Image by Mick Haupt

HIGH ADVENTURE BACKPACKING CLUB

The day has finally come. Tumbleweed Day Camp is getting wild - we're going backpacking! Welcome to the HABC - High Adventure Backpacking Club. Made for high schoolers, this backpacking leadership program builds upon years and years of Tumbleweed experience, offering a seven-day adventure in Yosemite National Park. We’ll spend a week hiking through the Sierras. We’ll camp, cook, and hang out under the stars. We’ll learn more about each other and build forever friendships.

HABC will provide everything you need (except clothing), including tents, food, and supplies. Our program is led by our camp director Tate aka Sassafrazz and our team of counselors who know lots about backpacking and are excited to meet you.

 

If you’ve never been backpacking before, that’s ok! It’s hard work, but just like when you were a camper here at Tumbleweed, we’re going to do it together and support each other as we go. YOU are the most important part of the Tumbleweed family, and we want you to be a part of the High Adventure Backpacking Club, too.

 
Image by Casey Horner

what to expect

day one

prep & pack

The first day of the trip will be spent at Tumbleweed. Campers and trip leaders will spend time getting to know one another, and leaders will teach campers all the essential skills they will need to know in the backcountry: how to cook and set up a campsite, packing rations, and checking and packing all gear. Campers will go home and spend the night with their families before leaving early the next day.

day two - seven

travel & adventure

Campers will then meet back at camp and travel together to the trailhead. The group will spend the next 7 days hiking through the Sierras in Yosemite National Park. Most days will be spent hiking about 3 miles, setting up camp, playing games, and eating delicious food. A few days, groups will stay at the same campsite, allowing for further exploration of the area. Throughout the trip, campers will learn about the local ecology of the area, important backcountry skills such as navigation and risk management, and leadership components such as decision-making styles and giving and receiving feedback. Campers will spend the majority of one day reflecting by themselves towards the end of the trip.

day eight

returning home

The group will return to the trailhead and head back to camp on the last day. They will unpack their bags, clean all the gear they used, and return to their families at the end of the day.

 
Image by Johannes Andersson

our trip leaders

our director

Tate has always been passionate about spending time outdoors and connecting with nature. Since high school, she has spent time camping and backpacking in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, California, and New Zealand. Tate has participated in many trips with the National Outdoor Leadership School, a leader in adventure-based trips worldwide, and she worked at the High Mountain Institute in Colorado leading two-week long backpacking trips with high school students in the program. Tate is a Wilderness First Responder and a licensed counselor for youth. She is so excited to be leading this program and helping more kids discover their love of the wilderness.

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why we're great

Our Tumbleweed counselors are the heart of what we do, creating exceptional camp experiences and building happy people, and our HABC trip leaders are no different! In addition to looking for kind, responsible leaders who create a place of belonging at camp, our trip leaders must be at least 21 years old, experienced in backpacking in areas like Yosemite, and have at least Wilderness First Aid certification. Each trip also includes leaders with Wilderness First Responder and Mental Health First Aid certifications.

Tumbleweed, all grown up

At Tumbleweed, we pride ourselves on building happy people through exceptional camp experiences. We help our littles, starting at 4 and 5, master tying their shoes and making friends. We support our North campers in trying new things, exploring the canyon, and conquering their fears at the ropes course. We are with our campers all the way from their first day in the Piglets to their last camper day as a Sequoia. We're there for all the ups and downs, the new and familiar. And now we are here to take the next big step with our high schoolers to help them find their true selves out in the wild.

 
Image by Andrew Ridley

dates, fees, and application

dates & fees

session 1*

June 23 - July 1, 2022

arrival / departure Tumbleweed Day Camp

Destination - Yosemite East

Fee: $2500

session 2*

July 21 - July 29, 2022

arrival / departure Tumbleweed Day Camp

Destination - Yosemite East

Fee: $2500

*If you have been accepted as a CIT for summer 2022, you may participate in HABC as long as it is not during your 4-week session.

application

We know this is a very different program. Before applying, please join us at an info session to hear all about the expectations, outings, qualifications, and considerations. Info sessions hosted on

December 2

January 15

February 1

March 15

 
Image by Eric Longstaff

FAQs

How do I register my child for HABC?


The application is all online. Once you choose which session to attend and fill out the online forms, you will be able to pay a deposit with the remainder due May 1. After that, we will send you information on additional health forms, information sessions, orientation, and trip logistics.




Who can apply for HABC? Do campers have to have experience going to Tumbleweed?


HABC is for rising 9th - 12th graders, and anyone can apply! Many of our campers are continuing their Tumbleweed experience through HABC.




My child is younger. Do you have other programs for elementary or middle school?


Yes! We have summer camp programs for rising preschoolers through 8th grade. Take a look at our summer programs, here.




What are the terms of my application such as cancellations, refunds, deposits, and credits?


Camp tuition is fully refundable, minus a $250 cancellation fee, until May 1. After May 1, tuition is nonrefundable. If you need to cancel after May 1, you’ll receive a nonrefundable, nontransferable credit for Tumbleweed’s camp programs as long as you notify us 30 days prior to your child’s session. Please note: this policy is different from our day camp policy. For HABC, you must notify us of a cancellation at least 30 days prior to the trip in order to receive a credit.




How are sessions grouped together? How many campers and trip leads go on each trip?


