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InterVarsity Circle Square Ranch Big Clear Lake  

  • Type:
    Overnight camp, Family programs
  • Focus:
    Traditional (multi activity)
  • Cost:
    $625 to $725/session
  • Ages:
    6 to 16
  • Gender:
  • Main language:
  • Capacity:
  • Programs:
  • e-Brochure:
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  • Summary

    InterVarsity Circle Square Ranch Big Clear Lake answered our questions

    Who are you as an organization?

    For over 40 years, 6-16 year olds have come to our ranch seeking adventure, friendship and faith. We invite our campers to challenge themselves by trying new things like tree climbing in our giant oaks, learning what it takes to ride a horse, trial rides deep into the heart of our 315-acres forest and a range of other exciting activities.

    • Special needs: Not available
    • Religious affiliation: Christian, Faith Based

    What do you do differently or uniquely well?

    This information is not available.

    Who are your staff and counsellors?

    This information is not available.

    What do families need to know about registration?

    This information is not available.

    InterVarsity Circle Square Ranch Big Clear Lake - profile photo

    Video Gallery

  • Programs, Rates & Dates

    Programs and Sessions Calendar

    Choose the right programs and sessions for your child; InterVarsity Circle Square Ranch Big Clear Lake currently has 6 programs available.

    Filter activities available:

    Choose location:

    Ropes Course|Wilderness Skills|Baking/Decorating|Percussion|Arts & Crafts|Archery|Basketball|Gaga|Soccer|Volleyball|Hiking|Horseback Riding/Equestrian|Rock Climbing|Sports-Instructional and Training|Ultimate Frisbee|Canoeing|Fishing|Swimming
    Overnight Camp
    Ages: 15 - 16
    CIT/LIT Program
    Survival skills|Wilderness Out-tripping|Wilderness Skills|CIT/LIT Program|Leadership Training|Nature/Environment|First-aid/lifesaving |Canoeing|Kayaking/Sea Kayaking|Swimming|Archery|Basketball|Horseback Riding/Equestrian|Rock Climbing|Soccer|Sports-Instructional and Training|Ultimate Frisbee|Volleyball
    Overnight Camp
    Ages: 9 - 14
    Traditional (multi activity) , Horseback Riding/Equestrian
    $625 to $725
    Ropes Course|Survival skills|Wilderness Skills|Superhero/Marvel/DC|Acting (Film & TV)|Theatre Arts|Arts & Crafts|Drawing|Painting|Pottery|Leadership Training|First-aid/lifesaving |Canoeing|Fishing|Kayaking/Sea Kayaking|Swimming|Waterskiing/Wakeboarding|Archery|Basketball|Dodgeball|Flag Football|Gaga|Hiking|Hockey|Horseback Riding/Equestrian|Mountain Biking|Rock Climbing|Skateboarding|Soccer|Sports-Instructional and Training|Volleyball|Yoga|Ceramics
    Overnight Camp
    All Boys
    Ages: 13 - 14
    Adventure (multi)
    Ropes Course|Survival skills|Wilderness Skills|Arts & Crafts|Painting|Pottery|Empowerment|Strength and Conditioning|Archery|Basketball|Flag Football|Gaga|Volleyball|Mountain Biking|Hiking|Sports-Instructional and Training|Ultimate Frisbee|Canoeing|Fishing|Kayaking/Sea Kayaking|Swimming|Water Polo|Waterskiing/Wakeboarding
    Overnight Camp
    All Girls
    Ages: 13 - 14
    Adventure (multi)
    Ropes Course|Survival skills|Wilderness Skills|Arts & Crafts|Painting|Empowerment|Strength and Conditioning|Archery|Flag Football|Gaga|Volleyball|Mountain Biking|Hiking|Sports-Instructional and Training|Ultimate Frisbee|Canoeing|Kayaking/Sea Kayaking|Swimming|Water Polo|Waterskiing/Wakeboarding
    Overnight Camp
    Ages: 14
    Traditional (multi activity) , Leadership Training
    Ropes Course|Leadership Training|Bronze Cross|First-aid/lifesaving |Strength and Conditioning|Archery|Basketball|Gaga|Volleyball|Hiking|Horseback Riding/Equestrian|Rock Climbing|Canoeing|Fishing|Kayaking/Sea Kayaking|Swimming

    Financial Aid & Payment Details

    Payment Options:

    Deposit required with acceptance Yes
    Credit card payment Yes
    Maximum installments available 4


    Discount for 2nd child $75
    Discount for 3rd child $75
    Discount for 4th child $75
  • Insider Reviews & Perspectives

    The Our Kids review of InterVarsity Circle Square Ranch Big Clear Lake

    our take

    Begun 1929, the InterVarsity camps contribute to the goal of creating unique opportunities to bring young people together around the personal challenges that a camp setting can provide. At camp kids unplug and turn their attention to the community they find there. The activities facilitate a greater understanding of campers’ talents and abilities, as well as the Christian values that inform the programming. 

