Wilderness Adventure Academy
Camptown, Inc
The mission of Camptown is to challenge, mentor and teach youth about life through outdoor adventure and nature programs that build confidence, character and hope. Camptown serves over 3,000 students each year through a variety of outdoor adventure and nature education programs. Camptown uses hiking, canoeing, backpacking, and other outdoor adventure activities to teach youth life skills in leadership, teamwork, respect, and self-confidence. Camptown’s Wilderness Adventure Academy is experiential learning at its finest. Wilderness Adventure Academy programs weave life skill education into classroom curriculum and give urban and special needs students the opportunity to experience the benefits of nature. Camptown creates each Wilderness Adventure Academy program specifically for the group of students participating and is academically and developmentally appropriate. Program options included Eco-Camp days, Orienteering Challenges, overnight Teambuilding Challenges, overnight Nature Emersion programs, overnight programs for Special Needs students, or weeklong Backpacking Adventures. Orienteering Challenges, Teambuilding Challenges, Backpacking Adventures, and programs for Special Needs students all include in school pre-adventure training classes designed to introduce skills and concepts honed during the program. Pre-adventure training is program specific and may include equipment used during the program, Leave No Trace principles, menu planning and food preparation, trip planning, decision-making, and behavioral expectations. Strategic scheduling of programs in the fall semester allows teachers to build on the shared experiences and teambuilding that occurs during the adventure. Spring programs reinforce concepts learned in the classroom and wrap up the school year. Camptown’s Wilderness Adventure Academy is one of our most impactful programs. Students have the opportunity to lead, to work through challenges as a team, to practice Leave No Trace outdoor ethic principles – respecting the environment and those with which they share that environment, and to grow in self-confidence as they face and overcome challenges. These tiered experiences provide opportunities to work with students over several days and even years when schools choose programs for students at varying grade levels. These programs provide the opportunity for students to see a world outside of their normal environment and learn about themselves and others. On the final night of a recent weeklong backpacking adventure, one student shared, “I was surprised that people (in our group) are not like what I thought they were like at school.” She saw past the masks worn at school to discover who her classmates really are. A week in the woods changed everything. Students with special needs and students living in urban environments rarely have the opportunity to experience the benefits of nature. Students that are limited by physical, developmental or economic challenges. Camptown’s Wilderness Adventure Academy programs provide meaningful, real life experiences not readily available to the participating students. Students that go into the woods with Camptown, come out with new skills in leadership, teamwork, respect and self-confidence.
$10,000  Funded  Inspire