Which Session Should I Choose?

There are more similarities than differences between sessions of NBTSC, but if you’re confused, we hope this page helps. (See our photo albums for a more visual comparison of our various sites.)

Oregon Session 1
Oregon Session 2
Joshua Tree (California)


Oregon Session 1


This site ~ Camp Latgawa ~ is more wilderness-oriented and less sports-oriented. Hiking trails, and a dramatic swimming hole with a rock slide into a creek, are part of the essence, as is an actual swimming pool right near the cabins. (We enthusiastically seek certified lifeguards as worktraders.) The fact that we’re there in mid-summer, instead of the late-summer/early-fall of our other sessions, helps us take advantage of these treasures. But, there is no large sports field, so if playing ultimate or soccer is your favorite thing about NBTSC, we suggest you alter your expectations or choose Oregon Session 2 or Vermont.

Our Camp Latgawa session hosts approximately 75 campers and 12 staff.

In 7.5 big days and 8 glorious nights we pack in most of the “classic” components of NBTSC: workshops taught by campers and staff. Advisee groups. Bonding night, Seeing/Seen Circle, prom, closing ceremony, talent shows, etc. Creation Circle puts on an evening event, and we devote one day to all kinds of adventures.

The Camp Latgawa site staff cooks for us. (This means our own staff is smaller in numbers.) The food includes meat – and, as at all NBTSC sessions, there are always vegetarian and vegan options too. Camp Latgawa serves more dessert but fewer snacks than the “typical” NBTSC session – many campers either bring snacks or say later that they wish they had. The site staff is willing to accommodate dietary restrictions, although people with extensive needs sometimes bring their own food. (Note that this is not a peanut-free site. Also, the use of organic ingredients fluctuates – sometimes it is minimal especially compared to our other sessions.)

For more, see the Camp Latgawa website.

This session usually has a waiting list, so best to sign up early.



Oregon Session 2

This is our longest session for 2017 ~ 2 weeks at beautiful Camp Myrtlewood, NBTSC’s original home. While we appreciate the benefits (and lower cost) of a shorter session, we also value what a single longer session offers: the chance for people to get to know each other better, and an opportunity to fit more activities into the schedule while also creating more down time and open spontaneous time. Oregon 2 incorporates all the NBTSC classics – workshops, talent shows, bonding night, prom, seeing/seen circle, closing ceremony – plus optional projects (extended workshops that span 5 days, totaling approximately 9 hours). Creation Circle puts on an evening event, and we devote one day to all kinds of adventures including an optional field trip to the Oregon Coast. Also, we sprinkle three mellow “rest days” throughout the session to allow for plenty of well-being and self-care time without FOMO.

Running this longer session (rather than two consecutive weeklong sessions, as we did prior to 2011) also saves money (fewer bus trips, etc.) and thus helps us keep the NBTSC price per day lower.

Who should not come to the two-week session?

Well, the obvious: if you’ve never been away from home without your parents for more than 2 or 3 nights, 2 weeks might be too much of a leap. But also the not-so-obvious. If our camp agreements require you to temporarily give up things you usually do (have sex with a partner who will also be present at camp, use illegal substances), then it turns out that while many people can find it within themselves to alter their personal reality for one week for a cause they believe in, two weeks can be just too long–despite the best of intentions. If you have habits which conflict with our needs, we suggest you choose a shorter session.

For more, see the Camp Myrtlewood website.

In the past, our Camp Myrtlewood session typically filled up rapidly and often generated a long waiting list. In more recent years, Oregon Session 1 has taken the pressure off and Oregon 2 has had space available right up to the last minute. These things tend to shift somewhat year to year. But if nothing else, you save money (and help our planning and hiring processes) by signing up early.


Tamarack Farm, our beautiful home at Farm and Wilderness Camp, offers a heated, light-filled lodge; a fabulous playing field for soccer, ultimate frisbee, etc.; access to Woodward Reservoir for canoeing and occasional swimming; hiking trails plus a lovely pastoral road to stroll along. Accommodations are rustic – outhouses rather than conventional toilets, and three-sided cabins built with summer in mind. (If you sign up, you’ll probably get sick of us reminding you to BRING WARM STUFF – but, this is important. There are, however, a few indoor, heated rooms available for folks who really need them and others on a first-come first-served basis.)

In Vermont we enjoy an extended, 8 day/9 night week. This session incorporates all the NBTSC classics – workshops, talent shows, bonding night, prom, seeing/seen circle, a creation circle event, closing ceremony – plus optional projects (extended workshops that span 3 days, totaling approximately 6 hours).

A few important notes specifically for 2017:

For more, see the Farm and Wilderness website.

Some years, our Vermont session has had a waiting list but the past few years there has been space available up until the last minute. We nevertheless recommend that to save money (and help us out with our own planning and hiring processes) you sign up early.


Joshua Tree (California)

We are so excited (notwithstanding hipster expressions in photo) about our new Joshua Tree location. (While our former site, a posh retreat center, was…. posh…. it really wasn’t the right fit for us.) This will be a true campout – NBTSC provides tents and simple sleeping pads. (You can earn a small tuition discount by supplying these items for your own and/or others’ use – details coming via 2017 camper handbook in the spring.) It’s not primitive camping – we’ll have showers, portable outhouses, use of an outdoor kitchen, and access to lots of fun spaces we can cozify for our own purposes. But without conventional buildings we’ll have plenty of opportunity to enjoy the big sky, the sparkly desert air, the bright stars, and the November sunshine.

This 8 night session (one night longer than in 2016) includes the current NBTSC classics: advisee groups, plenty time for workshops, prom, seeing/seen circle, bonding night, Creation Circle event, etc. We also include an optional day trip to gorgeous Joshua Tree National Park. There is no sports field – instead we stroll about, play frisbee, and enjoy yoga and dancing.

We won’t confirm the certitude of this new session until April 30. Assuming we have enough campers registered by then, it’s a go. (Don’t make firm travel plans until you hear from us.) Of course if we need to cancel we’ll return all deposits and other tuition.

As our newest session, NBTSC Joshua Tree is unlikely to fill up/have a waiting list. But it’s less expensive for you (and much better for our planning and hiring processes) if you sign up by March 31.

“I really liked the way the whole day was basically left for you to do whatever with it….I loved the way people were so accepting and non-judgmental. They were so open to new ideas, and wanted to learn from everyone. I think the way you did the rules was great because they kept people safe yet didn’t crunch our freedom. I liked the responsibility I felt there; to be at meetings and workshops on time, to check in with advisors, and everything else we had to do for ourselves, stuff you trusted us to do. I’ve never been to a camp that trusted so much. It was excellent!”