A program for campers who have completed 5th and 6th grades.
The Trekker program is a great balance of traditional camp activities combined with opportunities to experience the cooking, camping, and canoeing that make living and exploring northern Minnesota so great! This program has new activities for returning campers while also being a fun camp experience for the first time VLM camper.
Trekker campers are moving into the age between elementary school and junior high - a time to begin to explore their independence but also still enjoying the silliness of being a kid. We strive to make this program meet these needs and interests, giving them the comfort of a counselor who can be the "parent figure" but also challenging them to try new things and push beyond their comfort zone.
Trekker campers live in a cabin with generally 6-7 cabin mates and one of our staff.
- Housing at Camp Hiawatha is in either Lindberg or Gloria Dei dorm. Each room/cabin has four bunk beds and an attached bathroom with sinks, toilet, and shower.
- Housing at Camp Vermilion will depend a bit on the other programs in camp with them. If they are the youngest age group for the week, housing is in the Border Lakes cabins, which is a close walk to our main bathhouse. When they are the oldest group at Camp Vermilion, Trekkers will stay in our Tree Tops cabins. This is a bit further from the bathhouse, but an outhouse is close by when needed. Both Border Lakes and Tree Top cabins at Camp Vermilion have five bunk beds and a sink.
There is much interaction with the other programs in camp for Trekkers. Meals are shared in the dining hall, and the whole camp gets together occasionally for all camp games, worships, and campfires. These are great times to see a sibling or friend from home who is in a different program. There are also daily activities just for the Trekker Village (usually four or five cabins), allowing our staff to plan more targeted worship messages or games just for this age group. Many afternoon activities are also done by program/Village, which gives Trekker campers time to learn and grown with others in a similar development place. When in camp with younger campers (Seekers), this age group has the chance to be leaders and show what camp living is all about; when with older campers (Explorers), Trekker campers get a glimpse of what awaits them as they continue to move through the program progression.
A general daily schedule for Trekkers looks like this:
- 7:00 - Polar Bear Swim (an early morning jump in the lake; optional)
- 7:45 - Morning Mai (morning devotion time with other cabins)
- 8:00 - Breakfast
- 8:40 - Kapers (chores or tasks to help keep the camp clean and comfortable for all)
- 9:15 - Large group games
- 9:30 - Morning worship, also called Pose (po-say)
- 10:00 - Bible study with their cabin group; also called Rubbaboo
- 11:15 - Village game/activity with all cabins in the Trekker program
- 12:00 - lunch
- 12:45 - Siesta
- 1:15 - Afternoon Grovers - usually two or three activity periods with a variety of activities for campers to choose from; includes swimming, creative arts, field games, canoeing, learning a skill, nature activities, and more
- A trip to the canteen is usually part of the afternoon schedule
- 5:30 - Supper
- 6:15 - Cabin Time
- 6:45 - All Camp Game - sometimes with the entire camp community, sometimes only with their Village
- 8:15 - Canteen or snack; prepare for evening campfire
- 9:00 - Campfire - sometimes with entire camp community, sometimes with other Trekker cabins
- 9:45 - Prepare for bed
- 10:00 - Evening cabin devotions; also called Wattape
- 10:20 - Lights out
On Tuesdays, the Trekker campers have the opportunity to get away from the main areas of camp and enjoy a day fully immersed in nature. At Camp Hiawatha, the group will spend much of the day on our property across Cty 19 from the main site. At Camp Vermilion, the group will venture to one of our camping sites for the day. Following morning worship and Bible study, Trekkers will pick up a trail lunch from the main kitchen and head to the woods. Everything they need for the rest of the day will be carried with them, including the food and equipment needed for cooking out their supper (any items needing refrigeration are brought to them later by another staff member). The afternoon is then spent doing nature games and activities, team building, and even preparing their afternoon snack over the fire. The group will then work together to prepare their evening meal over the fire, and learn how to clean up their meal while "leaving no trace" to the campsite. An evening game is played, followed by s'mores and worship before returning to their cabins for the night.
Wednesday morning will find the Trekker campers once again preparing a meal over the fire. The group will pick up their food and head back out to try their hand at one more meal over the fire. Morning worship may also take place away from the main site before cabin groups go their separate ways for Bible study and cabin time/cleaning up before lunch. For 2016, we are working on developing additional cooking out opportunities for Trekker campers, both as a group and for individual cabins if they choose. We also hope to offer a tent camping experience for Trekker cabin groups that might be interested.
Along with these outdoor living experiences, Trekker campers enjoy swimming, canoeing, Gaga Ball, soccer, small group cabin times, creative arts, making new friends, singing fun songs, and simply being alive in God's great northwoods. We are so excited to share all of these experiences with you camper, and can't wait to meet him or her!
If you have other questions about the Trekker program, please let us know!
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