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!
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.
You will be sent a packing list and other information after registering for camp.
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 more than two weeks before the program start date, we will retain the $150 deposit and you will receive a refund for the remaining camp tuition. If you cancel within two weeks, we unfortunately cannot issue a refund. However, we can transfer the amount you have paid to a camp later on in the summer, or if you find someone to take your spot we can transfer the funds to their registration. Your funds can only be applied to a new participant to your week of camp, not someone already registered. The new participant can be registered for another week of camp, but must keep that enrollment in addition to the new camp.
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.
We have tailored each camp to fit the needs of the grade ranges specified. Therefore, we cannot accommodate grades other than the ones listed for the camps to ensure the best experience for everyone! If you have a special circumstance, please reach out to us.
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!
When you arrive to drop your camper off, you will have the opportunity to write them a letter that they can read during their time here. You can also send them a letter through the mail, but know that they are out in the field, and that the letter may not get to our location while they are at camp. Generally, we only allow phone calls for emergency situations.
If there are any issues or concerns regarding your camper, you will be contacted by an Experience Learning staff member.
If possible, please send all medication in their original containers. We will send out a medication form with the welcome packet after you register for camp. This will include spaces for type of medication, dosage, times, frequency, and other information. We will also have physical copies at the time of registration.
Experience Learning will collect all medication and will be responsible for administering it.
Please note that we need a release for all medications. This includes prescription, over the counter, and supplements.
Homesickness is completely normal, especially during these weird pandemic times. Experience Learning staff members are trained on how to work with campers experiencing homesickness, and will have many tips and tricks to help them. If none of their efforts work, we will give them a letter that you have written at registration.
We try not to allow phone calls for homesickness, because sometimes it can make homesickness more challenging to overcome. Too much communication can cause distraction from fully participating in the camp experience.
If you know your camper gets homesick, and know of things that have worked in the past, please let the Experience Learning staff members know at registration.
We are located in a remote location that does not have cell phone service. Please make sure that you load your directions and make sure you do not exit out of them.
After registering for camp, you will be sent a welcome packet that includes driving directions to our campus. If you have an off-site drop off or pick up location, those directions will also be sent in the welcome packet.
Unfortunately, no. We have a lot going on during the week to make sure your camper has the best experience possible.
Once we upload the photos from your campers week, we will email you a link to the online album.
We send out two of our instructors with each small group of (at most) 14 campers. Our highly trained staff is composed of college graduates with rich experience in the education and wilderness adventure fields. They go through rigorous training in our curriculum, methods, and all hold current certifications in backcountry emergency response. All of our staff have completed background checks prior to being hired.
What Folks are Saying:
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
I learned to trust myself more and not be afraid to advocate for myself. – Summer Camper, Leadership Camp
Through living and working alongside all the different people that come to this camp I was able to experience many different and new ideas, perspectives, and skills that shaped me as a person. – 2019 Summer Camper
The mountain stewards camp is a wonderful, fun, confidence and skill building experience every kid should go through! – Sandy Frank
We are free to have fun and learn in our own ways while still effectively accomplishing the goals of the program. – 2019 Summer Camper
That was the best experience of high school and allowed me to flourish in my further experiences in high school. Absolutely transformed my idea of my own physical, social, and mental capabilities and made me feel much more confident!!!! I couldn’t recommend it more. ~Former Summer Camper
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
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