The Voyager

It is with lots of enthusiasm that we are sharing the details for the new and improved Voyager trips in the 2023 summer!

The Voyager (formerly known as the Pioneer) is a longstanding part of the Camp Onas program, with hundreds of campers tackling challenging hikes on the Appalachian Trail and canoeing on the Delaware River over its many years. After much deliberation over the past two years, we are making a few key changes to the program that we think will greatly improve the experience for our campers and our Camp community as a whole. 

The New Trip

The Voyager will now exclusively be a hiking trip. Campers will spend two days backpacking along the Appalachian Trail and a third day hiking in Worthington State Forest. This final day will incorporate more choice among our counselors about how they will spend the time together (possibilities might include art projects, music, or other classically Onas activities) and give campers the chance to explore the surrounding area’s waterfalls, vistas, and other natural wonders. 

We are making this change for a number of reasons:

  • Many Voyagers were having to make the tough choice between spending their last full day at Camp on an adventurous trip or taking part in Graduates Day. We want them to be able to do both!
  • Campers who did not pass a test in our pool demonstrating strong swimming skills necessary for the river were ineligible to go on the Voyager. Removing this barrier to participation helps create more equitable access to this program.
  • Changes made by insurance companies and the PA Department of Transportation have made driving our canoe trailer and campers very difficult. This has required large numbers of our leadership staff to operate these vehicles for extended periods of time, taking them away from the day-to-day necessities of our camp program.

Is canoeing still a part of the Onas program?

Yes, it is! We still think canoeing is a great skill to learn and an even better way to have some fun on the water, so we definitely will be having canoeing remain something campers can do while at Camp. 

First, we will be having at least one “Dingle” per session. Dingles are day trips to the Delaware River for canoeing and have been at Onas for many years. But, we have had less time to focus on them because the Voyager’s canoe trip required the vast majority of our attention. Now, campers will have the chance to canoe without having to do a multi-day backpacking trip. In addition, we will have opportunities for campers to canoe on our pond and learn basic paddling skills so that one day they can do a Dingle with confidence!