For many families, summer is a great time to vacation, be outside more often and offer a respite from the hectic pace of the school year. For kids looking to stay busy and get more playtime under their belts, summer camp may be just what they need. And there is an awesome summer camp option close by!
Brookhill Ranch is a rare local gem. Nestled close to beautiful Hot Springs Village, it is a stone’s throw away for Saline County residents who want to give their kids a meaningful summer camp experience. And if the location and its natural, scenic beauty are not enough, the Ranch is a true family affair. It is owned and operated by the founder’s third generation family, with the fourth-generation children closely involved as well.
Originally founded by Don and Hettie Brooks in the summer of 1964 with seven campers, the ranch has steadily grown over the years and now accommodates over 2,500 campers each summer. The Ranch’s executive director is Lynlee McMillan, and her husband Mike is the chief operations officer. David Pate serves as the CEO, and is married to Lynlee’s sister, Melisa, the executive creative director for the ranch. Both families have a combined four children who are also very active with summer camp and the Ranch’s special events.
Studies show the benefits of attending summer camp include building independence, providing a structured opportunity for growth and socialization, and a chance to learn new skills in an electronics-free zone. And to top it all off, it is an excellent way to make new and meaningful friendships. “Kids need summer camp and connection now more than ever,” said Lynlee. “They are not meant to be isolated—summer camp is a time to make the best summertime memories!”
There is no time like the present to shake up your child’s summer and sign up for a one-week camp session. The camp is currently registering children for summer 2021 sessions. On the heels of a very successful 2020 camp season (not one case of COVID was present at camp, where they conducted four temperature checks per day on over 2,000 campers!), the Brookhill Ranch staff is looking forward to a very fun 2021. Children leaving 2nd grade through children leaving 9th grade are invited to sign up and experience all the fun that camp has to offer. There is one two-week session available as well.
Brookhill Ranch camp offers a complete list of over 30 outdoor and indoor activities that may seem impossible to get through in a one-week stay. Horseback riding, archery, art, basketball, beach volleyball, fishing, swimming, go-carts, laser tag, music, nature, riflery, tumbling, wakeboarding, tennis, woodworking, and fun on the big lake are a sample of the camp offerings.
While the activities offered are sure to bring joy to anyone’s day, it is the human connection with other kids and the counselors and instructors that the Brookhill Ranch staff hopes has a lasting impact on the campers. “Camp counselors, youth pastors and teachers have tremendous influence,” said Lynlee. “When adults are asked who shaped their lives, it all goes back to those three influences.”
“To be in a place where kids are encouraged to be kids and the pressures they feel can be removed and they can be free to play, laugh and be themselves is some of the best medicine that can’t ever be prescribed!” said Lynlee.
Brookhill Ranch is primarily used for summer camp, but it can also be rented for special events, retreats, conferences or single-day use. The space is a popular wedding, photo shoots, and family reunion destination. With over 10,000 square feet of event space, including a pavilion, it can accommodate events of all sizes like youth, business, and church conferences. The property boasts the only rentable wakeboard tower in Arkansas, and also offers a laser-tag experience rental option.
The property hosts two annual signature events, the Brookhill Market and a Christmas Light Drive Through. The Brookhill Market is a family-friendly event with a playground, live music, picnic tables, shopping and plenty of sweet tea. The 2021 event is slated for October 22-23, and will showcase vendors with home décor, personal care, clothing, toys and specialty food items.
The annual Brookhill Christmas Light Drive-Thru displays over 30,000 bulbs in varying arrangements over a 1.5-mile driving route. A perfect event for the whole family, the light display also includes Santa’s workshop, a winter wonderland and many places to take great pictures with the kids. And to top off the festive evening, there is also a stunning reminder of the real reason for the season guaranteed to bring the Christmas spirit alive in a fresh way.
Whether you are looking to introduce your child to the wonders of summer camp or need to rent an event space, Brookhill Ranch offers something for everyone throughout the year. Register for camp today! Visit brookhillanch.com or call 501-623-5983.