Camp Vacamas’ Teen Camps foster independence and provide challenges matched to each teenager’s individual interests. We offer small, specialized programs with 12 to 24 campers in each group. The majority of our Teen Camps are scheduled in 19-day sessions matched to our Junior Camp schedule. Our Theater Program and our Leadership-In-Training Program (LIT) are both six-week sessions.
All Teen Camps are designed to assist each teenager in taking the next step in their personal growth and development through a fun, safe, enriching, and challenge- based environment. Emphasis is placed on:
- Enhancing an interest or skill
- Building a sense of independence
- Teaching a mature decision-making process
- Participating in positive community experiences
Teen Camps are full camp experiences, combining traditional camping activities such as land and water sports, crafts, drama, nature, hiking, cook-outs, and campfires with the special areas of concentration the teenage camper has chosen. All specialized supplies and equipment for each program are provided by Camp Vacamas at no additional cost.
Outdoor Adventure Programs
Vacamas Teen Camp offers four outdoor journey-based programs tailored to the interests of the adventurous teenager. All of our adventure programs entail developing skills in outdoor living. During an initial week of skill- and team-building, campers learn to live and cook in an outdoor environment, set up tents, build campsites and develop their outdoor skills. They then embark on a journey of their choice:
- Backpacking along the Appalachian Trail
- Canoeing the Delaware River
- Biking through Pennsylvania Dutch Amish Country
- Novice Rock Climbing in Northwest New Jersey
All of our adventure programs have Team Leaders who are trained in the specific skills of each journey. Lifeguards accompany the teens on any water-based adventures. One member of each team is certified in American Red Cross CPR and First Aid.
Basketball Skills and Drills (BSD):
BSD is offered to the camper who wants to develop or perfect his or her ability in basketball. Skill level ranges from beginners to advanced basketball players. At least two hours each day are devoted to learning and improving skill level. The remainder of each day is spent in traditional camp activities.
This program is offered during TRIP 3 only.
Exercise, Sports and Nutrition (ESP&N):
The ESP&N Camp was created for campers who are interested in developing skills in various areas of sports and concerned about being fit enough to play those sports. At least two hours each day are spent on enhancing skills in several areas of athletic endeavors such as basketball, soccer, softball, and other team sports from around the world. A certified Fitness Trainer works with the group several times a week on age-appropriate exercise and food consumption. The teens participate in nutrition seminars and healthy cooking lessons in our own teaching kitchen.
Performing Arts Program
Our Performing Arts Camp is designed for the teenager whose interest lies in the entire range of creating, producing and performing in a live production. We focus on musicals to showcase the teen’s talents in vocals, acting and dance. The program includes preparing for a major presentation as well as participating in traditional camp activities. All participants learn about all aspects of creating a performance including building sets, creating props, designing costumes, as well as the acting, dancing, singing and choreographing the entire production. At the culmination of the six-week program, the production is presented to the entire camp in the Leonard Franklin Theater, which has professional staging, sound systems and lighting. The families of the participants are invited to see the final production.
This is a six-week program offered during TRIP 1 and TRIP 2.
Culinary Arts Program
Vacamas’ Culinary Arts Camp is designed for teens with an interest in the whole range of culinary skills. We host cook-offs and bake-offs, and create our own Vacamas Chef Game Show. Teens prepare existing recipes as well as creating their own dishes in a professional commercial kitchen with restaurant equipment. The program culminates in the preparation and serving of a full course meal for special invited guests, where participants showcase their newly learned skills.
Healthy Lifestyles Program
Healthy Lifestyles is designed for the teen who is struggling with weight management. Both the educational and medical communities are concerned about the rise of obesity during the childhood years. Healthy Lifestyles is dedicated to teaching overweight teens to control their own environment to produce and maintain a healthy weight. This is done through appropriate exercise designed by our certified fitness trainer as well as through cooking classes, healthy shopping expeditions, and seminars on proper nutrition. The traditional camp program is modified to meet the needs of the child who may struggle with extremely rigorous activities. Each camper is given a pedometer at the beginning of the session to keep track of their physical output and is weighed at the beginning of camp, once a week and at the end of our session. This is intended to assist the teen in making healthy choices in their daily lives.
This program is only offered during TRIP 1.
Leadership in Training (LIT) Program
Our LIT Program is offered to teens who will be 16 by the end of the current calendar year, and is intended for those interested in working in a camp environment. LIT is a very selective program. In order to be accepted into this group, the participants must have three recommendations from their high school teachers or former employers. Workshop topics include:
- general childcare
- camp programming
- leadership skills
- positive communication and reinforcement
- dealing with behavior problems
- creating a positive and healthy group
- developing and running specialty areas
After completion of the initial orientation, workshops and team-building activities, the LIT spends four hours per day assigned to different areas of camp under the tutelage of an experienced staff member. A portion of their time is spent on community service projects, such as a camp construction project, or at a service-learning off camp site such as Habitat for Humanity. After successfully completing this program, the LIT may be offered a position as a salaried Junior Staff member for the following summer.
LIT is a six-week program offered during TRIP 2 and TRIP 3.
Lifeguard (LGT) Training Program
LGT Camp is designed for the 15-year old camper with strong, deep water swimming skills. This 3-week experience combines traditional Teen Camp activities with 2 hours per day of lifeguard training, including lifesaving, CPR and First Aid. This program provides the young person with a marketable skill which allows them to work after school or in the summers at facilities that employ certified lifeguards.
This program is only offered during TRIP 1.