Keeping clothing dry on a canoe trip and trying not to burn dinner over the campfire are among the experiences that alumni, campers, and staff can attest to having on out-trips. These formative experiences stick with us for a lifetime. Our goal at camp is to build on what parents teach their kids and provide experiences that cannot be obtained at home. We plan out-trips to provide three key opportunities to: 1) Develop Leadership, 2) Build a Team of Friends, and 3) Demonstrate Life Skills.
#1 Develop Leadership
A camper commented, “[An out-trip] pushes your own limits and helps you get to know yourself better.” You may have noticed 3 skill levels next to our expedition trips. On Level I trips, campers learn the basics of outdoor living skills. They camp in one location and take day trips. Level II is for campers who have out-trip experience, and they want to further develop their skills. Level III is for campers who are experienced in the outdoors. Participants will hike approximately 8 miles each day. They will take part in planning their trip.
#2 Build a Team of Friends
Our expeditions are specifically limited to small numbers of campers, so campers can develop friendships. They share key experiences and spend significant time with each other. This group becomes a team and cares for one another. A camper summarized it best by saying, “The PLDT out-trip teaches you how to deal with life and make it work with limited resources- outside the safety net of camp!” On a recent trip, a Westminster group met a family on the trail who needed help. They were dehydrated and needed food. The Camp group shared their food and filtered water. It was an opportunity to work as a team and care for others.
#3 Demonstrate Life Skills
Through the development of skills in the outdoors, campers build confidence and self-esteem. Furthermore, campers learn the principles established by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics. We agree with the camper who said that “an out-trip is a model for real life.” What is one skill you are proud of that you learned on an out-trip?
Today’s Activity: Climb steps outside in recognition of the three skill levels for out-trips at Camp Westminster.