What: Adventure and service camp
Who: Teens going into 9th – 12th grades who are physically resilient and love adventure.
How long: July 15-26
Where: Lima, Huaraz, and Vicos, PERU
Counselors: Jay Waltmunson, Kymber Waltmunson, and Carlo Brescia (see counselor bios here)
We will start and end our journey in the seaside city of Lima. Lima is alive with dancing, culinary treats, and bustling day-to-day Peruvian living. An overnight bus will whisk us away to Huaraz, the mountaineering hub of northern Peru. We’ll take two relaxing days to let our bodies adjust to the 10,000 foot altitude and will be joined by our local guide Carlo who will regale us with stories of ancient peoples and share his deep knowledge of medicinal plants and local spiritual practices.
Huascaran’s glacier-studded slopes will greet us every morning in Vicos, a Quechua village in the remote northern Andes. Fausta will serve fresh herb tea and homemade bread from her wheat crop with local honey as our breakfast. We’ll be fueled up before we start off to help with a community project helping two families to build smokeless ovens in their homes. Smokeless ovens improve the health and well being of women, children, and the environment by reducing inhalation of particulates and increasing the efficiency of burning. In Vicos we’ll work hard and play hard. We’ll schedule a soccer match with some local teens and wander around the mountains looking for puppies, farm animals, and other treasures.
Back in Huaraz we’ll be fully acclimated to the altitude and will spend two days choosing between the adventure sports that the town is known for: mountain biking, rock climbing, hiking, and all things bold and active. Then we’ll get back on the bus to sleep and dream of our adventures while winding our way back down to the ocean.
Lima will be our last stop and we’ll check out the stark contrasts of the city with mountain life. We’ll have a final celebration to honor the new skills and strength that we’ll take back into our regular lives along with our new friendships and perspective on the world.
Your counselors will be Jay and Kymber Waltmunson and local guide Carlo Brescia.
What are the basics of the trip?
- Homestay in Vicos
- Work with the community to build 2 smokeless ovens
- Sample traditional foods
- Village and urban walks
- Adventure sports
- Spanish instruction and practice (no minimum level of Spanish required)
- Meet wonderful local people
What is included in the price?
- Spending money
- In-country transportation
- Activities and local guides
- Tips for local service providers
- Contribution to cost of materials for two smokeless ovens for the community
- $100pp donation to a nonprofit that supports community sustainability
What is not included in the price?
- Trip Insurance
- Transportation to/from your home airport
Is there financial aid or scholarships?
We are currently building our scholarship fund. See our financial support page here.
What about technology?
With the exception of cameras, we are a technology device-free camp. Phones and other wired devices are an incredible distraction from the world around us. They can have an especially negative impact when we are trying to immerse ourselves in a new culture. It keeps us at arms length from our experience and from one another. We wrote a post on teens, technology, and travel that explains more.
Feedback from campers has been that they are glad they didn’t have their phones! They say they feel more connected to each other, their surroundings, and even that the days feel longer with so much more that they are taking in.
What resources are provided?
We’ll guide you every step of the way. When you’re all signed up we’ll help you with passports, vaccination processes, packing lists, reading lists, trip insurance, and will coordinate a traveler meeting. We’re available at any time to answer questions.
As a parent, you’ll get daily photographs of our experiences so that you can see and hear about all the fun your child has been having. All counselors will have cell phones as well, should an urgent matter require communication.
For your camper, we provide all logistics to make this an amazing trip. Transportation, translation when needed, great activities, introductions to locally vetted and established guides, dietary food accommodations, and anything else that’s needed. We also have a system of group journaling to help us process our experiences, build relationships, experience our destination more deeply, and craft stories for our return.
We always bring a professional photographer along on our trips so you’ll get amazing digital photos of your child experiencing Peru and you can purchase prints from the website if you want them in hard copy.
Interested? Got Questions? Let’s chat!
If you want to talk anything over with Jay or me, please contact us and we’ll be happy to answer questions and describe anything in more detail.
If you need references, we’ll gladly give you some contacts. We’d also encourage you to peruse the rest of the blog to get a sense of our values and how we travel.
Let’s go far and travel deep!
Kymber & Jay