Accredited Teen Summer Camps

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As the pioneering teen summer camp, Wilderness Ventures has been conducting adventure camps in the American West for 37 years. We conducted our first teen summer camp in 1973, visiting all of the most splendid wilderness areas in the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Northwest. Today, we take great pride in running the best teen adventure camps in Washington, Oregon, Alaska, California, Hawaii, Wyoming, Idaho, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and in several international destinations, including Central and South America, Europe, Australia and the South Pacific. Because of our vast teen adventure experience, our exclusive destinations, and the enviable degree of control that we have over the quality of our adventures, we are largely considered the best teen summer camp available to today’s teens.

Teen Summer Camp Destinations

When we conducted our first teen summer camp in 1973, we wanted to bring our teen summer campers to the best, most beautiful and most inspiring environments on the planet. Some highlights of our first teen summer camp consisted of the Glacier Peak Wilderness, the Three Sisters Wilderness, Yellowstone National Park and Olympic National Park. Back in the early 1970s, permits to our nation’s treasured wilderness areas was still possible to obtain. With tremendous foresight, our founders Mike and Helen Cottingham were able to aquire permits to the best and most beautiful teen summer camp environments in the Pacific Northwest, the Rocky Mountains, Alaska, California and Hawaii. Affectionately, we refer to these environments as “Our Last Best Places,” and the exclusive permits that we hold to these treasured environments allows us to conduct teen summer camps in the most beautiful locations on the planet. For example, we are the only teen summer camp with the authority to lead teen backpacking trips in Grand Teton National Park and Oregon’s Three Sisters Wilderness; we are the only teen adventure camp allowed to lead sea kayaking expeditions onto the high alpine lakes of Yellowstone National Park, where our own adventure camp sea kayaking specialists.

Teen Summer Camp Safety

Because of our self-managed permits in these teen summer camp destinations (see above and “Our Last Best Places”), we have a high degree of control over who leads our expeditions. Our teen summer camp leaders are the most highly qualified, most extensively trained staff members in the teen summer camp industry; see “Our Leaders.” But another important distinction between Wilderness Ventures and other teen summer camps is the level of control our leaders have over the adventures they are leading. Many teen summer camps must, for example, subcontract their important outdoor adventure activities to permit holders so that they can conduct teen backpacking trips and teen hiking trips; this process often dilutes the quality of the leadership in charge of the health, safety, enjoyment and general well being of the teen summer camp activities. Since we operate under our own permits, we have the assurance that only our own highly qualified and trained leaders are conducting our teen summer camps.