Summer camp at Broken Arrow Ranch is off to a fantastic start! The Fox Cabin successfully completed their first backpacking trip to Elkhart Lake. Part of the Mountaineer cohort (rising eighth-grade campers) braved challenging weather—the team’s ingenuity and determination kept the pace swift and morale high! Another part of the cohort, the Moose Cabin, canoed through the scenic backcountry, paddling to Hermitage Point on Jackson Lake. They enjoyed stunning views of the Teton Mountain Range, and even saw a bear from afar! The remaining Mountaineers staying in the Elk Cabin camped at Bearpaw Bay, using teamwork to practice building shelters on the beach and conduct boat rescues on the clear alpine water. Next, they will backpack in the Gros Ventre Mountains! City Kids campers have been especially well-outfitted this year thanks to new puffy jackets and backpacking packs from our partner STIO!
A few things at camp are new this year—one being a Gaga pit! Andy, our Ranch Manager, built it and it’s a huge hit. We are also in the second year of offering a “Challenge by Choice” backpacking program where we offer campers the opportunity to learn about three different backpacking options for their session and rank their choices based on the challenge level in which they’re most interested. This initiative evolves every year as we learn from campers what works best for them—we have consistently seen youth investing in their own growth and development on these trips; most youth choose the hardest two options every time!
Session 1 will soon come to a close, and on July 17th our brand new cohort of Rangers (rising 7th grade campers) will arrive in Jackson for the first time! They, too, have incredible adventures ahead of them. Our JETs (11th and 12th graders), who are not in SYEP back in DC, have begun their Wyoming summer internships (including in wildlife biology, physical therapy, and architecture) and will continue to learn and explore! Other highlights of the summer will include the Leadership cohort (rising 10th graders) spending a 24-hour solo journey in the woods, and the Elite cohort (rising 9th graders) going sea-kayaking and backpacking. And, of course, the Grand Teton climb—continue reading for a special feature about that!
Meena Fernald, Director of Programs in WY, highlights that camp has been made possible by an incredible group effort from our seasonal summer staff: “I can’t shout out our entire team enough—all of the preparation that went into summer programs as well as the ongoing efforts throughout these busy summer months are making this year the #bestsummerever!”