The Woodcraft Way

Exploration is vital to the Woodcraft Way. Coined by Ernest Thompson Seton, author, naturalist and one of the founders of the early scouting movement, the Woodcraft Way encourages young people to develop a holistic sense of self: body, mind, spirit and service. All Woodcraft programs are designed to build character, strength, resiliency, a deeper understanding of one’s place in the world, and a greater commitment to nature and the community.

BODY

From ropes courses to soccer games, campers of all ages and abilities get physical while testing their limitations, building strength, improving skills and having fun.

MIND

From rocket launchers to robotics, STEM-based activities are infused into every camp day, expanding campers’ understanding of the how things work and how to build them.

SPIRIT

From arts and crafts to mountain hikes, campers are encouraged to reflect. They journey inward to explore their creativity and outward into the natural world. From tiny bugs to soaring trees, campers get to experience life’s beauty and wonder.

SERVICE

From cabin comradery to plant life lessons, campers learn that they are part of a bigger world that calls on them to be their best selves. They learn to be better teammates, partners and members of their community.

Camp-4-All

Whether you are from Beverly Hills or South LA, Santa Monica or South Gate, you are an Angeleno. From its beginnings at a time when the LA metro area was taking root, Camp Woodcraft has always shared an optimistic and progressive spirit with its mother city. Guided by the universal symbol of the campfire, all youth, regardless of religious, ethnic or socioeconomic background, were invited to participate and embraced with the notion that every child is innately good, deserves the opportunity to realize their full potential, and should become an active participant in defining their own path.

That’s why half of all Woodcraft campers receive scholarships: because accessibility and affordability is in our DNA. If you would like to become a Camp-4-All donor, click here.

Our Values

Communities are built by individuals who care about one another, no matter where they come from, where they worship or what language they speak at home. That’s why Woodcraft Rangers focuses on relationship building. Campers are grouped into age-based units that focus on friendship and teamwork. Together these units work together on projects, like creating their camp songs and competing for the Golden Broom for the cleanest cabin. Maybe even winning the coveted Spirit Stick!

More About Our Philosophy

The Woodcraft difference

Camp Woodcraft guides young people as they explore pathways to purposeful lives by helping youth learn valuable skills that support their growth towards independence, making them feel safe trying new things through the support of positive relationships, and ensuring they feel valued and appreciated for who they are, what they bring, and where they are from. Camp Woodcraft achieves this by engaging youth in carefully curated activities and traditions surrounding outdoor education, hiring and training a diverse community of experienced counselors on research-based youth development and camp best practices, listening to our community and elevating youth voice to ensure the design and implementation of all our services are responsive to the diverse needs of those we serve.

What does Camp 4 All mean?

There are few programs where young people from varying cultural, racial and socio-economic backgrounds are brought together with the aim of ensuring that all participants feel they belong; that they are all an important but integrated part of the same community. But at Woodcraft, we have always prioritized community and recognized the value of diverse cultural backgrounds. The entire team is trained and experienced in inclusion practices and how to create safe and supportive learning and growing environments.

At Woodcraft Rangers we also believe quality enrichment programs, including outdoor education, should be available to every child. That’s why a longstanding pillar of our Camp 4 All program is a sliding tuition model that ensures all families can participate. Camp Woodcraft staff have been acknowledged for their leadership in DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion). Camp Woodcraft Director Helen “Curly” Santos is a national leader in DEI work within the broader camping industry, and many of our staff are year-round youth development professionals that come from communities as diverse as our campers.

How does Camp Woodcraft approach social and emotional learning and foster a positive camp culture?

Like all Woodcraft Rangers programs, the camp curriculum follows the CASEL (Collaborative for Social and Emotional Learning) framework. Camp Director Helen Santos and Director of Learning Andres de la Peza co-create curricula that embeds these practices into every activity (Andres is a national leader in healing-centered training for youth development). As part of our commitment to inclusion, all campers sign agreements to honor the behaviors we know lead to a positive camp culture.

Woodcraft also partners with Children’s Hospital Los Angeles’ Project HEAL, who leads the hospital’s trauma-informed and healing-centered work. The partnership provides ongoing training to provide tools for creative, safe, and supportive environments for all children, though HEAL psychologists have observed that that healing-centered approaches are already present in Woodcraft’s work.

How does Camp Woodcraft approach gender inclusivity?

Camp Woodcraft is an all-gender welcoming community and follows all recommendations set forth by Scouts for Equality, pioneers in full gender inclusion. While our bunk units are defined by boys and girls, campers are welcome to elect which cabin in which they feel most comfortable and shower stalls are individual for the privacy of all campers. Mixed gender activity units combine bunk units for all daytime activities. Our camp team is also gender diverse with at least 50% identifying as female.

How does Camp Woodcraft approach inclusion for special needs and neurodiverse children?

Camp Woodcraft is a leader in inclusion practices in expanded learning programs and our inclusion specialist, Nicole Rojas, will be on site all summer. A mother of a neurodiverse son herself, Nicole can work individually with families before they register to determine if a child can be successful in the Camp Woodcraft setting and if so, what accommodations and strategies can be implemented to create the conditions for that success

What outdoor education standards/framework does Camp Woodcraft adhere to?

Camp Woodcraft is accredited by the American Camping Association and our Camp Director, “Curly” is ACA certified. This accreditation means Camp Woodcraft follows the highest standards in safety, from staff qualifications and training to emergency management. American Camp Association collaborates with experts from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Red Cross, and other youth-serving agencies to assure that current practices of accredited camps reflect the most up-to-date, research-based standards in camp operation. Camps and ACA form a partnership that promotes growth and fun in an environment committed to safety.

How does Woodcraft Rangers integrate Indigenous values into programming?

While outdoor education has a history of cultural appropriation, Woodcraft Rangers seeks to honor the original inhabitants of the land on which we host Camp Woodcraft through formal acknowledgement and the integration of program elements that teach these values authentically. Nicole Rojas, inclusion specialist and an Indigenous woman herself, leads the integration of these practices and creates meaningful partnerships within the local communities.