Here are some awesome group and individual shots taken by Sergio Lub during the 2013 Photo Camp. Lookin’ good guys!
Check out this awesome selection of camper photos from our 2013 final presentation. Great work campers!
Here are some groups pics from the 2013 Columbia Gorge Teen Photography camp.
We’ve uploaded them as high res, so you can print them out. To download a photo click on the link below the gallery, then right click your mouse and select ‘save image.’
Check out these awesome photos submitted by Chuck Feil.
The 2013 Photography Campers had a great time this year. Photo instructor Garret Suhrie got some great pics of the campers which you can see in the gallery below. Stay turned for more camper photos.
When we dropped off our daughter, she really hadn’t had much experience with a camera, but Jan just asked that she attend with an open mind and a willingness to learn. She returned home with such enthusiasm for her newfound skills, with which she’s continued to explore and build upon. And the portfolio of photos that she returned home with was quite impressive. She was a little worried about attending camp (it was her first sleep-away camp). At the end, she did not want to come home because she was having such a great time. The camp interspersed photos opps while the kids explored different areas of the gorge – Hood River windsurfers, lakeside camping, hiking, rafting, museums, etc. She had so much fun, made friends with teens in attendance from around the world, and had great stories to tell. We highly recommend this camp – located in a beautiful setting with fantastic, caring counselors and photography mentors. Thanks to Jan and the staff for a fantastic time.
- Cindy M. – May 23, 2013
Nick’s camp experience this past summer was rewarding, educational (he was a member of the photography camp) and just plain fun. Nick attended the camp because of his interest in photography but he ended the camp with a passion for photography. He had the opportunity to meet students from other country and other states.His comments regarding the councilor’s knowledge and enjoyment of their position came through loud and clear. Any student attending this camp will be in excellent hands. . If you’re thinking of enrolling your child I think this camp is an excellent choice.
- Joyce R. – May 22, 2013
Both our boys attended the Colombia Gorge Teen Camp 2012. The camp leaders were not only experienced in the arranged activities, but also inspired a great deal of confidence for our young teens. They came home and talked about the fun-filled activities, the challenges, the leaders, and the wonderful friends they made. They not only have new skills that they continued throughout the school year, the could not wait until the Paddle Camp 2013. Thank you Jan for organizing such positive environment for our teens, and putting the extra effort into bringing such wonderful and experienced camp leaders.
- Lisa G. – May 22, 2013
My son had a great time in the climbing camp last year. They did a ton of things including Smith Rock and Mount Adams. I think he came away from this camp with more self-confidence. The camp seems very well organized and well run. I like the fact that the campers are out doing things each and every day. No screen time is what summer should be about!
- Mina C. – May 21, 2013
My grandson went to the Col. Gorge Teen High Adventure camp last summer and had one of the best summer experiences of his life. He made some great friends and he was wowed by the the staff/leaders. What teen wouldn’t love to do whitewater rafting, stand-up paddle-boarding, and canoeing in some of the most beautiful areas of the Cascade Mts. My contact with the staff and director, Jan, has been positive and informative. Their experience and credentials are top-notch. It appears that safety is highly stressed. My grandson will be attending the Paddle-sports camp this summer and he can’t wait for it to start.
- Tom P. – May 18, 2013
Our son went on the climbing camp with Columbia Gorge Teen Camps last summer. He had an amazing time. He met kids from Russia and France as well as local teens. He climbed at Smith Rock with Beth Rodden, and he summitted Mt. Addams. We were a bit reluctant to sign him up as it was the first year for the camp. We contacted Jan, the camp director, and talked with him for a long time about our son and the camp. His enthusiasm for the camp was obvious and the questions he asked us about our sons character and physical abilities reassured us that he was ready and they were ready for him. Our son was very well prepared thanks to the packing/equipment lists. Jan was readily available to reach in case of questions before hand. We me met them at the Portland Airport, We sat down together for lunch and got to know Jan and some of the other climbers. We knew our son was in good hands and sent him off. He loved everything about the camp, the food,the people, the experience. He is excited to go back again this summer.
