Sarah Pirtle and the Discovery Center

Welcome New Campers

Here’s a description of our camp and what we do to help first year campers feel welcome.

A Description of Our Camp

Journey Camp is led by a national pioneer in peace education. It is a treasured place for young people who want time to make their own choices, enjoy making new friends where everyone is valued, like the support of teen leaders, and really enjoy playing in the woods.

Parents tell us how glad they are that we specialize in making it safe and comfortable to come to camp without knowing anyone ahead of time. New campers are greeted right away with a tour as they arrive. Parents can stay a half hour as children get settled. Very soon the first morning, the community divides into small groups called “Roots Groups” where children get to know eight others in a welcoming setting before the day gets going.

Staff of all ages are trained to look out for new campers and help each person make friends. By the end of the first day, children tell us they are surprised to see how familar the faces have become. They have made new friends and they feel nested.

We create a relaxed atmosphere where children are attended to, and can express what they need. The staff works hard to get to know each person and think about them. Every day the “Roots Group” continues to meet during snack, and this provides a home base. These welcoming practices have been effective for over two decades to insure that you don’t need to come to camp with a friend you already know.