None, this is the perfect introductory program for wilderness enthusiasts! We will provide all the necessary training, instruction and equipment. Mountain Stewards will demand a moderate level of physical activity. Participants must be able to carry a large backpack of personal gear to the campsite and days will frequently involve hiking several miles, with plenty of breaks.
Frequently Asked Questions
One of our philosophies that we have found to be true again and again with our groups is that, “It doesn’t have to be fun to be fun.” We support our campers in doing things that are hard, we provide a safe space for taking on a challenge that might feel scary, and we take the time in our program to do a significant community service project.
This results in a week that is balanced between inward struggle and growth and outward looking and thinking about others that many campers find deeply satisfying. Of course, all this happens with a group that has the time and the space to form connections and when a group of kids accomplishes something significant on their own, it is thrilling, empowering and, yes, FUN!
We do offer a limited number of scholarships to families in need to help further reduce the cost of camp. This year we are excited to be able to extend scholarships to campers beyond the borders of West Virginia too!
Packing the right clothing is pretty straightforward. Choose clothing based on the idea that synthetics and wools will keep you warm even when wet, while cotton tends to hold moisture and dirt. When wet, cotton jeans, sweatshirts, pants and socks are difficult to dry and rapidly draw body heat away rather than provide insulation. While we realize cotton clothing is comfortable; synthetic/wool and Under Armor-like shirts, pants and pullovers are more functional for our multi-day camping and outdoor activities.
We highly encourage you to utilize things your already own rather than purchasing new equipment. If you find yourself in need, thrift stores are fantastic resources for inexpensive clothing. Larger chain stores also feature many inexpensive synthetic clothing options.
Backpacks, sleeping bags, pads, tents and all other technical gear will be provided. If you have an expedition size backpack, synthetic sleeping bag, or sleeping pad you would like to bring from home, please do. Our instructors will screen all personal gear upon arrival to make sure it is adequate for the demands of the trip, if it passes inspection we are more than happy to allow you to use it.
Mountain Stewards Pack List
Our goal is to thrive in the rain, not just survive! Mountain Stewards will continue in rain or shine, because of this it is very important to bring adequate protection from the elements. Experience Learning keeps a limited amount of extra warm clothing and rain gear on hand, let us know upon arrival what your gear needs are. In case of an emergency situation, inclement weather protocol will be followed and if necessary the group will be evacuated from the field.
Ideally no, we would rather each person participate in the program from start to finish. We do understand if this is not possible and may be able to work a specific plan out for you. Please let us know your schedule in advance to ensure we can accommodate your needs.
We require a $150 non-refundable deposit to hold your place on the week of camp. If you cancel, we will retain the $150 deposit and you will receive a refund for the remaining camp tuition.
Enrollment is on a first come, first served basis. The earlier you reserve a spot the better. Week availability will be updated on the website regularly.
If you feel your child is mature enough for the activities and experience then we would be open to having them join on that week of camp. If you are in doubt, then it’s probably best to stick with the age guidelines as listed.
Our camp tuition covers all food, necessary technical equipment & permits, transportation, lodging and instruction. Each group will be led by 2 instructors who have earned college degrees, are trained extensively in our academic curriculum, backcountry emergency response and all hold current wilderness medical certifications. This is not your average summer camp, and our staff are pros at what they do – taking kids on meaningful wilderness adventures, managing risk, and having fun!
What Folks are Saying:
I love the freedom at this camp. It doesn’t feel like a structured camp with strict rules. We are free to have fun and learn in our own ways while still effectively accomplishing the goals of the program. – camper
I learned so many interesting facts about the world around us that I will definitely take with me, but I also learned how wonderful it can be to be a part of a group in which everyone gives their all and wants to have a great time no matter the challenging situations or the rainy days. – camp participant
The staff were terrific helping us coordinate what camp would fit us best. So patient and understanding. My daughter had a wonderful week and learned so much and made memories and friends. Great experience! – Kristin Potts
The mountain stewards camp is a wonderful, fun, confidence and skill building experience every kid should go through! – Sandy Frank
I learned about who I am as a person and that if I look within myself I can find some of the strength and courage that I’ve felt was missing from me. – Summer Camper, Leadership Camp
I learned to trust myself more and not be afraid to advocate for myself. – Summer Camper, Leadership Camp
In this program I was able to be my own leader, which has allowed me to see the ways in which I can improve myself and the ways in which I am strong. – Summer Camper, Leadership Camp
Mountain Stewards at Experience Learning is a fantastic week-long summer camp for kids who like the outdoors (or who WILL like the outdoors after this wonderful experience!) Stewardship of our natural resources, self-reliance, leadership, and fellowship, are all integral to this program. My daughter LOVES this camp, and that makes me a happy dad. Experience Learning also has great programs for learners of all ages. I recently completed an excellent Wilderness First Aid course at their wonderful Spruce Knob Mountain Center. Check it out! – Mark Wenzler