- Michele O. – May 18, 2013
These guys are the real deal. No question. With lifetimes worth of professional leadership and skilled staff they make most outdoor outfits look, well insignificant. Having a lot of friends in the outdoor busi was I know the eagerly measures, skilled planning and leadership it takes to run a smooth outfit that has the staff to make it look easy. The kids learn and have a blast without realizing it!! It is a team effort and friendships are forged that remain over the years. My daughter is an avid outdoor enthusiast and she was amazed. As well she had the opportunity to share her love of the outdoors with people from all over the country. I highly recommend these guys without a moments hesitancy. Just look at their bios and years in the business. Better yet, if you have questions give them a call Jan and/or any of them will gladly answer your outstanding questions. Then take the plunge and have a tremendous summer!!!
- Susan Y. – May 17, 2013
I attended this camp and absolutely loved it. It was unlike any other summer camp experience. the counselors are great and really fun, and they really were professionals. I went to the rock climbing camp expecting it to be a fun way to do some outdoor climbing, get out of the climbing gym for once. But I never expected I would leave camp a better climber than when I arrived. Our counselor was able to teach me how I can improve my technique and become a better climber. It was also great having the director around. Instead of running things from an office somewhere he was there, connecting with us, showing us how to have a great time and enjoy the whole experience.
- Cutter P. – May 16, 2013
My daughter really enjoyed her Columbia Gorge camp last summer. She went to the photography camp. I always felt she was safe and happy. Let me ask her to comment here goes: I loved the camp and cried when it was over. As soon as I got home I told my mom that I wanted to go back (not just the next summer, but right then.) This camp showed me what I needed to learn about photography, and what I could to to improve my skills. So thank you for adding to my love for photography and helping me take better photographs!
- Linda J. – May 16, 2013
Hear what past students and parents are saying about program director Dylan Charles.
“Dylan is an ideal teacher, very knowledgeable, very patient and gifted with boundless enthusiasm. He’s great with theory as well as practical knowledge that can really make a difference in moving up to the next level. I recommend him highly!”
“Dylan Charles is a talented and inspirational teacher. Our son got so much out of his lessons, learning technique and theory and really preparing him for public performances. Dylan Charles is FANTASTIC!”
- Rebecca Barten
“I’ve always been into music but it took Dylan Charles’ class to help me start performing.”
When Bisbee High junior Damien Holt started taking [Dylan's rock band] class freshman year, it was just a few people barely learning to play guitar, he said. “It’s been the best part of my life,” Holt said. “Every day, I practice all the time. It’s what I look forward to.”
-Excerpt from “Hands-on art MAKEs kid’s weekend in Bisbee” by Adam Curtis 3/6/2010 Bisbee Daily Review
Camp Director Jan Mayer recently did an interview for Camp Navigator, an online camping website. You can listen to the interview by clicking below or read on to learn more about the Columbia Gorge Teen Camps.
Listen to the Interview
How long has your camp been operational?
We are only in our second year but don’t let that fool you. Everyone of our counselors and program director’s has a vast amount of summer camp experience.
Where are you located?
Our base camp is located in Lyle, WA where we rent a modern high school. We are 90 minutes east of the Portland International Airport. WE are on the Washington side of the magnificent Columbia River in a wonderful area known affectionately as “The Gorge.”
What is your Camp Philosophy?
We focus on motivated teens who would love the unique opportunity to learn their passion from a true expert or world class professional. When teens are grouped by their passion, something magical happens, that is wonderful beyond what words can express. We are not a competitive camp where teens always have to “prove” themselves. Ours is more of a camp where kids find joy and self -confidence in pursuing something that was already inside of them.
What activities do you offer?
In addition to the specialties offered below all of our camps will have the opportunity for hiking, swimming , stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) and white water rafting.
What does your camp specialize in?
