wilderness adventure camps

Find the path less traveled! Nature Immersion Overnight Camps in New York’s Finger Lakes offer youth development, survival skills and guided adventures in the great outdoors for ages 9-16. Join us this summer at the Arnot Forest with a historic lodge, cabins and over 4200 acres of wilderness to explore.

Back to the Earth

Ages 9-12
Sunday-Friday | $875-$1,075 (Sliding-Scale)
July 7-12 | July 14-19 |  July 21-26 | July 28-Aug 2

Embrace the Adventure!
Gain foundational outdoor skills to last a lifetime. Overcome challenges with creativity, while playing hard, eating well, gaining independence, finding new interests and building self-confidence. 

Campers will make a home base around the comforts of wilderness cabins and venture into the surrounding forests and waterways to practice outdoor living skills with new friends and reconnect with the wild earth. For campers looking for more adventure, there will be opportunities to sleep under the stars and go on a wilderness overnight trip.

Some skills you may practice during the week:


  • Carve fire kits & make fire
  • Cook over open fire
  • Identify and harvest wild edible plants
  • Build and sleep in a natural shelter
  • Knife Sharpening and safety
  • Craft and use tools from stone and wood
  • Create a musical masterpiece 
  • Play EPIC games

The Forest Awakens

Ages 13-16
Sunday-Friday | $875-$1,075 (Sliding-Scale)
July 7-12 |  July 21-26 

Ignite your inner spark
Awaken to the sounds of birds and rustling leaves in a forest base camp made of tents, tarps and natural shelters. Campers will base their activities out of this home in the forest, cooking meals together and forming a community of nature-inspired leaders. 

Camp leaders will offer advanced skill development and opportunities for more independent challenges and leadership development, as well as deep relaxation and rejuvenation. They’ll guide campers in making choices with intention and purpose, crafting meaningful stories and relationships, and mastering skills of self-reliance.  

    Some skills you may practice during the week:

    • Tracking animals and interpreting bird calls
    • Develop your archery skills
    • Awareness Games and Challenges
    • Finding your voice as a leader and a storyteller
    • Playing a musical instrument crafted natural materials 
    • Cook an outdoor feast
    • Identify plants to eat and to use in so many ways 
    • Lighting fires from friction with found materials
    • Stars gazing & sleeping to the sounds of the nighttime forest

    Choose Your Week

    Long Bow Camp

    Ages 13-16
    Sunday-Friday | $895-$1,075 (Sliding-Scale)
    July 14-19 

    One Week Only!
    Craft your own, iconic longbow and fletch your own arrows as you advance your archery skills to the next level. Walk in the footsteps of your ancestors and learn to harvest bow staves, weave strings, read wood grain and tiller your bow to the shape of the crescent moon. 

      Some skills you may practice during the week:

      • Explore the fundamentals of aiming, shooting, safety and sports etiquette
      • Develop your carving skills and and ability to focus with a relaxed mind
      • Connect to the other forest inhabitants through guided observation and interpretation
      • Play games to develop stealth and awareness 
      • With the help of experienced bowyers, use a variety of hand tools

      Full Moon Camp

      Ages 13-16
      Sunday-Friday | $875-$1,075 (Sliding-Scale)
      July 28 – August 2 

      One Week Only!
      The Forest Awakens at night! This will be a specialized week for night time adventures under the light of the full moon. Playfulness and creativity will light our way as we craft stories and dream big together. Time for reflection, personal discovery and rejuvenation (think, sleeping in!) will abound.

        Some things you may do during the week:

        • Explore the nighttime forest as never before!
        • Make and tell stories
        • Connect to the other forest inhabitants through guided observation and interpretation
        • Play nighttime games
        • Journal, craft, reflect, rejuvenate
        • Cook delicious food over the fire 

        Primitive Pursuits affirms that Black Lives Matter. We promise to do our best to, and to continue to learn how to, be a part of the work to eliminate structural racism and white supremacy in all of the spaces of our camp and the rest of our lives.


        Primitive Pursuits is committed to the ongoing work of equity, diversity and inclusion. More importantly, we let all families know up front that Primitive Pursuits is a safe spacefor youth and bullying, harassment, or anything less than exuberant acceptance is not tolerated.  

        4-H Grows Here Logo

        Primitive Pursuits is a non-profit 4-H program in partnership with Cornell Cooperative Extension Tompkins County.