Resident Camp at Hoofbeat Ridge
For Girls Ages 8-15
Hoofbeat Summer camp is open from mid-June to mid-August. Campers may choose 1- or 2-week sessions, and may choose to combine several sessions.
Resident Camp Program
The program is well-organized and non-competitive, yet flexible, allowing campers a choice in the type of activities they are interested in. Prior to arrival, campers are sent a medical form and a parent/camper information sheet. This allows our staff to begin getting acquainted with campers ahead of time. It also gives us an idea of previous camp experience and expectations of both parent and camper.
Upon their arrival at camp, riders are given a short mounted riding evaluation so they can be grouped according to the rider’s ability and riding style. We have campers who have had very little riding experience to very advanced riders. S.E.I. approved riding helmets are required for all campers and staff, and we do have rental helmets available for those who do not have their own.
Trails with names such as Wildcat, Blackberry Ramble, Paradise Hill, Squirrels’ Nest, and Crooked Oaks abound with wildlife. Deer, red foxes, wild turkeys, raccoons and red tail hawks are frequently seen in their natural habitat.
Horsemanship is emphasized at Hoofbeat, with Western and English riding lessons are offered by certified riding instructors. Campers receive daily riding lessons and riders are grouped according to their riding ability and riding style.
Daily horse care classes cover topics such as safety, grooming and saddling, first aid, herd behavior and training. These classes are divided by a camper’s knowledge based off a short quiz they take at the beginning of the week. We also raise and train a few of our own horses each year. The older, more experienced campers are allowed to work with these future Hoofbeat steeds while under supervision. Chief, Scout, Petra, Shamrock, and Dobbin are a few of the many gentle, well-trained horses campers will meet.
Campers enjoy hiking or riding through the birch and pine woods and valleys that are rich in Native American lore. Cabin groups may have overnight excursions to our nature cabin by Paradise Hill where Chief Blackhawk and his tribe hunted fox and deer. Sleeping under the stars around a glowing fire, gathering black berries and cooking S’mores build friendships and memories that last a lifetime.
At Pow Wow Point we gather around our campfire ring a couple of nights a week with our whole "Hoofbeat family". Here we do our introductions on the first night, and say our good-byes on the last night. The miles drift away as we sing songs, tell stories and act out skits.
Campers and staff stay in our bunkhouses, Hoofroof and Longbranch, both of which are equipped with bathroom and shower facilities. Campers enjoy hearty, home-cooked meals in our Longbranch Dining Hall. In the event of inclement weather, we have our newly-built lodge to use for fun, indoor activities.
Morning activities are divided into three skill sessions which include horseback riding lessons (Western or English), horse care, and other activities which may include, arts and crafts, drama, outdoor adventures and sports. With the exception of Equestrian Week, campers select one non-horse activity to participate in from any three that are going on that week.
Afternoon programs may include a second riding activity as well as a second unmounted activity; these activities may include horse bathing, trail rides, mounted games, sports, crafts, group games, preparing for a special theme day, or working with cabin mates on a special project.
In the evening, campers enjoy bareback riding, all-camp games, cabin activities, a tractor-drawn hay ride, or a campfire.
Bunkhouses house campers in groups of approximately eight to ten. Among the favorite activity centers are the Longbranch Dining Hall, with a big stone fireplace and our dining hall facilities, the lodge, and the indoor riding arena. Our lodge provides a place for campers to relax and meet new friends. Four outdoor riding rings, miles of trails, and two athletic fields add to the enjoyment of Hoofbeat Ridge.
Hoofbeat Ridge has approximately 65 campers per session. This small number compared to most large camps provides more individual attention and keeps the family atmosphere that Ted and Mary strive for.
Hoofbeat is also accredited by the American Camping Association. This means Hoofbeat has demonstrated compliance with up to 300 individual health, safety and program quality standards. These standards establish criteria for program areas, personnel, transportation, administrative procedures, health care, program activities and emergency procedures. Accreditation tells parents and campers that Hoofbeat Resident Camp has been measured against national standards. Hoofbeat Ridge is pleased to be included in the 25% of camps which are accredited in the U.S.
An excellent medical clinic is located five miles from Hoofbeat, and a well equipped hospital is ten miles away. Staff members are trained in first aid and the EMT service is nearby. A camp nurse is on staff to make daily checks on the camper's health, to dispense medicine to campers when necessary and to care for minor injuries. All campers are required to have a current medical form which the camp provides.
This is a special week for riders ages 10-16. Campers need to have at least one year of weekly English or Western riding instruction or have been to Hoofbeat Resident Camp for at least four weeks. The week will be limited to a maximum of 45 campers. Equestrian week differs from our regular program in that our activities are primarily horse-related. For example, the morning skills sessions are horseback riding, horse science, and horse care only. There will be a riding demonstration on Saturday for parents and friends.
Camp staff are chosen from all over the United States and even other countries. Most of the staff are former campers who have been through various training programs at Hoofbeat. They are selected for their genuine love of children, maturity, and camp skills. Staff members receive training prior to the opening of camp. All riding staff must pass a 40 hour Horsemanship Safety Association Clinic. Certification in the H.S.A. Clinic means the instructor can ride, teach, and develop lesson plans, and has also obtained an all around horse knowledge of the level for which are are certified. The staff to camper ratio is 1 to 4.
