Our Philosohpy

We give everyone the skills to lead

We believe that leaders are defined by what they do, not who they are. That means that everyone can lead while remaining true to themselves.

We create the experience together

Our trips are created with equal input from the guides and the participants, which gives participants practical leadership experience during the trip. The group works together to decide what to eat, where to camp and how to spend their time.

We instill a love for the land

Wild places- the awe they inspire and the challenges they present- are essential to our programs. We instill in our participants a land ethic that sees these places not as something “other” that can be conquered, but something we are a part of, need to respect and can learn from.

We learn to manage risk

There are inherent risks in doing what we do, and valuable lessons to be learned from managing those risks. Our guides instruct the participants on how to assess hazards keeping in mind their own well-being and that of the group.

We include everyone

This is reflected in everything we do, from our land ethic to our tent-group policy. everyone is welcome on a Crystalaire Adventure. This often leads to difficult conversations during their trips, and our participants emerge as more conscientious, thoughtful people.

We have fun

What would be the point if we didn’t? Our curriculum encourages authentic, lasting relationships and our guides work to make the most mundane tasks entertaining. There may be moments of discomfort on your trip, but these often create the fondest memories!


At Lookout, Carvela and Crystalaire, we are dedicated to creating a place of comfort where campers can discover themselves and connect with others. This applies to everyone who comes to camp, and we are always updating policies with this in mind. That is why we have updated our gender policy to explicitly include non-binary and gender non-conforming campers.

Policy 1: Campers and their parents may choose for a camper to stay in whatever cabin/tent will make them feel most comfortable, no questions asked.

Policy 2: When registering, all campers will opt in or out of an “ally cabin.”

If a camper “opts in,”  that means that camper and their parents are comfortable having a gender non-binary or non-conforming participant in their cabin/tent.

If a camper “opts out,” that means they and/or their parents would prefer to be in a cabin only with others who were assigned their same gender at birth.

As a program built on inclusion, we expect that the vast majority of our participants will opt into an ally cabin.