The 2,300 acres of land that comprise Teton Valley Ranch Camp have long been part of the working lifestyle of the American West. When our Campers tack their horses and head out on the trail to wrangle in the morning, they are following in the footsteps of cowboys and cowgirls who have worked this land for generations.
The ranch is bordered, on all sides, by National Forest and BLM lands. The trails we ride and hike traverse the ridges and valleys, and cover many miles of opportunity to take in the stunningly beautiful landscapes around us. Campers may catch a glimpse of some of the wildlife with which we share this ecosystem; Deer, elk, Pronghorn Antelope and Moose are seen regularly, and yet still take our breath away!
Our access to this American national treasure is unparalleled, and makes TVRC a gateway to extraordinary adventures! The GYE includes Grand Teton National Park and the entire Teton, Wind River, and Absaroka Mountain Ranges. It also includes the Shoshone, Bridger Teton, Caribou, and Targhee National Forests. As a permitted concessioner in Grand Teton National Park, and the aforementioned National Forests, we are held to the highest standards of programming and stewardship of the land.
Our permits allow us to take backpacking and horse pack-trips into some of the most rugged and striking landscapes in the lower 48 states. Many of the trips we take have been routes for TVRC dating back to the 1940’s. Some of our campers are now the third and fourth generations to summit the same peaks, and walk the same trails here in the GYE. This is an extraordinary privilege that we are very proud to hold, and deeply grateful to provide for our Campers.
At Teton Valley Ranch Camp we believe in living life beyond the edges of our comfort zone. We believe in striving toward our best selves, and always reaching for our potential. We believe in friendships forged in challenging times, and strengthened in times of supportive reflection, and old fashion playful fun! We believe in unplugging from technology and plugging into the present moment. We believe in the importance of community, and the responsibility and contributions of each individual.
We believe in the power of our traditions of Western Heritage and Western Adventure, as guideposts that lead us towards strengthening positive values like a strong work ethic, an abiding sense of gratitude, and a deep love and respect for the natural world. We believe in inspiring the strength to lead and the faith to follow, so that each camper is prepared to meet the challenges they face in their everyday lives with courage and resilience.
Camp is a powerful antidote to the challenges and stressors young people face today. Teton Valley Ranch Camp provides a journey of discovery for every camper, not only outwardly, in the extraordinary landscapes that we travel through, but also inwardly as they explore who they are… and who they are becoming. Every aspect of our program is intentionally designed to provide our campers with opportunities to strengthen our stated outcomes of Inspiration, Mastery, Tenacity, Compassion, and Gratitude.
What this means in the longer term, and in a progressive program like ours, is that we see our campers developing a strong sense of self, and an “internalized locus of control”. This means that our campers learn to think for themselves and they make decisions in their lives guided by field-tested values. Teton Valley Ranch Camp helps each and every camper to recognize that they are the Hero and the Author of their own story, and with this knowledge they return to their world better prepared to meet every challenge head-on, and to persevere, though the trail may be steep and rocky on their way.
Teton Valley Ranch Camp was founded in 1939 by Wendell Wilson in Kelly, Wyoming. The camp operated there for over 60 years. The Program was designed around the idea that, given an opportunity to work hard and play hard, young men and women would grow in character, personal strength, and commitment to the land. During the fall of 2000, the founding family decided to close the camp and sell the ranch in Kelly.
In response to the potential loss of the history and future impact of Teton Valley Ranch Camp, a dedicated group of alumni and families formed The TVRC Education Foundation as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. TVRC began operation in 2002 in Dubois, Wyoming at the Double Bar J Ranch while the Crooked Creek Ranch property was purchased and Developed. At the time of purchase there were no buildings on the 2,300-acre Crooked Creek Ranch, and the Board and the Leadership Team set out to build cabins, bathhouses, staff housing, the barn, and the rodeo arena and corral system. TVRC opened in its current location in the summer of 2005 and a new chapter in the story of Teton Valley Ranch Camp began.