Raising Rippers

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The Best Outside Summer Camps: Wild Whatcom, Washington

Childhood is the perfect time to solidify your kids' love of the outdoors. These camps are here to help.

Back in 2004, founder Aimee Frazier started taking her children and their friends on hikes along the rugged beaches and trails near their home in coastal Washington. Nine years later, these impromptu outings have grown into a year-round education program dedicated to fostering a connection between young people and the natural world, inspiring kids to give back to the environment and their communities and teaching them fundamental backcountry skills and outdoor leadership. 

Wild Whatcom's day camps are full of outdoor play: rock-hopping, waterfall hunting, scrambling, and more. Along the way, kids learn to identify edible plants, build fires, and navigate with a compass; each week ends with an overnight campout. Tweens and teens can sign up for three- to ten-day backcountry expeditions, from beginner-friendly backpacking rambles along the Baker River to the more ambitious, 26-mile Cascades crossing.

Five-day camps for 6 to 13-year-olds, from $175; multiday backpacking adventures for kids 9 and up, from $320.

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