Our specialties are Photography, Music, Rock Climbing, Martial Arts, and Paddle Sports. Paddle Sports include canoeing, kayaking, surfing, stand up paddle boarding and white water rafting
How much staff do you have and how do you recruit staff?
We have one staff for each four campers. Our C.I.T.’s come from our most impressive older campers from the previous season and receive training before the camp sessions and during the camp sessions constantly.. All program directors and counselors are have been professionally hand- picked and known by our President or myself for 20 or 30 years, all of whom have a proven track record for positively influencing the lives of young people. If we ever had to hire someone outside of our professional backgrounds, we would use the placement offices of the local colleges and universities, Camp America or the American Camp Association, and of course would do all of the appropriate background checks.
Why should parents send their kids to your camp?
For peace of mind that their child will be well supervised and will be safe 24 /7 while having the time of their lives. They will be provided the highest level of instruction of the specialty of their choice. Our program directors who are not only passionate about their subject matter but know how to work effectively and enjoyably with teens. We offer a well balanced approach where teens will not burn out on any one thing. We know instinctively when to bring in a new activity, or when to let them rest. Without question, our food is very wholesome and delicious. The surrounding area is absolutely breathtaking with snowcapped volcanoes, ancient forests, fields of lavender and wildflowers, raging rivers and waterfalls that will leave a lasting impression and develop a sense of appreciation and respect for the natural world.
What is the typical length of the sessions and approximate pricing of your camps?
All of our camps are 10 day camps and they vary from $1950 to $2150 which includes airport pick up and drop offs.
When does your camp enrollment start and finish?
That will vary from year to year but in general I would say January 1 through mid -June.
When is the best time for parent to reach you to register for camp?
A parent can go online and register 24/7 or call reach me live at 1-801 -679-9099 seven days a week between the hours of 9 to 6 daily MST.
Is there anything else that would be helpful for parents to know more about your camp?
All of our teachers, counselors and program directors genuinely care about our campers, and have a proven, long term track record of success in working with and motivating teens. To quote one of our 2012 campers “This is a wonderful and insanely fun experience.”
Great instructors make great camps, so we are proud to announce that Garret Suhrie will be joining us for the 2013 photography session. Garret was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and has studied in the USA, Tokyo and Rome. Garret has developed his own unique style, which currently focuses on moonlight photography. He was awarded a grant from the Maybach Mentorship Foundation, which afforded him an introduction to an international audience, he now works as a freelance photographer on a wide range of assignments. His photography has been featured in various publications including National Geographic, Flaunt, The Wall Street Journal and Time Out New York. In addition to numerous exhibitions stateside and abroad, his work can be seen in various art collections, including the Daimler Collection, the Smithsonian Institute and AEG/Ritz-Carlton.
We’re looking forward to having Garret join us for an amazing summer at the Gorge, and hope you are too.
All of our campers were asked to send us a sentence or two about their most noteworthy accomplishment since they left camp. They sure sent in a variety of interesting responses.
Daven, Lake Forest, Washington
“The skills I have learned at camp allowed me to excel both in photography and editing. Since camp I have been able to take those skills and start a photography business in which I take sibling shots and senior portraits. After camp I decided to take my mom’s old and fairly ugly bike and turn it into a fixed- gear single speed bike. I took her bike apart, sanded the frame down to just the steel, to paint it. I then added new wheels and added a brake and clip in the pedals. It is now fully complete and is beautiful!” Daven is returning to Photography camp this summer.”
Claire, Seattle, Washington
“So far I have finished my first semester of my junior year with a 3.8 GPA and I joined my school’s varsity golf team. We just had our first match and I finished 2nd out of the 20 players in the match.” Claire will return as a C.I.T. in the Photography Camp.
