OUTDOOR ADVENTURE SUMMER CAMP
Missoula Outdoor Learning Adventures (MOLA), LLC announces its 2020 Outdoor Adventure Summer Camp, our 21st season! As of January 1st, we are happy to start taking reservations. Please contact us for more info and to check on availability.
Our summer camp is like no other in Missoula, dedicated to active outdoor learning adventures each and every day. Each week, kids can expect to participate in a wide variety of outdoor activities, with opportunities to hike, bike, raft, climb, canoe, kayak, and swim. Each week, they also get to campout! Campers can expect to learn leadership, self-confidence, teamwork, outdoor skills, and appreciation for the natural world, all while making new friends and improving fitness. We know all the best spots to go with kids, and we have extensive permits that allow us to go places no other groups can. After 20 years, we’ve got things pretty well figured out!
MOLA offers week-long sessions, Monday – Friday, 8:30am-5:30pm, all summer from June 8 – August 28. Camp is open to youth from Kindergarten through Elementary School, Middle-School, & High-School. Each week, campers are separated by age into different groups and participate with peers in all of our great outdoor activities at age appropriate levels. Age groups vary somewhat each week but are typically 6-7/7-9/9-11/11-14yrs. For kids currently in kindergarten, they must be 6yrs by end of summer. For high-schoolers, there are Leader-In-Training placements throughout summer.
Sessions are one week in length, with a new session starting each Monday, and destinations change each week. Kids can attend several weeks and hardly visit the same place twice. We will consider older or younger kids for different age groups (friends, siblings, cousins, etc.) on a case by case basis. Parents are welcome to join us anytime! We travel in all directions with permits from Lolo National Forest, Bitterroot NF, Flathead NF, BLM, Montana FWP, and City of Missoula.
Here’s what some parents have said:
“I’m glad your program is so successful and enduring. Our girls have certainly enjoyed their times with you and your staff over the years. Thank you!”
“Thank you so much for putting on such an incredible camp! My boys absolutely loved it and we will definitely do it again next year.”
Camp is open 8:30am – 5:30pm, Mon – Fri, with an overnight campout Thursday nights. Activities generally run from 9am – 4pm daily, with drop-off from 8:30-9:00am and pick-up from 4pm-5:30pm. We meet each morning at the central location of Silver Park, next to the baseball stadium, then head out for the day’s adventure. Fridays we depart directly from our campsite and return to Silver Park by 4pm. MOLA staff are always present during dropoff & pickup hours. Extended hours for early dropoff and late pickup (7:45am-6:15pm) available at small additional cost with advance notice. Older campers are welcome to arrive and depart from camp on their own, with parent approval. Mondays are the same for each group, while the rest of the week varies. Thursday campout is optional, but if in doubt, we encourage parents to join us! Campsites are usually within 45 minutes of Missoula.
Here is an example week. Actual itineraries will vary.
Monday – Team Games at Silver Park; Hike Mt. Jumbo
Tuesday – Bike Riverfront Trails; Canoe & Swim Beavertail Pond
Wednesday – Rock Climb at Rattler Gulch
Thursday – Raft Blackfoot River, Campout at Harpers Lake
Friday – Hike to Dinah Lake in Mission Mountains
This year, we are able to offer our camp for $210 per one-week session. Our fee includes instruction, transportation, permits, and group gear. That’s only $42/day, less than some full-time daycare! This is 8:30am-5:30pm everyday with an overnight on Thursday. You’ll find no other camp around offers so much for this price! We try to offer a few partial-scholarships, so please let us know if you need assistance, or if you can offer assistance.
MOLA’s summer camp staff always have excellent qualifications and experience! Founder and Director Porter Hammitt continues to function as lead instructor, with 20+ years of experience in the field, an MS in Outdoor Recreation, doctorate-level studies in Education and Ecology, numerous training safety certifications, and two young boys of his own. Assistant Directors Cass Stoltzfus and Erik Sand have multiple years working with MOLA, they have worked as whitewater raft guides, and they have many other experiences leading kids in the outdoors.
