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  • Writer's pictureStephen Bean

Pushing the Boundaries of Summer Camp: Why Excursions Are Essential

Camp New Heights is built around a rigorous schedule that makes the most out of every minute of each day. The schedule is built around providing a fulfilling experience that is packed with information about physiology, athletics, strength, conditioning, nutrition, and living a healthy lifestyle. Part of what keeps the schedule fresh and exciting is the weekly excursions that expands the campers universe both geographically and through the lens of experience.

Campers look forward to the excursions each week because they provide the opportunity to get off of campus and experience something new. Excursions occur every Saturday and can last anywhere from a few hours to 24 hours. Previous excursions include standup paddleboarding, ziplining, kayaking in the channel islands, camping in national parks, and visiting water parks. These excursions are about so much more than simply getting off campus, it's all part of bringing campers together for incredible shared experiences.

While I enjoy every excursion and cherish watching campers have first-time experiences, there's one excursion that stands above the rest. The camping excursion in week three is the penultimate excursion. The excursion brings everyone hundreds of miles off campus and away from the comforts of the Santa Catalina dorms. The camping trip serves as an opportunity that brings campers together like nothing else I've ever seen at camp. Watching campers interact with nature for the first time is a breathtaking experience. Call me old school, but watching campers climb rocks, lean into trees, wade/swim in streams, and sing by a campfire warms my heart. The camping experience hearkens back to days before cellphones, social media, video games, etc... The camping experience is so tangible and impacting that campers may not always list it as their favorite excursion, but it's always the one that they can remember every minute of it.

We've gone to Sequoia National Park and Joshua Tree National Park the past two years, but in 2021 we are set to camp in the Los Padres National Forest. Regardless of the destination, it will be an amazing trip that campers will be hard pressed to forget.

My father always took me camping when I was younger and I feel incredibly grateful to be able to provide many campers with their first camping experience. When I hear campers talk about wanting to go camping with their families when they return home, I have to take a moment to hold back the tears.

The excursions at Camp New Heights are part of the experience. We believe that the exposure to these experiences with their peers are what help create amazing shared experiences and cement the bond and camaraderie among campers. Most camps see these excursions as a logistical nightmare and trade in camping, ziplining, standup paddle-boarding, etc for a one-time trip to a theme park and call it a day. We see the excursions as essential weekly programming that help split up the week and provide opportunities to create memories outside of the campus.

Take a camper outside of the confines of the campus and you'll see new growth opportunities present themselves. The opportunity to find and discover new heights is an everyday mission at Camp New Heights. We've described ourselves as more than a one-dimensional experience and we bleed that ideology. If you send your kids to a camp, whether it be a weight loss camp, a sports camp, an athletic camp, or a sports and conditioning camp, they'll most likely comeback with stories solely about the category of camp in which they attended. Send your child to Camp New Heights and the stories will come from a diverse range experiences. Our camp is not one-dimensional because our aim is far greater than a single experience.

Allow for your child to expand their horizons on a multi-dimensional level with a camp that provides those opportunities every single day. Whether we're in the weight room, at the grocery store, in the kitchen, or out camping, we are making memories with shared experiences between campers and staff. Many years down the line, these camp stories are going to bring about a crowd as people hunger to listen to campers share their experiences and stories.

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