Why Choose Us?
The Camp Pinnacle difference
We believe that the right summer camp experience can be a defining and formative experience in a young life. Camp Pinnacle is all about making memories, fostering lifelong friendships, and creating more confident and capable children in a kind, nurturing, and welcoming community. Our goal is to create a long-term partnership with your family to help you raise a caring and independent young person equipped with the skills needed to thrive in the 21st century.
We are deeply committed to our families and our mission: To ensure the safest, most substantive, and most exciting summer camp experience through our personal attention to every camper, our caring, and our competence.
A cogent philosophy
An intentional philosophy is behind everything we do at camp. It begins with an emphasis on inclusivity and kindness; parents and campers alike can feel a unique sense of community the moment they arrive. And because kids learn better when they are relaxed and having fun, we make sure that they are growing in ways and developing new skills more effectively than they could at home, in school, or through organized sports.
Our program is designed to help kids gain the same 21st-century skills experts believe are needed to become successful adults. Using fun and outdoor adventure as our delivery system, we focus on the Camp Pinnacle’s 5 R’s:
- Reasonable risks
- Reaching out to others
And we use our adventurous program and carefully designed cabin experience to help campers improve their Great 8 Outcomes:
- Critical thinking
Outstanding counselor role models
Our counselor team is the heart and soul of camp. They’re more than just counselors: They are mentors, role models, and friends to our campers. Many counselors return year after year, and all new staff go through a rigorous hiring process and two weeks of intensive training. With Camp Pinnacle’s small, personal size and family atmosphere, the relationships that are forged between counselor and camper are unparalleled. When a larger-than-life role model takes an interest in a child, it instills a wonderful sense of self worth.
Read more about our counselors here.
A focus on safety, safety, safety!
Ask any staff member about our mantra, and they’ll recite “safety, safety, safety!” without hesitation. We maintain a staff-to-camper ratio of 1:3 to ensure that there is always a medically trained adult close at hand. We work hard to help our campers develop a safety-conscious mindset and look for ways to transfer this mindset to life back home. There is always a nurse on duty and a doctor on call, but our goal is for our nurses to spend their summer swimming, playing tennis, and giving out hugs instead of Band-Aids!
A format that fits your summer schedule
One of the things we’re great at is fitting as much adventure, laughter, and personal growth as possible into each and every day. Summers are shorter and busier, and because most families don’t have the luxury of four weeks of camp, we’ve created two- and three-week sessions that better fits your busy schedule. But don’t get us wrong: This is no abbreviated summer camp. Your child will accomplish more in just a couple weeks at Camp Pinnacle than he or she could at many four-week camps. We’ve meticulously planned each day to make the most of our time together, and we do it in a way that doesn’t wear our campers out.
There is no getting lost in the crowd at Camp Pinnacle. A typical session includes about 200 campers with more than 80 counselors and staff. There are enough campers for each child to make a lot of new great friends from all over the country and the world, but our community remains small enough that we get to know every child well. Our 8–10 person cabin and activity groups of similar ages are the heart of the Pinnacle experience and are arranged to maximize friendships and fun. Our campers are treated as the unique individuals they are, and we work extremely hard to make sure no one falls through the cracks. Every camper is a valued and important member of our community, and we look forward to building a long-term relationship with your family.
Coed and non-denominational
Because boys and girls learn differently and have different programming and social needs, we run separate programs for each gender. The concurrent dates make camp planning easier for our families: Siblings can attend the same sessions, but have different experiences. The natural separation of our boys’ and girls’ cabins and our large campus gives each gender the appropriate privacy. We also believe that boys and girls need comfortable opportunities for appropriate interaction that fosters mutual respect. Thus, boys and girls programming is integrated at meal times and for special all-camp events. We feel Camp Pinnacle has the perfect program balance that acknowledges gender differences within the coed world. In our spirit of creating an inclusive community, we strongly discourage any type of “cliques” or romantic relationships.
Although we don’t promote a particular religious emphasis, the values we represent, through our activities, through our traditions, and especially through our people, are values that families from a host of different religious traditions can get excited about. Over the years, Camp Pinnacle has become a second home to kids from a wide variety of backgrounds, nationalities, and religious upbringings.
A magical campus and facility
Camp Pinnacle is a sacred place to thousands of alumni. In 1928, founder Red Dobson chose this perfectly situated site for Camp Pinnacle, which includes a private, spring-fed, 20-acre lake; miles of hiking and biking trails; secluded but on-campus campsites; and more! Over the past six years, we have undergone an impressive renovation, which reinforces the intentionality of our program and community. In keeping with our philosophy, Camp Pinnacle is intentionally rustic to engender a lifetime love of the outdoors. Learn more about our facility here.
When busy playing outside each day, growing kids work up a healthy appetite. Food is an essential part of our program, and every meal at camp is special, healthy, tasty, and fun. Chef Richard may be the most popular person at camp, and along with a passion for integrating great food into our program and philosophy, he has years of experience in the culinary field.
90 years of tradition
As one of the nation’s oldest camps, Camp Pinnacle is built on a foundation of important and valued traditions. Thousands of alumni have discovered their voice here and have gone on to become renowned and accomplished adults: U.S. senators, governors, doctors, lawyers, social workers, and even two four-star generals. But more important than acquiring all those fancy titles is that Camp Pinnacle has always been a place to follow your heart and accomplish your dreams. Alumni can be reassured that today’s campers will experience the same magic and some of the same ritual—but updated to be effective for kids raised in the digital age.