If you're new to NBTSC, do start with this page, but also read our complete (14 page) 2013 brochure (in pdf format). Need a paper copy and don't have a printer? Please send us $10 and we'll mail you a packet containing that complete brochure, plus other important information from this website (refund policy, Not So Frequently Asked Questions, Is NBTSC for you?, Which Session Should I Choose?, registration form, etc.)
On this page
Approximately 70-100 unschoolers ages 13 to 18, and a staff led (usually) by Grace Llewellyn.
Oregon Session 1, July 29-August 5
Oregon Session 2, August 20-September 3
September 20-29 (main session)
September 29-October 4 (retreat: "Invent Your Adventure")
We meet in Medford and travel 35 miles east to Camp Latgawa.
We meet in Eugene and travel 120 miles SW to Camp Myrtlewood.
Tamarack Farm at Farm & Wilderness Camp, 40 miles SE of Rutland. Van rides available from White River Junction (train and bus access).
If you register by March 31:
- Oregon 1, $730 ($630 after rebate)
- Oregon 2 or Vermont 2-week full session, $1195 ($1095 after rebate)
(For Vermont, make sure to register BOTH for the main session and, separately, for the retreat.)
- Vermont main session only ~ $930 ($830 after rebate)
- Vermont retreat only (campers) ~ $530 ($430 after rebate)
- Vermont retreat (assistants) ~ $350 ($250 after rebate)
Price goes up $75 per session on April 1:
- Oregon 1, $805 ($705 after rebate)
- Oregon 2 or Vermont 2-week full session, $1270 ($1170 after rebate)
- Vermont main session only ~ $1005 ($905 after rebate)
- Vermont retreat only (campers) ~ $605 ($505 after rebate)
- Vermont retreat (assistants) ~ $425 ($325 after rebate)
We send an automatic $100 rebate if you get your money and information in on time.
If you register for more than one session, you get a $100 discount on all additional sessions (but not the first one).
Some worktrades available.
To change ourselves and the world, teach each other great things, and sing under the moon....
Not Back to School Camp aspires to create a sanctuary
- that affirms, inspires, and mentors unschoolers…
- where campers and staff transform spiritually, emotionally, physically, creatively, intellectually…
- where profound friendships begin and grow…
- and where adventure, mystery, music, wild spontaneous fun, and magic prevail.
Not Back to School Camp is unique.
We come together to savor and support each person’s gifts, and to build and celebrate community. Together, campers and staff co-create a week-long smorgasbord of workshops, spontaneous events, and special evening gatherings. We seek unschoolers who are excited about life, eager to share in what NBTSC offers, enthusiastic about offering their own workshops and other contributions, and willing (even if also terrified) to be themselves and to bravely reach out and connect with the rest of us. Most days, most of the time, campers make their own decisions—whether to attend a workshop or talk with a new friend, whether to go to sleep at 11 p.m. or stay up till 1 playing games, whether to linger over lunch or hike up the mountain or have a nap in the sun or start a soccer game. We come to camp to change ourselves and the world, teach each other great things, and sing under the moon....
We swim; talk; sing; drum; dance; hike; stare at the sky; play volleyball and softball and soccer; make nifty things in crafty workshops; take creative, emotional, and intellectual risks; encourage each other to do amazing things; have talent shows; teach and learn from each other.
Workshops—a sampling: We have dozens of workshops each session, reflecting the talents and interests of all staff and campers. They range from kung fu to cob-oven building to Zimbabwean singing to college applications to surrealist games to VW engine fixing to human digestion to youth rights. At our 2-week sessions, staff also offers longer multi-day “projects” that explore a subject in greater depth. Usually, you can decide each day what you want to do (or want not to do).
Sports: We typically play volleyball, basketball, soccer, ultimate frisbee, softball, and anything else anybody decides to initiate.
Unscheduled activities: Most of the time you're free to make your own fun if you don't feel like participating in a group activity. You can swim whenever the swimming hole or lake is supervised, hike on trails, talk with new friends, read, nap, swing, practice a new skill...
Talent Shows: Evening talent shows are a great highlight of camp. You can play music, dance, sing, show artwork, tell jokes, turn cartwheels, tell us the wildest thing that ever happened to your family, swallow a sword, read your poetry, or just stand up and tell us what makes you tick.
