Akita Backcountry

2024 Registration is open
for ALL Sessions!

For more information & to register,
click HERE!

What is Akita Backcountry?

Akita Backcountry is a small group wilderness camping experience. Campers will stay in the “off the grid” Akita Backcountry Base Camp and experience the beauty of the mostly unused and unseen 1,200 acres of Camp Akita. By immersing ourselves in nature, living more simply, and sleeping under the stars, we often feel like the best versions of ourselves

Backcountry campers can learn some of the following skills: fire building, backcountry cooking and food safety, wilderness first aid, archery skills, archery safety, water purification, navigation, plant and animal identification, knots and rope basics, rock climbing, and canoeing. (Not all topics are covered in each session.)

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

Akita Backcountry is available to campers entering 7–12 grades in the Fall of 2024 and 2024 High School graduates. Those going into grade 9 can choose to attend either of the High School sessions or the Middle School sessions.

2024 Akita Backcountry Dates and Prices

Age /
Camp Session
FC Member
Entering 7th–9th Grades
Session B1June 5 - 9$465$520
Session B2June 10 - 14$465$520
Session B5 (All Boys session)July 26 - 30$465$520
Entering 9th–12th Grades & Graduated Seniors
Session B3
June 21 - 26$525$580
Session B4July 12 - 17$525$580
  • Grade level refers to the grade entering in the Fall of 2024.
  • 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 2024 programs (PDF)

Program Details

All Backcountry campers sleep on cots in two large platform tents located on Akita property but away from main camp. Food is cooked over 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 be tailored to each specific group:

  • Wilderness basics: Campers learn valuable outdoor skills. These skills may include fire building, backcountry cooking and food safety, wilderness first aid, archery skills, archery safety, water purification, navigation, plant and animal identification, knots and rope basics, rock climbing, and canoeing. (Not all topics are covered in each session.)
  • 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 and Hiking: We 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 effort, stepping beyond comfort zones, relying on teammates, and knowing one's own boundaries are the marks of success.

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.

2024 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.

Late arrivals and early departures from camp are discouraged because they disrupt the camp community. Any deviation from the Check-In or Return times listed above MUST be communicated to the Columbus Akita Offices prior to the start of the camper's session. For more information on Late Arrivals and Early Departures, please click here.

Backcountry Info Packet

Read the packet to learn more about what you need to know for Akita Backcountry. Note: The link below is the 2023 Akita Backcountry Information Packet. This link will be updated once finalized.

2024 Akita Backcountry Information Packet (PDF)

More Information

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

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