Other staff are selected for their skills, experience, training, abilities, and personality, then go through still more training. We have staff return every year, with spans of 6yrs, 5yrs, 4yrs, and many at 3yrs and 2yrs, respectively, over our lifetime. All staff are required to complete Wilderness First Aid (WFA), a comprehensive 2-day, 16-hour course. We put a premium on safety, and it’s our No. 1 priority every day. Each group travels with two leaders, and a climbing guide joins each group on their climbing days. Our leader to camper ratio is up to 1:7 for younger kids, up to 1:10 for older kids. We carry full insurance for our program and our vehicles.
Leader-In-Training for Young Adults
For youth who are age 15 by end of summer and have completed freshman year of high school, we have opportunities for “Leader-In-Training” placements. This is a great way for young people to gain valuable leadership and job skills, and start building resumes. Cost is the same as regular camp, and they are placed with a younger group for the whole week, working as an assistant leader. Many of our campers have gone on to participate in this program in high-school, and we have proudly provided recommendations to many employers.
Special Days and Concerns
Monday you will receive an itinerary for the week. Please make sure you have the correct forms for your child’s group and learn their leaders’ names! Bike day, campers will need to bring bike and helmet. Whatever bike he/she is most comfortable with should work fine. We have bikes and helmets available to rent for $10. Training wheels are okay, and we also have a bike trailer. Raft day, campers should be prepared to spend the day on/in the water. Climb day, kids can wear normal clothes and shoes. Thursday is campout, and campers should come prepared to spend the night. Be sure to take a slip with directions and sign up to bring a food-item to help feed the kids. Parents are invited to join us! If you have doubts about your child camping out, please make plans to stay with us or to take them home for the evening. EVERY DAY, campers should bring swimsuit, swimshirt, towel, and watershoes. Warm days, we usually swim after the main activity. Rainy days, we often go to a hotsprings. When swimming, our younger campers always wear life jackets!
4th of July – This year, the 4th is on Saturday. We will offer full weeks of camp as normal before and after the weekend of the 4th.
Gym Shoes, Daypack, Water, Lunch, Snack, Sunhat, Shades, Swimsuit or Swimshorts, Swimshirt (longsleeve), Water Shoes, Medium size towel. Please apply sunscreen in the morning, we will reapply after lunch.
Our meeting place is Silver Park, which is centrally located downtown along the south side of the Clark Fork River, adjacent to the baseball stadium. You can access the park from the east via Cregg Lane off Orange; from the south via Hickory Street off 3rd; or from the west via Wyoming Street off Russell. There is plenty of parking, but it can be congested at times, so please be courteous of other park users and area residents. On game days for the baseball team, it’s best to arrive for pickup before 5pm.
Registration and Payment Policy
FIRST STEP: Please call, text, or email to check on availability and/or make reservations. Reservations can be made on a first-come, first-served basis. Camp fee is $210/week per child. Deposit per child of $100/week for first 3 weeks, then $50 for each additional week. $100 deposit carries through to final week. Registration forms and deposit required within 5 days of confirmed reservation to guarantee space. Payment of deposit and/or submitting registration forms and/or attending camp implies agreement to pay full amount of session(s). You are expected to pay full amount if you cancel with less than 30 days notice, or do not attend, for any reason, unless substitute can be found. Any changes, cancellation, or returned checks subject to automatic charge of $50 per week. Notice of change or cancellation must be received in writing via email or text message and confirmed by MOLA Director. Weekly balance due Monday morning at start of each session, without which child(ren) may not be allowed to attend. If not checked in by Monday morning 9am, your spot(s) may be forfeited, without refund and with full payment required. Refunds provided subject to MOLA’s discretion, and cannot be issued until after September 1st. You are responsible for circling correct date(s) on registration form. We accept cash or check. MOLA is an equal opportunity service provider.
Registration forms are here (2 pages): http://missoulaoutdoors.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Forms_MOLA_Registration2020.doc
Please check format before printing! Remember, please contact us first to check on availability and make reservations. Feel free to call, text, or email! Once a reservation is made, we can guarantee the spot for 5 days, so you have a chance to send in forms and deposit check. We can accept check or cash at this time. We are getting set up to accept credit cards by March 1st.
We Hope You Will Join Us!
Contact us soon to hold a spot or answer questions. Feel free to print and make copies of this page, pass it on, spread the word, or invite a friend. We appreciate your help! Our guarantee: kids will be active and outside, they’ll learn about themselves and their surroundings, they’ll be challenged, they’ll meet new friends, and they’ll have fun!
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