SJ Riding Camp

★★★★★
  • 130 Sandy Beach Rd

    Ellington, CT 06029

    Map & Directions
  • 860-872-4742

About SJ Riding Camp

Categories
  • Horseback Riding
  • Recreation Camps
  • Archery Ranges
Hours
Please call for an appointment and/or tour
Associations
  • American Camp Association, CT Camping Association, Certified Horsemanship Association
Emails
  • info@sjridingcamp.com
  • alex@sjridingcamp.com
Year Established
  • 1956
Products
  • Summer Camp!
Specialties
  • Horseback riding
  • Mini Farm
Payment Options
  • American Express
  • Cash
  • Check
  • Discover
  • MasterCard
  • Traveler's Check
  • Visa
Services
  • Family and group event location in May, June, Sept & Oct
Bios
    Camp Activities
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      4.7368 19
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      .

      My daughter has gone to SJ for the past 3 summers and each has been better than the previous: all a wonderful experience for her. She adores the staff, the horses, and the food. She comes home walking taller in her riding boots because

      3
      ★★★★★

      My daughter has gone to SJ for the past 3 summers and each has been better than the previous: all a wonderful experience for her. She adores the staff, the horses, and the food. She comes home walking taller in her riding boots because

      .

      SJ is really as fun as the camper makes it. Different drama games, sports, archery, boating, and barn classes are offered for three hours in the morning and three hours in the afternoon. You have two group riding lessons a day and get

      3
      ★★★★★

      SJ is really as fun as the camper makes it. Different drama games, sports, archery, boating, and barn classes are offered for three hours in the morning and three hours in the afternoon. You have two group riding lessons a day and get

      .

      .In looking at the reviews below I guestion there legitamacy, as the 5 star reviews all seem to come on the tails of a bad review....... Makes you wonder.. \r
      My 12 year old will never experience an overnight camp again, after her stay

      3
      ★★★★★

      .In looking at the reviews below I guestion there legitamacy, as the 5 star reviews all seem to come on the tails of a bad review....... Makes you wonder.. \r
      My 12 year old will never experience an overnight camp again, after her stay

      .

      My daughter returned from this camp with horror stories. The place is poorly run, minimal activities and rather nasty counselors. I was so upset she endured the place for 1 week. She went with three other girsl and they had a very negative experience. I had reservations about sending her when we arrived as it is very run down, and our arrival experience was unpleasant from the get go. First we arrived early, maybe 1 hour early, at approx. 2PM. Well you need to read the fine print regarding arrivals, as an arrival before the specified time is against the rules and they will not in anyway accomodate or acknowledge you. Thus we and numerous other parties waited for an hour in the blazing sun, in a long windy line, without one acknowlegement from staff. Considering we drove for hours, I found this treatment clearly unprofessional on the part of the camp.They refused to check people in until 3 on the dot. That alone should have told me something. As for water, make sure you bring your own cases as water is hard to come by. As for my daughter and her friends...they stated the older counselors are very rude and make fun of others, the food was deplorable, lack of water and most important minimal activities, they hung around in the cabin or walked aimlessly around for hours of the day..... LOOK ELSEWHERE FOR A RIDING CAMP!

      1
      ★☆☆☆☆

      My daughter returned from this camp with horror stories. The place is poorly run, minimal activities and rather nasty counselors. I was so upset she endured the place for 1 week. She went with three other girsl and they had a very negative experience. I had reservations about sending her when we arrived as it is very run down, and our arrival experience was unpleasant from the get go. First we arrived early, maybe 1 hour early, at approx. 2PM. Well you need to read the fine print regarding arrivals, as an arrival before the specified time is against the rules and they will not in anyway accomodate or acknowledge you. Thus we and numerous other parties waited for an hour in the blazing sun, in a long windy line, without one acknowlegement from staff. Considering we drove for hours, I found this treatment clearly unprofessional on the part of the camp.They refused to check people in until 3 on the dot. That alone should have told me something. As for water, make sure you bring your own cases as water is hard to come by. As for my daughter and her friends...they stated the older counselors are very rude and make fun of others, the food was deplorable, lack of water and most important minimal activities, they hung around in the cabin or walked aimlessly around for hours of the day..... LOOK ELSEWHERE FOR A RIDING CAMP!

