Jr. Adventure gives an introductory glance into the world of wilderness living and adventure. Campers tent camp each night and learn how to interact with the natural world around them.
The Adventure Program (which includes Adventure Camp, Junior Adventure Camp, and Adventure Climbing Camp) exists to welcome your child into a community of those who love the outdoors. We are lifetime lovers of the outdoors and we wish to share this passion with the campers so that they can gain confidence and skills to find joy in their lives and welcome others to the same. We are passionate about sharing our love for the outdoors with the next generation of leaders. We’re also passionate about teaching our youth how to explore the natural world safely. The Adventure Program at YMCA Camp at Horsethief Reservoir is designed to be a sample platter of wilderness exploration. Campers will learn skills and strategies while developing lifelong friendships and a deeper connection to the world around them.
Junior Adventure Camp is for campers entering Grades 4-6 and is the bridge between our Youth Camp program and our Adventure Camp Program. Participants sleep in tents on the hill above the Youth Camp cabins. Modern bathrooms and showers are just around the corner with portable toilets in their campsite. Junior Adventurers get to do many of the things that our older Youth campers do, including waterfront activities, canoeing, mountain biking, gaga, giant swing, and more. They also get to do specially-facilitated activities including fire-building, shelter-building, knot-tying and lashings, outdoor cooking, and sunset top-rope climbing.
Please refer to the Parent Camper Guide on our website for the Packing List, but know that we provide the essentials to ensure that your camper can join in the fun without needing to buy expensive outdoor gear. Campers will do more outdoor activities than Youth campers, so be sure that they bring clothing for both chilly mornings and hot afternoons, as well as footwear made for walking. Please note that temperature variance at Y Camp can be wide. Sometimes our nights can be chilly. You know your camper better than anyone else; please be sure to check the weather before you check in to camp and add additional clothing/footwear as you see fit (search Cascade, ID for best weather results).
All campers at Y Camp participate in a cookout over a fire at some point during their week, but all meals except for that one are prepared for them in our commercial kitchen. For Junior Adventure campers, everything is the same with the exception of 3 dinners during the week that we cook out over a fire. All adventure campers will participate in the meal planning, preparation, and cooking. After all, when one is out exploring the woods a well-cooked meal over the fire is the finest of luxuries!
Because Junior Adventure campers do special things, staff that work with these campers get additional training and maintain a high supervision ratio, 1:5. While the woods are lovely, dark, and deep, we uphold our promise to you that we will approach every situation with your camper through the calculated lens of risk management. At times, this means we will scoot inside to avoid an electrical storm, and other times it might mean we spend more time reinforcing tick checks. All this is to say that our campers’ safety is our top priority. We spend ample time with our staff training and drilling scenarios so that we are prepared and methodical whenever a difficult or dangerous situation arises.
Of course! Choices include the same as those offered to Youth Campers. These choices fall under four focuses: Active, Natural, Mindful, and Creative.