Camp Tecumseh's "Program Stairway"
Programs at Camp Tecumseh are designed to provide a progressively challenging and interesting multi-year camp experience.
At the “base” is the Day Camp program for local area boys and girls 5-12 years of age. Day Camp introduces these young campers to traditional outdoor skills. They stay with the same Day Camp group and counselor most of the day and go home at night. It is a good “first step” in camping, much like your local Y Day Camp.
For regular Summer Camp, youngsters can begin attending at age 8. The 8, 9, and 10-year-old unit is called Braves and they have a program especially designed for their developmental level. As this is the first overnight camp experience for these campers, extra special care is taken in the selection and training of their counselors.
The next age level is the Blazer unit for ages 11 and 12. Blazers often have been in a YMCA Day Camp or perhaps a scout program in their home community and are ready for the new challenges and adventures of Resident Camp. About 25 skill clinics are offered to Blazers and they specialize in their favorite three. Blazers also enjoy cookouts and overnight camping trips to the special campsites in our woods. Blazers frequently engage in cabin-to-cabin challenge games. They also enjoy “Blazer only” activities such as Adventure Island and Mt. Wood.
At age 11, Tecumseh campers who have an interest in horses can move on to Equestrian Camp for their equine skills development. Equestrian campers spend the morning or afternoon with “their” horse, learning grooming, tacking and riding skills. The riding lessons are done in small groups, according to ability level. Throughout the week, they go to the lake, archery, riflery and many more activities similar to regular Summer Campers. This is a more in-depth horse experience than the 50-minute lessons of Horsemanship Clinic.
When a camper reaches age 13, they generally move up to the Lake Village and even more choices become available as they enter the Warrior unit. More advanced clinic choices are available such as Mosaics, Skywalkers (high ropes challenge course), and Guitar. They too have unit specific activities such as “Warrior Workshops”, Wilderness Rescue, and the River Village Zip Lines. Warriors also have the opportunity to challenge themselves at the Teams Course and participate in float trips on the Tippecanoe River. Lake Village also has its own climbing tower, The Lookout.
Also at age 13, campers can take part in Adventure Trips. One and two week adventures are offered to some of America’s most beautiful destinations. The types of trips include whitewater rafting, sailing and horsepacking. Many campers take a different trip each summer from age 13 to 17.
The Pathfinder unit is the final stage of camp’s regular resident camp program. These 14- and 15-year-old campers get to round out their Camp Tecumseh experience with some of camp’s most unique activities. Those activities include Amazing Race, Survivor Tecumseh, and the Lake Zip Lines. In addition, Pathfinders have evening gatherings to discuss teenage topics in an atmosphere of encouragement and acceptance.
Once a camper reaches age 15 and can no longer return as a regular resident camper, s/he may take the two-week Campers In Leadership Training (CILT) program. CILTs is for campers who have finished 10th grade and have a sincere desire to develop their leadership skills. As a CILT, campers will have a “behind the scenes” look at how camp operates, including shadowing Day Camp and Resident Camp counselors to specifically observe various leadership skills and techniques. CILTs learn to teach camp skills, how to work effectively with campers and begin to think seriously about becoming a staff member in the future.
As you can see, the Camp Tecumseh experience is really a series of well-planned happenings in a youngster’s life. Each is designed to compliment the values being taught at home and to enhance the camper’s social, emotional and spiritual development. Camp strives for each boy and girl to grow in character, confidence and faith, year after year. We work hard to insure that the character building and values development will indeed become “Experiences that last a lifetime!”