Ages: 10 - 15 years old
December 15 - $105 after February 26.
Participants must attend all 4 sessions.
March 13 & 27 AND April 10, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
April 26, 4:00 p.m. – April 27 11:00 a.m. Meet at Ottawa Point Picnic Area.
To celebrate everything the youth have learned during this series, participants’ immediate family are encouraged to join us at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 27 for breakfast and demonstrations by the youth. Please meet us at Ottawa Point Picnic Area.
Participants will backpack on natural surface trails for about 1-2 miles with small hills and minor elevation gains.
Join us for this youth friendly program where you’ll spend three evening sessions learning about the various skills needed to have a successful overnight in the backcountry. Topics will include equipment selection, hiking etiquette, navigating with map and compass, cooking outdoors, and proper campsite selection. After refining their skills, youth will carry their gear on their backs to access the Ottawa Overlook backcountry sites where they’ll spend the night. Youth will be cooking a meal for themselves and their fellow participants.
March 13, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Brecksville Trailside Program Center
This first session will focus on backcountry gear and how to use it. We will talk about setting up a campsite, Leave No Trace principals, and how to use equipment.
March 27 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Brecksville Trailside Program Center
Our second session will focus on camp cooking and menu planning. Students will learn to use camp stoves, plan a menu, pack ingredients, and cook a meal for themselves and others. We will taste a variety of recipes and talk about ingredients and how to plan for others with unique dietary needs.
April 10, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Garfield Park Center
Youth will prepare for the overnight by getting outfitted with backpacking equipment and learning the basics of Land Navigation.
April 26, 4:00 p.m. – April 27, 11:00 a.m.
Drop youth off at Ottawa Point Picnic Area.
April 26, 4:00 p.m. –
Students will meet at Ottawa Point Picnic Area bringing the clothing and necessities for the overnight as instructed by Outdoor Recreation staff at the previous sessions. The group will repack their packs and head out for a short hike with all of their gear before returning to their campsites where they will set-up tents, cook dinner, and learn how to get ready for bed while in the backcountry.
April 27, 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. -
After waking up, participants will break down camp and pack their backpacks under the guidance of instructors. Then, we will hike to Ottawa Point Picnic Area and begin preparing a backcountry breakfast for families that join us at 9 a.m. Youth will demonstrate the skills they learned to their families. Youth will depart with their family at 11:00 a.m.
Accommodations and Food
- Cleveland Metroparks will provide all necessary equipment for the trip portion of this program except shoes and personal clothing – all tents, cooking gear, food, etc. will be provided.
- Tents will be shared based on gender as tent space is limited in the backcountry.
- A pit toilet will be available.
- A detailed packing list and program schedule will be passed out March 27.
Meals will be provided by Cleveland Metroparks but planned and prepared by participants. Food allergies/dietary restrictions should be reported to instructors prior to April 10.
Cleveland Metroparks staff can adapt many programs to be accessible to anyone who would
like to participate assuming they meet the essential eligibility criteria. Reasonable
accommodation can also be made. Please make a request at the time of registration but
no later than 72 business hours prior to the program. Contact us at
or at these telephone numbers.