Teen Leadership Camp
Teen Leadership Camp sessions offer 15 – 17 year olds the chance to take on new wilderness challenges, exercise leadership on multiple levels, and practice skills vital to becoming independent backpackers and trip leaders – all while forming a truly unique and unforgettable community. Teens will go on backpacking trips anywhere from 3-10 days long, on which they will learn important trail skills from their counselors, including trail cooking, topo map reading, orienteering, and trip planning. When not on the trail, our TLCers play instrumental roles as community leaders for our Wombat Campers (aged 9-14) – designing and facilitating activities for the younger campers at least once a session.
Finally, in each TLC session there are always endless opportunities to cook, dance, play, swim, art and craft, and whatever else we can come up with in our breaks from hiking and working with Wombat Camp. Summer after summer we watch our teens become independent and confident hikers, empathetic and engaged community members, and we see them shine their brightest in the company of strong friendships, stunning mountain views, and life-long memories.
Our Programs Offer
• Incredible trips to locations throughout Tahoe National Forest including Grouse Ridge, Castle Peak and the Yuba River.
• Learn new skills like trip planning, leadership, trail cooking, native plant identification, permaculture, primitive skills, survival skills and even time for solo wilderness reflection.
• Leadership opportunities from working with the younger campers, working together, and using creative problem solving in team-building exercises both on and off the trail
• Place-based education will give you fascinating insights about the natural world you call home. Explore the depth of yourself as a sensitive, unique and dynamic human being in a constantly transitioning world.
• Personal achievements to pursue a goal designed by your own interests. You will be supported to grow exactly the way you wish, with challenges fit to your unique heart and mind.
• Amazing friendships that last and open new doors. Whether they are campers that return each summer, or teens totally new to the Woolman experience, we see incredibly strong connections form among the teen participants that embark on the TLC journey together.
We offer two different two-week hiking programs. Each have a different focus and physical intensity.
SESSION 1: Advanced Backpacking: This session is designed for teens interested in developing wilderness skills, challenging themselves physically, and learning about the natural world. Teens will go on a ten-day backpacking trip through the mountainous terrain of the Sierra Nevada. On trail, campers are split up into teams responsible for bear bagging, cooking, setting up shelter, and water purification. Leaders of the day are aided by counselors in learning to read topo maps, navigate, and direct daily activities. The session requires a high level of prior athletic or hiking experience and is not for everyone. (Average on trail of 7-13 miles a day on mountainous terrain). Applicants must be accepted into the program. After registration our TLC Camp Director will contact you to discuss the camper’s hiking and physical abilities to ensure this is the proper fit for your teen.
SESSION 2: Beginner Backpacking: This session is great for teens new to backpacking and/or want more in-camp activities, as well ample opportunities to create and lead activities for our younger campers. In this session the teens go on two 3-5 day trips that are less hiking-intensive, but offer similar wilderness experiences as the other session. On trail campers learn and practice wilderness skills such as bear bagging, cooking, setting up shelter, and water purification. Leaders of the day are aided by counselors in learning to read topo maps, navigate, and direct daily activities. When not on trail, TLC participants will be largely integrated into the schedule of Wombat Camp often creating and facilitating the activities for the younger campers as a tool for practicing leadership. TLC participants will also embark on projects and activities of their own, such as farming, cooking, gardening, art, and team building. This session is ideal for teens with little to no backpacking experience. In designing the backpacking trips, we will do our best to accommodate campers of all physical abilities.
At Camp Woolman, we strive to create an inclusive and welcoming environment. Teens of all genders will share the Fern House as their living space on site (supervised at all times by the TLC counselors, who reside there as well). The Fern House is equipped with many bunk beds, a living room space, a small kitchen for late night snacking, and is a short walk to the Teen Bathhouse – equipped with single stalled toilets and showers.