What makes camp at Valley Trails so special?
Other camps hire "Counselors." Anyone can be a "Counselor."
At Valley Trails, we only hire
"Leaders, Role Models, and Super Heros!"
At Valley Trails, our leaders are specially selected and trained in ways to create a positive experience and a rich interaction with campers. Our Leaders are vastly different than teachers. Leaders don’t keep score or grades, they are role models and individuals that help shape the lives of our campers. The best camp memories come from the interaction between Leaders and campers. Valley Trails understands how important this is and only selects Leaders with that passion. All staff goes through a nationwide background check and overnight staff training programs.
Mike Stillson (aka Otter), Executive Camp Director
I have not missed a summer of camp since I was 4 years old. You may even say that I am addicted to the camp experience. I am the person that I am today because of camp. I have formed some of my closest relationships at’ camp, and have been shaped by my counselors that I had as a camper, and the campers and staff that I work with as a camp professional.
Every summer I see how camp plays a strong part in our camper’s lives. To say that camp changes our campers in a positive way would be an understatement. I watch our campers grow through our activities and see how the intentional programming develops life skills, critical thinking, communications, self-confidence and so much more. Our campers are not just having “fun” at camp, but they are becoming more well-rounded individuals and better people.
There is truly no substitute for the camp experience. I believe that we offer a safe and secure program where campers are able to explore, grow, and develop into confident individuals. I look forward to seeing the smiles on their faces and hearing their conversations and their memorable stories of their adventures with their camp friends and leaders.
I have been the director of Valley Trails Summer Camp for the past 19 summers, and a professional in camping for over 29 years. I hold a BS in General Studies, and am the former Southern Section Vice President for WAIC (Western Association of Independent Camps) and currently serve on the Board of Directors, and a former member of the Southern California Section of the ACA (American Camp Association) Board of Directors. I am involved in all stages of planning, training, and leading of the programs on a year-round basis.
The Valley Trails Leaders is comprised of directors, specialists, and group leaders, all of whom have a strong desire to make a positive difference in a child's life. Our staff is selected based on strict criteria and go through professional background screening. Our staff is rigorously trained prior to and throughout the summer by the Valley Trails leadership team. All Leaders are trained in first aid and emergency procedures.
Valley Trails is proud to feature an amazing menu and daily camp lunches prepared by Chef Anthony. Anthony takes immense pride in preparing delicious and nutritious meals for our campers and staff.