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      .

      I had so much fun at SJ. I made some amazing friends and became a much better rider. There is always something new to do and it isn't really competitive like many riding places in new england - it's laid back and all about fun! The food was pretty good, and I'm a vegetarian. The counselors were really nice and helpful for the most part, and I never felt lonely, unsafe, or bored. There were always things to do and people to see. I would recommend SJ to anyone who wants their daughter to have an amazing summer and to grow as a rider!

      5
      ★★★★★

      I had so much fun at SJ. I made some amazing friends and became a much better rider. There is always something new to do and it isn't really competitive like many riding places in new england - it's laid back and all about fun! The food was pretty good, and I'm a vegetarian. The counselors were really nice and helpful for the most part, and I never felt lonely, unsafe, or bored. There were always things to do and people to see. I would recommend SJ to anyone who wants their daughter to have an amazing summer and to grow as a rider!

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      0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

      .

      I had the most amazing experience at sj. the horses were awesome, and the riding taught you so much. there were a lot of kids who were beginners and had never even jumped before, and by the end of camp they were jumping cross country!! I

      3
      ★★★★★

      I had the most amazing experience at sj. the horses were awesome, and the riding taught you so much. there were a lot of kids who were beginners and had never even jumped before, and by the end of camp they were jumping cross country!! I

      .

      I love SJ so much! Even though the facilities are a little rustic, the campers don't care! You'll make amazing friends and grow so much as a rider. The counselors are fun and amazing and the riding program was so fun! Swimming with the

      3
      ★★★★★

      I love SJ so much! Even though the facilities are a little rustic, the campers don't care! You'll make amazing friends and grow so much as a rider. The counselors are fun and amazing and the riding program was so fun! Swimming with the

      .

      I'm 13 and I've gone to SJ for two years and in 11 days I'll be leaving for my 3rd year. 99% of the people that go to SJ LOVE it. The rest of the either jsut don't like it, or don't give it a chance! \r
      \r
      The staff at SJ ranch is

      3
      ★★★★★

      I'm 13 and I've gone to SJ for two years and in 11 days I'll be leaving for my 3rd year. 99% of the people that go to SJ LOVE it. The rest of the either jsut don't like it, or don't give it a chance! \r
      \r
      The staff at SJ ranch is

      .

      I am looking again for a ridng camp for my 11 year old.\r
      Last year we tried S& J and were real dispaointed. The camp w as not as expected. We were unhappy from the get go. Our arrival there was soo dispaointing and I felt unsure about

      3
      ★★★★★

      I am looking again for a ridng camp for my 11 year old.\r
      Last year we tried S& J and were real dispaointed. The camp w as not as expected. We were unhappy from the get go. Our arrival there was soo dispaointing and I felt unsure about

      .

      Last year was my first year at SJ. I went for third session (2 weeks). It was the best experience of my life. It was also my first time ever at sleep-away camp. I got a great welcome to the camp. My first day there, I made friends with

      3
      ★★★★★

      Last year was my first year at SJ. I went for third session (2 weeks). It was the best experience of my life. It was also my first time ever at sleep-away camp. I got a great welcome to the camp. My first day there, I made friends with

      .

      THIS IS THE ABSOLUTE BEST CAMP EVER! appropriate for all ages and riding levels. best two weeks in my summer (there are also three and one week options) the girls are the best! i made new friends the first couple minutes i was there. the horses are awesome! amazing beginner horses to learn on and then a handful of more challenging horses assigned to only the most advanced riders. all are completely safe though. too much to do, and so many friends! i would definately recommend this camp to anyone! not the prissy riding camps. rustic cabins, very outdoorsy.

      5
      ★★★★★

      THIS IS THE ABSOLUTE BEST CAMP EVER! appropriate for all ages and riding levels. best two weeks in my summer (there are also three and one week options) the girls are the best! i made new friends the first couple minutes i was there. the horses are awesome! amazing beginner horses to learn on and then a handful of more challenging horses assigned to only the most advanced riders. all are completely safe though. too much to do, and so many friends! i would definately recommend this camp to anyone! not the prissy riding camps. rustic cabins, very outdoorsy.

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      0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

      .

