My experience with Alpengirl shaped me into who I am to this day. After my first trip to Montana I was hooked! My appreciation for the outdoors, being active and eating healthy started eight years ago on my first Alpengirl camp. Some of my best memories are from my camp days, and I will always highly recommend Alpengirl to any girl looking for adventure!
Camper & Parent Reviews of Alpengirl Camp
I went to Alpengirl camp when I was 12 and 13 (now 19), because of going to the camp I have life long love and respect of the outdoors. The camp gives girls the opportunity to get out of their comfort zones and see breathtaking sights, I highly recommend this awesome camp, it is an adventure that you will never forget!
Our daughter, Maia participated in the Alpengirl program and really enjoyed the experience. She is thirteen and this was her first time with Alpengirl at the Montana Horse camp which was a two-week session. We sent her in order to experience camaraderie amongst girls her age in an environment that taught self-reliance and independent thinking. The early teens is such a transitional age and we felt that she needed a positive camp experience would help her feel more confident as a teen. Although this was her first camp away from home, she returned transformed and with a new sense of self. The girls came from as far as Italy and Ecuador, many friendships were forged in that time and to this day, Maia has remained in touch with all of them via Facebook and Skype. For this alone, we are extremely grateful. The camp itself was well-run and organized. The girls were given opportunities to support each other in teams that helped foster friendships. They were encouraged to be individually creative, vocal and supportive of each other's unique personalities and qualities. There seemed ample positive opportunities to grow and learn, which helped boost Maia's confidence and self-esteem in all the physical activities (horseback, hiking, kayak/rafting). She has come away with many happy memories, new friendships and experiences that she will treasure in the years to come. The spirit of Alpengirl captured the essence of what we had hoped to give our daughter. Maia looks forward to attending another camp, in fact - many of her fellow campers talk about attending a trip together someday. We commend Alissa and her staff for the excellent work they do to help nurture young girls at these wonderful camps. We are very glad we sent Maia and feel fortunate for the experience. Your daughter would be very lucky to have this opportunity to experience Alpengirl.
Despite some reservations on her age and readiness for this kind of trip, I encouraged Em to go ahead and have a great time. I sent a child that liked to sit around on Sat mornings and watch cartoons and eat junk food and I got back a child more self confident, who was into yoga and liked veggies! She was so excited and buzzing over the trip from start to finish!!! She's carried her photo album with her everywhere else this summer just so she could show everyone and with each comes a picture. I can say with confidence, this trip was everything I had hoped for her and then some! Thanks to you and your staff, who by now I feel I know, for this such a great experience!! I've already recommended your camps to several friends - there's one guy who's 5 year old is already to go! I look forward to hearing about the next season!
Finally a few minutes to send you a quick note and say once again how much I notice the change in Emily when she returns from a trip with you guys! She absolutely loves coming out there. This year was a different reaction than last year - happy to be home but more confident and definitely closer to the girls in this group. She continues to rave about the trip - we just spent several hours putting her photos in her album and we had a great time laughing and hearing about the adventures. I, of course, saw the web photos as soon as I got your email and forwarded the announcement to grandparents, friends and of course Emily! You know I still have the one of her in the grass from last year as my wallpaper on my desktop!
Alyssa's experience was a very positive and rewarding one. She returned home energized and enthusiastically talking about possibilities for next year. Alyssa stated that all the guides were "fun" and "really nice" and "competent," and she appreciated that they did not treat the girls like children, but rather freely interacted with them openly and playfully. For a teenager the fact that an adult is actively listening to them and respecting their opinion is an eye-opening and thrilling experience all at once. She felt challenged by the guides to push herself to her limits but never in an unsafe way. As a result she feels more confident in her physical abilities. Our impression is that Alyssa returned home from this trip (and last year's trip to Montana) more self-aware and pleased with herself and the new possibilities that life suddenly has to offer; for a lack of better words, she is infinitely more grown-up! From being away from her family but yet still in a safe environment, she is allowed - and allows herself - to grow socially, mentally, and physically. A unique process of self-discovery begins taking place. She puts herself "out there" and comes out on top. She is given unique opportunities to accomplish things on her own and within a group of her peers and rises to the challenge. She seems to derive immense satisfaction from these feelings of accomplishment. We know from her trip last year that this carries over into her academic and extra-curricular activities at school. The amount of confidence building that this trip allows - socially and physically - is invaluable for any teenager's future. We asked Alyssa what she learned about herself. Without more than a moment's thought she wrote out this response: 1. I can do a lot if I set my mind to it. 2. I can do more than I thought I could (example: steep hikes, 100 crunches everyday). 3. I like to challenge myself. 4. I really like to be outdoors & hike. 5. I want to become an Alpengirl guide. Alyssa obviously appreciates the physical challenges which she encounters in the destinations chosen by Alpengirl. It's obvious that a lot of work and planning go into choosing destinations and diverse activities that inspire and stimulate the girls. The chosen locales strengthen Alyssa's appreciation for the beauty of nature. In addition, Alyssa raved about the camp food (always healthy) and daily dose of yoga. In our opinion Alpengirl provides an incredibly well-rounded and balanced trip. We would not hesitate to send Alyssa on another Alpengirl trip.
