Face painting and singing sweet songs round a camp fire? That's so last millennium. Now kids shoot at each other and race quad bikes at summer camp; camp America
Do you know what I did last summer? I shot at kids… while playing paintball (don’t worry, they shot back plenty and I had the welts to prove it!) This was after I jumped out of four-storey trees, raced ATVs, taught self-defense and an array of other adrenaline-pumping activities. But before you incorrectly conclude that I was one of those kids born with a dirt bike in her hand, I will tell you I was not always the action queen I am today.
My family moved to Singapore when I was nine years old and we’d spend each summer vacationing back in our native California. The entirety of our first stateside summer trip was spent visiting family (read: getting hugs and kisses from aunts and grandmas). Thankfully, mum decided our next trip should include something fun for us kids. So, she searched for summer camps near L.A. that would appeal to the diverse preferences of my siblings and me.
Enter Pali. Not Pali, the ancient language of some Buddhist texts. Pali Adventures, the mind-boggling California summer camp that gives kids the opportunity to be secret agents, Hollywood stunt performers, flying trapeze artists and a host of other things.
Faced with a dazzling array of action-packed possibilities designed to expand the landscape of my childhood experience, I chose the acting academy, then regretted it slightly after seeing all of my friends zooming down zip lines, celebrating their bull’s eyes in archery, and telling battle stories from paintball games. It wasn’t that I was particularly inclined to join in, but I felt I could no longer protest. This was a case where peer pressure worked in a constructive way.
I tried my first paintball game, which stung but not as much as I thought it would. Next, I jumped off the 45-foot Leap of Faith, which, on the contrary, felt much higher from the top than from the ground. Slowly, I began to change from a keep-to-the-branch caterpillar to a leaf-on-the-wind butterfly — to the point that I was racing in motorsports, sailing on the zip line, and trying everything else I could cram in to those glorious weeks.
Flash forward several years of ever-increasing crazy adventures, and I’m now the Girl Power Extreme specialty director. My job (I actually get paid for this) is to provide an environment where girls can try all of the daring, hardcore, skirt-in-the-dirt activities that Pali Adventures has to offer in an encouraging and supportive environment. I get to provide an intentional version of what I accidentally experienced: a collection of activities that spark and fan into flame an inward transformation of confidence-in-action. Confident girls grow to become women who accomplish what they want and have a lifetime of fun doing it. It is richly rewarding to be a part of the full-circle of receiving, living, and then helping the next group to receive the same gift that has changed me for the better in every way.
To find out more about the adventures at Pali summer camps, visit PaliAdventures.com or call (1) (800) 6-SUMMER
Extreme Action Adventure
Fly through the air on the 227-foot-long zip line, scale to new heights on our 53-foot giant rock wall, race ATVs, go-karts, dune buggies and minibikes. Experience more heart-pounding action on over 10 acres of paintball fields. Then take a spin on the skate park, Shred City. Test out your tactical skills with Lazer Tag and then take a mountain bike ride through the forest. When you’re ready for more action, race around in giant inflatable hamster balls, maneuvering through the ‘ultimate challenge’ obstacle course. Campers even have the chance to ride a giant slip n’ slide down the side of a hill, only to be catapulted by a ramp into Pop’s Pond below.
Pali Girl Power Extreme
Pali Girl Power Extreme is a specialty camp designed specifically for action-seeking, adventurous young women. From riding ATVs to dune buggies or testing your courage on the high ropes course, you will have all the adventure and excitement you can handle. Girl Power Extreme includes spa treatments, manicures, pedicures and yoga and self-defence classes.
Hollywood Stunt Camp
Ever wanted fly through the air and jump off buildings? It’s time to jump, tumble, stage-fight, and high-fall at Pali’s Hollywood Stunt Camp. Morph into your favorite action hero and try your hand at major motion picture stunts. Guided by professional stuntmen with experience working on Hollywood feature films, stunt campers will learn exciting high falls, hand-to-hand combat, swordplay techniques, fight scene choreography, jumps from high scaffolds, safe landing and falling techniques.
Each morning, you’ll drive dune buggies, minibikes, ATVs, soap box racers, and go-karts. Campers are assigned to elite teams and rotate through each of these five activities daily. Race against the clock during the Pali Time Trials and claim the title Fastest Camper.
Secret Agent Camp
As a Pali agent, you will learn stealth tactics, play spy games, rapid-fire paintball challenges, high ropes course acrobatics, and martial arts techniques like hip throws, axe kicks, flying side kicks, and the mummy twist. As a Secret Agent, you will learn teamwork, critical thinking, problem-solving skills and discipline. Deploy on a critical mission with your fellow Pali Agents and support one another as you push your limits scaling the 53-foot-high rock wall and fly through the air on a 227-foot-long zip line. Then, test your strength and stamina on one of five themed paintball fields.