Thank you to all who joined us this year for the Great Rancho Campout! This annual summer camping trip is one of our (many) favorites, and we hope you enjoyed camping with us as well! Nearly 400 campers pitched their tents on the greens of Trabuco Mesa Park. From tiny tents to pop-up mansions, families had fun putting together their tents before heading to join in the Campout fun.
The Buckaroo Trail was the stage for many a fierce competition. Kids and adults alike played with cornhole sets, ladder golf, scoop ball (a personal favorite of SAMLARC staff member Alex Kuhlmann) and more. These timeless lawn games offered a way for families to connect under the summer sky.
SAMLARC families enjoyed the warm weather and cooled off during the Great Family Water Balloon Fight! Participants had fun tossing the balloons back and forth – and no one minded the cool water if (when) the balloons popped. There were squirt guns, a water limbo pole, and lots of water splash balls to help beat the heat. After the water fun, attendees had a chance to take part in a giant game of capture the flag! Participants were split into two teams and the game was on - Attendees had so much fun that two more games followed!
Kids also had the chance to participate in the Children’s Gardening Workshop, where they planted daisies in personalized pots for their gardens at home. SAMLARC member and long-time gardener Kathie Wickham directed the workshop along with helpful volunteers!
Just beyond the Buckaroo Trail, trick ropers demonstrated a few feats from the days of the Old West. They invited spectators to try their best at roping a (haybale) cow – and we’re happy to report that not one cow got away.
Dinner opened in the early evening, and Spectacular Catering’s grub was amazing! Families rustled up old fashioned barbeque classics, and then headed over to the Farm Photo Barn for fun Polaroid photos. After dinner, dozens of kids flocked to the Rootin’ Tootin’ Eating Contest. The children searched for gummy worms hidden away in whipped-cream pies and competed to find the fastest gummy-worm hunter! It was so much fun that even grown-ups couldn’t resist.
As dusk set in, families picked up their s’mores saloon kits and glow sticks to prepare for the night’s fun. They gathered around the campfire to listen and sing along to classic campfire songs. Classic campfire ballads and family favorites (hello, Beatles!) were played to create a relaxing environment after a day full of fun activities. The evening ended with lots of sticky, sweet-toothed smiles.
The moon rose, the campers dozed, and suddenly the scent of fresh pancakes graced the morning air! The Saddleback Canyon Riders fired up their griddles to wake campers with a hot pancake breakfast. This wasn’t their first rodeo, either: the Saddleback Canyon Riders have served delicious pancake breakfasts at the Great Rancho Campout for years! Families enjoyed the cool morning at the playground and ate all the pancakes that their hearts desired. After breakfast, the campers reluctantly broke camp and began the long journey home.
SAMLARC thanks the many volunteers from Lion’s Heart who helped make the Great Rancho Campout another rootin’ tootin’ success! We had a blast at this year’s Great Rancho Campout! To see more photos, we welcome you to click the link below. And if you have a yearning for more time in the great outdoors, don’t worry! We’ll be returning to Trabuco Mesa Park very soon.
We hope you’ll join us on Friday, August 17th for a movie on the mound! We’re watching The Sandlot, an American classic for all ages. Grab your baseball cap and meet us there! Learn all about the Sandlot Story contest and more here!