What parents should know
NBTSC is not as tightly structured as most other youth camps. For example, people choose their own bedtimes and sleeping locations (which include some public spaces, although girls and boys also have separate cabins and most people sleep in their own beds most of the time). We have clear rules which we firmly expect campers to observe, but they nevertheless have a great deal of freedom. Most of our campers are already accustomed to taking a lot of responsibility for themselves, so this works well overall, but some people feel a bit challenged by the open schedule. Feel free to talk with us if you're not sure whether NBTSC is a good match for your family. More on all of this and related stuff on the rest of this website.
Our multi-faceted, skilled, caring, funny staff is one of the best things about NBTSC. They teach outstanding workshops and coach sports, lead group singing, facilitate discussions, wrap twisted ankles, support people who are feeling challenged in any way, cook great food, and those who aren't exhausted sometimes stay up late and join in the after-midnight revels.
One person is your "advisor" during the week. You'll meet briefly with him or her and about 10 other campers each morning to check in, play games, and get to know each other.
For more about staff roles and the specific individuals who have worked on staff (and are likely to do so again), see our bio pages here.
Three yummy vegetarian meals each day with vegan alternatives. Except at Camp Latgawa, we prepare our own food and use mostly organically grown ingredients. (And at Camp Latgawa, meat is served occasionally but there are always vegetarian/vegan options too.)
The following prices apply if you register completely by March 31 and then earn your rebate*: $630 for Oregon Session 1, $1095 for Oregon 2 or the full 2 weeks in Vermont, $830 for just the main session in Vermont, and $430 for just the Vermont retreat. Starting April 1, the cost per session increases by $75. (*We send an automatic $100 rebate if you send in all your information and money on time.) A $150 non-refundable deposit is due with your registration. For details, our refund policy, and information on worktrades, see www.nbtsc.org.
how to register
You can register online here. Or, ask us to mail you a paper registration form, but it is important that you read the details about camp here on the website. (For $10, we can mail you a paper copy of that information.)
miscellaneous good stuff
(Non) religious orientation: NBTSC is a non-denominational, non-religious camp. We strive to honor each person's religious beliefs or lack thereof, and ask that all campers do likewise.
Not Back to School Camp loves diversity. We welcome campers of all races, ethnic backgrounds, genders, religious beliefs, sexual orientations, economic backgrounds, political affiliations, and physical capabilities.
If you have special needs: Educate us about them, and we’ll do our best to support you in having a comfortable, safe, and rich experience.
If you're intrigued, please read the full text of our complete brochure. Thanks and we hope you'll join us!
- New format in Vermont. After experimenting in 2012 with a 2-week session (similar to our Oregon Session 2), we feel that perhaps the time is not ripe for this schedule in Vermont. We are excited to try this new adventure instead:
- An extended one-week session. Our one-week sessions in the past have been 6 full days (plus arrival evening and departure morning). Our extended Vermont session will be 8 full days. We look forward to having time for all the NBTSC classics -- workshops, bonding night, trust circle, prom, closing ceremony, talent shows -- without feeling rushed. (We will also offer projects again, as in 2012. These are in-depth workshops that span four days for a total of 7.5 hours.)
- A brand new event: a themed retreat, 4 full days. Our theme is “Invent Your Adventure” ~ an opportunity for every participant to take their own version of life planning, visioning, intentionality to a more meaningful level, from wherever it is at present. Camper positions are open to people who participate in the main session and also to recent NBTSC Creation Circle campers and graduates. We also have “assistant” positions available (by application) at a reduced fee. You can apply to be an assistant if you are a NBTSC alum age 21 or older, or a former NBTSC junior staffer. Details here.
- The Creation Circle, for real this time. For “older” campers -- those who have previously attended NBTSC for at least two years -- we enthusiastically continue our 2012 pilot program. Creation Circle folks must opt in prior to camp (late spring, during “enlightenment,” when we collect and disseminate details of all kinds). Before and during camp, they engage NBTSC with meaningful personal intentions, help to create a welcoming environment for new campers, and help co-create, re-envision, and improve NBTSC in a plethora of ways. (If you hope to officially graduate from NBTSC in 2014 or after, you need to participate in the Creation Circle for at least one year before graduating. If you’re graduating in 2013, you’ll automatically become part of this year’s Circle.)
For a printable pdf version of our short brochure (mostly the same text as on this page, minus the section called "key changes & important reminders for 2013"), click here.