We will try to answer your camp related questions here, but if you still need assistance, please contact us.


Life at Camp

Campers rotate throughout the day experiencing different activities relative to their camp session. We often have out-trips, day trips, and overnight camp-outs.
No, there are no laundry facilities available at camp.

For children prone to bed wetting, please pack two sets of sheets and blankets rather than a sleeping bag. A laundry fee will be charged to the camper’s Tuck account every time bedding is sent for laundering. Please make sure that sufficient money is left on deposit in the camper’s Tuck account. We would strongly urge you to consider supplying “Goodnights”. Parents find this to be a very good solution as they can be used discreetly, are cost-effective, and are much easier to deal with than wet clothes and sheets.

Pioneer Camp has an experienced team of cooks who prepare delicious and nutritious meals during camp. Campers with particular dietary requirements are encouraged to consult with camp prior to their arrival.
Clothes will be accessible at sign-out at the end of each camp session. To help reduce lost and found items we ask that all possessions brought to camp be labelled. We attempt to help care for the camper’s clothing, but often considerable amounts get left behind.

We will retain lost and found for one month following camp. If not claimed by then, we will donate appropriate items to a local charity. Medication will be disposed of within two weeks following the camper’s week of attendance. Calls to the camp regarding lost and found will be handled as time permits. Any found items will be sent C.O.D. (at your expense).

Campers are encouraged not to bring valuable clothing or possessions. Pioneer Camp is not responsible for lost, damaged or stolen items.

While camp staff members identify themselves as followers of Jesus, Pioneer Camp welcomes campers and families from all backgrounds and religious beliefs. Pioneer Camp provides a non-denominational Christian environment for children and youth. This means that we hold core beliefs of the historical Christian faith and that we clearly present, in age-appropriate ways, Christian faith to campers. However, campers at Pioneer Camp never have beliefs forced upon them; rather, they are invited to consider issues of life and faith from a Christian perspective and to decide for themselves.
Pioneer Camp is owned and operated by InterVarsity who has been operating summer camps and year-round outdoor educational programs since 1929. We operate nine summer camps across Canada under the names of Pioneer Camp and Circle Square Ranch.

What to Bring

Beside all the normal, camp clothes, there are extra items to bring depending on your child’s camp session. Please see our Packing for Camp section for detailed lists. We will also send you a confirmation package once registration is complete. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Campers should bring enough clothing for the week to two weeks that they are at camp.

  1. Please label all clothing and luggage with labels or indelible markers.
  2. Please attempt to bring modest clothing appropriate for physical camp activities.
  3. Pioneer Camp is not responsible for lost, damaged or stolen items.

The following items are not permitted at Pioneer Camp and, if brought, will be held in the office for the duration of the camper’s session:

  • electronic games, players, entertainment and communication devices (cell phones)
  • jack knives, hunting knives, matches or lighters (pocket knives for Out-Trips are permitted)
  • nuts and/or peanut products
  • inappropriate reading materials
  • alcoholic beverages, narcotics or tobacco products (see note)

Do not bring anything valuable to camp, as occasionally things do get lost or broken.

We reserve the right to send home any camper who fails to cooperate. Pioneer Camp is a NON-SMOKING facility. Please discuss this with your child prior to camp should you consider this to be a concern.

Please note:

The use of tobacco, alcoholic beverages, or narcotics is prohibited and will be treated as a serious offense.  Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.

Pioneer Camp operates a tuck shop where campers can purchase a limited amount of candy and pop, as well as camp t-shirts, hoodies, baseball caps, toques, water bottles, Bibles, etc. Clothing prices range from $15-$25 for t-shirts to about $45 for hoodies.

Spending money amounts are optional, but we suggest $20 to $30 per camper for a one week camp. A smaller amount would be adequate, of course, if your child does not want to purchase an article of clothing.

We ask that parents include payment for spending money with the camper’s registration. Spending money is credited to a tuck account for your child, deductions are made when your child makes a purchase, and any unspent amount is transferred to our scholarship program unless otherwise specified.

Limits allowed: Maximum allowance of $2 of candy/day plus one chocolate bar OR two chocolate bars.

Please note: Regular camp fees do not include tuck shop purchases, camp photos, DVD, clothing, or souvenirs.


Arrival and Departure Days

Round trip transportation is an option available only for our camps being held at Rocky Mountain House, Pioneer Camp Ranch and can be selected when you register your camper (with the exception of LIT).

We encourage campers to use the provided transportation as this helps us start each camp with everyone arriving at the same time. For more information, visit our transportation page.

