Training Tomorrow’s Camp Leaders on Horseback

Stage One: Camper in Training (CIT)

  • This session lasts for one week.
  • Open to campers entering tenth or eleventh grade.
  • This program is for campers looking to begin the leadership process to eventually become volunteer, staff, or learning to work with children.
  • Campers will participate in riding and camp activities but also practice leadership skills with younger campers.
  • There is only one CIT session per summer. If a camper is staying for multiple weeks, CIT session must be his or her last week.

Register for CIT

Stage Two: Leader in Training (LIT)

  • This session lasts for two weeks.
  • Open to campers entering the eleventh or twelfth grade.
  • Availability is limited, so participants are chosen from a pool of applications based on specific criteria and evaluations by camp staff.
  • Applicants must have a minimum of one week experience as a previous camper at Raintree Ranch.
  • Participants will not be riding horses on a regular basis, instead they will be focusing on leadership skills.
  • LITs get two weeks for the price of one! We offer a reduced rate for this program since LIT’s assist campers and staff with our horses.
  • LITs will assume higher responsibility and are expected to fill more of a leadership role at Raintree Ranch.
  • The key focus for this program is working as a leader in a cabin group of younger campers, learning leadership skills and assisting camp staff at horse lessons.
  • If a camper is attending for multiple weeks, the LIT session must be his or her last session at camp.

Register for LIT

Stage Three: Camp Assistant (CA)

  • This session lasts for three weeks.
  • Only open to campers entering the 12th grade.
  • This session is considered as a three-week volunteer commitment to YMCA Raintree Ranch, free of charge. Thus campers accrue Volunteer Service Hours with this program, with a verification letter provided by the YMCA.
  • Campers must fill out an application and be selected by the Camp Director. LIT program or equivalent is a prerequisite.
  • Although still technically a camper, CAs will gain the skills necessary to co-lead a cabin alongside a senior staff member, help plan activities for young campers, and work with our horse wranglers.

CA Application

TO APPLY - Please complete and return the Application Form. Please note - There are a VERY limited number of openings for the CA program each summer and acceptance into the program is not guaranteed. 

Teen Advisory Council
There will be no Teen Advisroy Council for the summer of 2022

All Teen Advisory Council activites are postponed until further notice due to COVID-19.

YMCA Overnight Camps - Marston - Surf - Raintree is ready to accept applications for the first ever Teen Advisory Council (TAC)! We're looking to recruit 15 motivated teens who are invested in the future of camp. Selected teens will get to:

  • Voice their ideas about Summer Camp programs and initiative, and take appropriate steps to put approved ideas into action
  • Explore Camp Operations, Donor Networking and Board of Advisor Relations
  • Foster a culture of philanthropy and community service

Who Can Apply? Current 10th, 11th, or 12th graders that have attended any of the three YMCA of San Diego County Overnight Camp programs—Camp Marston, Camp Surf and/or Raintree Ranch.

Who are we looking for? We are looking for dependable teens that embody the 4 Core Values, a team player that loves camp and wants to make a lasting impact on camp. TAC delegates must be capable of working with diverse people in a positive and supportive manner and self-motivated. No prior leadership experience required.  We will be selecting 5 teens per camp, 15 in total.

How long is this commitment?  The TAC delegate term is a 10 month long commitment, beginning in October 2020 and ending June 2020. Meetings will be held once a month rotating between the 3 camps.  TAC delegates will be required to attend at least 1 meeting in person.  The rest may be via conference call over phone or computer. 

Applications can be found here and will be accepted between TBD.

Pegasus Week 10: Special Session at the end of summer exclusively reserved for returning Pegasus campers
Not Available for Summer 2022

  • Tailored/advanced Horsemanship and Riding Lessons
  • Only open to returning Pegasus campers under age 18
  • Extended trail rides
  • Cook-outs, swimming, hiking and fellowship
  • Teens in Motion - at least one day of Pegasus Week will be partnered with the YMCA’s Teens In Motion program where Pegasus campers will have a unique opportunity to share their passion for camp and horses with other teens who have developmental and/or physical disabilities


Weekend Retreats for Teen Leaders


For teens who attended Raintree Pegasus CIT, LIT, or CA programs in summer 2021, we offer a team-building weekend retreat! This one-night event includes:

  • Leadership activities
  • Team building exercises
  • Preparations for a successful summer
  • Community service for the camp
  • A great way to meet new friends
  • Meals, lodging, and staff supervision