The Leader You Want to Be

Interpersonal & Technical Skills  |  Teamwork  |  Self-Reflection

The Aloha Foundation seeks to provide young people with enriching leadership opportunities that prepare them to contribute to the world around them with even greater success.

In a safe, supportive, and diverse community, our young leaders acquire both technical and interpersonal skills, and are guided by experienced counselors and mentors who are grounded in our educational values.

All of our programs encourage this age group to engage with passion, harness creativity, refine teamwork, and nurture self-reflection, thereby delivering transformational experiences and helping each person to be their best self.


Summer 2020 Pilot Program 

The 2020 pilot program offers a coed experience for 15- and 16-year-olds. You do not need previous camping experience to join us. All are welcome.

We are offering three sessions. Campers may participate in all three sessions as one comprehensive summer experience (with supervised “days off” in between sessions). Or, if time or interest dictates otherwise, these sessions can be chosen individually.

UPDATE on 4/1/2020: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Deer Hill has canceled its programming for the summer of 2020. We are still hoping to offer our Eco Building and Teaching Apprentice sessions but have canceled our Adventure Expedition session. 

Session 1
July 1 – 13 (13 days)

Session 2
July 15 – August 6 (23 days)

Session 3
August 8 – 15 (8 days)


Session 1
July 1-13 (13 days – approximately 30 service hours) 

Campers will strengthen their leadership and technical skills through a hands-on sustainable building project. The session will begin with two days of team building and leadership exercises, followed by the opportunity to work alongside counselors and skilled professional contractors to build new housing for this program and/or other camp programs. In addition to the program staff, this session will be led by Jacob Mushlin (former longtime Lanakila shop counselor) and his colleagues at Yestermorrow Design/Build School.


Session 2
ADVENTURE EXPEDITION – This session has been canceled for 2020.
July 15 – August 6 (23 days – approximately 30 service hours)

Campers will explore Colorado and Utah as they paddle down picturesque canyons on the San Juan River; participate in a service trip on a Navajo reservation during which campers will stay with a Native American family in Zuni and Hopi pueblos; and finally, embark on a five-night hiking expedition in the San Juan mountains. This session will begin and end in Colorado (please see Karen Danforth before making any travel arrangements.)

We are excited to be working with the outfitter Deer Hill Expeditions for this portion of the program. Check out the Deer Hill page specific to Aloha. Along with your dedicated Aloha Counselors, the Deer Hill instructors will support your learning, adventure, and safety.


Session 3
August 8-15 (8 days – approximately 30 service hours)

In this portion of the Leadership Program, the main focus becomes how to help nurture growth in others; specifically, the youngest cohorts of our community.  Participants will begin this module with an introduction to educational and counseling theory, as well as our Aloha pedagogy. With support from the YLP counselors and the experienced members of the Horizons staff, participants will design and facilitate activities for five days at Horizons Day Camp, providing our youngest campers with counseling, guidance, and friendship during their daily schedule. Evenings will include formal opportunities to reflect on the day’s experiences as a group, and to then prepare for the day ahead.

Registration and Tuition

Once we confirm availability for your camper, we will email you an invoice. Please mail a check for the full tuition to the Aloha Foundation as soon as possible to confirm enrollment.

Session 1
Eco Building
July 1-13 (13 days)

Session 2
Adventure Expedition – This session has been canceled for 2020.
July 15-August 6 (24 days)
$8,500 – includes specialty equipment and pickup/dropoff at Durango airport

Session 3
Teaching Apprentice
August 8-15 (8 days)

Limited financial aid is available to qualified applicants. Please complete the Youth Leadership Program application to apply for aid. 


For More Information

Questions about the program? Interested in speaking with one of our program leaders to learn more? We’d love to hear from you! Please contact Vanessa Riegler at or (802) 333-3400.

Questions about the application process, financial aid, camp forms, and travel arrangements may be directed to Karen Danforth at

Print a one-page program description.