Starter Camp

The Starter Camp Dilemma: 1 Week or 2 Weeks?

2023 will be our final summer hosting Starter Camp. Beginning in 2024, only 2-week sessions will be offered.

In general, we believe a 2-week session of Camp is what we do best. But we also realize there are times when a camper (or mom and dad) may not be ready for 12 days. So here are some things to think through as you make the decision of 1 week vs. 2 weeks:

The Experience:

Starter Camp gives boys a taste of what 2 weeks is like. They'll experience many of the same games, meals, cabin life and experiences as a 2-week camper, just in a smaller setting. We want to introduce boys to Camp Ridgecrest and all that it has to offer!

Missing Home:

Missing home is a real thing, and not just for first-time campers. But by far, the majority of the time, it lasts 24-48 hours and then they're good to go for the rest of camp! It can take campers a few days to settle in and find their place, so in a 1-week option, they are really just starting to hit their stride when it's all over.


This is the main difference between 1 week and 2 weeks. Over two weeks, campers will build much deeper relationships with the counselors and other boys in the cabin. So much of the camp experience is about building new relationships and there is a big difference between spending 6 days and 12 days with new friends!

You Know Your Son Best!

At the end of the day, no two boys are the same. You know your child best and which option would better suit him.

We provide a few different options for you to consider as you look at which camp experience is right for your camper. In addition to our standard 2, 4, 6, and 8 week offerings, a “Starter Camp” may be the right choice for those wishing to participate in a 6 day/5 night experience.

The starter camp is designed with the first-year camper in mind, and is specifically limited to those who are first time campers at Ridgecrest. Additionally, only campers who are currently finishing grades 1-5 will be allowed to enroll. We do this to accommodate those who would like a “taste” of camp but who may not quite be ready for a full two-week experience.

Each day of starter camp gives campers a chance to enjoy many great aspects of camp, but do so with more intensive supervision and instruction. The greatest difference between starter camp and a two-week camp is that campers will rotate through skill areas each day with both their counselor and cabin. Take a peek at what a day at camp will look like for your starter camper:

Typical Schedule
Morning Assembly
Morning Watch
Cabin Clean-Up
1st Skill
2nd Skill
Waiter’s Call
Rest Period
Tribal Activity
End of Activity
Free Swim
Campwide Activity
Go to cabins/showers/devotions

Each morning starts off to reveille and our Morning Assembly where campers learn of what the day holds. From there, cabins eat breakfast together and head to our morning worship time. Afterwards, the cabins pitch in to clean up and do their best to earn honor cabin for their specific crew. Campers will then rotate through the skill areas with their cabin and counselor. They will have a chance to participate in Archery, Basketball, Canoeing, Crafts, Outdoor Living, and Swimming/Waterfront. Skills are followed by waiter call (where campers learn responsibility in setting the table and cleaning up) and then lunch. Rest Period, Canteen (time to get sweets!), and an activity with their tribal age group round out the afternoon. Free swim for the whole camp encompasses time in our swim area, on the blob, rope swing, zipline, giant water slide, canoes, playaks, etc. Retreat is a wonderful time where we review the day, inspection scores, and learn what the evening activity will be. Evening campwide activities will likely include Campfire, Field Games, Sock War, Campouts, and Council Ring. From there, it’s up to the cabins for showers, devotions, and bed.

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Our starter camp is a wonderful way for your new camper to enjoy the “best of” at Ridgecrest. Come join us this summer to begin your journey as a Ridgecrest camper.
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