Teen Expedition Camps (Ages 14-17)
Our Expedition Camps are a revamped version of our Teen Adventure Camps. There are two Teen Expedition Camps: Backpacking Expedition Camp and Whitewater Expedition Camp. All Teen Expedition Camps will stay in platform tents or yurts while at camp.
Member Price: $1794
Option 1: Backpacking Expedition Camp
13 days, 12 nights
Sessions 1 & 2 (June 2-14), Sessions 3 & 4 (June 16-28)
Is your teen looking to make memories of a lifetime in the backcountry? To push themselves out of their comfort zone? During this two-week expedition camp, campers will begin their alpine adventure on-site at Camp Santa Maria before departing off site for multi-night backpacking trips. They will return to camp with new skills, summit stories, lifelong friendships, a strengthened sense of self and nurtured confidence. On basecamp, as campers acclimate, they will begin with developing their camping and hiking skills, including camp cooking, group and wildlife safety, water filtration and shelter building. Once they leave for their trip, their gear and supplies will be based out of a camp vehicle. Once on the trail, teens will learn how to leave a minimal impact through Leave No Trace principles. When they set up camp for the evening, they can look forward to a hearty dinner and s’mores to refuel for the next day. Campers will return to camp in time to recharge and participate in closing campfire. Campers may bring their own overnight packs and sleeping pads if they would like; however, they are not required. This backpacking expedition is very much weather dependent and may be adapted depending on external circumstances.
Option 2: Whitewater Expedition Camp
13 days, 12 nights
Sessions 6 & 7 (July 7-19), Sessions 8 & 9 (July 21-Aug 2)
Are you ready to go with the flow? Paddle hard? And learn the rules of the river? During this two-week expedition camp, campers begin their adventure at YMCA Camp Santa Maria, explore local rivers off-site and return to camp with new skills, countless stories, strengthened confidence and lifelong friends. On-site, campers will learn on-the-ground basics of whitewater safety and terminology prior to their time on the river. Weather permitting, they will spend time learning safe wet exits in kayaks on flatwater as they build their confidence in and on the water. Typically, at this point in the summer in Colorado, the rivers are a bit lower and more accessible for campers of different abilities. Once off-site, they will explore the Buena Vista area on rafts and inflatable kayaks as they harness their teamwork skills on minimum Class III rapids. They will also learn Leave No Trace principles relative to river trips and the area they are in. When they return to camp, they can look forward to closing campfire, where they share their adventures with the rest of the Santa Maria community. Campers will leave this high-impact summer experience uplifted, connected and stronger — mentally, physically and emotionally.