January 2024

Exploring 2024 Summer Camp Experiences for Teens

By NCOAE Headquarters January 25, 2024

Summer Camp

It’s that time of year — from mid-winter to early spring — when teens, parents, and others are asking for recommendations about fun, educational, and enriching summer camp experiences and outdoor adventures for late-May, June, July, and August. 

With all of the outdoor options available, finding the right summer camp experience can pose a formidable challenge. First off, you need to narrow your choices down to one of three broad categories: day camp, residential camp, or virtual camp. 

From there, you need to choose a focus, such as outdoor adventure, academic enrichment, arts and crafts, sports (football and soccer camps, for example), or performance arts (such as ballet or theater). And, at some point, you’re going to need to choose a location, perhaps in the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, or North Carolina.

Young backpackers walking through the backcountry with NCOAE

In this post, we tell you about three upcoming opportunities for you to personally meet with experienced summer camp leaders — including our staff at The National Center for Outdoor and Adventure Education (NCOAE). These summer camp specialists will provide you with information about the benefits of leadership-focused summer camp experiences for teens who have an appetite for camping, rock climbing, mountaineering, white water rafting, and other human-powered outdoor adventures.

2024 Teen Summer Camp Expos

If you’re shopping for an outdoor adventure this summer for your teen, consider attending a summer camp fair near you. This year (2024), NCOAE will be exhibiting at three camp fairs — two in North Carolina and one in Georgia:

  • Wilmington Parent Magazine’s 21st Annual Summer Camp Fair: This is the only event of its kind in the area, providing families with a unique opportunity to explore the summer camp and enrichment options available to their children during summer break.
    Date: Sunday, February 11, 2024
    Time: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    Location: Elks Lodge, 5201 Oleander Drive, Wilmington, NC
    For more info, visit: Wilmington Parent Magazine’s 21st Annual Summer Camp Fair 
  • Triangle Summer Camp Expo
    Date: Saturday, March 16, 2024
    Time: Noon to 3 p.m.
    Location: Wake County Shrine Club, 6015 Lead Mine Road, Raleigh, NC
    For more info, visit: Triangle Summer Camp Expo 
  • Atlanta Camp Fair
    Date: Sunday, March 17, 2024
    Time: Noon to 3 p.m.
    Location: Agnes Scott College, 141 East College Avenue, Decatur, GA
    For more info, visit: Atlanta Camp Fair

Appreciating the Benefits of Leadership-Based Summer Camp for Teens

Accredited adventure-based experiential and outdoor education companies like NCOAE offer leadership-based summer camps that provide a unique opportunity for teens to develop technical outdoor skills along with personal competencies in the following four areas: (more…)

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What Is Wilderness Medicine?

By Todd Mullenix January 15, 2024

Wilderness Medicine

When the average person encounters the term “wilderness medicine,” they typically assume it is referring to the practice of medicine in a remote or harsh environment with little to no access to medical equipment or supplies. 

They may imagine a scenario of providing CPR to someone who suffered cardiac arrest during a whitewater rafting adventure or creating a splint out of a branch and a few strands of twine to help a hiker with a sprained ankle become ambulatory. 

While these notions of wilderness medicine aren’t far off the mark, they are limited. In other words, close but no cigar. It’s all the above and more, which makes it a challenge to come up with a clear and comprehensive definition. 

Teaching Wilderness Medicine at NCOAE

Here at The National Center for Outdoor Adventure and Education (NCOAE), our wilderness medicine courses begin with a discussion of what wilderness medicine is, as well as what each student hopes to learn from the course. Often, these discussions elicit points of discussion that require an even broader definition of the term.

NCOAE group taking a wilderness medicine course

While there’s no universally agreed upon definition of wilderness medicine, certain components set it apart from non-wilderness medicine. For the purpose of this blog post, let’s begin with the following definition:

Wilderness Medicine is provision of medical care when environmental conditions play a stronger role in decision making and interventions than the established systems of care

Wilderness Medicine encompasses not only the treatment of injuries and illnesses in these settings but also includes preventive measures, survival skills, and the management of environmental hazards such as extreme weather, hazardous terrain, and wildlife encounters.

Wilderness medicine skills and techniques can be applied in a variety of setting, including but not limited to: (more…)

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NCOAE’s 2024 Camping and Outdoor Adventure Gear Improvement Guide

By Stephen Mullaney January 5, 2024

Outdoor Equipment

From November 1st to the end of the year, you’ll be bombarded with advertising, discounts, and announcements of “shopping holidays.” In the winter months, you’ll find all sorts of sales on camping and backcountry clothing and gear, as retailers clear out their 2023 stock and announce new products for the spring and summer. 

And if you’re looking for the perfect gift for yourself or your loved ones who spend lots of time outdoors, you can find plenty of Shopper’s and Buyer’s Guides to consult for ideas.

This is not any of that.

Collection of outdoor gear, including jackets, medical equipment, and backpacks, for 2024

In this post, we do not steer you toward specific camping or outdoor adventure products or brands. In fact, depending on your situation, our advice may inspire you to shed some gear. The ultimate objective is to accumulate gear that makes your human-powered outdoor experiences more awesome than ever without spending so much money that you can’t afford to go anywhere!

Gear Up with a Leave No Trace Mindset

Leaving no trace in the backcountry doesn’t only apply to the seven principles of Leave No Trace (LNT). It begins with how we buy, use, and consume only what we need when engaging with the outdoors. Buying the latest, greatest outdoor clothing and gear each year runs counter to that philosophy. In addition, if you’re on a limited budget, it reduces the funds you have available to take (more…)

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Have any further questions about our courses, what you’ll learn, or what else to expect? Contact us, we’re here to help!