While it might feel snowy and blowy where you are, summer is sneaking up on you. Soon, camp schedules will be out. From dance to art, from mountain biking to wilderness survival skills, summer is chock full of camps, and there are so many to choose from.
Summer camps are an opportunity for your child to learn new things and socialize with other kids who enjoy doing those activities too. Why not use this opportunity to get your kids excited about wilderness survival and homesteading skills? There are some amazing camps out there.
Summer Camps for Kids and Families
1. Trackers: Looking to build homesteading skills in your city kid, or get your urban explorer out into the wilderness? Trackers runs summer camps in Eugene, Portland and San Francisco, and themes for the camps run from forest survival skills to Little House on the Prairie. This summer, my daughter will be taking one of their farm camps that ventures around the city to see urban farming in action.
2. Wilderness Awareness School: Looking for a wilderness skills camp that focuses on the skill-building aspect of wilderness living? Wilderness Awareness School‘s programs focus on tracking, primitive skills, and using all of the senses to understand the plants, animals, and environment around you. The organization runs summer camps in the Pacific Northwest, and they also host the fabulous Kamana program, a self-directed nature awareness program for children and adults.
3. Firemaker: Firemaker is my favorite camp that I’ve never been to, but we’re so excited to actually be going this coming summer. It’s a camp on British Columbia’s Vancouver Island, a ferry ride away from Seattle. Firemaker is a camp for families who are interested in wilderness skills and primitive living. From wildcrafting herbal medicines to tanning animals skins, participants learn primitive living skills while camping in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.
Three Organizations That Run Camps Across the Country
If you’re not a West Coaster as I am, these camps might seem a little far away. If so, never fear. Several international organizations have great camps for kids across the country, and they fit right into the wilderness and homesteading skills.
1. 4H Camps: 4H is a farm skills organization, bringing together children who work on individual skill-building projects. The organization also runs summer camps in both rural and urban areas.
2. Outward Bound: Outward Bound is about as far from home as you can get! The organization focuses on wilderness living, moving you far beyond the guided tour into expeditions that challenge your strengths and encourage you to build practical and mental skills for outdoor survival. These programs are excellent for youth, and the organization also has programs for adults, including a program for veterans.
3. Scouts: Who could forget Scouts? If you’re looking for a year-long and summer time outdoor and skill-building experience, these organizations encourage kids to build skills through camping experiences and by pursuing badges related to practical skills.
Of course, you can work on these skills with your own family as well, and they don’t need to look like work. Camping, fishing, hiking, and crafting all build wilderness living and homesteading skills, and it’s possible for both urban and rural families to do any of these activities.
Summer Plans: Learn a Skill
What are your plans for the summer? How will you make it one that opens new opportunities and introduces new ideas to your kids?