More About Our Extreme Adventures Summer Camp Program
During Week 1, Counselors teach the basics of rock climbing, caving, hiking, mountain biking, backpacking, canoeing, and camping. Campers are encouraged to challenge themselves throughout this week of fun and adventure as they prepare for their overnight and Week 2 adventure outings, which include whitewater rafting, extended hiking, or bike trail rides. Each session includes an exciting off site overnight camping experience. Campers enjoy a variety of land and water excursions to area locations, including caving, mountain biking, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, tubing, backpacking, and more. Select indoor activities may include bowling, laser tag, or ice skating when weather requires. All camp activities, on-campus and off as well as the overnight trip, are included in the session fee. Sample Activities: Fishing—Campers will learn how to use both natural and artificial bait, and fish from a variety of different locations. They build their skills and knowledge throughout the session, learning how to use basic fishing gear, baiting, hooking, casting, and knot-tying. Fishing locations include Riley’s Lock, Seneca Creek, Farm Pond, Seneca Breaks, and the pond right here at Butler. Ropes Course & Rock Climbing—Our on-site ropes challenge course combines physical and mental activities that build trust, enhance communication, and improve problem-solving skills. Campers work together and encourage each other both on and off the rock wall and ropes course as they learn basic climbing skills and group dynamics. Experienced, certified Counselors teach climbing skills, including an introduction to climbing gear, getting comfortable with heights, climbing etiquette and techniques, knots, rappelling, belaying, anchors, and advanced climbing for the intermediate to experienced campers. This prepares campers for off-site rock climbing excursions as well as the overnight. Whitewater Rafting—Teamwork is essential to a safe and fun rafting adventure. Campers learn about rapid formation, paddling techniques, and river hazards while having fun on the Shenandoah river. The guided rafting is facilitated by River Riders and is geared to all levels of the campers as well as the river water levels. All campers will put their skills to the test for a fun group experience. Campers gain an introduction to basic gear, paddle strokes, and river reading and safety, while advanced rafters develop their raft guiding skills. Canoeing—Campers visit local water sites and spend the day learning basic paddle strokes, along with how to paddle roll. Campers will go on a day-long canoeing adventure where they will take a water tour, eat lunch, and relax before returning to Butler Camp. Rain Plan: Butler Camp views rain as “liquid sunshine”! All activities will continue as planned except in cases of severe weather (i.e., thunder, lightning, or heavy downpour). In this case, we have indoor and undercover space where activities will continue. Traveling campers will use the Butler Camp bus as temporary shelter if needed. Tuesday Overnight (week two of each session) is a highlight for campers. The hands-on skills and team-building activities developed during Week 1 set the stage for the Week 2 overnight, preparing campers for Tuesday’s extended day and night where campers might go caving, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, and/or a day-long biking, and hiking excursion. This adventure enhances the various tactical skills and team-building campers develop in their first week, where they implement their knowledge as they set up camp, prepare meals, and work together as a team. Counselors foster Leave No Trace (LNT) camping ethic and practices, including minimalist/ lightweight packing techniques, waste minimization and water purification methods, wildlife identification and preservation, and wilderness survival. Overnight campers are transported by bus to their locations and picked up the next day for return to Butler Camp by 3:30 pm. Rain or shine, Counselors and campers are prepared for inclement weather. Severe weather may require early pickup but, campers would return to Butler Camp for onsite and local activities. As with weekly activities, the overnight activities and locations are subject to change due to skill levels, water levels, environmental considerations, and campers’ interests. Parents and campers will be updated accordingly. Please note: Camp citizenship (i.e., participation, behavior, demonstrated safety, and leadership) determines Counselor and Director approval for off-site overnight outing.