When you think of summer camp you probably envision cabins, activity fields, a dining hall, and activities such as archery or crafts. This “awesome camp” doesn’t have any of those!
Alpengirl Camp adventures range from rafting the White Salmon River to a five-day Horseback riding pack trip on the Continental Divide. The “awesomeness” of Alpengirl is in the culture it creates for its campers. As one staff member, Renee J., put it: “the magic of Alpengirl is what it really teaches. Alpengirl teaches girls the power of risk-taking and creates a girl positive culture where it is safe to be silly, take risks, fail and keep trying, and experience the special vulnerability required to really learn something.”
In contrast to some large outdoor programs, Alpengirl is a small teen adventure travel camp for GIRLS ONLY, which empowers girls to become leaders. Even though the itineraries and overall structure may seem similar to other larger travel based co-ed teen adventure camps, Alpengirl is unique because it remains small with only 80 to 100 girls per summer, concentrates on younger age groups & specializes in the Pacific Northwest and Northern Rocky Mountains.
One parent, Adina S., summed up Alpengirl with the following. “The whole experience is just very, very good: starting with the information from the website, the registration process, the timely and accurate communication, to the guidance about all the logistics and all the care to ensure the girls are safe and well taken care of. After the experience of having my daughter at Alpengirl three consecutive summers, I could feel all the effort, the thought and the love poured into the program. No wonder my daughter gets depressed every time the camp ends! Alpengirl benefits start with self-discovery and learning self-reliance. They continue with healthy habits (yoga, self-care), leadership, team work, and communication. All very good skills for life; plus the love of nature, community and self.”
The Alpengirl program ranges from an introductory 7-day program for younger girls (ages 11-12) up to a 16 day adventure for high-school aged girls. The sessions for younger campers (“Lil’s Adventure”) includes basic outdoor living skills like hiking, camping, yoga, cavern tour, hot spring soaking, campfires, backpacking, and swimming. Older girls will experience more advanced adventures like rock climbing, whitewater rafting, backpacking, standup paddle boarding, horseback riding, canoeing, hiking, or sea kayaking in outstanding locations including Yellowstone, North Cascades National Park, and Teton National Park.
Alpengirl Camp Director, Alissa Farley, founded the program in 1997. In a recent blog post entitled “Skill Building for Life at Alpengirl Camp” Alissa shares her thoughts on the difference that Alpengirl can make in a young woman’s life:
- Problem Solving: As part of a group sharing a common experience, participants work through real-life decisions as individuals and as part of the team.
- Independence: Alpengirl helps foster independence in young girls and teenagers by encouraging them to confidently embrace challenge and to “comfortably excel at being herself”.
- Environmental consciousness: Alpengirl Camp connects kids with nature, contributing to the development of a positive relationship to the natural environment.
- Self worth: Unplugging from creature comforts of home and carrying a backpack for a few weeks helps a young woman discover what she is capable of and expands her vision of what is possible for her to accomplish.
– Chloe S.
- Location: Camp sessions in Washington, Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming
- Type: Adventure camp for girls
- Focus: Adventure, Travel
- Activities: Backpacking, horseback riding, whitewater rafting, sea kayaking, rock climbing, canoeing, yoga, camping, swimming, stand-up paddle boarding
- Age Range: 11-17
- Gender: Girls
- Camp Capacity: 100
- Accreditation: American Camp Association
- Director: Alissa Farley
- Sponsoring Organization: Private Independent
- Nearest Large City: Bozeman MT
- Website: alpengirlcamp.com
- Phone: (406) 570-6312
- Address: PO Box 1138, Manhattan, MT 59741