Arrival & Departure Times
Campers need to check in between 2:00-4:00 p.m. on Sundays at the beginning of each session. Our camp gate will not open until 2:00 p.m. and check-in begins at 2:00. Campers arriving by bus or plane should have a written itinerary mailed to Hoofbeat at least 2 weeks in advance.
Departure time is between 9:00 and 10:30 a.m. on Saturdays. Please don't arrive earlier than 8:45 a.m. Since it’s very disruptive to the camp program to have campers depart early, if early departure is necessary, prior arrangements need to be made with the Camp Director.
What to Bring
The following items are suggested for a 1-week stay at camp. Since campers only do laundry at camp if they are staying for more than two weeks, this packing list should be doubled for a two-week stay. Campers staying longer than 2 weeks will have clothes laundered every 2-week break. Laundering expenses are deducted from the camper's Trading Post account. We encourage parents to label all clothing, flashlights, cameras, etc. Expensive clothing is not recommended.
6-8 shirts or tops
white T-shirt for tie dying
1 long sleeved top
1 pair pajamas
2 pair shorts
3-4 pair jeans/riding pants
socks (7-10 pairs)
underwear (7-10 pairs)
1 set rain gear
1 pr. riding boots (smooth sole, raised heel)
1 pair tennis shoes
extra pair of old shoes
1 pair flip flops (shower)
sleeping bag (for possible campout)
1 hand; 1 bath towels
trunk or plastic container for storage
SEI-approved riding helmet
appropriate reading material
laundry bag with name
drawing pad & pencils
What NOT to bring to camp:
Plug-in fans (each cabin has a ceiling and a box fan)
iPods or other mp3 players
Dungeon & Dragons-type games or books
Fortune telling & tarot cards, Ouija boards
Valuable jewelry, watches, expensive clothing, etc.
A large sum of money
Pocket knives or weapons of any kind
Saddle or grooming equipment
Hair dryers, curlers, or straighteners
*Additionally, please note that campers are not allowed to bring their own horses to camp.
S.E.I. Approved Riding Helmets
S.E.I. Approved riding helmets are mandatory headgear for all mounted horseback activities at Hoofbeat Ridge. The S.E.I. logo must appear inside each camper's helmet to be acceptable. Please do not bring helmets that have a manufactured date of over 5 years old. We also have helmets available for rental, and S.E.I. approved helmets may be purchased through tack shops or Hoofbeat Ridge.
15-minute Riding Demonstrations will be held for family and friends between approximately 9:00 am and 10:30 am on the Saturdays following each 2-week session. These demonstrations are weather-permitting, and your child’s safety is our top priority when deciding whether or not to go forward with riding demonstrations.
Trading Post Account
We suggest $20-25 per week spending money for your camper. This money is dispensed through our small camp store (Trading Post) for purchasing camp T-shirts/sweat shirts, novelties, toothpaste, stamps, snacks and drinks, etc. This way money is not lost or misplaced and the Director is able to control the amount of snack foods purchased. We also occasionally plan special out-of-camp trips (such as Circus World Museum, Wisconsin Dells Water Parks, Wisconsin Dells Boat Trips, Cave of the Mounds, etc.). Each camper will need an additional $30 maximum for such trips. T-shirts and sweatshirts are available to parents on Sunday and Saturday during check-in and check-out.
Visiting campers in a short-term camp is discouraged since many children come from out-of-state and their parents are unable to visit them. The appearance of another camper's family can promote homesickness. Campers are encouraged to write home during rest hour and receive mail each day during that time.
To expedite getting mail to your camper, please put the child's name and cabin number on the envelope. The cabin number will be given to you when you check-in on Sunday. Please do NOT mail care packages that contain any type of food.
It's important that our camp phone be available for business calls, therefore, we discourage campers from receiving or making phone calls. The Camp Director or Camp Nurse will be happy to discuss any concerns or questions parents may have about their child. In case of injury or illness, parents will be contacted by the Camp Director or Camp Nurse.
Why are cabins split into one-week cabins and two-week cabins?
We've received some questions about why we keep one- and two-week campers in separate cabins. We try to make your daughter’s social experience at camp as fulfilling as possible. Keeping this in mind, we have found that keeping each camper with the same group of girls allows them to form closer bonds with one another, and avoids the unsettling feeling of people constantly moving in and out. Designating one-week cabins and two-week cabins is also helpful for scheduling and programming purposes, since one-week campers may be packing up and welcoming back their parents while two-weekers are participating in another activity. Additionally, separating the cabins by length of stay provides a better social experience on Saturday nights and Sunday mornings, when only the two-week campers are in the cabins. We thank you for your understanding in this regard.
- No Food in the bunkhouses.
- No flash pictures may be taken around the horses.
- No Smoking - For everyone’s safety and comfort, smoking is not allowed on the premises.
- No Alcohol or illegal drugs are permitted on the grounds at any time.
- No Campers are permitted to bring their own horses to camp.
- No Pets - please don't bring your dogs or other pets when checking in or picking up your camper