CAMPS FOR TEENS
Teens’ schedules fill up fast when summer comes so it can be difficult, if not impossible, to fit in a month for camp, not to mention that a traditional camp format may no longer be appealing. So an adventure or service trip may be just the thing to spark their interest. Whether a volunteer trip to Costa Rica or an outdoor adventure in Utah, breaking free of the walls of a customary camp setting is the perfect way for teens to gain independence and learn more about themselves in the process.
Outward Bound: From Maine to Wyoming to the Caribbean, go rock climbing or sea kayaking on trips matched to your teen’s interests and skill level. Starts at age 12, options can be grouped into middle and high school categories. For more information, visit outwardbound.org.
Nols (National Outdoor Leadership School): Wilderness education is the key to all of their trips. Students are taken on remote wilderness expeditions and taught outdoor skills, leadership and environmental ethics. Try the Adirondack Backpacking Adventure or Alaska Backpacking and Sea Kayaking courses among dozens of other offerings. Ages 14 and up. For more information, visit nols.edu. Global Leadership Adventures: High school volunteers are placed in non-tourist communities to work on service projects, develop relationships with local residents and, in the process, learn to explore and be leaders. For those 14 and older programs are available in places such as China, Central and South America. For more information, visit experiencegla.com.
Rein Teen Tours: Offering both Teen Travel trips (California Caper, Hawaiian Caper and European Adventure) as well as Community Service programs (Project Costa Rica, Galapagos Islands among others), there are lots of domestic and international options. Programs start in seventh grade. For more information, visit reinteentours.com. West Coast Connection: Pick a program type (baseball tour, fashion, language) and you may end up in Florence, Costa Rica or Montreal. This is for seventh grade through high school. For more information, visit westcoastconnection.com.
American Trails West: With the flexibility of their two, three, four or five-week tours teens can visit the Pacific Northwest, go to Alaska and Hawaii or head to Europe on a trip that includes a luxury Mediterranean cruise. While pricey (Five Star Camping is available), these tours are action packed. For more information, visit atwteentours.com. Bold Earth Teen Adventures: Based in Denver, these adventure trips focus on leadership and teamwork. Bike, hike and raft in Colorado and Utah, explore the Grand Canyon from above and below or hit the Alps in France, Italy and Switzerland for two weeks. Trips start at age 13. For more information, visit boldearth.com.