One Epic Journey!
Pacific Northwest Adventure
9th–10th grades | 34 days
Are you ready for the adventure of a lifetime? Experience the breathtaking beauty and grandeur of the western US and Canada. Explore Mt. Rushmore, Badlands National Park and the original Starbucks located in Seattle. Discover the splendor of Banff, Jasper and Vancouver. Along with the adventure, form lifelong friendships and create lasting memories.
- Daily hiking
- Whitewater rafting
- Trekking the Columbian Ice Fields
- Watching an authentic rodeo in Wyoming
- Visiting the world’s largest mall in Edmonton
- Travel by air-conditioned coach bus
- Campers sleep in tents
- Group participation in outdoor cooking
- Evening activities–campfires, music, visits to town
Camp Chi has been a leader in outdoor adventure camping trips for 40 years. Campers on PNW are guided by highly trained and experienced counselors.
It’s very important that everyone brings the right clothing and equipment for the trip. That’s why we provide this PNW Packing List.
Frequently Asked Questions
The PNW trip leaves JCC Camp Chi and travels towards the West Coast, up through Canada, and then returns to Camp Chi. During this time campers will explore places such as Mt. Rushmore, Badlands National Park, the Grand Tetons, Mt. Rainier, Seattle, Vancouver, Jasper, Banff, the world’s largest mall located in Edmonton, and more!
PNW is a camping trip. This means that each night we sleep in tents (and occasionally under the stars) at campgrounds in state, national, or provincial parks in the US and Canada. Campers sleep in tents by gender with 3-4 campers in a tent per night. Participants learn how to set up the tents while at camp before the trip departs and are pros by the end of the 5 weeks.
We often hear that the food on PNW is far better than the food at camp! Campers and staff cook vegetarian meals. They take a variety of dry foods with them when they depart from camp and stop at local grocery stores and food markets for produce and dairy. Breakfasts include cereal, eggs, fresh fruit, granola bars, pancakes, French toast, etc. Lunch depends on the activities for the day. If the group will be on a hike or out and about during lunch, campers will pack sandwiches, granola bars, fruit, and other “grab and go” food to take with them. When lunch is at the campsite, it is similar to many dinners, which include stir fry, rice dishes, pasta, chili, stews, and more. Of course there are always alternative options and we make sure that the kids have more than enough to eat and that no one leaves a meal hungry.
Campers spend 5 weeks traveling on a coach bus through Lamers, a local family owned company who has served as our bus provider for a number of years. The buses are air conditioned and have the ability to show movies.
The beauty of PNW is that every day is different. Most days on the trip involve hiking. In addition to hiking, on any given day teens may find themselves white water rafting, Alpine sliding, surfing, or kayaking. One thing is for sure, the PNW trip includes lots of outdoor physical activity and a lot of fun!
Absolutely! A camper may request to be on the same bus as his/her friends. Friendship requests for PNW work the same way as they do for session at Camp Chi: we do our best to honor all mutual requests.
We pick up mail at 5 mailstops throughout the trip. We give you the information for these mailstops at a pre-trip meeting in May. Parents are encouraged to write letters and send them to the mailstops for the campers. Once a week campers will use cell phones provided by Camp Chi to call home to talk to their parents. Calls are usually made during bus rides. If your camper does not catch you during this time, he/she will try again in the next couple of days.
Camper safety is our number one priority; therefore, we always have our eyes on the weather. In the event of severe weather we take all necessary measures to keep campers safe. This may include rerouting the trip or spending the night in an alternate location. We have alternate plans for every camping location that we travel to on this trip.
The health, well being, and safety of our campers and staff on PNW are our top priorities. All PNW staff are First Aid and CPR certified. During the staff training period, staff discuss health and safety precautions with an emphasis on prevention. Specifically, the following procedures are in place: a. All prescription medication must be labeled and given to trip staff with dispensing instructions prior to the trip.
- A staff member controls the dispensing of all medications.
- If a camper has a fever or does not feel well, staff will contact the parents and arrange for the camper to see a physician.
