Akita Backcountry

COVID-19 Response

What is Akita Backcountry?

Akita Backcountry is an outdoor education camp experience in which campers stay in a remote corner of the Camp Akita property, sleeping in two large platform tents. By immersing ourselves in nature, living more simply, and sleeping under the stars, we often feel like the best versions of ourselves.

There is something about cooking over a campfire and listening to the crickets that makes it easy for us to ask bigger questions, trust one another, and engage in deep conversations about faith. The program’s strength lies in the small number of participants and the relationships so easily formed as we explore together.

Akita Backcountry is available to both boy and girl campers entering 6th–12th grades in the Fall of 2020 and 2020 High School graduates. Those going into the 9th grade can choose to attend either the Middle or High School sessions. Session B4 is a Girls-only session for those entering grades 6 - 9 in the Fall of 2020.

2020 Akita Backcountry Dates and Prices

Age /
Camp Session
Entering 6th–9th Grades
Session B1June 6 - 10$380$435
Session B3June 22 - 26$380$435
Session B5July 9 - 13$380$435
Session B7July 24 - 28$380$435
Entering 6th–9th Grades (Girls, only)
Session B4June 28 - July 2$380$435
Entering 9th–12th Grades & Graduated Seniors
Session B2
June 11 - 16$435$475
Session B6July 16 - 21$435$475
  • Grade level refers to the grade entering in the Fall.
  • Member means the camper, parent or guardian, or grandparent is a member of First Community Church in Columbus, Ohio.
  • For dates & prices of our other summer programs, see Summer Camp or L.I.F.E. Guard.

Program Details

All Backcountry campers sleep on cots in two large platform tents that are located on Akita property, but away from main camp. Food is cooked on a camp stove, and drinking water is brought in from main camp. The base camp has a portable restroom on site. Sessions consist of 10 campers or less, and there are always at least two counselors. All Backcountry sessions will mix skills and training from the following categories and tailored to each specific group:

  • Wilderness basics: Campers will learn valuable outdoor skills including canoeing, climbing, fishing, navigation, and the basics of wilderness survival.
  • Archery: We focus on basic safety form and shooting. It is intended for campers who are new to the sport and looking for a positive first experience with archery. During the session, archers will become proficient in shooting a re-curved bow. Campers will receive high level instruction from experienced counselors.
  • Survival: Campers will have the opportunity to practice fire building, knife safety, shelter construction, water collection and purification, navigation and plant and animal identification. Campers will also build their own wilderness survival kit.
  • Hiking (High School only): The hiking trip is a true wilderness experience. The trip begins at Base Camp where campers are taught what to expect, what to bring, what not to bring and how to pack it. On the trip, campers will learn wilderness and backpacking skills and about the natural world. These trips are dedicated to building self-reliance in each backpacker. Our groups are small enough to allow campers to get to know each other, and to travel as a team, with confidence, trust, and humor while creating a feeling of ease in nature. Wilderness backpacking is one of the most rewarding ways to experience nature. Campers will return with a sense of accomplishment and personal growth.

Watch this video to learn even more about Akita Backcountry.

About the Leaders

Backcountry leaders combine outdoor expertise, knowledge of the Camp Akita property, and years of experience leading small group adventure activities. They are certified in Wilderness First Aid and Wilderness First Responder through the Wilderness Medicine Institute. Leaders carry two-way radios and cell phones to communicate with the staff at main camp when necessary.

Physical Limitations

Akita Backcountry operates on a challenge-by-choice philosophy. The physical aspect of this experience is not its focus and no one will be required to participate in activities that make them feel uncomfortable. Each participant will step beyond his or her normal comfort zone by trying new things, but we always abide by the number one goal of Camp Akita: complete physical, emotional, and spiritual safety at all times for every person. The physical demands of this trip are within the limits of any healthy young person.

Backcountry Info Packet

Read the packet to learn more about what you need to know for Akita Backcountry.

Akita Backcountry Info Packet (PDF)

More Information

If you have questions about any of our summer programs, please contact the Columbus administrative offices at registration@campakita.org or 614.488.0681 ext. 113.