What To Expect From Your ARCC Adventure
Having fun is an important goal, but ARCC is not a catered vacation. You'll be involved in all aspects of the group's adventure from cooking and cleaning, to map reading and leading the group. There may be some long days of travel as well as classes in Marine Biology and "Leave No Trace" outdoor ethics. Participants will also be asked to occasionally wake up at dawn and may not have access to showers on a daily basis. On the other hand, ARCC is not a survival school. Our purpose is to teach you skills in a fun and positive environment. This does not mean it will be easy or without challenge, but at all times we will eat well, have a supportive group atmosphere, and most importantly, all will have fun in the process.
The Group Makeup
All ARCC groups are co-ed and are comprised of 12 to 18 participants. Most often, students come on ARCC's summer camps for teens by themselves, although friends are welcome to come together. ARCC students come from all over the USA and from as far away as Europe and Asia. ARCC students are not superstar athletes nor outdoor experts, but average teenagers who simply want an exciting and fulfilling summer experience. The trip will also have at least two experienced leaders (one male, one female) accompany each group.
All of our groups consist of students of comparable ages. We will never group 13 year-olds with 18 year-olds simply to fill out a program - 7th graders have vastly different needs than 12th graders. The students and leaders who meet at the airport on the first day of the adventure are the same ones who hike, raft, sail, and tearfully hug good-bye at the end. We feel that having small groups of like-age students who stick together ultimately leads to a strong "family" bond that is the cornerstone of every ARCC teen summer camp.
Most days of an ARCC adventure, the group will prepare three delicious, healthy and filling meals. Pizza, stir-fry, brownies, and chicken quesadillas are just a few things you may learn to cook on your adventure. Certain trips will spend time eating in restaurants when group cooking is inconvenient or sampling local fare is an option. You will be assigned to a rotating cook group that is responsible for the selection, preparation and cleanup of the group's meals, giving you an opportunity to learn and practice cooking skills. The food we provide is selected with an emphasis on freshness and variety. We buy extra food to ensure that no one is hungry and vegetarian diets can be easily accommodated.
Some ARCC teen summer programs spend their nights sleeping in tents alongside a mountain trail, next to a river, or on a beach. ARCC provides lightweight four-person tents for you. You are assigned to single gender tents and have the option of setting up the tents each night or sleeping out under the stars. On other ARCC adventures, you spend your nights sleeping on sailboats, in hostels or small hotels.
ARCC will provide all group equipment including tents, stoves, cooking gear, and first aid equipment. We will also provide all gear necessary for the outfitted activities including biking, rafting, kayaking and climbing. You need to provide your own personal equipment, which includes a sleeping bag, a backpack, a sleeping pad, rain gear and personal clothing. Once you are accepted on an ARCC teen summer camp, we will provide a detailed list of clothing and equipment necessary for your trip.
Travel and Safety
ARCC feels that, although perceived risks are most often greater than actual risks, anyone participating in an ARCC adventure must understand that almost any activity is potentially dangerous, whether it's cooking dinner for the group or simply taking a day hike. Unforeseen storms, snow, rock falls, floods, severe weather and accidents are all possible.
What We Expect of You
There is no experience necessary for ARCC teen summer programs; however, your responsibility begins by selecting the ARCC adventure that is most appropriate for you. ARCC staff is available to discuss each trip in detail to help you find the most appropriate length and challenge.
A Willingness to Learn
Education is a significant part of every ARCC adventure. All programs incorporate classes on subjects related to the activities on the trip and to the areas in which we travel. These classes may be as far ranging as learning about the marine biology of a barrier reef to how to triangulate the group's position using a map and compass. We expect all of our students to enthusiastically participate in classes and the learning process.
A Positive Attitude
ARCC also asks you to have a positive and unselfish attitude on the trip. Our summer camps for teens require enthusiastic participants in all activities and those who are motivated to act in the best interest of the group are ultimately the most rewarded by their experience.
You are responsible for arriving on the trip physically prepared. We strongly suggest an exercise program of running, swimming or cycling. If you can comfortably maintain 45 minutes of vigorous exercise two or three times a week, then you are in shape for any ARCC trip. The better condition you are in, the more you will enjoy your adventure.