Sleep-away camps have the power to transform lives, build community, instill independence, and lay a powerful foundation for self-directed learners.
I witnessed this over and over again as both a staffer and participant in summer camps, beginning at age 11. I’m such a fan of the camp model that I’ve long wondered how I can work at camps year-round.
Camps for unschoolers
Not Back to School Camp (Oregon, Vermont, California): ages 13-18. The preeminent summer camp for teenage self-directed learners, founded in 1996. I’ve worked there every summer since 2006.
East Tennessee Unschool Camp (Tennessee): ages 13-18. Another camp for teenage unschoolers, more associated with radical unschooling. I worked as their medic for their first summer in 2010.
Camp Stomping Ground (New York): ages 5-15. A new camp based on inclusivity, consent, and self-directed learning.
Traditional camps with significant self-directed aspects
Most sleep-away camps build independence, but these camps go a big step farther in building the skills necessary for effective self-directed learning.
Deer Crossing Camp (Northern California): ages 9-15 + leader-in-training program for ages 15-17. I attended this camp from ages 11-15 and worked there for five summers as an adult. I’m definitely biased toward Deer Crossing: it’s a part of my history.
Is there a resource that belongs on this page?