- If a camper becomes ill and a physician advises that he/she should not travel, the trip staff in conjunction with the Camp Chi full time staff may adjust the itinerary until the teen is able to travel. This is the case unless the teen needs to return home. In the event of a serious medical situation, staff will be in close contact with the parents.
Camper hygiene is a key area of focus. Depending on the campsite and sleeping arrangements, shower facilities vary site to site. We make sure that campers have fresh water to brush their teeth and wash up every day. Campers will shower as facilities permit.
Yes! Campers will do laundry 3 times throughout the trip. If your camper has never done his/her own laundry before, we recommend that you practice together once or twice before the trip.
The trip is geared toward the participating campers. We begin with shorter easier hikes the first few days to ease the kids into the experience and build endurance. As the trip progresses, some of the hikes become more challenging. By this point, most kids are excited for these adventures and able to participate and succeed. While hiking, we make sure to have staff at the front, middle, and back of the group so that no one falls behind. We believe that all campers who wish to succeed on this trip are able to do so regardless of previous hiking experience. It’s never a bad idea to go on a few walks before the trip and get your body used to the idea of walking or hiking!
Generally, the same rules about electronics that apply at camp, apply on the PNW trip. Cell phones, any electronic devices that can connect to the Internet, including computers, iPod Touch, iPads and other tablets, eReaders, portable game systems or other similar equipment are not allowed on the trip. Campers may bring iPods and digital cameras on the trip, however, Camp Chi does not assume responsibility for these items in the event that they are lost, stolen, or damaged. The major difference between camp and PNW, with respect to electronics, is the ability to charge these devices. There are 2 plugs on the bus that staff use to charge camp cell phones, walkie talkies, GPS, the camp camera, and other devices necessary for the trip. When these plugs are not in use, campers may use them to charge their personal electronics.
The trip is led by hand selected staff with experience and interest in the outdoors, camping, and working with teens. Many of the staff have experience leading trips and have degrees in recreation. All of the staff are at least 21 years old. Often, we already know the staff because they have grown up at Camp Chi or have led the trip before.
We have 1 staff member for every 8 campers on the trip. In addition to these counseling staff, there is also a bus driver.
For excursions such as white water rafting, surfing, the Columbian Ice Fields and more, Camp Chi uses reputable vendors who have experience working with large groups, including teenagers, and expertise in their industry. We have used many of our current vendors for multiple years.
We pride ourselves on creating open and inviting communities that allow new campers to find a place and make friends. Over the years we have had a number of new campers attend the PNW trip and have wonderful positive experiences. It’s important to note that many of the campers on the PNW trip were previously 4 week campers in either the first or second session and do not know the campers from the other session. PNW brings together both sessions for this opportunity and mixes campers so that they get to meet new people. This provides a natural and easy transition for non Camp Chi campers to add into the group.
Shabbat on PNW is a time to rest and reflect. We camp at the same place on Friday and Saturday night and campers and staff work together to create a meaningful Shabbat experience. Each Shabbat is different and every bus has its own Shabbat rituals and flair. The Shabbat experience ranges from a Camp Chi style Shabbat service to meditation, to yoga, to a reflection of the week or nature study. Campers and staff find inspiration from their natural surroundings and use this as guidance in creating a meaningful Shabbat experience.
Children who have controlled asthma and can endure regular exercise routines without their asthma acting up are very successful on this trip. If your child’s asthma is not under control or your child regularly needs a nebulizer or other rescue treatments for asthma, this may not be the trip for him/her. If you have any questions about your child’s asthma or any other medical condition please contact a director at 847.763.3551.
Absolutely! Campers can choose to attend camp first session in Noar for three weeks (1B) and then go on the PNW trip. This is a great way to combine your love for camp with the excitement of the PNW trip. Special pricing is available for this combination program. Register here or call us with questions at 847.763.3551.
Yes, your camper will need a passport when we travel into Canada. Staff members will hold all passports in a safe on the bus so that they are safe and protected!