    Interview with the Director of InterVarsity Circle Square Ranch Big Clear Lake

    Dan Wesson, Director

    View transcript

    Transcript of our interview with Dan, Director

    What makes Intervarsity Circle Square Ranch Big Clear Lake unique compared to others?

    What sets us apart is our staff. This place has been around for a long time. There are a lot of different fun activities kids can participate in, but what has really set us aside is the quality of our staff and how we train them. 

    The time we invest in our staff really impacts what we do here. I think there’s a lot more buy-in with our team now than there's ever been. I think it really shows in the way they relate to the kids and to parents on pick-up and drop-off days. We have world-class facilities and activities, but it's not our great ropes course that's going to console kids and change their linens and get them new sleeping bags. We have a staff that will take care of kids well, run our games well, and take care of our facilities and activities. And they’re really passionate about what they do.

    What type of child is successful at Intervarsity Big Clear Lake?

    I don't think there's anyone in particular. But I think kids who want to make friends and do a lot of different things at camp do really well. It’s the shared experience of doing this new thing. Getting on a horse, going climbing or canoeing, etc. If you're doing it with these people and you're doing it over the course of a week, that really allows you to build lasting friendships. You share that crazy time when you caught all those frogs or whatever; it can be great.

    If you want to try something new, there's endless things you can try for the first time here. And so if you're open to giving something a try, like horseback riding, just give it a chance. If you're up for trying something new and for adventure, you'll have a great time. 

    How do you deal with behavioural issues?

    There are some main things we do. One is consistency in that we try to have the same rules from the start of the week to the end of the week. We enable the kids to have buy-in by having all our campers sit down at the start of the week with their peers and come up with rules. And so they say, “Oh, I don't think we should make fun of each other. I don't think we should cuss.” That really gets them on board and gives rise to peer accountability.

    It's from day one that all our campers are on the same page. And  if and when something goes awry that’s not too egregious, we sit down with the campers involved and say, “Okay, what's going on that you don't want to listen to your staff, you don't want to get involved in this activity? Help me understand.” And I think between getting campers to buy in, setting very clear expectations from day one, and seeking to understand them, it allows us to manage behavioural issues in a very measured way that works well for us. 

    What do campers value most about their experience at Intervarsity Big Clear Lake?

    So I think I'd cycle back to our staff because again. When they try to get on a horse for the first time, how are staff going to treat them? Are they going to be patient? Are they going to be kind? Are they going to be empathetic and be understanding? And I think we survey our campers every summer and they love so many things about our camp. But the consistency in the appreciation and acknowledgement they have for our staff is what has really driven us to lean harder into investing in our staff as a key resource., 

    What message would you give to a camper who is entering Intervarsity Big Clear Lake?

    I think what I'd say to anybody who is coming to our camp for the first time is, “It's okay to be a little scared. It's okay to be a little nervous.” Camp is a big thing—it's a big shift. But there's a reason why we have camps all over the world and there's a reason why kids keep coming back to us. 

    So if kids are willing to give us a chance and just show up, we'll do the rest. If you put yourself out there and you're willing to try this activity like getting on a horse or try making a friend, we'll set up the atmosphere for the rest of it. It'll be worth your while.

    Close window
    • 00:30 - What makes your camp or program unique compared to others?
    • 01:31 - What type of child is successful at your organization?
    • 02:37 - How does your staff deal with behavioural issues?
    • 03:59 - What do campers or students value the most about an experience at your organization?
    • 04:41 - What message would you give to a camper who is entering your camp or program?

    More reviews of InterVarsity Circle Square Ranch Big Clear Lake

    Discovery Girl, Camper

    Camp is so fun!

    Read review

    More reviews of InterVarsity Circle Square Ranch Big Clear Lake

    Discovery Girl, Camper

    Camp is so fun!

    My camp experience was good. I made lots of new friends. I did lots of swimming. I learned about the Bible. My counsellors were super nice. I loved the camp and hope to come back soon!