      My daughter began going to SJ Ranch in 2002, when she was thirteen years old. She is a shy girl, and she was very, very homesick for the first week. My husband and I were concerned that she wasn't ready to be away for so long (3 week session), but by the time we came to pick her up she didn't want to come home with us!
      My girl is now 21 and stays in touch with many of the friends she made as a camper.
      She had been riding for 5 years when she started, and SJ is geared very much toward horses, so that was the most important part, but she also loved arts and crafts, archery, boating, and various games. Over her four camper years, she learned many new horse-related skills. She adored her counselors, who were friendly to me and supportive of my daughter. They made every effort to include her, and it worked out wonderfully.
      I would recommend SJ to anyone with a daughter who loves horses (any riding level!) and is an outdoorsy type (the cabins are pretty rustic). My daughter found her place at SJ, and perhaps yours will, too!

      5
      ★★★★★

      My daughter began going to SJ Ranch in 2002, when she was thirteen years old. She is a shy girl, and she was very, very homesick for the first week. My husband and I were concerned that she wasn't ready to be away for so long (3 week session), but by the time we came to pick her up she didn't want to come home with us!
      My girl is now 21 and stays in touch with many of the friends she made as a camper.
      She had been riding for 5 years when she started, and SJ is geared very much toward horses, so that was the most important part, but she also loved arts and crafts, archery, boating, and various games. Over her four camper years, she learned many new horse-related skills. She adored her counselors, who were friendly to me and supportive of my daughter. They made every effort to include her, and it worked out wonderfully.
      I would recommend SJ to anyone with a daughter who loves horses (any riding level!) and is an outdoorsy type (the cabins are pretty rustic). My daughter found her place at SJ, and perhaps yours will, too!

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      0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

      .

      My daughter just loved her SJ experience. This is not a "fancy" equestrian camp, and so much the better. The campers learn responsibility for horses and themselves and make lifelong frioends along the way (girls AND horses!) Highly recommended!

      5
      ★★★★★

      My daughter just loved her SJ experience. This is not a "fancy" equestrian camp, and so much the better. The campers learn responsibility for horses and themselves and make lifelong frioends along the way (girls AND horses!) Highly recommended!

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      .

      My daughter began going to SJ Ranch in 2002, when she was thirteen years old. She is a shy girl, and she was very, very homesick for the first week. My husband and I were concerned that she wasn't ready to be away for so long (3 week session), but by the time we came to pick her up she didn't want to come home with us!
      My girl is now 21 and stays in touch with many of the friends she made as a camper.
      She had been riding for 5 years when she started, and SJ is geared very much toward horses, so that was the most important part, but she also loved arts and crafts, archery, boating, and various games. Over her four camper years, she learned many new horse-related skills. She adored her counselors, who were friendly to me and supportive of my daughter. They made every effort to include her, and it worked out wonderfully.
      I would recommend SJ to anyone with a daughter who loves horses (any riding level!) and is an outdoorsy type (the cabins are pretty rustic). My daughter found her place at SJ, and perhaps yours will, too!

      2
      ★★★★★

      My daughter began going to SJ Ranch in 2002, when she was thirteen years old. She is a shy girl, and she was very, very homesick for the first week. My husband and I were concerned that she wasn't ready to be away for so long (3 week session), but by the time we came to pick her up she didn't want to come home with us!
      My girl is now 21 and stays in touch with many of the friends she made as a camper.
      She had been riding for 5 years when she started, and SJ is geared very much toward horses, so that was the most important part, but she also loved arts and crafts, archery, boating, and various games. Over her four camper years, she learned many new horse-related skills. She adored her counselors, who were friendly to me and supportive of my daughter. They made every effort to include her, and it worked out wonderfully.
      I would recommend SJ to anyone with a daughter who loves horses (any riding level!) and is an outdoorsy type (the cabins are pretty rustic). My daughter found her place at SJ, and perhaps yours will, too!

      .

      SJ is the ideal place for a horse-loving girl to spend the summer! The camp is small, so every camper and counselor know each other's names within the first few days. There are cabin bonding activities, whole-camp activities, and the smaller groups that girls sign up for. The campers are constantly mixed with new people and really get to know older and younger members of the community. Year after year girls dedicate their summer to camp at SJ because of the amazing horses, friends, and staff! The first time you attend SJ you become part of the family. My family has been involved as campers and parents of campers here since 1996 -- we highly recommend it!!!!

