July 14-17 in Central Oregon
Registration is CLOSED!
The Oregon League believes the mountain bike enables teens to be adventurous out in nature while establishing skills for self-reliance, preparation, responsibility, and risk management. Attendees of this bikepacking camp will have the opportunity to enjoy the NICA programming we already provide plus allow them to camp, be creative, and ride together on Oregon’s finest trail, the Oregon Timber Trail.
This camp will be offered to middle and high school Oregon League riders and will take place on July 14-17 (Sunday-Wednesday) in central Oregon. We’ll start the camp at Horse Creek Lodge and spend the first two days there demonstrating what to take on an overnight bikepacking trip, how to pack, how to filter water, how to make an alcohol stove, and how to make dehydrated meals. On Tuesday, we’ll be shuttled to the Oregon Timber Trail and ride 15-20 miles to our campground in Deschutes National Forest for the night. On Wednesday, we’ll wake up and make breakfast, casually pack up, and then ride the remaining 8 miles into the town of Sisters where parents and guardians will meet us to pick up their riders.
How does bikepacking benefit Oregon’s youth?
The Oregon League aims to provide programming (aside from our race series) that allows youth to be outside on their bikes in a non-competitive environment. This bikepacking program will benefit our youth by:
- Instilling resilience
Hike-a-bike. Water sources. Layering for cold, wind, rain. Pushing through to the end. Bikepacking inherently instills resilience due to the nature of the beast and having to to deal with whatever one encounters.
- Demonstrating true accessibility to the outdoors
The Oregon League will demonstrate that there is true accessibility to the outdoors by showing youth how to build their own equipment, how to rent items available at local stores, and how to make meals based on bulk items from regular grocery stores. The outdoors is for everybody!
- Exposing youth to trail stewardship firsthand
We are fortunate to have the Oregon Timber Trail (OTT) here. It’s 669 miles and spans the entire height of Oregon, following the Cascade Range from the northern section of Oregon to the top portion of California. These trails have been maintained by stewards of OTT, some of whom will be joining us at the camp. Being a mountain biker means being a land steward, and our attendees will learn, ride, and see what the hard work of trail stewards in Oregon provides for the mountain biking audience.
- Inviting creativity
Unexpected things are likely to happen on a bikepacking trip. A broken pedal. Disabled zipper. Newfound blisters. Things like this beg for creativity to find a solution, and gets some solid problem-solving theories to be tried and tested. Some of these issues may have very obvious answers, but either way, it will give riders a platform to find what works for them in their experience.
- Deepening the heart’s connection with nature
There are numerous studies (like this APA one or this one from Science Daily) that show that being outdoors improves psychological health. With the demands on our youth to perform well in school, to keep up with social pressures and images (offline and online), and to combat obesity, it’s critical that we find ways to deepen their young hearts with a connection to nature to keep them moving and happy.Note: CDC statistics show that teen suicide rates are higher than ever. From 2006-2016, American youth suicide rates from ages 12-18 went up 100% in girls and 50% in boys. These stats are a symptom of something horribly wrong with our current system, culture, and society – but there is hope. CDC cites, “While its [suicide] causes are complex and determined by multiple factors, the goal of suicide prevention is this: Reduce factors that increase risk (i.e. risk factors) and increase factors that promote resilience (i.e. protective factors). Ideally, prevention addresses all levels of influence: individual, relationship, community, and societal.” All of our programming, and especially this camp, directly connects to these preventative methods.
Meet Our Camp Coaches
Heather Wolfgang (Camp Director) – “Nature has always been the source of self-discovery, the source of re-creation, the place where I get new perspective and calm. This camp aims to facilitate a spark, if not a healthy fire, in the hearts of our youth to find connection to themselves and the greater world. In the words of John Muir, ‘We are now in the mountains and they are in us, kindling enthusiasm, making every nerve quiver, filling every pore and cell of us.'”
Daniel Sharp – “I’m Portland-based cyclist, photographer and board member of Oregon Timber Trail. I love being outside, riding my bike and working on trails. I design and edit a website (www.benedicto.co) dedicated to sharing my love for cycling culture and bikepacking.”
Janet North – “I hail from Fairbanks, Alaska and I am a retired health care worker. I travel with a folding bike or cycle on my mountain bike off the pavement. I feel a house isn’t a home unless someone is repairing a bike in the living room.”
Deann Garcia – “Who am I… I live in Corvallis, which is a place I moved to specifically for the amazing outdoors, and especially the mountain biking. Being outdoors, for me, is the one place where I can go to feel calm and free from any worries. The outdoors has always been my refuge where my brain stops focusing on all the stressful things, and instead just stays in the moment, appreciating the world around me.”
“I am a husband of an amazing mom, father to amazing kids, and a very ordinary guy. I love life, and the giver of life. I run a bicycle program in Roseburg, coaching at-risk kids how to find success and truth through the bike industry. I like going to bed early (9am).”
For those interested in registering, please fill out this rider intake form. Once we review this, we’ll send an invoice for payment and will follow up with additional updates.