When campers have completed the 10th grade, they can choose between the in-camp program and the Wilderness Program. The in-camp campers experience camp just like all other villages do. They remain in camp, go to skills, and follow the typical daily camp schedule. The Wilderness Program, however, is a completely different experience!
The Wilderness Program is limited to 10 campers per session. The first Monday of the session, they hit the trail for 4 days and 3 nights (returning Thursday afternoon). They hike all over Western North Carolina and different trails in Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee. During a 2-week session, they take two different trips on different trails. This program gives campers an opportunity to experience something completely different than their previous years at camp. Wilderness campers return to camp for Thursday evening through Sunday and still experience many of the Camp favorites, like the Valor Challenge, Open Camp, Council of Progress, Carnival or Midnight Madness, Church, Singspiration, Nibble Nook and joint activities with the Ridgecrest Trailblazers.
What makes Wilderness different?
Apart from the obvious, like sleeping in the woods rather than a cabin, Wilderness campers end their 2 weeks talking about the bonds they've formed that are deeper than typical friendships. Additionally, there's something special about doing something that's just different. Where else do girls get the chance to wake up at 6,000 ft of elevation on top of a mountain and be led in a devotion as the sun sets each evening?
If my daughter is coming for the first time, should she do the in-camp program or Wilderness?
You can't go wrong with either choice. It's really up to what you and your daughter are looking for in her experience. If you're looking for a more traditional summer camp experience, the in-camp program may be the better fit. But if you're looking for something a little more adventurous and an experience that is totally unique from everyday life, Wilderness is an incredible program!
My daughter isn't exactly "outdoorsy". Would she enjoy this program?
Yes! She won't be the only one in that category. The Wilderness program is designed to stretch young women and give them a different experience, but this is not boot camp or a survival expedition. Our goal is not to hike your daughter until she's blistered and exhausted. This program will expose them to the outdoors and give them confidence to set up camp, cook dinner over a fire, and be prepared for spending the night on the trail.
Is Wilderness only for former campers?
No! You can be a camper for the first time and do Wilderness. Most of the campers who do Wilderness have been in camp before and many of them also see Wilderness as a chance to do something different and "complete" their Camp Crestridge experience.
Do I need to purchase a lot of gear before my daughter does Wilderness?
The short answer is "no" but it's really up to you. We will provide a suggested packing list specific to the Wilderness program. You can also access the list here. There are some items that it would be helpful to bring, but there are also ways to do it without breaking the bank. As a general rule of thumb, you want to take care of the things that are "between you and the ground", like your shoes, socks and sleeping attire.
Will my daughter still get to experience Camp if she's in Wilderness?
Yes! She will still be in camp for things like Open Camp, Council of Progress, Carnival or Midnight Madness, the Valor Challenge, church on Sunday, Singspiration and Nibble Nook.