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John Knox Ranch is the summer camp and retreat center ministry of Mission Presbytery



John Knox Ranch began on July 10, 1962, with the purchase of the 254-acre Meyer Ranch about 20 miles southwest of San Marcos, culminating a three-year search for a retreat and fellowship center site. In 1968, the Presbytery of John Knox (now Mission Presbytery) bought another 46 acres, bringing the property to its current 300 acres while adding several hundred feet of creek frontage and capturing one of the most beautiful, heavily-wooded areas now on the Ranch. The Red Cabin (now the Calvin Cottage), the adjacent stone storage building and the tank house/windmill were part of the original property purchase.


The first John Knox Ranch Summer Camp was held in the summer of 1963, and we haven’t looked back since!

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This is Your John Knox Ranch:


The realization of a vision which will produce a strong arm of the Church – the central facility of the Presbytery of John Knox – the fulfillment of a dream and effort on the part of so many – the retreat from the tensions of modern life – the common tie that unites urban and rural congregations.


-From the original brochure printed in the 1960s by the Presbytery


John Knox Ranch is owned and operated by Mission Presbytery and is governed by the JKR Committee and the General Council of Mission Presbytery. JKR is here to serve the people of Mission Presbytery. During the summer we offer a resident camp for students entering grades 2 - 12 and day camp for kids ages 4 - 8. Campers enjoy swimming, archery, rappelling, rock climbing, arts and crafts, nature discovery, ropes challenge course, Bible study and spiritual formation, canoeing, sharing homemade family-style meals, overnight campouts, and more. Attending camp at JKR helps children and youth develop social and interpersonal skills, a sense of self, and an understanding of our place in and responsibility for this pretty planet. JKR is a place where all are welcome; where identity is formed through self-awareness and service, where differences are celebrated; where children grow into counselors, counselors become leaders, and leaders bring patience, inclusion, and excellent servant leadership to their own professions and communities. 


Year-round we offer cabin rentals, team building activities, retreat hosting, officer training, family reunions, food service, and more for your church group or for individuals.

At John Knox Ranch, we foster experiences of Christian community in the beauty of God’s creation. JKR is a place where love, acceptance, grace, and FUN flow freely. All are welcome.

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