Choice Camps Recommendation of Deer Hill Expeditions: Costa Rica Exploradores
Since 1984, Deer Hill Expeditions have been refining their unique summer programs: a powerful blend of wilderness adventure and community service for students in grades 7-12. Each expedition offers an intimate group limited to 12 students, close in age, accompanied by three experienced leaders. Trip leaders accompany campers from the time they step off the plane to the time they say their goodbyes; this ensures that leaders know each participant’s level of confidence and competence as they guide them along their journey. On their extended backcountry adventures, Deer Hill groups learn how to live in some of the wildest and most beautiful places on earth.
Forging connections with native lands and peoples through service projects is at the heart of Deer Hill's mission. Participants on many of their expeditions can expect to interact with local natives who have deep connections to their land and cultural traditions. Some expeditions carry out vital conservation service, learning real skills in incredible locations, all the time learning from inspirational guides from the U.S. Forest Service. Returning to Basecamp at the end of their journey, each group enjoys a final banquet and sweat lodge ceremony, a powerful way to say goodbye to new friends. With experiences and memories that are both profound and meaningful, every Deer Hill participant can expect to “find themselves in the middle of nowhere.
Costa Rica is a wild and beautiful country with the highest standard of literacy and public health in Central America. This tiny, politically stable nation has made a national commitment to the protection of its ecological resources. Costa Rica’s rich natural diversity, unspoiled beaches, lush rain forests, and tropical wildlife make it an ideal place for a Deer Hill expedition.
Journey in the land of the Tico, the Cloud Forest and sweet surf, backed up by Deer Hill’s legendary staff, quality and attention to detail.
Trip Highlights Include:
• Hike the breath-taking Cloud Forest.
• Raft the wild rapids of the Rio Pacuare.
• Soak up Tico culture.
• Savor the laid-back vibe while surfing the Caribbean coast.
Deer Hill Expeditions employs a mature staff of trip leaders who undergo an intensive 10-day field training expedition. All Program Leaders are certified Wilderness First Responders and many have formal EMT training. Experience leading young people in the outdoors is a pre-requisite for employment.
The average Deer Hill staff age is 27, and most team members have worked with the organization for several years, learning the Deer Hill philosophy and approach to risk management. Nearly 90% of Deer Hill trip leaders return each summer.
Deer Hill does not outsource any of its activities or instruction to outside organizations. Deer Hill guides lead the students from the airport, to the base camp, on the river, at the service site, at the climbing camp, on the trail, through the sweat lodge, and then put them on the plane at the end of the program.
Setting & Accommodations
All Deer Hill Expeditions begin and end at the organization’s 130 acre base camp which is ideally located between the majestic Colorado Rockies and the Colorado Plateau. Each trip sets out on an expedition away from base camp where accommodations may include tents or other forms of camping. Some trips return to base camp for supplies, but many will spend several days touring the wilderness.
Campers learn how to prepare surprisingly delicious meals that can be made in the field. As a special treat, Deer Hill is known to air-drop packages of ice cream and supplies via helicopter to groups on tour.
All Deer Hill Expeditions Program Leaders are certified Wilderness First Responders and many have formal EMT training. While in the field, each group carries a powerful satellite phone, linked to a 24-hour emergency phone back at Basecamp. The fact that Deer Hill run programs in their own "backyard", and have been doing so for 25 years, helps them run safer and more seamless expeditions.
Deer Hill Expeditions is accredited by the Association for Experiential Education, the same organization that accredits industry leaders like Outward Bound and National Outdoor Leadership School.
Deer Hill Expeditions: Costa Rica Exploradores Session Dates
- Theme: Teen Tours
This Trip has Multiple Themes:
- Language Immersion
- Hiking and Backpacking
- Trip Gender: Co-ed
- Group Size : 150
- Camper-to-Counselor Ratio: 4:1
- Religious Affiliation: None
- El Copal, CU
- Rio Pejivalle, CU
- Rio Pacuare, CU
- Cabecar, CU
- Tres Equis, CU
- San Juan, CU
- Camping Skills
- Climbing/Ropes Course
- Community Service
- International Culture/Language
- Nature/Environmental Studies
- Native Cultures
- Peanut Allergies
- Gluten Allergies
- Vegetarian Friendly
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