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Jack Newman

In early July a dozen boys and girls took part in Outdoor Adventure camp, an annual favorite among our signature summer programs. The week began four this group among the trees at Treetop Quest Philly. Campers swung and navigated through four courses that varied in levels of difficulty. Within the four courses, there were 55 obstacles and 12 zip-lines for them to master.

The next day they arrived in Valley Forge National Historic Park where they volunteered on the "Crayfish Corps" helping to preserve the native crayfish and contribute to the overall health and biodiversity of the local streams. They waded into Valley Creek and looked to remove the rusty crayfish, an invasive, non-native species. After lunch they hit the bike the trails of the park and they especially enjoyed riding down a number of fun, big hills!

A day of sailing followed at Berkley Island Park. Our group of campers were split into two groups, with each group then having a three hour sailing lesson and tour and three hours for crabbing, fishing and exploration. This sailing experience took place aboard the thirty foot sailing vessel Margarita. Campers were introduced to the basic aspects of sailing and they each had the opportunity to hoist and adjust the sails, learn the proper commands for tacking and jibing, and many had a chance to steer the boat too. Campers closed out this day with a refreshing swim at Ocean Gate Beach.

This group of young adventurers closed out the week with an overnight camping trip at the Mohican Outdoor Center in Blairstown, NJ. This is one of the official Appalachian Trail Club lodging facilities. Late on the afternoon of their arrival a steady rain storm arrived. While the rain prevented them from boating or swimming at Catfish Pond that afternoon, they still managed to get their camp set up, and get a fire going, and get some delicious food made in between the rain drops. With one of the most scenic sections of the Appalachian Trail running very close to the campground, they didn't miss the chance to hike up to the ridge-line and enjoy the panoramic views on Friday morning, before finishing up by cooking breakfast over a camp-stove, breaking down the camp site, and packing up everything that they had arrived with. The campers arrived back at Doane late that Friday afternoon, tired but unable to stop talking about all of their exciting "outdoor adventures".

A gallery of photos from this specialty camp may be seen here:

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