    Close window
  • Location & Site Details


    Land O' Lakes Tourist Region, ON
    1361 Price Road, Arden, Ontario, K0H 1B0
    Land O' Lakes Tourist Region, ON
    1361 Price Rd, Arden, Ontario, K0H


    Sleeping Accommodations

    • Cabins
    • Dorm or Building


    • Electricity in Sleeping Area
    • Shower in Sleeping Area
    • Toilet in Sleeping Area

    Washrooms Facilities

    • Flush Toilets
    • Outhouses
    • Showers (indoor)

    More details about accommodations: We have a 12 rooms in 148 bed "western town style" facility with shared washrooms as well as 6 rooms in a 48 bed lodge with shared washrooms. We have an indoor dining hall and rec room. Most activities are at various outdoor locations. Some out-tripping camps sleep in treeforts or tents.

    Are meals provided? Yes

    Is InterVarsity Circle Square Ranch Big Clear Lake technology free? Yes We ask that campers unplug (no phones) for the week to fully immerse themselves into creation and the relationships around them. Parents are able to send one-way emails or snail mail and campers are welcome to write home via post, but not email.

    Property Details

    Sports facilities

    • Archery Range
    • Basketball Court
    • Horseback Riding Arena (indoor/outdoor)
    • Rope Course
    • Soccer Field


    • Beach
    • Forested Area
    • Lake/Pond/River
    • Nature Trails
    • Open Field

    More details about property: Our property includes 350 acres of Frontenac forest along Big Clear Lake including a barn and horse paddocks and riding arenas, sports field, >7km of trails and a family campground for tents and trailers.

    Rentals & Services

    Offers outdoor education program for schools or corporate groups: Yes
    Each season we offer a selection of educational day and overnight trip options for a range of ages. We meet OPHEA guidelines and offer enriching, unique leadership and outdoor education activities.

    Available for private rentals: Yes
    For church, business, family and more… Our well-trained staff are ready to help you with everything from event planning, facilitating and hosting to recreational activities and Bible studies. Your plans and goals for an amazing time are our priority! We are situated on over 360 acres of beautiful, lakefront countryside and offer a range of recreational, adventurous, educational and team-building activities. Depending on the season you will have opportunity for horseback riding, swimming, high ropes and more. Circle Square Ranch is reserved during July & August for our Summer Camp programming. Please contact us to inquire.


    Ontario Camps Association Associations
    Christian Camping International Associations

  • What's New

    Director's Message

    Dan Wesson, Camp Director

    For Dan, his wife Stephanie and their daughter, Lily, this new chapter in their life builds on significant history at the Ranch. It started for Dan when he was just a boy and came to the Ranch as a camper. From camper, he transitioned into summer staff, which is also how Stephanie was introduced to the Ranch. Both of them began serving as summer staff when they were 16 and they’ve been involved ever since. Their leadership roles have ranged from caring for campers in cabins to designing high ropes courses to developing and leading staff in all aspects of session programs. As adults, Dan and Stephanie have invested time and resources in caring for and improving the Ranch property and facilities. They are passionate about carrying on the work of previous directors, whom they know well and love.


    • Boy Camper Comment

      I stumbled upon some YouTube videos of life at CSR (https://www.youtube.com/circlesquarekids). As I viewed the videos, a flood of memories came back to me from when I was a camper. I would have to say the most enjoyable memories I have of the ranch would be the evening campfires in the teepee and the hall ... I can truely say that it was those evenings at the campfires with all the joyful singing and prayer that I came to know the good Lord and that is where I excepted Him into my heart. It was those evenings that I had such a life changing experience that helped me start on my journey with the Lord and Saviour. I would recommend CSR to any parent looking for a place to send their child for a week during the summer. It's one of the best camps that a child could attend. The campers are amazing and so are the staff!!! It's an amazing experience that any child like I myself, will remember forever!!

    • Girl Camper

      At first, I knew very little about God and when I came to CSR I was exited about the horseback riding because I'm crazy about horses. I also did other awesome things like rock climbing and BMX biking. When it was time for horseback riding, I was exited and got assigned a horse named Socks. She was wonderful. PS: I am going to the Horse week and I am excited to learn more about the Lord our God and Horses :D

    • Boy Camper comment

      Circle Square for me was a life saver for the 2 weeks that I was a camper. As a child I was abused as home. Being at CSR helped me find God. There are still times in my life when I can remember the good time I had there and the lasting memories!

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