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HomeOur ProgramCrescentBeachcombers (ages 14-16)

2021 200 n

Is your teen ready to experience the great outdoors in the Beachcombers Grove? Beachcombers is about being willing to try new things, working together on camp life (wood collecting, food prep, fire building, etc.), and engaging in outdoor pursuits including canoeing, hiking, camping and whitewater rafting. 

Teens do not need to be outdoor-savvy to participate in Beachcombers, but they do need to be active and willing participants in the program. Teens should be fully aware that they are being enrolled in this program, and what it entails. While living in platform tents and taking part in basic camp chores like collecting firewood, participants quickly learn the importance of pitching in and keeping their camp tidy. Beachcombers cook at least one meal outdoors daily; the others are eaten in the dining hall or on the trail. Cooking their meals are an activity and learning experience like none other, as with staff support and careful supervision, campers are responsible for helping with all parts of preparation, cooking and cleanup.

Beachcombers also follow a different schedule to the rest of camp, swimming and canoeing on Lake Monomonac, challenging themselves on the high ropes course, hiking on a local mountain, and experiencing a full-day whitewater rafting trip. Scheduled downtime allows for plenty of time to play cards and games, rest, and relax, too.

The Beachcombers program travels off-site, which requires campers to be able to safely travel, hike, and participate in community experiences. For that reason, a level system we call the Waterways is in place that allows teens to earn privileges by engaging in safe and appropriate behavior. As they level up, teens are given more responsibility for camp life and more independence. Beachcomber teens and their parents/guardians must each sign a Waterways Agreement before arrival at camp


To participate successfully in Beachcombers, teens should:

  • Have the ability and willingness to hike a one-mile uphill trail with plenty of breaks, carrying a backpack similar to one they would use for school.
  • Be willing to try camp food that is different to what is prepared in the dining hall and be offered alternatives that are simple but filling.
  • Be willing to get a little “dirtier” due to the outdoor nature of the experience. There will be bugs/dirt.
  • Be understanding that each day is structured differently than the others, and the schedule is always susceptible to changes in weather.
  • Be able to follow staff guidance surrounding safety and expectations for interactions with others. Be willing to sign/abide by the Waterways Agreement.


The "Comber Code" and "Waterways System"

As with all Starfish programs, the emotional and physical safety of campers is our first priority. Click any of the below documents to learn more about the way we make sure that teens (1) are held accountable for their choices and (2) can influence their own level of privileges through safe participation.


In addition to the Tools and Keys, Beachcombers has a "Comber Code" which outlines the expectations of participants in the program. Beachcombers take great pride in Combing by the Code.

waterwaysagreement A level system called the Waterways has been designed to ensure that teens' priveleges and participation is on par with the level of maturity and safety they show staff. All teens enter the program at the neutral "Ponds" level and can "travel the waterways" from there. During the first afternoon at camp, the counselors explain to teens about the Waterways and everyone signs the agreement. Teens are very motivated to join the "Oceans!"
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