Adventures in the Wild

5th-6th Grade Expedition Backpacking

Built for 5th – 6th graders looking for an authentic backcountry experience, our week-long camp is ideal for beginning backpackers or expedition enthusiasts eager for more. Designed around a five-day, four-night expedition in the backcountry, this transformative camp fosters the skills and confidence campers need to fuel many future journeys into the wild—and even lead your family’s next backpacking trip.

Campers spend their first and last night camping on site at Mt. Evans. They start on-site by learning the foundational skills for backpacking and expedition preparation. Over their 5 days on trail at Rocky Mountain National Park, campers hone their technical skills, working on everything from backcountry cooking to campsite selection. They develop outdoor ethics using the Leave No Trace principles, and work on their interpersonal skills, building camaraderie with their fellow backpackers and learning about expedition behavior.

Expedition backpacking is one of our truest adventures where weather and terrain varies. Participants will hike an average of 5-10 miles a day learn how to pace yourselves while carrying their own gear. By the time they arrive back at camp for the closing ceremony, they will be fortified with self-reliance, backcountry skills, and an increased confidence in the great outdoors.

Make sure to also check out our 2-week program for 4th-6th graders!

Camp Details


Entering 5th - 6th


One-week session, Sunday - Saturday. Pick-up/drop-off times will be posted in the spring in the Pre-Camp guide.


JUNE: 17-23, 24-30
JULY: 1-7, 8-14, 15-21, 22-28, 29-AUG. 4
AUGUST: 5-11


1-Week Session Price $895  
Backpack/Sleeping bag & pad rental $20/$20  
Bike rental: Specialized Fuse high-end bike $50  
Camp shuttle to-from Denver International Airport $40 one-way
$80 round-trip
Saturday stay-over if doing two consecutive one-week sessions $125 Dates: June 23, July 7, July 21, August 4
Sibling discount: $100 off per sibling per session    
*No additional discounts available for this camp, sorry!    


Grades Dates
5th-6th Grade Expedition Backpacking Session 2 5th - 6th 06/24/18 - 06/30/18 Join Waitlist
5th-6th Grade Expedition Backpacking Session 3 5th - 6th 07/01/18 - 07/07/18 Register Now
Almost Full
5th-6th Grade Expedition Backpacking Session 4 5th - 6th 07/08/18 - 07/14/18 Join Waitlist
5th-6th Grade Expedition Backpacking Session 5 5th - 6th 07/15/18 - 07/21/18 Join Waitlist
5th-6th Grade Expedition Backpacking Session 6 5th - 6th 07/22/18 - 07/28/18 Join Waitlist
5th-6th Grade Expedition Backpacking Session 7 5th - 6th 07/29/18 - 08/04/18 Join Waitlist
5th-6th Grade Expedition Backpacking Session 1 5th - 6th 06/17/18 - 06/23/18 Join Waitlist
5th-6th Grade Expedition Backpacking Session 8 5th - 6th 08/05/18 - 08/11/18 Join Waitlist
View More Courses

The Week's Adventures


Environmental Awareness

Gear Management

Backcountry Cooking

Expedition Skills

Campers spend the week getting in tune with the vast, mountain-studded terrain of Colorado’s backcountry, learning wilderness first aid basics, figuring out how to read the weather and honing their navigation skills using maps, compasses and GPS. They also practice the principles of Leave No Trace as they learn how to pick a campsite and answer nature’s call (and bury the results) in the woods.

We teach campers how to plan and pack for any outdoor expedition, getting them familiar with the incredibly compact gear they’ll need for cooking, cleaning and sleeping. We lead campers through an expedition preparation class before they embark on their journey, practicing the necessary skills to be successful on their trip. Each group will be split into smaller groups that will work together to carry group gear (ex. tent and food), responsibilities, leadership roles, and more. On their expedition, they’ll work together to master the skills of setting up and breaking down tents and learn how to effectively and independently use backpacking gear like bear canisters and water treatment systems.

In addition to planning expedition menus that ensure every member of their group will consume enough calories per day, campers learn the basics of backcountry cooking, including how to safely fill and light a camp stove and whip up tasty meals outdoors. They’ll even have the chance to be in charge of a feast for the whole group.

More than just the logistics of backpacking, campers learn valuable interpersonal skills like communication, problem solving and teamwork. They have opportunities to lead a group hike, putting their navigation and leadership abilities to work, and to do a solo, an independent exploration designed for reflection and personal growth. Each new experience imparts a sense of ownership and autonomy that inspires them during the week’s expedition and beyond.

Meet Your Director

Eric Rightor

I have dedicated my personal and professional life to the outdoors and I am sold on its power as a both a playground and a classroom. I am thrilled to be part of the team here at Avid4 and provide your child with an incredible experience here at Mt. Evans. For the past 10 years, I have been designing and leading overnight camp programs for kids, including at Camp Coniston, North Woods Camp for Boys, Pleasant Valley Camp for Girls, and lastly as the Executive Director at Camp Bauercrest. I have seen first-hand the power of the outdoors to teach, test, and transform kids into their best selves – confident, independent, and part of something greater than they imagined. While the activities are undeniably fun and the Mt. Evans location is gorgeous, the magic of camp is between these lines where friendships are formed, bonds with role models are made, accomplishments are celebrated, challenge is embraced, and moments last for a lifetime. I believe so strongly in our community here at Colorado Mountain Camp and can’t wait for you and your child to experience CMC for yourselves. I look forward to seeing you at Mt. Evans this summer!



“My first year at Avid 4 Adventure was incredible. From camping in the sand dunes to being able to watch hysterical skits, my time at avid was unforgettable. This camp changed my life. It showed me how to try new things and push me into my stretch zone. We hiked 17 miles in the sand dunes, but the icing on the cake was when my counselor picked me to win the Live Gratitude pin. I was so excited. My experience at camp was so fun. I can’t wait till next year!”

-Lizzie, age 11, Expedition Backpacking Camper


Already registered? All the information you need about your overnight camp adventure – where to go, what to bring, camp photo links – is waiting for you in our Pre-Camp Guide.

Find It Here


While no outdoor adventure is totally risk-free, we work hard to keep your kids safe. Every activity starts with a discussion about the risks involved -- what they are, how to prevent them, how to respond if something goes wrong -- so kids learn how to approach challenges with intelligence and skill.