Akita Backcountry

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 campers entering 7–12 grades in the Fall of 2023 and 2023 High School graduates. Those going into grade 9 can choose to attend either of the High School sessions or the Middle School sessions.

2023 Akita Backcountry Dates and Prices

Age /
Camp Session
FC Member
Entering 7th–9th Grades
Session B2June 13 - 16$430$485
Session B3June 28 - July 1$430$485
Session B5July 22 - 25$430$485
Session B6August 3 - 6$430$485
Entering 9th–12th Grades & Graduated Seniors
Session B1

Session B4July 14  - 18$485$525
  • Grade level refers to the grade entering in the Fall of 2023.
  • Member means the camper, parent or guardian, or grandparent is a member of First Community Church in Columbus, Ohio, as described in the church's Member brochure.
  • For dates & prices of our other summer programs, see Summer Camp or L.I.F.E. Guard.

View a printable schedule of all Summer 2023 programs (PDF)

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 fire building, water collection, navigation, and plant and animal identification. They will cook over a camp stove, share campsite responsibilities, and practice Leave No Trace.
  • Archery: Campers will have the chance to try archery in a fun and engaging session. We focus on safety, form, and shooting, then have fun trying to hit the targets! Campers will receive high level instruction from trained leaders using a recurve bow.
  • Canoeing: Campers will take an excursion down the Hocking River in canoes. We will learn the basics of paddling, how to share the load with a teammate in a canoe, and take some time to swim, too! Canoeing is contingent upon weather, water level, and river conditions.
  • Climbing: TWe will visit our Alpine Tower and Giant Swing and learn about knot tying, belaying, safety commands, and the teamwork it takes to climb. Participants will learn (and practice) the challenge-by-choice philosophy in which best effort, stepping beyond one’s comfort zone, relying on teammates, and knowing one’s own boundaries are the marks of success, not getting to the top.

About the Leaders

Backcountry leaders combine outdoor expertise, knowledge of the Camp Akita property, and years of experience leading small group adventure activities. Leaders carry two-way radios and cell phones to communicate with the staff at main camp when necessary.

Physical Limitations

We hope that all participants find Akita Backcountry to be fun, challenging, and full of opportunities to try new activities and skills. Akita Backcountry operates on a challenge-by-choice philosophy in which participants are empowered to choose their own level of challenge. In all activities, participants are encouraged to make their best effort, step outside their comfort zone, and step back when they have reached their limits. These are the marks of success, not reaching the top of the Alpine Tower or making a bullseye in archery. Participants will celebrate one another and no one will be required to participate in activities that make them feel uncomfortable or unsafe.

2023 Check-In and Return Schedule

Check-in and returns for all Akita Backcountry sessions is at First Community North, near Hilliard, Ohio (3777 Dublin Rd, 43221). Check-in is 4 pm on the first day of each camp session; return is 10:30 am on the last day.

Financial Assistance

We do not want cost to prevent campers from attending Camp Akita. We are pleased to offer financial assistance to families who would otherwise be unable to attend. Payment plans are also available through our Columbus administrative offices. Find more information and apply for assistance through our Scholarship Request Form link below. 

Camp Akita Scholarship Request Form

All Gender Housing Option

We strive to provide housing for campers of all genders. This year, you will see a question on your registration about which housing option is best for your camper: boys, girls, or all-gender. If you select the all-gender option, our staff may follow up regarding housing arrangements specific to your session. Backcountry campers live in two raised platform tents: one for boys and one for girls. Solo tents are available, and we look forward to a conversation with you about creating a space that works well for your Backcountry camper. Learn more about Gender Diversity & Inclusion at Camp Akita.

Backcountry Info Packet

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

Akita Backcountry Information Packet (PDF)

More Information

If you have questions about any of our summer programs, please contact the Columbus Administrative offices or (614) 488-0681 ext. 113.