      2
      ★★★★★

      SJ is the ideal place for a horse-loving girl to spend the summer! The camp is small, so every camper and counselor know each other's names within the first few days. There are cabin bonding activities, whole-camp activities, and the smaller groups that girls sign up for. The campers are constantly mixed with new people and really get to know older and younger members of the community. Year after year girls dedicate their summer to camp at SJ because of the amazing horses, friends, and staff! The first time you attend SJ you become part of the family. My family has been involved as campers and parents of campers here since 1996 -- we highly recommend it!!!!

      .

      I couldn't disagree more. My daughter never complained of boredom. She went to SJ to ride and be around horses. The focus of this camp is riding. There are other activities but it is not a sports camp. The kids are not scheduled to run from one place to another like they do the whole school year. They are encouraged to be with each other.
      Since the girls are assigned riding groups according to skill, they get to interact with girls that are not necessarily in their cabin. They learn a lot about riding and horsemanship in a noncompetitive atmosphere.
      I found the staff be very helpful and kind particularly when it came to homesickness. Although there were CITs and Jr. Counselors, the rest of the senior staff were all over 21 years of age.
      Yes the check in can take some time, but it is because they are thorough, even doing a lice check.
      SJ Ranch is located in a beautiful setting. It an ideal place to spend the summer. It is a small group of about 50 girls. Some are returning campers and do know each other, but there is always room for new friends.
      My daughter was very happy at SJ and looks forward to going again.

      2
      ★★★★☆

      I couldn't disagree more. My daughter never complained of boredom. She went to SJ to ride and be around horses. The focus of this camp is riding. There are other activities but it is not a sports camp. The kids are not scheduled to run from one place to another like they do the whole school year. They are encouraged to be with each other.
      Since the girls are assigned riding groups according to skill, they get to interact with girls that are not necessarily in their cabin. They learn a lot about riding and horsemanship in a noncompetitive atmosphere.
      I found the staff be very helpful and kind particularly when it came to homesickness. Although there were CITs and Jr. Counselors, the rest of the senior staff were all over 21 years of age.
      Yes the check in can take some time, but it is because they are thorough, even doing a lice check.
      SJ Ranch is located in a beautiful setting. It an ideal place to spend the summer. It is a small group of about 50 girls. Some are returning campers and do know each other, but there is always room for new friends.
      My daughter was very happy at SJ and looks forward to going again.

      .

      I would never send my daughter to this camp again. What a horrible expereince. My daughter hated it here, as the staff is very unfriendly and clicky. Camp is basically run by teens, who can do and say whatever they want. Lots of bad behavior, including swearing by the staff. Not much for activites, I believe my daughter's did archery and that was it. Very hot week and yet swimming is minimal. Also, have rest time for three hours mid day, where they do exactly nothing.
      Save your money, they will have more fun at home.

      1
      ★☆☆☆☆

      I would never send my daughter to this camp again. What a horrible expereince. My daughter hated it here, as the staff is very unfriendly and clicky. Camp is basically run by teens, who can do and say whatever they want. Lots of bad behavior, including swearing by the staff. Not much for activites, I believe my daughter's did archery and that was it. Very hot week and yet swimming is minimal. Also, have rest time for three hours mid day, where they do exactly nothing.
      Save your money, they will have more fun at home.

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      1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

      .

      I sent my two daughters to the camp and I picked them up after two nights. It was not a matter of homesickness it was that they were completely bored, as beyond riding there were no organized activites. The staff is run by
      16 to 18 year olds who have serious attitudes. The only time I saw an adult older than 20 was at check in. From the moment we arrived we were very disapointed....I spoke with a staff member at arrival, and after that I never saw a person in charge that was older than 18. Upon arrival we waited in a line that curled into the parking area, a line that was in the blazing hot sun. We never saw water areas for the children and they told us if the kids were thirsty they were to get drinks from the bathroom sink. That was our welcome to SJ Camp. Parents dropping off were treated as one big inconvenience. The camp is very clicky and if your child is quiet, timid or just plain polite she will find herself isolated and alone. Loud and Obnoxious teens run the place, barking out orders to the campers who are not in the "in group". What a very negative experience. I lost all of my money, however, I decided it was best not to have my daughters in such an environment. Just to add, my other child is at an alternate camp for 2 weeks, and it is like night and day.. I recommend to look elsewehere.

