Pioneers are campers who will finish Grades 3, 4 or 5 at the end of the current school year. Some Pioneers will be first-time campers while some will be returning to Camp Thunderbird. Pioneer campers enjoy activities that challenge them to try new outdoor skills such as canoeing or rock climbing, while making new friends and increasing their own self esteem, independence and self awareness. Pioneer counselors are trained to support camper development while the campers challenge themselves to try new things, and learn new skills. Our years of expertise providing high quality out-trip experiences to Pioneer campers have shown that many campers have one of the best experiences of their summer during the out-trip. Others find that they are not quite ready for the challenge. Therefore, we offer campers and parents a choice of registering for a 5-day Pioneer Quest (which includes an out-trip) or Base Camp (which does not). The prices are the same for both. The 9 and 12 day pioneer camps have a 2-night out-trip. During the out-trip campers hike to a camping site on Camp Thunderbird property, sleep under tarps and eat food prepared over a camp stove.

Campers finished grades 3-5

• 2 counselors
• 9 campers
• 5, 9 or 12 days
• Swimming, canoeing, kayaking, archery, rock climbing, orienteering, hiking
• Singing, campfires and creative programming
Optional out-trip for 5-Day Pioneers: Check registration dates: Quest programs include an out-trip while Base Camp programs do not.
• 9 and 12 Day Pioneers go on a 2-night out-trip

New for 2019 – Additional Pioneer Camper Options

All-Gendered cabin groups are now available in Pioneer Base Camp Program.

Ever wanted to be in a group with your friends who have a different gender identity than you do? Now you can!

These groups are specifically set up to support and accommodate campers who want to be in a group where gender doesn’t matter. Everyone who has finished grades 3-5 is welcome to register for these programs. There will not be limits on how many participants from any particular gender register in the groups – it will be a case of first come, first served. As always, we will consider “cabinmate requests”. The activity schedule will be the same as other Pioneer Basecamp programs. For 2019 these groups will stay in a cabin that has a private bathroom.


Information in this booklet is updated every year, and all of the information is vital for your camper(s) to have a successful experience. Please read carefully even if you have been to camp before! Life at camp is different from the routines and patterns of home. Taking the time to talk with your camper(s) about their upcoming experience is an important step in preparing. Setting a positive tone and clarifying expectations can really help your child make the adjustment. In doing this, your child will take the most out of their Camp Thunderbird opportunity.

Pioneers Base Camp Family Information Package – 2019

Pioneers 5, 9 & 12 Day Quest Family Information Package – 2019

2020 Registration

Click here for information about 2020 registration.

Learn about 2020 Camp Registration

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