An Overnight Done Right

Summer camp—with a streak of adventure

The nostalgia of summer camp is real. Memories of cabin sleepovers, fireside stories, and guided treks beneath steep pines or thrilling white-water rafting trips may come to mind. 

The passionate crew over at Avid4 Adventure ( is bringing back the best of camp while adding in a streak of outdoor adventure. The company, founded in 2003 right here in Boulder, has grown into one of the country’s leading summer camps for kids with current programs across Oregon, California and Colorado. Their immersive nature experiences, guided by certified educators and adventurers, include day and overnight excursions and are available to Pre K through 12th graders.

By engaging them in outdoor activities like kayaking, mountain biking, rock-climbing, and standup paddle-boarding, campers are empowered through confidence-building practices. Professional instructors focus on helping camp attendees assess potential risks in the outdoors with a nurturing approach, so instead of rule-setting, they invite the kids to examine their environment, both on land and water, to observe the dangers or obstacles related to the sport, and then letting them decide for themselves if they want to try it.

“More often than not, kids that are terrified of water sports, for example, will be loving it by the end of their stay,” shares Andrea Stutesman, the marketing supervisor at Avid4.

Getting young adolescents off of their phones is at best a power struggle, but at Avid4 there is a clear draw to nature over devices. Between the epic campouts, thrill-seeking and technical sports offered, and memorable relationships forged at their Day and Overnight Camps, there seems to be a place for all types of learners and adventurers. The company was recently named a Certified B Corp (one of only two certified summer camps in the world) emphasizing their continued commitment towards social and environmental justice through Leave No Trace practices while also building a positive and philanthropic community of employees and campers. They also offer a scholarship program to kids whose families’ finances may be a barrier to participation.

Their rigorous attention around COVID-19 safety meant closely monitoring campers’ wellness and keeping groups smaller than normal. This allowed them to successfully host over 8,500 kids with the help of more than 250 staff and no known cases of the virus with any of the campers.

As summer nears the corner, Avid4 Adventure will be expanding their Expedition Camps in the California Bay Area, Portland, and Colorado, which will provide expertise to campers regarding river access and gear for a pro experience out in the wild. Nature is calling!

Word on the Street

"Both of my kids were Avid4 Adventure campers. My daughter, now 20, is an avid mountain biker, skier, backpacker, and overall adventurer and lover of the outdoors. Avid4 set the foundation for that, and even better is that I get to do all of those things with her." —Allison O'Brien

"My 6-year-old did the explorer camp in Denver, and she had an amazing time. She was a little unsure about the whole experience and has often not wanted to try new things, however, she dove into this camp and had the best time. Her confidence level soared, especially with everything she can do on her own (and even show us now too)!" —Stacy Miller 


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