Approximately 60-100 campers (mostly unschoolers and homeschoolers) ages 13 to 18, plus a fabulous staff.
Oregon Session 1, August 6-14 (8 nights)
Oregon Session 2, August 22-September 5 (14 nights)
September 19-28 (9 nights)
We are super sorry to be overlapping with Rosh Hashanah! We did finagle the dates to miss Yom Kippur entirely.
California (Joshua Tree)
November 5-13 (8 nights)
Many campers meet us directly at Camp Latgawa, 35 miles east of Medford. We also provide bus transportation from Medford.
We meet in Eugene and travel 120 miles SW to Camp Myrtlewood. (Also fine to just drive directly to Camp Myrtlewood.)
Tamarack Farm at Farm & Wilderness Camp, 98 miles S of Burlington. Van rides available from White River Junction (train and bus access). Transportation also available from the Burlington airport.
California (Joshua Tree)
Joshua Tree Lake Campground (near Joshua Tree National Park). We provide transportation from Palm Springs. (Possibly also from Los Angeles International Airport this year.)
Session-specific details, site info, etc. here: “Which Session Should I Choose?”
Most campers register by March 31 (early registration discount deadline) and take care to earn their $100 rebates by getting fees and information in on time. The resulting pricetag that most folks pay is in bold print.
If you register by March 31:
- Oregon 1, $915 ($815 after rebate)
- Oregon 2, $1340 ($1240 after rebate)
- Vermont, $975 ($875 after rebate)
- Joshua Tree, $875 ($775 after rebate)
- Price goes up $100 per session on April 1.
- 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 (not the first one).
- A non-refundable $150 deposit is due with your registration.
- Please carefully read our refund and rebate policy.
- 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. Campers and staff co-create a smorgasbord of workshops, spontaneous events, and special evening gatherings. We seek campers 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 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 bed at 11 p.m. or stay up till 1 playing games, whether to linger over lunch or hike up the mountain or 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….
What happens at nbtsc?
We swim; talk; sing; drum; dance; hike; stare at the sky; play volleyball and softball and soccer; take creative, emotional, and intellectual risks; encourage each other to do amazing things; have talent shows; teach and learn from each other.
We offer each other dozens of workshops, reflecting the talents and interests of 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 longer sessions we also offer multi-day “projects” that explore a subject in greater depth.
Sports? Our different sites allow for differing activities. We often play volleyball, basketball, soccer, ultimate frisbee, softball, anything else anybody initiates.
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 often swim, hike, talk with new friends, read, nap, swing, practice a new skill…
Evening talent shows are a highlight. Play music, dance, sing, show artwork, tell jokes, turn cartwheels, swallow a sword, read your poetry, stand up and tell us what makes you tick.
And we eat! Three yummy vegetarian meals each day with vegan alternatives. (Some campers bring their own jerky, canned fish, or other meat to supplement.) Except at Camp Latgawa (Oregon 1), we prepare our own food and use mostly organically grown ingredients. (At Latgawa, there are meat, vegetarian, and vegan options. Organic ingredients are less often used.)
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 each person is also assigned to a cabin and most people sleep in their own beds most of the time). We have clear agreements which we firmly expect campers to keep, 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. (You’ll also see on our registration portal that first-timers have to read a batch o’ fine print on these and related matters.)
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.
How to register
You can register online here.
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.
Thanks for reading! We hope you’ll join us!
Vermont ~ transportation now available from the Burlington airport.
In the past, some campers have had too much trouble traveling to Vermont, so we’re offering a ride from/to the Burlington airport ($40 each way). (We’ll also continue to offer van pickups from the Amtrak and Greyhound stations in White River Junction.)
Joshua Tree has a new location! It’s longer! And it’s less expensive!
We’re moving to Joshua Tree Lake Campground (sleeping in tents and otherwise re-orienting to the great outdoors), adding one more day, and dropping the fees by $100.
Joshua Tree ~ transportation possibly available from Los Angeles airport.
If 12 or more campers sign up for it, we’ll offer a bus from/to LAX ($80 each way). Details coming in the spring.
Vermont and Joshua Tree are tentative until April.
We need to ascertain that we have enough campers. If you register for either of these sessions, don’t make firm travel arrangements until we confirm. (We’ll be in touch with all registrants.)
For a printable pdf version of our short brochure (mostly the same text as on this page, minus the “key changes”), click here.
“Camp is good for me. It’s good for my spirit. It totally rejuvenates me, and inspires me. This is partly who I am, camp affects everyone a little differently, of course. Don’t send your kid here thinking they’ll come home some kind of superkid. Camp isn’t for the parent. It’s for the kid.
It’s an experience they won’t forget. But everyone processes differently, and every kid may NOT come home totally inspired. The majority will, I suppose….”