      0
      ★☆☆☆☆

      I sent my two daughters to the camp and I picked them up after two nights. It was not a matter of homesickness it was that they were completely bored, as beyond riding there were no organized activites. The staff is run by
      16 to 18 year olds who have serious attitudes. The only time I saw an adult older than 20 was at check in. From the moment we arrived we were very disapointed....I spoke with a staff member at arrival, and after that I never saw a person in charge that was older than 18. Upon arrival we waited in a line that curled into the parking area, a line that was in the blazing hot sun. We never saw water areas for the children and they told us if the kids were thirsty they were to get drinks from the bathroom sink. That was our welcome to SJ Camp. Parents dropping off were treated as one big inconvenience. The camp is very clicky and if your child is quiet, timid or just plain polite she will find herself isolated and alone. Loud and Obnoxious teens run the place, barking out orders to the campers who are not in the "in group". What a very negative experience. I lost all of my money, however, I decided it was best not to have my daughters in such an environment. Just to add, my other child is at an alternate camp for 2 weeks, and it is like night and day.. I recommend to look elsewehere.

      Pros: none

      Cons: minimal activities

      .

      My daughters have been attending SJ Ranch for the past several years and love every minute of it. The camp teaches responsibility (you have to be where you are supposed to be by your watch and each set of girls is responsible for keeping their cabin clean). They take lessons twice a day everyday learning skills appropriate to their riding level. The girls have the option to clean up the barn area and stalls when they sign up for activities (which include arts & crafts, archery, tennis, etc.) each day. The girls each get to go on a lunch or diner ride and swim with the horses. It is a fantastic experience. My children will be going back!

      5
      ★★★★★

      My daughters have been attending SJ Ranch for the past several years and love every minute of it. The camp teaches responsibility (you have to be where you are supposed to be by your watch and each set of girls is responsible for keeping their cabin clean). They take lessons twice a day everyday learning skills appropriate to their riding level. The girls have the option to clean up the barn area and stalls when they sign up for activities (which include arts & crafts, archery, tennis, etc.) each day. The girls each get to go on a lunch or diner ride and swim with the horses. It is a fantastic experience. My children will be going back!

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      1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

      Message from SJ Riding Camp

      SJ Riding Camp will celebrate our 62nd summer this year!



      Horses + Camp = Magic!



      San Juan Ranch was founded in 1956 by Mary E. Haines as a riding camp for her children and their friends. Since then, the camp has grown into a comprehensive riding facility and general activities camp while maintaining the family oriented feel that provides each camper with individual attention.



      Our summer camp provides girls from 8-16 years old with a safe place to learn to ride, improve riding skills, take on the responsibility of horse care, improve their horsemanship skills, and have fun while learning to be active, caring members of the camp community.



      The Camp runs for nine weeks, in 1-, 2-, and 3-week sessions. For girls who would like to devote more of their summer to camp, we have the option of combining sessions for a longer stay. Only 48 riders are accepted each week.



      While at SJ, campers ride twice a day with time for other activities such as horse management and care, arts & crafts, theater games, archery, boating, swimming, tennis, basketball, and field games. Some of SJ's most loved activities include swimming with the horses, supper rides, the Banquet, horse shows, watching their instructors in a lesson, and the last night of each session campfire.



      The riding program is full for 2018, and taking wait lists. Join us this year in our Farm Program!

      Love horses and other animals but not ready to ride? Join our new Farm Camp! Available the same dates and times as the riding program. While riders head to the horses twice a day the Farm Crew go to the mini farm to learn about and care for chickens, goats, rabbits, and yes, horses!



      Day Camp options available during some weeks - call today!



      SJ Riding Camp is accredited by the American Camping Association (ACA) and our riding instructors are certified by the Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA). Our staff and campers come from throughout the US and the world and with varied backgrounds. Everyone at SJ values diversity and openness to new opportunities. SJ is a place for girls to gain self-confidence, friends, and new experiences through a common love of horses.

      Limited financial assistance available.



      Call or email us today! 860-872-4742 info@sjridingcamp.com

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