Maryland's Oldest Teen Adventure
Specializing in Outdoor Adventure, Environmental
Stewardship, and Community Service
Nature Camp's Teen Adventure is an innovative
and physically challenging four-week experience. Focus is upon affirming
individual strengths, engendering compassionate behavior, and bringing
forth environmental stewardship. Teens feel the power of tradition
and community during their engaging time with their peers. TA enrollment is limited to eight teens per four-week session.
- Weeks 1 & 4 are spent at NC Day Camps in TA in Monkton, Maryland
- TA Five-Day Trips (Weeks 2 & 3). One week is a family farm experience in Southern PA. The other week is hiking on the Appalachian Trail near Frederick, Maryland, and rafting on the Potomac River.
During these four weeks teens will be:
- Choosing outside activities of interest, assisting in Counselor-led
activities, acting as that older brother or sister, helping children.
- Participating in camp service projects.
- Bicycling north to Spoutwood Farm, CSA, where teens will perform farm chores, and take part in workshops and projects.
- Hiking and Camping in the Appalachian
- White Water
- Acquiring new leadership and outdoor skills.
Assignment of which weeks teens go away depend upon time of enrollment, limited group size (8), and parent preference. Two trip leaders lead the small group of teenagers.
We encourage you to reserve your spot early, whether you are a returning Teen Adventure Explorer or transitioning form Camper into TA. Age range is 13 - 16. It is especially important to note that the TA program is a four-week, consecutive weeks, program. The TA session does not work with teens coming one week here and one week there. So make note of the dates, now, and arrange your teen's other summer activities so that he/she may attend four consecutive weeks at Nature Camps, reaping the full benefit of the program. A teen enrolled in a four-week session may also add single weeks of the Nature Camps TA Day program during the rest of the summer.
The TA Program includes a Counselor/Teen Adventure Overnight on the first Monday of each session. TA Explorers are really in a Counselor-In-Training (CIT) program. We have decided to return to this format to further the understanding of the important role that teens have in NC's mixed-age adventure experience. This strengthens the teens' skill base and understanding as being that older child role model in Camper activities, as well as sets the tone that first day for an effective working relationship between counselors and TAs.
Over the past three and a half decades we have all seen that Nature Camps' most outstanding staff members are the adults who have grown up through Nature Camps' Camper and TA programs. They embody good work ethic (rare to see these days), have compassion, and naturally have a wonderful sense of how to relate to children, their peers, parents, and counselors in Nature Camps' ultimate goal of nourishing children's sense of wonder in an adventuresome and peaceful atmosphere.
So... tell me more about TA...
Teens need to take a break from their fast-paced, high-tech world. They need
to be in an unhurried summer place where they can blossom from what we teach,
as well as be with close fellow teenagers. Unlike traditional camps, teens at
NC spend weekends at home with their families and friends. This is in keeping
with NC's family based values.
As the four weeks of TA have a lot to offer young teens, and older
teens, we have structured the weeks sequentially so each succeeding
week builds upon the skills and slow pace of the preceding week.
The first week of TA, the teens are at Day
they choose activities of interest, and assist in Counselor-led activities,
often acting as Counselors-in-Training, as that older brother or
sister. On Thursday of week one, TA's hike about five miles to Bunker
Hill, along the Gunpowder River for their first overnight. The second
week of TA, teens bicycle to an organic farm,
via the NCR Trail. Through planting, harvesting, working on projects,
and astronomy lessons, Teens learn
to enjoy the company of one another, and to play an important role
in the stewardship of the environment. During the third week of TA,
teens hike and camp on the Appalachian
Trail ending with a Friday white water rafting trip. The fourth
week of TA is spent at NC Day Camp where teens again join in the
counselor-led activities, complete their Community
Service projects, and continue to acquire new leadership and
outdoor skills. Teens enrolled in two TA sessions will be at NC
Day Camp six weeks, and go on two away trips.
Children just becoming a teenager feel comfortable right away as they are with teens who have been in TA before, as well as fellow teens just beginning. The TA staff and returning TA teens are very welcoming and focused on creating a cohesive group. The TA experience is an important adventure in the life of a teen. Teens learn and grow in leaps and bounds, while remaining grounded in a high quality program developed with deep tradition and community ties.
Ben's TA Reflection