Saltash Mountain is a camp for 11-14 year olds who are interested in wilderness travel and small close community. While building confidence in backcountry skills, campers progress from 3-day to 6-day trips throughout each session. These adventures may take them through Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and New York — from rock climbing at Silverlake, canoeing on Flagstaff Lake in Maine, hiking a 5,000 foot peak in the White Mountains, working on a section of the Appalachian Trail, or ascending Camel’s Hump on Vermont’s Long Trail for the sunset and returning for the sunrise a few hours later. Campers at SAM are cherished members of the community, each appreciated for his or her individual strengths, quirks and creativity.
The expedition preparation process is emphasized at SAM. Taking time to understand food packing, gear maintenance, and understanding the trip route Out on the trail, campers develop and use outdoor living skills such as fire building, cooking, making knots, “Leave No Trace” camping, using a map and compass. The trips are where SAM friendships and community are forged, the natural world explored, and self-discoveries made. Everyone gets back to camp on the same day. That night, each trip group performs a skit or song around a campfire in the meeting circle. The evening is full of campers sharing adventures, laughter and new insights.
Back at camp, the campers take care of a small garden and farm animals. They swim, play games, do chores and small service projects. They also spend time sharing music, arts and theater with one another. At a point in its evolution. SAM was actually a drama camp. With so many costumes, campers at SAM continue the traditions of skits and performance throughout each session.
The small, close-knit nature of SAM allows campers to explore themselves and their connections with each other in new and rewarding ways. Campers have the opportunity to explore the natural world, find their voice, experiment with their personal leadership style, and build compassionate relationships with their campmates. Like all F&W camps, Saltash Mountain camp also provides time for quiet personal reflection, and for campers to discuss issues of social equity and justice in group settings.