Delpha, San Diego, California
“The Columbia Gorge Photography camp was really enjoyable to me because we had the opportunity to go to many different places to take photographs, making each camper’s photos as different as we were. I thought that it was very helpful to have professionals to assist us with technique and let us compile our favorite photos and share them with our fellow campers. Lastly, I thought that it was great that we got to do white water rafting because it gave us a break from our electronics to have fun. This past year I was fortunate enough to play the part of Juliet in a Romeo and Juliet production at my school.”
Lyn, Corvallis, Oregon
“This year I have taken Photography 1 class at my high school and am also on the junior varsity softball team. I am also doing lots of photo walks with friends as well. And I am really looking forward to coming back to camp.”
Phoebe, Corvallis, Oregon
“I have been enjoying my first year of high school, have cut my hair really short, and have gotten involved with a teen writing group. I have begun working on the first pages of a graphic novel.”
Kira, Seattle, Washington
“After camp I spent the rest of my summer touring several cities in Brazil. I was chosen among 14 other students by the U.S. State Department and the Brazilian embassy to represent the USA as goodwill ambassadors. After this amazing trip I decided I was going to focus on travel. My next trip will hopefully be to Ireland or South Africa with another goodwill program called ‘Hands for Bridge.’ In regards to photography, I recently won a contest at the Bellevue Art Museum and hopefully will be starting my own photography business this summer.”
Samantha, Scottsdale, Arizona
“My experience at camp was enriching and furthered my love of photography. I am continuing on my quest to capture lovely photos and received a new lens! I aspire to have a career in photography.”
Nick, Seattle, Washington
Nick so enjoyed the photography camp last year that he is returning this summer. He had nothing but the highest praise for the team leaders, the sites visited, the food, (unbelievably delicious), the photography information and his favorite activity, white water rafting. He is thrilled that he will be attending again this summer.
Kasey, Kailua, Hawaii
“Since leaving the Columbia Gorge Teen Photography Camp I have won 2 Gold Key Awards and 1 Silver Key Award in the Scholastic Art and Writing Competition. The piece that won the Silver Key was a night shot of the Trillium Lake, one of the many beautiful places we visited during the camp.” Kasey will be returning to Camp this year as a C.I.T..
Jacob, Los Angeles, California
Jacob has been elected photographer for his school newspaper and yearbook. His photography website is gathering attention too:
He will be attending a debate camp and a computer camp this Summer.
Kendra, Portland, Oregon
“Before attending camp I was not confident in my ability to take photographs. However, after going to this camp, my pictures have improved significantly and my interest in photography continues to grow! I am very busy with school and continue my love of tap, jazz, hip hop and contemporary dance. I am also involved with a school fundraiser called Blue Bridge Walk, serve on a Poverty Awareness committee, and am active in the Art Club. I am also a member of National Art Honors Society.”
Marra, Minnetonka, Minnesota
“Since my time at camp, I have been accepted early decision to Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. There I plan to double major in anthropology and history and a minor in
environmental science. It will be great to be out near Lyle once again.” Marra will return to Photography Camp as a C.I.T..
Lauren, Hobe Sound, Florida
“ I am currently working with the Martin County Art Coordinator, Linda Fasano, taking photos for an exhibit to raise money for the environment. I am taking photography in high school and it is progressing greatly. We work both in digital and film. I am starting to earn a bit of money taking portraits of teens in my school and children and family and friends.” Lauren will return to Photography Camp as a C.I.T. this summer.
Kevin, Hong Kong
Kevin has been doing well as a sophomore in high school and has taken on leading the backstage lighting crew for his school’s theatrical productions. He continues to be an
avid photographer and regularly practices the techniques he learned at the Columbia Gorge Teen Camps last summer.
Erin, Eugene, Oregon
“Since leaving the Columbia Gorge, I’ve decided to attend Rhode Island School of Design’s pre-college summer program. By attending RISD, I hope to expand on what I’ve learned in a studio environment, without of course, forgetting the adventurous aspect of photography the Gorge taught me as well. I plan on coming out of these experiences a supremely better photographer. How are the others doing? I’ve missed everyone so much!”
