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


About Pioneer Camp

Pioneer Camp is owned and operated by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. InterVarsity 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.

Pioneer Camp Alberta has been operating since 1951.
Pioneer Camp Alberta is actually one camp with 2 separate sites. They are approximately 110 km apart from one another.

Pioneer Lodge(Sundre) is located 16 km southwest of Sundre, overlooking the Red Deer River Valley with a fantastic view of the Rockies.

Pioneer Lodge Drive Time: 1.5 hours from Calgary’s City Centre, 3 hours from Edmonton’s City Centre, and 1.5 hours from Red Deer.

See Map Here

Pioneer Ranch (Rocky Mountain House) is located on Crimson Lake, 16 km northwest of Rocky Mountain House.

Pioneer Ranch Drive Time: 2.5 – 3 hour drive from both Edmonton and Calgary and about 1 hour and 15 minute drive from Red Deer, travel times being from the edge of each city.

See Map Here
For detailed information about our Pioneer Lodge and Pioneer Ranch facilities, visit our Facilities page.

At Pioneer

Guests will participate in a variety of outdoor education activities and programs while they are here at Pioneer Camp. The activities depend on the selections made by the group leaders/teachers and the season and can include: Archery, Canoeing, Challenge Course, Climbing Wall, Cross-Country Skiing, Horseback Riding, Initiative Games, Mounted Archery (Pioneer Lodge only), Outdoor Camping Skills, Skating, Snowshoeing, Swimming, along with a variety of Evening and Last Day Wide-Games.

Some activities are site specific and may not be available at both sites.

Pioneer Camp also offers our space as a Retreat Centre with group lead (not Pioneer Camp) programming.

We would be more than happy to tailor the programming to meet your group’s specific needs. Please contact us to discuss how we can design your group’s program.
School Groups typically arrive around lunch time and eat lunch. (This may be either a bag lunch they have brought or it may be a Pioneer provided lunch.) Upon arrival, guests settle into their rooms and have a welcome talk with our Instructors. That afternoon they participate in two activities, have a little bit of free time, eat supper, participate in an evening activity, eat a snack and then go to bed. Camp Quiet Hours are from 10:30/11:00 pm – 7:00 am.

Each full day guests are here, they will participate in much the same schedule, plus the addition of breakfast and two activities in the morning, before a lunch prepared by our kitchen. On the last day, guests have breakfast, clean up and pack up their rooms and belongings, and then participate in a last day activity before having lunch and departing.

Retreat Groups typically arrive in the evening just in time for a delicious snack served by Pioneer Camp. Upon arrival guests settle into rooms and have a welcome talk with our Instructors. Each full day guests are here, they will have the option of as much or as little program as their group leaders have decided, plus breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack.
While at Pioneer Camp, guests participate in daily activities in groups of approximately 15 guests. Each group is led by one of our instructors, and one OR MORE of your group leaders, DEPENDING ON THE ACTIVITY. Our instructors are well-trained and have Standard First Aid and CPR certifications and carry first aid kits.
Pioneer Camp supervision is provided only during Pioneer orchestrated/programmed activities. ALL Chaperones/Teachers/Parents are required to attend these activities and assist Camp Staff with supervision.

Chaperone/Teacher/Parental supervision IS EXPECTED and REQUIRED at all other times.
Our kitchen serves breakfast, lunch, and supper daily. We also provide an afternoon and evening snack. Pioneer Camp is a peanut-aware camp, and, as such, we do not serve foods containing peanuts or other nuts. We also ask that our guests do not bring to camp any foods containing nuts.
Our Food Service Staff will work hard at accommodating Special Dietary and Food Allergy Requests. It is the responsibility of the Group’s Leadership to provide accurate information by filling out the Food Allergy and Dietary Request Form which can be found in the registration package.
Yes. Packaged foods and other snacks may be brought on site. We have a small guest fridge to store items that need to be kept cold.

All food items must be NUT FREE.

The Kitchen will not be available to prepare any food brought on site by guests (food must be pre-cooked if necessary).
  • Pioneer Lodge: Has a microwave available to heat up food.
  • Pioneer Ranch: Has a microwave available to heat up food.

No. Pioneer Camp does not rent out our Commercial Kitchen for private use at either of our sites. We do not have a guest kitchen for groups to prepare their own food.

  • Pioneer Lodge: Reception is generally reliable.
  • Pioneer Ranch: Reception can be unreliable at times, with limited or spotty cell coverage.
Should reception be unavailable, a Pioneer Camp staff member will be able to communicate any emergency messages during Office Hours if you call our general telephone numbers or connect with a staff member on site.
  • Pioneer Lodge Office Landline: 403-638-2660
  • Pioneer Ranch Office Landline: 403-845-6777

Our office phones are landlines and are only answered during Office Hours. If you need to reach a guest afterhours and they do not have a cell phone, please contact your group leader.

