This article originally appeared in the March 2012 issue of MemphiSport
Tucked into a beautiful and secluded area just outside of Bolivar, TN, Victory Ranch is a place that is redefining the typical summer camp experience. Going to camps in the summer is almost a rite of passage for millions of American children each year, but the team of counselors and employees at Victory Ranch offer more than a camp – they offer a place and program that help children grow intellectually, spiritually and physically.
“Our mission is to nurture and challenge the body, mind and spirit to the glory of God,” Victory Ranch owner Dennis Smith said. “Victory Ranch Summer Camp is a place of adventure and thrills, a place for new victories, as well as a place of endless friendships.”
After directing summer and children camps in the Memphis area for a number of years, Victory Ranch owner and founder Dennis Smith began to realize what a great impact an overnight camp could have in the community. From there, he began to lay the groundwork for Victory Ranch, which is entering its ninth year.
“Camps and youth retreats had been influential in my life as a kid,” Smith said. “After years of dreaming and planning, we developed a business plan and started talking to community leaders that could help make it a reality.”
Campers can expect to participate in a variety of activities throughout their time at the Ranch including five main areas of emphasis: outdoor adventure, sports, recreation, water activities (lake and pool), and equestrian.
Summer 2012 Sessions
- Session 1 (Coed Sk-2nd grade): May 29 – June 2
- Session 2 (Coed 1st-7th grade): June 3-9
- Session 3 (Coed 1st-7th grade): June 10-16
- Session 4 (Boys 1st-7th grade): June 17-23
- Session 5 (Jr. High Coed 6th-9th grade): June 24-30
- Session 6 (Girls 1st-7th grade): July 8-14
- Session 7 (Coed 1st-7th grade): July 15-21
“We all gather together to see pictures of the day’s activities,” Smith said. “Then, we sing praise and worship songs in addition to hearing from a speaker about how God has impacted his or her life.”
Smith and his wife, Anne, sing the praises of their staff and credit the counselors and employees with providing a consistently unique and high quality camp experience. Unlike a lot of camps, Victory Ranch has a full-time staff with professionals dedicated solely to improving the Victory Ranch experience.
“We believe the strength of Victory Ranch rests in our staff,” Smith said. “We go to great lengths to hire the best counselors, and our staff and counselors are positive role models chosen for their spiritual and emotional maturity.”
Campers and parents alike have been impressed with Smith, Victory Ranch and the overall experience their children have had.
Victory Ranch has camps for all ages this summer. The cost of the camps is $950 per week. Many campers wish to attend multiple sessions. If your child wishes to do so, each additional session is offered at a discounted rate. For more information, visit victoryranch.org.
Written by Preston McClellan, Photos courtesy of Victory Ranch