Josie, Seattle, Washington
“This year I am putting my photography and photo editing skills to work on my high school newspaper and assisting the photography teacher on school posters, sports team photos, and darkroom printing. I am looking forward to taking lots of photos when I travel to Northern Ireland this spring as part of an exchange program.” Josie is hoping to return to camp this year.
Kari, White Salmon, Washington
Kari is on the high school softball team and is reportedly practicing both before school and after school! How about some softball games at camp this summer? Kari is taking multiple art classes and getting straight A’s in all of them. Kari is returning to Photography camp this summer!
Climbing Camp – Session One
Elsa takes her ballet dancing to heart! Her company puts on a series of 6 Nutcracker performances during the holiday season, and Elsa had two solos this year, as the Maid in act 1, and Arabian princess in The Coffee Dance of act 2. Elsa had a very nice report card in the fall and winter terms despite 10 hours of dancing a week on average. She continues to do well in her sophomore year, especially enjoying her History of Art class. She will be going on a rock climbing trip with the school towards the end of May, and is looking forward to using the great skills she acquired at the Teen Camp last summer.
Alice, Paris, France
Your camp was great and was a good way of discovering new people. All the activities were very fun and we never got bored.
Alek will be attending for the second time a 2 week windsurfing camp in Poland. He will later participate in a 1 week bike tour in northern Germany.
Maya, Lake Forest Park, Washington
Maya’s experience at the Columbia Gorge Teen Camps helped to solidify her deep interest, skills and passion for the outdoors. Her rock climbing in particular has become a lasting love. She was voted Vice President for the local Seattle Mountaineers Club and will be running for President in her senior /next year. Thank you for your kindness, support in her leadership and development and an outstanding experience.
Climbing Camp – Session Two
Slava is a competitive rock climber in Russia. The recent competition in Kalingrad was really important to his sport’s career. He has won a few of the local competitions and placed 15th in the nationals. Slava maintains that the Columbia Gorge Teen Climbing Camp helped him realize that it is not correct to choose just one type of rock Climbing ( for example, only bouldering,) and it is really good to climb all of it. Slava feels that his summer with the Teen Camps helped him a lot and he hopes to return in the future.
Cutter, Bellevue, Washington
“My most noteworthy achievement was deciding to wrestle for the first time as a senior on my high school team with a good friend who has been wrestling the past four years. When the end of the season came I placed 3rd in districts qualifying me for regionals. I then placed 4th in regionals qualifying me for the 25th MAT classic Washington State Wrestling Championship. I was eliminated early, but the pride of knowing my family and friends were in the stands watching my success was the most rewarding feeling I could ever have. I am returning to the Columbia Gorge teen camps as a C.I.T. for all three sessions!
Editors note: Cutter was one of two of our campers to summit Mt. Adams during climbing camp last summer.
Claire is going to Costa Rica on a Spanish immersion program this summer. She really enjoyed the climbing camp last year and hopes to fit it into her plans in the future.
Michael, Issaquah, Washington
Michael continues to teach skiing in the Alpental Leadership program for the 2012-13 season. The program leaders went out of their way to praise Michael’s leadership this season both with the learners (typically 4 year old skiers) and the other instructors. They said Michael was the ‘go to guy’ and they assigned him one of their VIP students for the season. Editors note: Michael was one of two of our campers to summit Mt. Adams during climbing camp. Michael will be returning to climbing camp this summer!
High Adventure Camp
“I thought last year at camp was very fun. It was my very first time ever to a camp and you guys taught me a lot, like how to paddle a canoe, and overcome my fear of rock climbing.”
Surafel, Seattle, Washington
Surafel Abeel is currently an 11th grader at Nathan Hale High School in Seattle where he is holding a steady 4.0 GPA . He is trying on a new sport this semester by joining the Jr. Varsity Tennis Team. Outside of school, Surafel recently joined up with an organization called Bike Works, whose mission is to teach youth how to fix and maintain bicycles and then use those skills to renovate bikes and donate them to youth in need. In addition to the Columbia Gorge Teen Camps, Surafel looks forward to some long bike rides with the folks at Bike Works this summer. His fondest and coolest achievement is that he is now a Washington State licensed driver! Surafel will be returning to the teen camps as a C.I.T. in the Paddle Sports Camp.