Each trip will have a max of 10 campers and a minimum of 2 trip leaders. Our trips are all gender with a mix of campers in 9th - 12th grade.




My child is attending without friends. How do the trip leads build community?


If your child is not attending with friends, that’s okay! As with all of our camp programs, making new friends and building meaningful connections is an essential part of what we do. All our staff are trained on how to build and maintain a close-knit community. Your child might not begin the trip with close friends, but we know they will return with many new connections that will last far beyond their week together in the wilderness.




What kind of food do we eat on the trips?


We eat lots of wonderful foods on our trips! The foods that we take on our trips are extremely intentional; all things that are relatively lightweight, can be packed in small spaces, and will not spoil at room temperature. Because of this, some meals might not look like typical meals at home. Campers will learn how to cook all their meals in the backcountry. These meals can range from simple -- oatmeal and cheesy pasta -- to complex -- backcountry pizza and cinnamon rolls. If your child has dietary restrictions, please contact us at camp so that we can discuss whether or not we can accommodate your restriction.




How much do I have to carry? How big are the backpacks?


You will be carrying everything that you and the group needs in order to live in the wilderness for 7 days. All participants will carry their own personal belongings, as well as their share of group belongings. Trip leaders will ensure that packs are a reasonable weight before leaving on the trip. Expect to carry 35-45% of your body weight at the beginning of the trip.




How do we hire our trip leaders?


Our Tumbleweed counselors are the heart of what we do, creating exceptional camp experiences and building happy people, and our HABC trip leaders are no different! In addition to looking for kind, responsible leaders who create a place of belonging at camp, our trip leaders must be at least 21 years old, experienced in backpacking in areas like Yosemite, and have at least Wilderness First Aid certification. Each trip also includes leaders with Wilderness First Responder and Mental Health First Aid certifications. Are you interested in applying to be a High Adventure Backpacking Club Trip Leader? Check out our application here.




Are there any restrictions or qualifications to participating in the trip?


All participants must meet the essential eligibility requirements to participate on a trip. We will be spending significant time in remote areas, away from refrigeration for any medications, and up to 48 hours from definitive medical care. If your camper has specific physical or mental medical or personal needs, or has severe dietary restrictions, please give us a call at camp so that we can discuss whether or not these trips are appropriate for your child. Campers must be going into 9th - 12th grade, must have a complete application, must have a physician’s clearance to participate, and families must participate in a pre-session orientation.




What do I need to bring on the trip?


You are responsible for bringing all appropriate clothing items and personal necessities. You are welcome to bring your own personal backpacking gear such as backpacks and sleeping bags, but you can also rent these items from us. We will also provide all group gear such as stoves, pots, pans, etc. Please keep in mind that all your own personal gear that you choose to bring will have to meet the standards found on the gear list to be used. We have outlined specific guidelines for all necessary and optional items in the gear list. A complete list of items can be found here.




How do families communicate with their campers?


If you have to communicate with a camper on a trip, you will first contact camp at 310-472-7474. We will discuss the situation with you and relay any necessary messages to the staff on the trip. Our staff travel with satellite phones and will be reachable in emergencies.




What happens in an emergency?


As with all of our programs, our directors and staff are trained for all sorts of emergencies - ranging from wildfire evacuation to medical emergencies. All of our staff hold a Wilderness First Responder Certificate so that they are prepared to handle a variety of medical emergencies in the field. Additionally, we are constantly in contact with local agencies and officials - the Forest Service and surrounding agencies know when we are on a trip, know our itinerary, and are communicating with us prior to and during the trip about any known threats. If an emergency occurs while our group is out on a trip, we have vehicles stationed at the trailhead and will follow our emergency evacuation procedures as planned. All emergency response and evacuation plans are created with the guidance of our insurance company.




How do campers get to and from their trip start point?


Tumbleweed will be providing all transportation to and from the trailhead. On departure day, campers will meet at Tumbleweed Day Camp and head up to the Sierras. Departure time will be 7:30am. Arrival will be scheduled for between 5:00-6:00pm on the arrival day. We will verify arrival times the day of with all parents. Camper pick-up will also be at Tumbleweed Day Camp.




What are the COVID-19 policies for HABC?


As with all of our programs, we will be following the protocols and guidance provided to us by the LA Department of Public Health and the CDC. All participants - staff and campers - are required to be fully vaccinated prior to the trip. Additionally, all participants must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test no more than 72 hours prior to departure day and will be asked to take a rapid test the day of departure. On the trip, campers will be in remote areas and will not be interacting with the public. Participants will not be required to wear masks once they have shown proof of vaccination and tested negative. For campers that are accepted to participate in HABC, additional COVID-19 policies will be provided.




What about the bears and other wildlife?


As we are entering the wilderness that many animals and bugs call home, we will be sharing the space with all of them. While we cannot guarantee that there will not be sightings of wild animals while on the trip, we will take all necessary precautions in order to mitigate the risk of an animal encounter. This includes storing food in bear canisters, thoroughly cleaning all cooking equipment, and cooking and eating at a safe distance from the campsite.




Can I bring my cell phone?


Campers cannot bring any technology that is WIFI compatible - that means no phones, tablets, smartwatches, or the like. If you would like to take pictures, you can bring a camera that just takes photos (no internet). You can bring a physical book if you would like to do some reading. But remember! You are responsible for carrying everything you bring and if you lose it or it breaks, it's on you!