There are few words to express what a fantastic experience Jenny had as an Alpengirl! She returned with such a sense of confidence, caring for the other girls and guides and with all the new knowledge she is now incorporating into our lives here! We picked her up at the airport and she did not stop yakking until she went to sleep that night. The strongest sentiment she brought home with her was the incredible camaraderie you all had during camp! She told us how you cared for their physical beings, i.e., water consumption, eating habits, poopin' in the woods, body temperature, etc. I really felt you were on top of all the details and are really looking out for the girls. She loved the yoga, in fact we just came in from a morning yoga session in our beautiful backyard! She raved about the food, the roadside dances, the costume contest, the pirates of the wooden boat contest, and thoroughly enjoyed the backpacking trip. There was not one minute she was not extremely happy! She is an Alpengirl with a great altitude!!!! Put us on the list for next year!!
The counselors were very caring and really encouraged a "team support" spirit. Kali hasn't had a group of friends like that in a long time. She looked great! Her eyes sparkled and she was truly happy and relaxed. Thanks for showing Kali that she can accomplish more than she ever thought possible.
I must say it is a testament to the program provided at Alpengirl that they took a pampered, over protected clinging child and helped her become an independent, strong young woman. Amanda made friends and had fun. She came home proud that she had a bruise from every activity; battle scars. As the parent of an asthmatic child I know I made the best review choice for my daughter by sending her to Alpengirl.
Kaley really bonded with the other girls - the comradery was the best for her. For us, she participated in a wilderness experience that was totally positive. She is calmer and more focused. Kaley experienced the wonders of mountains and wilderness areas, learned some valuable lessons in self-sufficiency, and best of all, made some wonderful friends. The comradery she experienced has made a lasting impression.
Our daughter greatly benefited from the Alpengirl experience. While she most appreciated the rock-climbing, horseback riding, hot springs, and new-found friends, we were most thrilled that she came home with a new love of nature (not something she was known for in the past), enthusiasm for yoga, physical exertion, and, to a lesser extent, healthy eating, and demanding that we take her backpacking. I would highly recommend this program.
I just wanted to let you know what a great experience Montana Alpengirl was for Amanda. She learned a valuable lesson that hopefully she will carry with her for her entire life. She now knows that her attitude and effort make a huge difference in the outcome. When she arrived home from camp she was so happy and proud that she had figured out that not making an effort at the beginning was making camp miserable and that once she decided to have a positive attitude and try, that she could have fun. I want to thank the counselors for the extra effort and time they had to give her at the beginning and guiding her to see what she needed to do but letting it be her realization.
Jessy enjoyed the Washington Alpengirl trip very much, she returned with a smile and renewed energy. Mandy and Paige, Jessy's guides, both had a profoundly positive effect on her short term and long-term views on life. She believed them both to be great selections for guiding the trip. Jessy did not fret nor worry about rain on the backpacking trip, partly due to her past experiences and partly due to great guides Mandy and Paige.
Grace came home from her Alpengirl Montana trip and said (after apologizing several times that what she was about to say may sounded corny but it was true) "This experience taught me that I can do anything if I work hard enough and put my mind to it". What more could the parents of a thirteen year old girl want! She identified very closely with Christina and Mandy stating they were "the coolest women in the world and that she wanted to be like them." Thank you for providing such strong positive role models. Tell Mandy that I am hunting down Cilantro scented bath products and if they exist, I will find them. Grace continues to do yoga daily and is much more interested in cooking. She kept a journal and wrote down many recipes. Her first day home she made breakfast lunch and dinner for us. She said you are putting out a cookbook. We would be very interested in getting one. You all did so many things right. It sounds like the group had a very nice dynamic which I know is partially the luck of the draw, but is also carefully shaped by the guides as well.
Emma has nothing but "RAVE" reviews of the Lil' Alpengirl Camp! For 11-year olds, one week in Washington was perfect. Emma could have easily done another week (in hindsight) but anticipating a 2-week camp in the beginning may have kept her from signing up in the first place. She had a BLAST! Knowing that she could be away from us for a week and do fine and have such great fun with people she didn't know, that was all I could have asked for and more!