If you are unable to reach your group leader in an emergency situation and it is after Office Hours, call the emergency number found on our voicemail systems.
  • Pioneer Lodge Office Landline: 403-638-2660
  • Pioneer Ranch Office Landline: 403-845-6777

No. In extenuating circumstances or if a guest is at camp for an exceptionally long time, laundry can be done for a fee.
Guests should bring enough clothing for the time that they are at camp. Day Groups should bring a change of clothing as a back-up.
  • Packing lists are sent to a group’s leader for distribution a few weeks before a group arrives on site. If you haven’t received one from them, touch base with your group’s leader or download the packing list here.
  • Please label all clothing and luggage with labels or indelible markers.
  • Please attempt to bring modest clothing appropriate for physical camp activities.

Yes, we do!

We will retain lost and found items for two weeks following your stay at Pioneer Camp. If not claimed by then, we will donate appropriate items to a local charity. Medication will be disposed of within two weeks following your week of attendance. Calls to the camp regarding lost and found items are welcomed and any found items will be sent C.O.D. (at your expense).

Guests are encouraged not to bring valuable clothing or possessions. Pioneer Camp is not responsible for lost, damaged or stolen items.
Pioneer Camp is a smoke-free facility.  Smoking is prohibited.
No. Pioneer Camp is a dry site. Alcohol is not allowed on the property.

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.
Ruth Lewis, the Executive Director, has over 35 years in youth ministry and has been leading InterVarsity Pioneer Camp Alberta since 2012. Our full-time senior leadership team is skilled in recreation programming, horsemanship and leadership development. Many of our volunteers started out as campers at Pioneer Camp and now put their experience and passion for camp to work every summer at our summer camps or have become staff and lead program activities for our Guest Groups.

All year-round site staff have current first aid training with at least Standard First Aid.

All staff and volunteers have an up-to-date Criminal Record check.

Liability and Occupational Accident Insurance for Volunteer Staff

InterVarsity Pioneer Camp maintains a general liability policy, which includes all volunteers. This means that if a volunteer is brought into a non-criminal lawsuit as a result of their activity on behalf of InterVarsity Pioneer Camp, the policy would respond on their behalf.

InterVarsity Pioneer Camp maintains Occupational Accident Insurance for all volunteers who are participating in duties on or off the premises that are supervised and sponsored by InterVarsity Pioneer Camp. This also includes travelling to and from volunteer duties. The benefits include excess medical, excess dental, family transportation, funeral expense, home/vehicle adaptation, psychological therapy, rehabilitation/retraining, repatriation. The policy also covers injuries sustained from seat belt, felonious assault and activities which cause paralysis. Note: The policy has limits on the various benefits.


Health and Safety

Health and Safety are emphasized at all times at Pioneer Camp. We strive to provide safe and enjoyable activities.
  • Pioneer Camp leadership staff are trained in First Aid in CPR.
  • Our Kitchen Supervisors have Food Safety Handlers Certificates.
  • Quality, nutritional meals are provided with a variety of healthy snack options at snack times.
  • Drinking water is lab analyzed regularly for quality.
  • Our facilities are inspected on a regular basis and are up to code.
  • Pioneer Staff are trained in emergency procedures and safety protocols should they need to be implemented.
  • A brief safety orientation will be presented to all guests upon arrival to communicate emergency procedures
  • Emergency Services are available within minutes of camp property (Pioneer Lodge, Sundre is 20 minutes; Pioneer Ranch, Rocky Mountain House is 15 minutes).

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.
Pioneer Camp cannot guarantee to be a nut/peanut free environment. We do seek to reduce the risk of exposure and therefore do not use or serve peanuts, nut products or tree nuts on camp property. Nuts or products containing nuts will not be available in our camp store (Tuck Shop), however the food we purchase and serve may contain traces of nut products. We do use products that list “may contain traces of peanut products or nuts” in their list of ingredients.

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.
Waterfront and /or pool activities are under the strict supervision of qualified lifeguards or instructors.
Anyone participating in any horseback activity at Pioneer Camp must wear a helmet.  Appropriate helmets are provided by Pioneer Camp or feel free to bring your own SEI/ASTM approved helmet with you.

Anyone participating in any ropes activity (i.e. climbing) at Pioneer Camp must wear a helmet. Appropriate helmets are provided by Pioneer Camp.
Pioneer Camp staff are required to hold at minimum a current and valid Standard First Aid Certification.

I still have more questions!

Please feel free to ask your group leader any of the additional questions you may have, call or email us. We also run summer camp sessions for ages 5-19 (July-August), as well as a Family Camp. Please let us know if you would like more information. We would love to hear from you!

Contact us for more information.