Please Note: Transportation is not being offered for camps being held at Sundre, Pioneer Camp Lodge. All camps are parent drop-off/parent pick-up.

Transportation Cancellation Policy: Cancellation less than one week prior to the start of camp… full refund less 50% of the transportation fee. Exception: medical reasons with a note from the doctor (full refund).

Pioneer Camp Lodge, Sundre: Registration is at 3 pm on the first day of camp.
Pioneer Camp Ranch, Rocky Mountain House: If you are driving your child to camp yourself, registration is at 3:30 pm on the first day of camp. (Exception: LIT starts at 3 pm.) Pioneer Camp Ranch is about a 2.5-3 hour drive from both Edmonton and Calgary and about a 1 hour and 15 minute drive from Red Deer, travel times being from the edge of each city.
Please note: We are unable to accept early registrations.

For more specific information, go to our transportation page. If you have any questions regarding registration day, please contact us.

Pioneer Camp Lodge, Sundre:

  • Sign-out is on the last day of camp at 10 am.
Pioneer Camp Ranch, Rocky Mountain House:

  • Sign-out is on the last day of camp at 10:30 am.
  • For those registered in the LIT program at Pioneer Camp Ranch, sign-out is at 10 am.

Please note:

We cannot release children to the custody of anyone except their parent or guardian unless we have received written authorization signed by the parent or legal guardian to release the camper to another individual.

Click for information on bus transportation to & from the Ranch (Rocky Mountain House).

Pioneer Camp does not offer an overnight option for campers between camps.

Communication during Camp

Telephone:  We do not encourage campers to use the telephone. However, in case of emergency calls, to or from parents, the camp director or office staff will relay messages as quickly as possible. If a child is severely homesick, we will work with them to overcome it; however, if they need to talk to their parent we will certainly have them call.

Email Your Camper:  Click here

Mail:  Parents are encouraged to write letters and send parcels to their children. These may be left on registration day to ensure that your child will receive them the week they are at camp. If you mail letters or parcels through Canada Post, please send them early so that your child will receive them the week they are here.

Please make sure to include camper’s full name and camp program.

Example for Pioneer Lodge Camps:

  • Mary Smith (Jr. Girls Camp) c/o Pioneer Lodge, Box 660, Sundre, AB, TOM 1X0
Example for Pioneer Ranch Camps:

  • Mary Smith (Sr. Girls Camp) c/o Pioneer Ranch, Box 600, Rocky Mountain House, T4T 1A4
Please do not send food parcels that contain nuts. Any mail received after the camper has left will be returned to sender.

Internet:  While we understand the importance of staying in touch, Pioneer Camp does not offer Internet access for campers. All electronics are requested to be left with parents or left with the office for the duration of the camper’s stay. This is to prevent loss and to give the camper the opportunity to appreciate the beautiful surroundings God has given us.
Our friendly atmosphere and understanding staff help campers overcome the natural fears and concerns of being away from home. Getting kids involved in the program and making new friends helps to overcome the fears associated with leaving home and their family. It is our goal to make their stay at Pioneer Camp as enjoyable as possible. The camp director will spend time with any homesick child and, if necessary call the parent.

With that in mind, we encourage parents and family not to visit during the week. If a child is homesick, a visit by family is usually not helpful. As well, other campers who are feeling homesick and are aware of the visit may request similar privileges and in most cases, this is not possible. We encourage family to spend as much time on arrival as they feel necessary.


Our Caring Staff

As part of InterVarsity, we believe that summer camp offers a tremendous opportunity for children and teens to grow and mature emotionally, socially and spiritually. At Pioneer Camp, campers are respected as individuals, challenged and encouraged in all aspects of life, and given the opportunity to experience and develop authentic relationships with peers and leaders. Skill development, social development, personal and spiritual growth are all intentionally fostered by staff and have been hallmarks of the InterVarsity Camp experience since 1929. Finally, and equally importantly, we want every child’s experience to be tremendously fun.
The overall camper to staff ratio is 4:1. Each cabin of 5-7 children will have one leader and, if space permits, a co-leader. The ratio of campers to staff is 6:1 at the barns.
Ruth Lewis, the Executive Director, has over 35 years in youth ministry and has been leading InterVarsity Pioneer Camp, Alberta since 2011. Our full-time senior leadership team is skilled in recreation programming, horsemanship and leadership development. Many of our summer staff started out as campers at Pioneer Camp and now put their experience and passion for camp to work every summer.

