Teen Camp (Ages 13-17)
Teen programming has been changing and growing the past several years at Camp Gifford. In 1995 we had almost no teens coming to camp and now over 100 teens visit us each summer!
Teen programming is a lot more challenging for our staff than programming for the youth. The programs require more planning, more attention to detail, a lot more creativity (as teens don’t always like the same old thing) and plenty of excitement and interaction.
The Wilderness Area is primarily used for teens throughout the summer. There are composting toilets, bag showers, a simple dining hall, cabins, no fences and simple amenities. There are, however, many things to learn about camping, nature, orienteering (use of a compass and map reading), survival skills, hiking, team building activities, challenges, canoeing, fishing, A 47′ three-sided climbing tower, high ropes course and more. Additionally, the teens will be doing project work for part of one day each week to build relationships, self-esteem, a feeling of belonging to a community and to build a better program for those to come (and to return to next year). Having ownership in the program will give them a great sense of pride, particularly when they are able to come back the next year and tell others, “I made that!”
The number of campers that we will be bringing out each week is limited to about 7-8 young men and 7-8 young ladies per week. Ages of the campers will range from 13-17.
Staffing for the Wilderness Area will consist of a Wilderness Director, Male Counselor, Female Counselor, a Logistics Person and volunteer helpers. Cooking and cleaning duties will be shared by campers and staff on a rotation. Assignments will also be given to campers for other daily duties, particularly as they show themselves to be responsible and able to help organize and lead the rest of their group in various activities.
How to apply
In the greater Spokane area you can apply to send your child to Camp Gifford by downloading, printing and mailing the Camper Application Form.
If you are unable to download, print and mail the application, contact us and we will send you the application forms you need.
If you live outside of the greater Spokane area you may need to use a different application. Fill out the Camper Application Form and we can let you know which application you will need.
Parents, make sure you read “what parents need to know.” It is full of important and useful information that you need to be aware of to ensure that your child has the most enjoyable and memorable time possible at Camp.
Writing out a weekly schedule and/or daily schedule for the Wilderness Area is a little difficult as they will frequently be choosing activities as cabin groups and changing the schedule to fit weather conditions and etc. However, a rough weekly schedule and possible daily schedule are to be found below.
Monday: Arrive at Camp Gifford – meet the Wilderness Staff – have an orientation meeting describing what will be happening throughout the week. Team building activities will follow, allowing the teens to get to know one another and to begin the process of building trust in each other. Lunch will follow. Their bags will then be checked (for contraband items), they will have a lesson on packing a back pack correctly, their belongings will be transferred to back packs (if they didn’t bring one). Water will be picked up to be carried in to the Wilderness Area, and food will be picked up from the kitchen (as well as various cleaning and sanitary supplies, as necessary). The teens will then make their way back to the Wilderness Area where they will set-up camp and have another local orientation showing the parameters and rules of the camp-site area. Dinner, activities, Campfire and bed.
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday: A basic Daily Schedule follows for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The only major difference that will occur during these days is that on Wednesday the campers will make their way back to Camp Gifford in the afternoon to pick up fresh supplies to use a ‘real’ shower and to go swimming at camp’s waterfront.
Friday: Friday will be clean-up day. The camp-site will be cleaned and left looking better than when the teens arrived. The teens will pack up trash, left-over food, and their belongings and pack everything back to Camp Gifford. They will have breakfast at main camp and get on the bus to go home.
Daily Schedule (subject to change)
- 7:00 a.m. Wake-up and get ready!
- 7:40 a.m. Flag-raising, morning stretches.
- 8:00 a.m. Breakfast
- 8:45 a.m. Chapel Time
- 9:30 a.m. Cabin Activity Time
- 11:00 a.m. Outdoor Skills Number One
- 12:30 p.m. Lunch (cook and eat)
- 1:30 p.m. Clean-up Lunch
- 2:00 p.m. Canteen (opportunity to buy candy and crafts)
- 2:15 p.m. Free Time (Crafts, canoeing, games, etc.)
- 3:45 p.m. Change out of swim-suits
- 4:00 p.m. Outdoor Skills Number Two
- 5:30 p.m. Flag Lowering
- 5:45 p.m. Dinner (cook and eat)
- 6:45 p.m. Clean-up Dinner
- 7:15 p.m. Combined Activity
- 8:30 p.m. Get ready for Campfire
- 8:45 p.m. Campfire Program
- 9:45 p.m. Snacks at Campfire Pit
- 10:30 p.m. Get ready for bed
- 10:45 p.m. Nightly devotions in cabins
- 11:00 p.m. Camper lights out
Cabin Activity Time: A time set aside for cabins to choose an activity as a cabin group. During this time the cabin may decide to go fishing, go on a hike, do archery, play sports, do a craft, practice a skit, go on a canoe trip, and etc. This is a great chance for cabin-mates to get acquainted as they have discussion, choose an event and participate together in it.
Outdoor Skills Time: Outdoor Skills are classes that are offered twice daily. Classes include such things as; Hiking, Survival Skills, Orienteering, Archery, Art, Crafts, Boating, Canoeing, Indian Lore, Camping Skills, and etc.
Combined Activity: During Combined Activities the young men and women will participate in a cooperative event. These events range from competitions, games, challenges or just a fun activity.
Campfire Program: Every night that the campers are here we have Campfire Programs. Campfires are perhaps one of the most memorable parts of summer camping. During a Campfire the campers sing strange songs, participate in skits (each cabin is responsible to do at least two skits during the week), watch (and frequently participate in) dramatic presentations with strong moral lessons, sing devotional songs, listen to stories around the campfire, and sing taps together. Some other events that happen at Campfires include; Cabin and Individual Challenges (one cabin or individual challenges another to a contest, maybe mustard eating, or sit-ups, or…), Theme Nights (Game Show night, Movie night, etc.), Vespers (week ending camping with lots of powerful drama and songs).
Nightly Devotions: Each night counselors are responsible to have devotions with their campers. The devotion time can be interactive (questions or games), it is sometimes Christian videos, stories, and more. Devotions are themed and geared toward the ages of the campers in the cabin. Older campers may learn how to deal with tough issues (lots of interesting discussion here), while younger campers (at our main camp) will probably have stories about Bible heroes and miracles.