The Magic of Mountainside

The transition from Main camp to Mountainside, or your first year at camp as a 12-14 year old, can be intimidating. The stresses of leaving camp for multiple days, the older age group, the smaller community, and the challenge of outdoor adventure sports can all contribute to making that jump a daunting experience for a camper. But isn’t that what camp is all about? Taking risks, challenging yourself, making new friends, and trying something new is what brought you to Gwynn Valley in the first place. For campers and parents who are considering making that transition, my simple recommendation is to give it a try.

From the outside looking in, this community can be intimidating, but from the inside looking out, there is no better place to be. A common misconception of Mountainside I hear from campers is that it’s all about the adventures, and while this is an important component, there is so much more to the program. Linking arms walking into the Dining Hall, meeting new friends in your mini-adventure group, the thrill of finding out what your adventure is, and seeing your counselors transform into an entirely new persona during Dutch Auction (A Mountainside tradition that features some of the staff as ‘celebrity judges) are just a few of the simple joys that make Mountainside the program that it is. 

And, of course, I couldn’t write about Mountainside without acknowledging the adventures: whitewater paddling, rock climbing, backpacking, mountain biking, and expedition canoeing. I’m glad I don’t have to choose because I’m not sure that I could. While we can’t guarantee a camper their first choice or even that they will fall in love with their adventure activity,We can assure our mountainside campers three things:

1. The opportunity to challenge themselves

2. The opportunity to make new friends

3. The opportunity to connect with the natural world

So, if I haven’t convinced you why Mountainside will be a worthy investment, hopefully, this video can do the job. Check out our new video highlighting the magic of a mountainside experience, and feel free to reach out with any questions you have regarding what this program is about. Also, we still have a couple of spaces for girls in our Mountainside 3 session, so apply now!