Explorer Program

The Explorer Program was born out of the tremendous popularity of our Bowman Lake trips. You can think of the it as our Outdoor Living Skills program unleashed!

The Explorer Program is a one-week stand alone program. Participants meet at camp and return to camp, but they spend the entire week out exploring the Tahoe National Forest, from majestic mountain peaks to roaring rivers, from serene lakes to emerald meadows, from grand forests to sweeping granite fields.

Some might confuse the Explorer Program with a backpacking program. But it's so much more. Sure there's backpacking, but here's what's different:
First and foremost, the participants help shape the program. We'll go over the different options for hiking trails, camp sites, and activities, and the group collectively decides on the shape of the trip and what activities they want. For example, if they want a traditional backpacking trip where they hike about 5 miles, camp, hike, camp, and so on, that's just fine. But if they want to hike to a base camp and from there do day hikes, paddleboard or kayak on a lake, go rock climbing, or play in a waterfall, that's also okay.

The second thing that makes the Explorer Program different from a regular backpacking trip is the program support. Who wants to lug around a lot of heavy climbing gear, let alone a paddleboard or kayak? But with our exceptional program support, participants can not only enjoy camping in the wilderness, but can have the opportunity to enjoy these other exceptional activities.
The Explorer Program can be combined with a session at camp by adding either Session 2A to Explorer Program Session 1 (so two weeks of camp before the Explorer Program) or Session 2C after Explorer Program Session 2 (so two weeks of camp after the Explorer Program) for a total of three fabulous weeks in the mountains!
Participants will learn Outdoor Living Skills, such as route planning, packing, camp site selection, outdoor cooking, sanitation, orienteering, and the Leave No Trace ethos. And they'll learn about the plants and animals native to the area and about the geologic and human history of the region.

There will be between 6 and 9 campers and 3 staff members who are trained and experienced in the outdoors, advanced first aid, and supported with a satellite phone and dedicated vehicle for their use.
The Explorer Program is designed to empower participants to make decisions for themselves under the watchful eye of our experienced staff. Helping participants gain independence and develop skills fosters self confidence and self esteem, all of which are critical skills for adulthood. The Explorer Program fits perfectly into Shaffer's High Sierra Camp's goal of helping children take another step toward a happy, healthy, well-adjusted adulthood.
There are only three sessions of the Explorer Program with room for a maximum of only 9 participants, so make your risk-free reservation today!
If your plans change, you can get a full refund before May 1st. And if you enroll after May 1st, you may still cancel and receive a refund if you notify the Camp within 7 days of your enrollment, or the start of camp for your child, whichever comes first. And you are always covered by our Fun Guarantee!