Frequently Asked Questions
What is Orenda's teen camp?
Orenda Academy teaches teens 13-17 years old critical life skills to help them succeed in life and achieve their potential.
The skills we teach include: how to set goals and stick with plans, how to break bad habits, how to strike up friendships with strangers, how to learn anything faster.
What is the typical structure of a camp day?
Each camp day lasts typically for 3 hours. The structure typically looks something like this:
First 15 minutes - Students play an improv game or fun activity to loosen up.
30 minutes - Instructors present a the topic and discuss with students.
30 minutes - Activity for students to interact with the topic.
10 minute - Break time for students to eat and socialize
30 minutes - Another activity or game for students to learn the topic.
30 minutes - Small or large-group discussion with instructors, allowing for personalization.
15 minutes - Closing and recap. Students share feedback and ideas.
Who are Orenda's instructors?
Orenda's instructors are trained young leaders, facilitators and educators who are experienced in working with youth and leading their personal growth. They were typically highly successful young professionals who want to teach what they know to younger students.
Do you prepare students for college?
Many of the skills we teach are meant to help students navigate schoolwork and social drama in their lives. We teach skills to become more productive, procrastinate less, build positive habits and develop deep friendships.
Many of our former students were 8th graders going to high school or 9th graders who wanted to be better prepared for the rigors of high school life.
Orenda teaches skills will help students excel in high school, get into a top college and thrive in life even after college.
What if my teen doesn't want to come to Orenda?
Many students may be initially reluctant to come to our program because they think it's going to be boring, or just like school.
When we founded Orenda, we very deliberately wanted to make it fun AND educational at the same time.
Tell your son or daughter that it will not be like school or other camps. Tell them to just come for the first two days and if they don't like it they can leave. We promise they will want to stay.
One 8th grader told us, "When my mom first signed me up, I said “Awww. Come on mom.”
And now I’m like “Oh my god this the most impactful program I’ve ever been a part of."
What if my teen doesn't like the camp?
We ask that your teen comes to try it out for the first two days, and if he or she doesn't enjoy the camp we will give you your money back, completely guaranteed.
What if my teen has to miss a day or two of camp?
Families should check their schedules to ensure that their teen can participate in all days of the camp before signing up. However we also understand that plans change and students may miss a day or two.
We encourage students who miss a workshop to come to a future summer program to “make up” the workshop they missed at no additional cost.
We also offer video recordings of each workshop to families so they can review the content; however, we strongly encourage students to “make up” the session in person, because so much of the learning we do is interactive and immersive.
We do not offer refunds for days that students miss.
What does the word "Orenda" mean?
Orenda is a Native American word that refers to the ability that all people have to change themselves and the world around them.
We believe that all people can improve themselves and also impact the world around them in a positive way.
This is the central philosophy that guides our program.
We want to help all students learn how to improve their lives, and learn how to use their talents to positively shape our world.
How do you create your curriculum?
Our workshops are designed by experienced educators, young professionals and subsequently vetted by actual students that give us feedback that allows us to improve our camp.
In addition, we use resources from best-selling books and university courses, such as Stanford's famous Design Your Life class.
What makes Orenda camps different from other summer camps?
Most other programs prepare students for high school and college.
We prepare students for life.
We also take student engagement more seriously than any program out there.
Our workshops are relatable to students; we often show multimedia, have students “coach” the facilitators to practice the implementation of concepts they just learned, and often break out into small groups so students can learn from each other and dialogue with a facilitator.
At the end of every workshop, we ask students to provide their honest feedback and immediately factor their responses into our lesson plan the very next workshop.
Our student / instructor ratio of 8:1 allows us to work deeply with students in a personal way. Our optional “office hours” give students access to even more direct time with us should they desire 1:1 advice or support.
Discount and Policies
Do you offer any discounts?
Outside of early-bird discounts, we do not offer other discounts.
This is because the tuition to our camp covers all future workshops we hold and camps at no additional cost.
In fact, several former students have chosen to continue attending Orenda after completing the program in order to solidify their learnings and surround themselves with other optimistic and growth-oriented students.
Are there any age limits for your camp?
Yes. Our camps are for teens 13 and older.
We have learned that students who are too young do not benefit from our camp because they find it difficult to engage with the material.
Olders students are welcome, however. We have worked with high school seniors and even college students.
Will there be food at the camp?
Yes. We offer snacks and water at our camp. Students should also bring their own snacks if they have dietary restrictions.
After Our Camp
Can my teen stay involved in Orenda after the camp is over?
Many teens love our camp so much that they want to stay involved and continue learning.
Teens can stay involved in the following ways: becoming a paid intern with us, volunteering to TA at future camps, participating in alumni gatherings we hold, and joining our digital online community where they can chat with other alumni.
What if I have another question that isn't covered here?
You can email Orenda Academy co-founder, Brandon, at firstname.lastname@example.org and he'll be touch shortly. We look forward to hearing from you!