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: $875/week. Includes transportation, meals, camping and most adventure equipment.
GROUP SIZE: 10 students per session, with a maximum student:staff ratio of 5:1
WHERE: Devil’s Lake State Park | Drop off 4:30 PM on Sunday | Pick up 4:30 PM on Friday
Skill-building climbing adventures
for 9th - 12th Graders
Teen Rock 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 in a supportive environment, with experience, professional instruction. Students will also learn 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, including stand-up paddleboarding (SUP), swimming, caving, mountain biking and/or hiking.
Teen Rock Climbing Camp is for high school students who are ready to develop climbing and life skills in a challenging, supportive environment. Students should expect to navigate through decision-making, judgment, safety challenges, and risk management during the course of adventures and daily camp life routines. We intend not only to help students find passion in adventure, but develop young adults into competent, strong leaders. Success also includes engaging the responsibilities of self-care and teamwork essential to outdoor adventure. Examples include:
Rise and prepare yourself each morning for the day’s agenda
Learn, lead and follow with group responsibilities around camp
Maintain an optimistic attitude
Engage with adversity and explore responsible ways to overcome it
Prepare to accept (and even embrace) failure in pursuit of learning
Step up to support and help the team
Communicate clearly and effectively
Climbing Camp is an opportunity for teens to develop both technical rock climbing skills and foundational 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 prepared on-site are nutritional and packed lunches/snacks are provided. Our instructors are experienced educators who know how to teach technical skills and facilitate conversations about decision-making, responsibility and risk-management.
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 self-care and group responsibilities at both crag and camp.
CLIMBING EXPERIENCE: Climbing Camp can be an intense experience. Previous exposure to rock climbing, camping and time away from family are helpful, but not required. We work with students who are already “climbers” and want to further their strength and skills outside, as well as those who are just getting started in the climbing world.
AGENDA: Students and their families will meet us at Devils Lake State Park at 4:30 PM on Sunday afternoon. Parents will pick up their students at the same meeting location at 4:30 PM on Friday.
Our daily agenda is not predetermined and will remain flexible to accommodate group desires and weather. Students can expect to engage in:
Camp set-up and break-down: tents, sleeping gear, cook shelter, campfire
Nutrition and hydration: meal preparation and clean up, drinking 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: paddle boarding, swimming, mountain biking and/or hiking
Lots of climbing!
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. We will provide a camp packing list with specific equipment each student will need.
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.
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!
Camp Climbing instructors
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.
Kyle Harding is a passionate rock climber, a seasoned educator, and a climbing instructor too! He earned his B.A. in Special Education at UW-Oshkosh, then followed with a Masters in Adventure Education from UW-LaCrosse. Kyle is a full-time special education teacher during the school year and also teaches at Adventure Rock climbing gym in Milwaukee. On the weekends and during summer, he travels, climbs and teaches rock climbing at Devil’s Lake.
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.
Ready For Greatness?
sign up for 2019 Dates >>>
Click the yellow button to reach our camp registration form. Once you’ve paid and registered, we will send additional information on camp logistics and request personal details regarding your camper(s). Please contact us with any questions.