who bring different projects, activities and learning to each session, and help keep every week fresh and magical. Work projects include putting hay in the barn, fixing fence, and stacking firewood, in addition to daily kitchen, feeding and garden chores. In everything we do at Ekone Summer Camp, our focus is on helping children develop self-esteem and purpose, while teaching cooperation, consciousness, and a strong work ethic.
A new camp session was created in 2011, expanding on the Ekone themes of youth empowerment, self-discovery and earth-care. Passage for Girls: A Coming-of-Age Journey in Nature places special emphasis on the transitions of adolescence. We still ride during this session–just not quite as much as in Horse Camp sessions.
Campers sleep in the A-frame longhouse, in tipis, or under the stars. Evening activities include campfires, music, games, and of course bedtime stories!
At the core of life on Ekone Ranch is a commitment to developing sustainable lifestyles and living in harmony with the Earth, and with each other. We have always been “off the grid”, utilizing solar panels, windmills, and our homemade biodiesel for power and fuel.
Much of the produce for summer camps is grown in our garden, which the campers help to plant, care for, and harvest for dinner! Campers also participate in our sustainable forestry program, helping to maintain the health of the forest and learning about our diverse ecosystem at the same time.
Come join us for an exciting and wholesome summer camp experience that will provide a lifetime of memories!
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 509-773-6800