American Wanderer More than Just a Summer Camp

 "It is an incalculable added pleasure to any one's sum of happiness
 if he or she grows to know, even slightly and imperfectly,
 how to read and enjoy the wonder-book of nature." 
   Theodore Roosevelt 

Our camp was designed from the beginning to be a coed camp we would want our daughters to attend.  Safety is our priority. Our Guides are seasoned outdoor enthusiasts as well as professional educators. All are trained in first aid, CPR and many are trained in water safety. We call them guides (rather than counselors), for a reason; they lead the campers to the wonders of the locations we visit, and share the experiences with them. They have the ability to kindle appreciation of the wonders of the natural world.

Unlike traditional camps, our campfires are less about marshmallows and more about discussion of the day's experiences. These might include the politics of ancient civilizations or the impact of global climate change. Most campers are blown away by finding fossils from the ocean floor at 9,000 feet above sea level while the Colorado River flows a mile beneath them.

This may sound unnaturally deep and serious for the description of a summer camp, but these are the kinds of discussions generated around the campfire and on the trail as the kids talk about what they're seeing.  If you asked them at the time, they'd deny that they're being taught any lessons; this is just fun and it's interesting.  It's only later, as they go to sleep or even after they go home and are back at school that the lessons creep up on them. They have real world experiences and examples they actually are able to bring to discussions in the classroom.  

The first and most important rule of camp is that if you are not having fun you're doing something wrong!  With a 4:1 camper to guide ratio we get to know the campers really well and we tailor activities to our campers as we go.