Health and Safety

Health and Safety are emphasized at all times at Pioneer Camp. We strive to provide safe and enjoyable activities. There is a qualified medical person on staff, available 24 hours a day. Quality, nutritional meals are provided with a variety of healthy snack options at snack times. Drinking water is lab analyzed regularly for quality.
Yes. Because a high level of care for campers is so important to us, the operation of all activities and facilities where campers could potentially experience injury is governed by our risk management manual. This manual clearly details required supervision levels, equipment checks, and operating guidelines to ensure the safe participation of all campers. As well, campers and staff alike are trained to recognize and respond to signals in case of an emergency. This emergency procedure is practised in a drill early in every session.
Please advise us at registration if there are any changes to your child’s medical information. The camp reserves the right to refuse admission to any camper with a suspected contagious condition (i.e. chickenpox, lice). To ensure your child has an enjoyable week and to protect other campers, please have any condition treated completely before coming to camp. If this is not possible, please call and reschedule to another week, depending on availability.

Due to the structure of our program, Pioneer Camp requests that medications required throughout the year be sent with your child to camp. All medication brought to camp MUST be kept by camp staff, including vitamins, puffers and Tylenol. They must be labelled properly with medication name and directions for use. Prescription medication MUST be in the original container with user’s name printed on label. If you want your child to carry their puffer or Epipen with them please bring a fanny pack for that purpose. We also request that a second puffer or Epipen be checked in with the camp nurse.

Please do not use the week of camp as a break from medication.
All medications left behind after camp will be disposed of after 2 weeks’ time.

Should your child have severe food allergies, you must call our office and discuss your child’s condition before your camper application will be processed. This will allow us to ascertain whether we can accommodate your child safely and enable us to prepare appropriately to ensure your child has an enjoyable stay at camp. Pioneer Camp will make every effort to accommodate allergies; however, we cannot guarantee that there will be no trace of an allergen in food served. We strive to be a nut-free facility and do not knowingly serve foods containing nuts. We sell only nut free products in our store.
Pioneer Camp does not guarantee a nut-free environment. To reduce the risk of exposure we do not use, serve, or sell peanuts, peanut products, or tree nuts. However, the foods we purchase and serve, or sell in our tuck shops, may contain traces of nut or peanut products.

How can you help protect those with nut allergies?
If you have food containing nuts or nut products when you get to camp, turn them over to Pioneer Camp staff.

Summer Camper Parents: Please send care packages to your child(ren) that only contain nut-free products.

In the interest of protecting your children, please note that all campers will undergo a lice check on the day of registration. All campers must be lice and nit free to attend camp. It is imperative parents check their children for evidence of lice prior to coming to camp. The head check will take place upon arrival, once campers have signed in, by our Camp Medic and assistants. This is part of our general registration process for every camp and every camper.

If a camper arrives with lice/nits, they will be asked:

  • To return home to receive treatment until they are lice/nit free. (We will make every effort to accommodate the camper in a later session during the summer.)


  • Complete treatment(s) at camp (approximately $20/treatment)

Pioneer Camp is a smoke-free facility. Smoking by campers is prohibited.

Registration & Camper Fees

Fees include all meals for camps, housing, use of all recreational equipment and facilities, instruction in activities, and awards.
Fees do not include transportation to and from the camp or Tuck Shop purchases.
Cancellation Policy for Camper Registration

If you cancel more than two weeks prior to the start of camp, you will get a full refund less $75/week administration fee. If you cancel less than two weeks prior to the start of camp, you will get NO REFUND (includes camp fees, out-trip fees, and transportation fees if applicable) except for medical reasons with a note from a doctor. In that case, you will get a full refund less $75/week administration fee. No refund will be made for dismissals due to disciplinary action, late arrivals or early departures. Withdrawal during camp on physician’s orders will result in the value of fees for the unexpired term being refunded. Please contact camp office for cancellation details for out-trips and/or transportation fees.

Bus Transportation

Less than one week prior to the start of camp, 50% refund of the transportation fee.

There is financial assistance available for campers who would not otherwise be able to come to camp. We have limited funds available, so we ask that you fill out the Scholarship Form and submit it with your camp registration form as soon as possible.

No. You have two payment options:

  1. Pay Online (Visa, MasterCard, VisaDebit)
  2. Pay by Cheque or Money Order

Please note: Paying by cheque or money order will delay the processing of your camp application since registration is not “secured” until full payment is received. Once registration is received, you have a maximum of two weeks to submit a deposit. You can either mail in the deposit, or drop by the camp office.
An alternate payment option is only applicable if you are applying for scholarship.
Although we can take your registration by phone, we would prefer that you utilize our secure, online registration system. If you need assistance with this, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Pioneer Camp, Sundre:
403.638.2660 or toll free 1-888-511-2660

Pioneer Camp, Rocky Mountain House: