Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Making summer memories in the Sawtooths


Going back generations, summer camps are vital in developing emotional intelligence. Kids make new friendships and sample new and wonderful experiences outdoors and around the campfire.

Wood River Valley kids for many years have made great memories at the Camp Perkins and Camp Sawtooth church camps in the mountains and on the lakes north of Ketchum. Christian fellowship is emphasized, but campers need not be Lutheran or Presbyterian to attend. Here are details:

Camp Perkins

Lutheran-run, the camp is located on Perkins Lake downriver from Alturas Lake, 42 miles north of Ketchum.

It observes its 57th anniversary in 2012. Each day of camp is divided into: (1) cabin group time and relationship building, (2) optional outdoor activities like canoeing, rock climbing, hikes and arts and crafts, and (3) all-camp get-togethers like campfires, evening games and talent shows.

Camp Perkins offers traditional and specialized camps.

How about the Friends and Family Camp Week for something different over the busy Independence Day holiday?

Want to catch the holiday fireworks in Stanley from a mountain view? Sign up for the July 1-6 camp and participate in programmed camp activities or take leisurely afternoons as a family. Cost is $205 for adults, $105 for kids ages 4-17, and free for kids through age 3.

You can also do a Father-Son Weekend for grades 3-and-up (July 27-29, $85). Or, to experience summer camp for the first time, try a Parent-Child Retreat for kids entering kindergarten through the third grade (3 sessions, July 17-19, June 20-22 and June 22-24, $115 per person).

There are eight camp sessions over the summer. Weekly sessions begin Sunday afternoons. Campers are divided into cabin groups of eight, with assigned counselors responsible on a 24-hour-a-day basis.

Sessions for grades 3-6 are June 17-22, July 1-6 and Aug. 5-10. The sessions for grades 4-7 are July 8-13 and July 29-Aug. 3. There are two sessions for grades 5-8—July 15-20 and July 22-27. The high school session for grades 9-12 is June 24-29.

Basic cost for each of the eight Youth Camps is $295 if paid between April 16-May 31, and $305 afterward. Campers can add activities like a 90-minute trail ride into the Sawtooths, a day of whitewater rafting, or mountain biking.

By the time Friday rolls around, campers will be surprised at how much they've changed! Call the camp office at 788-0897 or visit www.campper Registration is ongoing, and online.

Camp Sawtooth

Camp Sawtooth, operated under a special-use permit issued to the Kendall and Boise Presbyteries of the Presbyterian Church, is 80 years old.

The camp is located 10 miles north of Ketchum via the gravel road behind the Sawtooth National Recreation Area headquarters. Camp directors are Steve and Senita Watkins of Nampa. Youth leaders ages 19 and older serve as counselors and staff members.

Campers enjoy a variety of activities while living and learning in a Christian environment. Activities include outdoor games and crafts, hiking and swimming, picnics, road trips and campfires. Cost of each weeklong camp ranges from $170 to $300.

Registering early saves a little money, $20 if you sign up before June 1. The check-in for each week is Sunday from 4-5 p.m. with dinner at 6 p.m. Lodge time each evening is filled with games, skits, singing, shared talents and laughter. Evening chapel occurs around a campfire in the wooded setting. Checkout is Friday at noon.

Here are 2012 sessions:

Camp is June 24-29 for incoming students in grades 5-6, featuring a day of swimming; July 1-4 for grades 3-4 with an afternoon of swimming; and from July 8-13 for grades 7-8 with ice skating in Sun Valley.

Also, July 15-20 for grades 9-10 featuring a trip to the Sun Valley Golf putting green; and July 22-27 for grades 11-12 with whitewater rafting on the Salmon River near Stanley.

Visit or call 208-899-2073 before May 20. E-mail is The camp phone from May 20 through the summer is 726-1155.

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