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Horses & Canoes: Summer Camp in the Ozarks With Your Family

Program No. 22180RJ
Head to summer camp with your family in the foothills of the Ozarks. Go horseback riding, float down the river and fly through the forest via Alpine Swing on this amazing adventure.

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At a Glance

Summer camp awaits you and your family at YMCA Trout Lodge — a family camp situated on 5,000 forested acres on a shimmering lake in the Eastern Foothills of the Ozarks. Together you’ll take on some summer-camp favorites, like canoeing, archery and horseback riding. Plus, take part in fun activities that you’ll only find in and around Trout Lodge, from climbing among the larger-than-life granite boulders at Elephant Rocks State Park to soaring high above the forest on the Alpine Swing. Learn to line dance from the Triangle Y Wranglers, and tell stories by the campfire as you fill up on s’mores under the stars. All this and more in a beautiful setting in Eastern Foothills of the Ozarks.
Activity Level
Outdoor: No Sweat
I exercise for fun, not to win contests. I like to explore at an easy pace, stopping to snap photos and smell the roses. Varied terrain doesn’t scare me, but let’s not do anything too extreme.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Hit the lake in a canoe, where you’ll learn how to paddle properly from your expert instructor, and take on a leisurely float trip down the river.
  • Practice riding a horse in the equestrian barn before heading out on a trail ride through hardwood forests.
  • Climb high above the forest on the Alpine Tower, swing through the air on the Alpine Swing, and enjoy a moonlight zip line adventure as you zip through the night sky.

General Notes

This is a Family program for participants, their adult children and grandchildren ages 10 and up. For a comparable intergenerational adventure for just grandparents and grandchildren, check out program #14633!
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Washington County, Missouri: including its History, the Horine Cemetery, the Hughes Mountain State Natural Area, and More
by Sharon Clyde
Missouri Geology: Three Billion Years of Volcanoes, Seas, Sediments, and Erosion
by A.G. Unklesbay and Jarry D. Vineyard
Roadside Geology of Missouri
by Charles G. Spencer
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6 days
5 nights
14 meals
5 B 4 L 5 D
Check-in, Program Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Potosi, MO
YMCA Trout Lodge

Activity note: Check-in from 3:30 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration. After you check in and have your room assignment, join us at the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff, get any updated information, and confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please locate your Group Leader and let them know you have arrived. Help yourself to the fruit basket at the registration table! Orientation: 4:30 p.m. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. We will review COVID protocols and will adhere to applicable requirements and guidelines throughout the program. This is a Road Scholar Grandparent program. Grandparents are responsible for their grandchildren at all times. If/when separate age group activities are conducted concurrently, program staff will supervise. Minors are never to be left unsupervised. Our experienced and knowledgeable Group Leader will also serve as our Study Leader, presenting lectures and conducting field trips. Transportation will be via mini-bus unless noted otherwise. Meals will be in the Trout Lodge Dining Hall. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: In the Trout Lodge dining room.

Evening: We will explore Trout Lodge and learn about the history of the lodge and the upcoming program activities. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

Water Ecology, Rocks & Minerals, Riding Lesson, Pines Peak
Potosi, MO
YMCA Trout Lodge

Activity note: Getting on/off horses. Horseback riding requires long pants and closed-toe shoes. Walking about 1 mile; hilly terrain. Bring shoes that can get wet for water ecology.

Breakfast: In the dining room.

Morning: We’ll walk to our very own cold springs for a hands-on lesson on aquatic ecology to learn what’s in and around the water. Then we’ll walk to another location and learn about rocks and minerals. We will have a wire wrapping lesson for the rocks found on the geology hike.

Lunch: In the dining room.

Afternoon: Next, we’ll go to the Equestrian Barn, learn how to tack horses, and enjoy an educational ride in the arena. We will have a Kayak and Canoeing lesson by our waterfront crew after lunch.

Dinner: In the dining room.

Evening: We’ll end the evening with a Rock Climbing adventure. Pines Peak is a 35 foot climbing tower and a great start to those newer to climbing! Note: For kids ages 8 and older.

Elephant Rocks State Park, Climbing Alpine Tower
Potosi, MO
YMCA Trout Lodge

Activity note: Getting on/off a bus; driving about 36 miles, approximately 1 hour riding time. Elephant Rocks State Park and Alpine Tower-Swing require closed-toe shoes. Wear comfortable clothes.

Breakfast: In the dining room.

Morning: We will continue to have more riding lessons We’ll then board the bus and ride to Elephant Rocks State Park.

Lunch: At Elephant Rocks State Park.

Afternoon: We’ll enjoy the afternoon at Elephant Rocks State Park where there are amazing natural geological wonders all around. The park is named for granite rocks that are 1.5 billion years old and look like a train of circus elephants. There are two available routes through the park, one on a paved walkway, the other up and over the rocks. Our Group Leader will take one route and provide commentary as we go. Those with energy and stamina are welcome to take the other route and go up on their own. At the top, we’ll learn about more geology and history with the whole group. On the way back, we will stop in the village of Caledonia. Most of the town has been declared a National Historic District. We’ll stop at the historic general store, notable for antiques and an old time hand-dipped ice cream and candy shop. Returning to the lodge, we’ll have some time to freshen up and relax before dinner.

Dinner: In the dining room.

Evening: We’ll have an evening of fun-filled adventure on the Alpine Tower, Alpine Swing, and zip line. The Alpine Tower is a 50-foot hourglass-shaped jungle gym with a variety of elements including rocks, cables and poles.

Float Trip, Line Dancing
Potosi, MO
YMCA Trout Lodge

Activity note: Getting on and off inflatables, going 5 to 6 miles. Bring water shoes with heel strap; wear clothes that can get wet.

Breakfast: In the dining room.

Morning: We’ll hop aboard the mini-bus and ride to the launch point for a float study trip aboard inflatable rafts led by local experts. We’ll learn about the river, the natural vegetation, and species found in the water. We’ll also have opportunities to get out and swim and enjoy the water!

Lunch: In the dining room.

Afternoon: We’ll complete our float study trip and return to the lodge to relax and dry off. The remainder of the afternoon will be free to enjoy however you please.

Dinner: In the dining room.

Evening: We’ll head on down to the ranch and learn how to line dance from our Triangle Y Wranglers.

Trail Ride, Winery, Catered Dinner
Potosi, MO
YMCA Trout Lodge

Activity note: Getting on/off horses; Closed toed shoes and long pants required.

Breakfast: In the dining room.

Morning: We will have a nice trail ride through one of our trails in the morning for half of the group and one of our programmed activities for the other half.

Lunch: On the beach, we’ll have box lunches.

Afternoon: We will have a nice trail ride through one of our trails in the morning for half of the group and one of our programmed activities for the other half. After trail rides, we will go to one of the local wineries and the kids will stay behind with a staff member.

Dinner: In our meeting space, it will be a catered St. Louis Style Dinner.

Evening: After a long day in the sun, we'll have a closing campfire with songs and s'mores.

Program concludes
Potosi, MO

Activity note: Lodge check-out 11:30 a.m.

Breakfast: In the dining room.

Afternoon: For anyone who would like to stay longer after the program concludes, please check with the Group Leader. YMCA Trout Lodge facilities will be available after check-out (at additional cost). If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!

Evening: We will have a lovely catered dinner that is St. Louis style themed. After dinner, we will have a lovely closing campfire with songs and s'mores.

Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.