Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Sawtooth camps are more than hiking in hills

At Camp Perkins, Camp Sawtooth


    Idaho kids for many years have made lasting summer 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. They are given the chance to develop independence, self-worth and responsibility—not to mention faith. What’s to lose?
    Here are details:

Camp Perkins
    Lutheran-run, the camp is located on Perkins Lake downriver from Alturas Lake, 42 miles north of Ketchum. Kids make new friends, overcome any fears of sleepovers and have positive experiences that become steppingstones to growth.
    The camp observes its 58th anniversary in 2013. 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. You can tailor your camp experience to your special interests.
    For instance, Friends and Family Camp Week is a great choice over the Independence Day holiday capped by watching the fireworks display in Stanley from a mountain view.
    Sign up for the June 30-July 5 camp and participate in programmed camp activities or take leisurely afternoons as a family. For an extra fee, go whitewater rafting or horseback riding. Basic cost is $205 for adults and $105 for kids ages 4-17.
    For the younger ones, try the Parent-Child Retreat for kids entering kindergarten through the third grade (two sessions, June 21-23 and June 30-July 2, $115 per person). That way, parents can join their children in the traditional camp setting and prepare them for future summer camps to come.
    Youth Camps are the foundation of a Camp Perkins summer.
    There are eight camp sessions over the summer, starting June 16 and continuing through Aug. 9. The basic camp curriculum can be supplemented for an extra charge by any number of extra activities—like horseback riding, whitewater rafting, mountain biking, playing the guitar and more.
    Weekly sessions begin on 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 16-21, June 30-July 5 and July 14-19. Kids in grades 4-7 attend camp from July 21-26.
    There are now three sessions instead of two for youngsters in grades 5-8—July 7-12, July 28-Aug. 2 and Aug. 4-9. The high school session for grades 9-12 is July 14-19.
    Basic cost for each of the eight Youth Camps is $300 if paid between April 16 and May 31, or $310 afterward.
    Want to experience camp for a slightly lower rate while contributing labor to improve Camp Perkins? Pay $195, sign up for High School Servant Week from Aug. 4-9 for grades 9-12 and work on projects to make Camp Perkins a better place.
    Call the camp office at 788-0897 or visit Registration is ongoing, and online.
    The Camp Perkins Spring Work Weekend is May 24-27.

Camp Sawtooth
    Camp Sawtooth, a 12-acre site operated under a special-use permit issued to the Kendall and Boise Presbyteries of the Presbyterian Church, is 81 years old—in operation since 1932.
    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 ages 19 and older serve as counselors and staff members.
    Campers enjoy many 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 $175 to $305, depending on activities and length of camp. Registering early saves $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. Check-out is Friday at noon.
    Here are 2013 sessions. Remember to attend the camp of the grade you will be entering in the fall of 2013:
    Camp is June 30-July 5 for incoming students in grades 9-10, with golfing at Sun Valley and ice cream; July 7-10 for grades 3-4 with an afternoon of swimming; July 14-19 for grades 5-6 with swimming; July 21-26 for grades 7-8 with ice skating in Sun Valley; and July 28-Aug. 2 for grades 11-12 with whitewater rafting.
    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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