A WEEK OF OUTDOOR CLIMBING & CAMPING
WHAT: 5-day, 5-night outdoor rock climbing camp at Devil’s Lake State Park, with additional outdoor recreation and overnight camping.
WHO: Teens of all climbing abilities entering 9th thru 12th grade.
PRICE: $995/week. Includes transportation, meals, camping and most adventure equipment .
GROUP SIZE: 10 students per session, with a maximum student:staff ratio of 5:1
LET’S MEET: Devil’s Lake State Park | Drop off 4:30 PM on Sunday | Pick up 4:30 PM on Friday
BRING TO CAMP: athletic clothing and shoes appropriate for weather and activities, sunscreen, sleeping pad & bag, personal care items, water bottles, lunch container, day pack
Skill building climbing adventures for 9th - 12th Graders
Climbing Camp offers teens a chance to unplug from their routines, engage with new friends and challenge their climbing skills in an outdoor setting. Climbers will spend time exploring climbing routes and boulder problems at their abilities. Students will also learn about and practice belaying, climbing safety and crag etiquette, climbing movement, anchor building, and rappelling.
Though spending time on the rock is our primary goal, time, interest and weather may allow for other outdoor adventure. Activities include stand up paddleboarding, swimming, mountain biking and/or hiking.
Rock Climbing Camp is for high school students who are ready to grow both their climbing and life skills. Students should expect to navigate through decision-making, judgment, safety challenges, and risk management. Our dream goes beyond helping students find passion in adventure, but developing young adults into competent, strong leaders. Success also includes engaging the responsibilities of self-care and teamwork essential to outdoor adventure. Here are some examples:
Arrive on time prepared for the day
Maintain an optimistic attitude
Engage with adversity and explore responsible ways to overcome
Prepare to accept failure in pursuit of learning
Step up to support and help the team
Communicate clearly and self-advocate
Climbing Camp is an opportunity for teens to develop technical rock climbing skills and individual and group leadership skills they will build upon and benefit from for the rest of their lives. We are serious about putting our students in the “driver’s seat” and asking them to take responsibility for their days. By end of week, campers will be cooking their own meals, practicing self-care, deciding our activities and climbing harder than they ever have. Climbing Camp is a life-changing experience.
Devils Lake Climbing Guides are excited to offer teens this unique and invaluable opportunity to experience a combination of aspects from the many trips our company offers. Additionally, we value our ability to provide expensive adventure gear in good repair. Transportation and camping fees are all-inclusive which allows our group travel in one vehicle, haul equipment and camp together. Meals that are prepared on-site are nutritional and packed lunches/snacks are provided. Last, our instructors are experienced educators who know how to teach technical skills and facilitate conversations about decision-making, responsibility and risk-management.
“Adventure Camp was our daughter’s favorite week of summer. She can’t wait to return to Adventure Camp this year!”
Dig Into the Details
AGES: High School students entering 9th thru 12 grades with a strong interest in climbing are welcome. We expect students to demonstrate maturity in handling advanced responsibilities both at the rock climbing wall and campsite.
CLIMBING EXPERIENCE: We understand Climbing Camp can be an intensive experience that will be most manageable with previous exposure to rock climbing. We work with youth who have already experienced climbing in the gym and want to further their strength and skills outside, as well as those who are just getting started in the world of rock climbing.
AGENDA: Students should be dropped off at Devils Lake State Park by 4:30 PM on Sunday to meet staff and other campers before heading to the campsite. Pick up at the same meeting location by 4:30 PM on Friday after a full day of climbing.
Our daily agenda is not predetermined and will remain flexible to accommodate group desires and weather, though students can expect to engage in the following:
Camp set-up and break-down: tents, sleeping gear, cook shelter, campfire
Nutrition and hydration: meal preparation and clean up, drink plenty of fluids
Self-care: personal hygiene, sun protection, proper clothing/shoes, adequate sleep
Trip planning: choose climbing area, pack gear, set individual and group objectives
Risk management: track weather, climbing safety, time management
Outdoor adventure: paddleboarding, swimming, mountain biking and/or hiking
Climb, climb, climb!
As we will be cooking onsite, please inform us of any pertinent food allergies.
PACKING GUIDE: Most adventure, camping and cooking gear are available for student use but some personal gear is required. As always, feel free to bring personal adventure gear in good condition. See the Camp Gear list for specifics.
