Pioneer Camp – The Perfect Introduction to Camp Walt Whitman
Making lifetime friends is easy at Camp Walt Whitman, especially when children join us at Pioneer Camp. We began this introductory tradition in 2009 for first-time campers in the first and second grades, and it’s become a surefire way to get younger campers excited about and comfortable with the camp experience.
We assign 8 to 10 Pioneer campers to a cabin—one for boys, one for girls—and invite some of our best, most veteran counselors to stay by their sides throughout the week. Even counselors who can no longer work the entire summer often return just for this week alone for their “vacation,” which says a lot about the magic that happens here.
Our Pioneers experience many of CWW’s highlights in this one-week experience. They’ll water ski, zip line, slip and slide down our lawn, splash around at our pool party, get messy in a shaving cream fight, gobble tons of s’mores, go on a hike, try our aerial adventure course, and so much more. The time flies by for our Pioneers, leaving little room for homesickness, though they’ll have plenty of support if they do begin to miss home.
Most importantly, our Pioneers and their parents get to discover the comfort and support they’ll find in our camp community so that children can warm up that much faster to our home away from home the following year. This feeling of connection to our community combined with the sense of accomplishment they gain from successfully being away from home for a week provides our Pioneers with a tremendous sense of excitement about joining CWW for a longer session the following year.
As Camp Directors, what we love most is seeing the ear-to-ear smiles on our Pioneers and knowing that this is just the start of their CWW journey—a journey that will remain with them forever.