Alek, Henderson, Nevada
Since the 2012 High Adventure Camp, Alek has shown a tremendous improvement in his confidence. His biggest accomplishment is that he has maintained an A in math, his most difficult subject. He goes to a math tutor twice a week and has taken this subject head on this year. We are so proud of him! We truly believe that your camp has had a tremendous influence on his confidence. Alek is planning a 26 mile hike on Mount Charleston, spring of 2013.
Since the 2012 High Adventure Camp, Niko has achieved a high level of soccer club competition. He has set some goals for both agility and team work, and achieved them all. He has become extremely focused and confident in his skill set and goal orientation. We
have enjoyed watching Niko evolve both as an athlete and a student. Niko is planning a 26 mile hike on Mount Charleston, spring 2013
Nicholas, White Salmon, Washington
After camp Nick ( now a HS freshman) has had a good cross- country season and learned snowboarding this winter, and is now participating in track. His camp experience has helped spark an interest in outdoor sports and he is now starting to go out fishing and talking about getting my sea kayak out this spring and doing skim boarding on the Oregon Coast. We are all particularly proud of Nick for earning a 3.5 GPA for his very first semester in High School. Nick will be returning to camp this year in the Paddle Sports Camp.
President of the Board “I guess my greatest achievement since camp is having survived quadruple by-pass surgery and now I am back playing tennis, cycling and running on the treadmill at our gym.”
Terry Kimball and Jo Evers, Adelaide, Australia
High Adventure Camp Program DirectorsJo and Terry travelled on one of Australia’s great train journeys. They caught the Indian Pacific from Adelaide to Sydney. En route they saw Kangaroos, Emus (flight birds) Brumbies(wild horses), sweeping outback vistas and glowing sunsets. This was a rail trip long to be remembered!
Rick Harrell, Hood River, Oregon
“Since leaving camp I have continued climbing with Skylar and Serenity. Despite the cold and wet weather of the northwest we have been able to get out every month for at least a little while. In the fall, Serenity, myself and Skylar climbed a multi-pitch route at Smith Rock known as ‘Moscow,’ which is a three pitch 5.6 all traditional route. This was an excellent route and I was so proud of Skylar for persevering through the scary parts. When we arrived at the top over 300 feet later we found a young man walking a slack line stretched between the two cliffs hundreds of feet off the ground which we found amazing! Keep the adventures coming! We’re loving it!”
Photography Program Director
Chuck traveled to Alaska this part summer and spent a month making photographs in God’s sculpture garden. He‘s also been in the skies with his plane photographing from ‘Above’ and did a stint in Baja this winter riding in the Baja peninsula. Chuck will be back at camp this summer helping campers make inspiring photographs.
Julie Batsel, Berkeley, California
Evening Program Director
“The highlights of my current year are: commuting to work by bike every day: pure joy! Studying Gaelic in preparation of a 6 week trip to Ireland this summer to volunteer on organic farms with my 26 year old daughter: Delightful! Hope you have a fabulous year!”
Photography Program Director
Craig is on a trip to China now with his wife. He has been very busy with a new teaching job at Linn Benton Community College, giving concerts and doing photography exhibitions. He is looking forward to 2013 Photography camp, and he has a new family member who is due to be born July 31!
Jan Mayer, Sandy, Utah
A few weeks after camp was over Jan took his annual surf trip to southern Baja, to a very secluded spot on beautiful Magdalena Bay. This is an annual reunion surf trip with many of Jan’s old surf pals from his high school days. Several world class musicians were present to make the evenings as enjoyable as the days. Jan has hopes and dreams of offering a teen and family adventure camp to Mag Bay in August of 2014.