Our Philosophy

We are facing uncharted territory as we raise our kids in the remarkably rich but increasingly complicated digital age. Our kids spend less time outdoors and more time in structured activities—more hours in front of screens and less time working things out for themselves. Role models are better known for their falls from grace than for their strengths. Sometimes it can feel like we are in this parenting game all by ourselves.

Camp, however, can add a dimension to your child’s life that’s hard to get during the busy school year. Sure, camp is a fun, healthy summer that gives parents and kids a break from daily routines, but we wouldn’t be doing this if it were simply fun and games. We believe in the power of the camp experience to build social confidence, optimism, and independence while giving kids connections with and adventures in the natural world. Camp is also a way to give kids some of the important tools they’ll need for future success.

We bring a powerful sense of purpose to camp. Our mission states, “We provide the safest, most exciting, and most substantive summer camp experience through our personal attention to each camper, our caring, and our competence.” And we have distinct program goals interwoven into our program that include, safety, fun, personal growth, community, new friends, and a tech-free connection with nature.

A cogent philosophy is even more important. While our campers are having a blast (it’s a lot easier to get their attention when they are having fun), we are subtly reinforcing our 5 R’s: respect, responsibility, resilience, taking reasonable risks, and reaching out to others. And our entire program is designed to help our campers improve the life skills or the Great 8 Outcomes they will need for future success.

How do we accomplish this? We start with caring staff who are excited to be role models and want to give back. When someone who seems larger than life takes an interest in a child, it instills a wonderful sense of self-worth.

Next comes a unique program. We turn off the electronics (we aren’t making a judgment; we just know kids need a break), slow down, facilitate a connection with nature, and engage in face-to-face conversation. We spend our days outside, giving kids room to roam within a campus that’s both stunning and inspiring. We have endless activities where they gain real hands-on skills. Then we take them out of camp to climb rocks, hike to the top of mountains, and raft rivers.

We also give kids some power over the direction of their cabin community. We carefully facilitate our time together and model effective communication and problem-solving as differences and challenges arise. We reinforce kindness and good deeds with public praise. Every camper is recognized for the unique contributions they bring to the cabin group. And it works! Friendships stick here, and camp is a place where kids discover their best selves while making friends with kids from across the country and around the world.

We won’t rest on our laurels. The world is changing, and kids are changing with it. We are always studying the latest youth development and education literature, and we are not afraid to take the best ideas from innovative schools and apply their thinking to Camp Pinnacle. Sure, we rely on 90 years of tradition—kids do need both a framework and a sense of tradition—but they also need a camp that remains relevant to their world.

In short, Camp Pinnacle is both kid heaven and a great resource for parents. It’s been instrumental for us as we raise our own four children, and we want it to become a useful part of your parenting, too. We are always thrilled to talk more about our philosophy with you; feel free to call us anytime at 888-954-5555.