Camp La Junta’s Advanced Campers take part in a program that is apart from and unique to our main camp program. Campers work throughout the session as a cabin team, participating in advanced activities, a series of day and overnight adventures and beginning leadership training as they prepare to become Counselors in Training.
La Junta’s program evolves as boys age and progress through their camp summers. When boys finish the eighth grade, their needs and interests change. At La Junta we address these changing needs and maturity with our Advanced Camper (AC) Program’s advanced activity options. ACs pursue problem solving, work with younger campers and even organize a project giving back to camp as an underlying priority. Toward the conclusion of the term the ACs begin work on the necessary leadership skills for becoming a Counselor in Training. They get an opportunity to assist with activity classes, participate in discussions with Program Directors and utilize their camp experiences to help out with cabin groups. The AC program is a culmination of the camper experience and the stepping stone for a leadership based staff experience.
The Activities: The ACs begin their days early and finish late. Their daily activities include Trailbike Riding, Rappelling, Advanced Hunter Safety, Welding, Athletics, Aquatics, SCUBA, Horseback, Orienteering and Ranch Skills such as carpentry, electricity and concrete work, the safe operation of such vehicles as tractors, backhoes, and crane and bucket trucks. Each evening the AC programs takes on old camp favorites like canoeing, kayaking, sailing, high ropes and survival skills. As the term reaches a climax, the ACs are challenged with an all day Horseback roundup, a small group Orienteering adventure and overnight and a half day Canoe trip. After intense preparation, these experiences are often a highlight of the term. In 2009 Camp La Junta added a 24 hour high adventure campout, which will test the boys outdoor cooking skills, as well as send them off a 200 foot repel and a natural 60 foot alpine climb.
Service: In the ongoing spirit of service, the ACs complete an annual concrete project at camp. Sidewalks, steps and porches are timeless contributions to the program, as well as hard work and plenty of detailed planning. ACs are also offered a “specialty” during their term. This is an opportunity to focus their energies in support of an important facet of the main camp program. Current specialties include helping at the Stables (with saddling duties, overnight campout support and a special sunrise adventure), assisting with the Black Eagle program (by coordinating late night ceremonies and rest period training), or with the Program Directors (by organizing and assisting with evening programs, radio broadcasts, video and internet support). The goal is not merely to plan for future summers, but to experience first hand the successful feeling of giving back to younger campers.
The Final Experience: The eventual goal of the AC program is to assure that our young men are ready for the challenges of life and confident enough to seek them out. The final step of the AC program is to evaluate how all the boys master their leadership training. Those who are successful are invited to return to La Junta as counselors in training, an exclamation point on their La Junta Experience. To become a part of the Camp La Junta Advanced Camper program, simply complete a standard camper application. The program has limited enrollment and priority is given to previous campers. General enrollment is opened after September 1 of each year.