Definitely bring - athletic clothing and shoes appropriate for weather and activities, sunscreen, sleeping pad & bag, personal care items, water bottles, lunch container, day pack
May want to have - swimsuit & towel, shower shoes, sun glasses, camp mess kit
Borrow from us - climbing harness/helmet/shoes, tent, cook stove/wear, paddleboards/life jackets
Do NOT bring - cell phone,
“Camp instructors strike a great balance between providing kids with necessary support and guidance, while also letting kids be self-directed and “learn by doing.”
Preventing accidents, minimizing consequences
Climbing Camp activities carry inherent, unavoidable physical and emotional risks; we manage these risks, but we cannot eliminate them. This is what we mean when we refer to "real" adventure. We believe engaging in activities with real consequences creates a potent learning environment. To mitigate the risks involved in our activities, we take the following steps:
FRANK TALK - We help students and parents understand the risks inherent to our adventures, and we don't hide possible consequences. If a large rock strikes your head, a submerged log catches your sandal, or a jump results in an unintended flip, you can be seriously injured or killed. We discuss risk so students can confront, consider and make more informed decisions.
ADVANCE INSTRUCTION - Learning the right skills in a low-risk atmosphere increases the likelihood of success in more adverse conditions. We conduct ground schools in all activities to help students understand the skills and communications they will need to successfully navigate the terrain of our adventures.
INSTRUCTOR JUDGMENT - Daily itinerary is subject to a variety of factors. Weather is an important factor in all outdoor sports; we make daily, in-the-moment decisions to adjust for weather. Individual and interpersonal abilities within each week's group also play a major role in activity and location decisions.
SAFETY EQUIPMENT - We follow industry standards and take a balanced approach to safety equipment. For example, all students must wear PFDs anytime we are paddling; we always wear helmets in a rock climbing area, or while on bikes. Instructors bring First Aid kits and cell phones. If you have any specific equipment questions, please ask us!
WILDERNESS MEDICAL TRAINING - All Climbing Camp Lead Instructors hold current Wilderness First Responder certification. This is training specific to managing injuries and illnesses in areas where definitive medical care is delayed two or more hours.
SAFETY PROTOCOLS - For every area we adventure in, we know where to find emergency medical help. In the case of traumatic accidents, we call 911 and manage injuries/illnesses until definitive care arrives. For non-emergency illnesses, we consult with parents when possible and act accordingly.
“The groups are small, and the guides are experienced and invested in the campers’ collective and individual experiences.”
Rock Climbing Camp staff meet high standards as educators, facilitators and outdoor sports enthusiasts. Please learn more below and let us know if you have question regarding our training, philosophy or backgrounds. We want parents and students to have a strong idea of who we are, why we do this work, and where our strengths lie.
Small class sizes
We maintain a maximum 5:1 ratio of students to instructors because we know mentor-mentee relationships are the core value of our experience together. Small class sizes also create a safer adventure environment and help us manage risk.
We treat our youth clients the same respect, attention and enthusiasm with which we treat adult clients. We hope to pass along a passion for adventure while facilitating personal growth for these young adults. We truly love what we do and can't wait to meet your students!
Nick Wilkes has extensive experience working with youth and teaching in the outdoors. Nick has taught outdoor sports like sailing, paddling, canyoneering, rock climbing, mountain biking and teambuilding for over 20 years at places like UW Hoofers, Teton Science Schools and Zion Adventure Company. He holds an M.S. in Environmental Education from Antioch University and has over 1,500 days of field instruction under his belt.
Scott Wilton is an educator, a problem-solver and a logistics guru. He is a founder of Madison Unicyclists, a youth-focused community sports non-profit, where he continues as a coach, board member and youth mentor. Scott has been helping kids challenge themselves through outdoor activities since he was himself a teen. He is an experienced outdoor education instructor and a world-record holding unicyclist.
Dani Zepplin is an educator, coach, and outdoors woman. She taught K-8 Spanish and coached cross country at Anser Charter School before moving to Madison in 2018. Dani builds character and community with students, focusing on goal setting, inclusivity and respect. Counselor experiences at Wisconsin and New York YMCA camps encouraged her to continue sharing outdoor adventures with youth. She enjoys pushing her athletic limits and recently hiked Vermont’s Long Trail.
Ready For Greatness?
sign up for 2019 Dates >>>
Click the yellow button to reach our camp registration form. After sending us your registration information, we’ll send you an invoice for a 40% deposit for camp (about $200/student/session) to confirm enrollment. After you’ve paid the deposit, we will send additional information on camp logistics and request personal details regarding your camper(s). Your outstanding balance will be due June 1, 2019.
* Our beautiful Adventure Camp illustrations are the work of the talented Julia Kuo. We can't recommend her more highly!