Come along and have the time of your life!
Camp Woolman stands out from other camps because every single one of our campers get to go on overnight trips! These fun, 3-day/2-night adventures are lead by our experienced staff, and campers often say it was the highlight of their time at camp.
For the first week of camp you'll go out on a trip with your cabin-mates and others from your age-group. Your counselors will led you in hiking, swimming, camping, making art, learning about nature, and becoming great friends. These trips are great for people who are new to backpacking as well as seasoned hikers. Campers go to destinations such as the famous Pacific Crest Trail, The South Yuba River, Grouse Ridge, Desolation Wilderness, and the amazing Sierra Buttes. Campers experience sleeping under the stars, hiking through beautiful places, backcountry cooking, and learning about the ecosystems and history of our surrounding wilderness.
If you're here for two weeks, you will go on a second trip - that is themed! Themes for the trip are held in secrecy by the staff until the grand unveiling (usually including songs, skits, and costumes). In the past these trips have included nature art, wilderness vogue photography, mystery quest, documentary filming, ultimate hike, culinary arts in the backcountry, and more!
It is our belief that these trips offer an opportunity for growth and development unique to those available elsewhere in life. The beginning of a pathway of stewardship and service to the natural environment is a two-fold process. In the first step one embraces a presence in nature. The sky, the field, the sun, the stars, the river, the trail... One is surrounded by all, and soaks it in as a member of it and a participant in its cycles. In the second step, one looks within and sees with eyes unclouded by lens or filter, screen or pane, influence or conditioning. There is time to think, to reflect, to ponder, to breathe. It is here that one may develop a sense of awe within nature, and become connected to it. All experiences are different, but the opportunity to explore them is there for everyone, and each group works to process and discuss the thoughts and insights that come up. The growth that may come of them is often nothing short of profound.
Growth outcomes and skills campers may learn on the trail:
- Radical self reliance --- Campers carry their own supplies as well as a portion of the group's. In doing so, they become stewards of themselves and each other and learn the responsibility of personal oversight.
- Camping, packing and survival skills --- Our experienced staff will teach about making and breaking camp, knot tying, shelter building, outdoor cooking, plant and animal identification, outdoor living skills and more.
- Leave No Trace practices --- What we pack in, we pack out, leaving nothing but footprints and taking nothing but pictures. The value and importance of this agreement with the places we visit is paramount, and we strive to embody it in our presence and teach it to our campers.
- Meditative reflection and presence --- Campers often use this time to write letters, journal, make natural crafts, or simply sit and reflect. Campers regularly return from these adventures with insights to share and discuss.
- Unplugging! A vacation from technology --- For a moment, campers have the chance to be truly absent from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Even at main camp there are still buildings and cars and even machines. On the trail there is only the ground, the sky and the self---what a concept!
"She really had a ball at camp and came away feeling positive about the whole experience. She really liked the camping trip and felt strong afterwards."
- Parent of a Woolman Camper, 2011