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Deer Lake - Adventures

Deer Lake Warm Weather Programs

During the warmer months, Deer Lake offers many exciting opportunities for groups of all ages. Many of our programs can be run in a single day, but we also offer overnight outings throughout the year.


COPE: Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience

The main focus of COPE is to build a sense of leadership, group communication, cooperation and trust, as well as self-esteem, decision making and problem solving skills. Low and high ropes course events may be utilized, which, by design, stress these areas of group dynamics. The Deer Lake COPE Course offers a fun and challenging experience to all involved. Younger groups, or those with time restraints will find great challenges among our low elements, while some crews may have what it takes to tackle our high course.


COPE: High Ropes Course

One of the highlights of our COPE course is our high element course. After learning to trust their crewmates, participants are ready to challenge themselves on our elevated obstacle course. Proper belay techniques and safety are stressed as individuals move from element to element and the final challenge: the zip line.


COPE: Giant's Ladder

Alternatively, your crew may want to challenge itself on our Giant's Ladder. In this high element, two partners must make their way together up a ladder whose rungs grow further and further apart.


Rock Climbing and Rappelling

Rock climbing is one of our most popular activites. Deer Lake has two dedicated natural rock climbing sites, offering all levels of climbing experiences. We also have access to off-site climbing locations for those crews that want to further challenge themselves. While beginner crews learn the basics of belaying, knot tying and safety, more advanced crews may learn how to set up their own rock climbing sites with a focus on proper anchoring techniques and site considerations.


Canoeing, Kayaking and Rowing

Deer Lake offers kayaking and canoeing courses for groups of up to fourteen members. Basic water safety is reviewed and participants are familiarized with all of the equipment they will be using, as well as their boats. Paddle around our mile long lake and lagoon, or take a longer trip to nearby Foster's Pond or even down the Connecticut River. Our guides will teach you everything you need to know about boat-to-boat rescues, overnight trekking and weather concerns.


Mountain Biking
Learn proper riding techniques as you bike around our trails or plan a trip that will take you to rock climbing or paddling sites in the area. Saftey is always our main concern, and our mountain biking course will also help you better understand how your bicycle works and how to care for it at home or on the trail. Practice on rough terrain here in camp before setting out on bigger adventures.


If you plan on visiting for any extended amount of time in the summer, you'll probably want to include a trip to our waterfront in your plans. Our waterfront is staffed by BSA and Red Cross certified lifeguards and offers three levels of swimming areas. The buddy system and other saftey concerns are explained and utilized thoughout your visit.


Warm Weather | Cold Weather | All Weather | Multi-Day



Deer Lake Cold Weather Programs


Intro to Ice Climbing
Ice climbing is a challenging and rewarding activity that demands a variety of skills. Our ice climbing program will introduce students to all the equipment and techniques associated with this activity. Scheduled dates and locations for this course may change as conditions and availability of sites vary. All technical gear is provided.


Very few means of winter travel have stood the test of time as well as snowshoes. Come to Deer Lake for a day or weekend, or let us guide you on an excursion anywhere conditions permit. Topics to be covered include winter travel considerations, dress, cold weather emergencies and Leave No Trace practices.


Cross-Country Skiing
Deer Lake offers cross-country skiing lessons as weather permits.


Warm Weather | Cold Weather | All Weather | Multi-Day

All Weather Programs


Learn to use a compass effectively through this course. Participants will learn to orient a topographic map, identify landforms and follow bearings. After learning these skills, they will put them to use on one of our orienteering courses.



Adult Skill Development
Here is an opportunity for adults to advance their skills and become more effective leaders. Training sessions will be customized to fit the needs of the group. In addition to the program listings in this brochure, we can train you in Leave No Trace and basic camping skills or the Safe Swim Defense, Safety Afloat and Climb On Safely BSA programs.


Red Cross First Aid & CPR
Learn important lifesaving techniques and earn American Red Cross certifications in this course.


Red Cross Wilderness First Aid
With this two day American Red Cross certification course, you will learn how to react in backÐcountry emergencies. Topics include assessing your patient, managing the scene of an accident, stabilizing injuries and patient evacuation.


Camping and Hiking
Camp sites and king trails are open all year long at Deer Lake.


Warm Weather | Cold Weather | All Weather | Multi-Day

Multi-Day Programs


Our multiple-day programs incorporate the essentials needed for wilderness travel. The underlying themes of lightweight backpacking, camping, cooking, first aid, safety awareness and Leave No Trace are instilled into every Deer Lake program. Schedule one of these adventures for your entire crew or check out when we've scheduled our next trek.


"Get It Together" Team Development Program
Venture outside your comfort zone with COPE and rock climbing. Leadership, positive group interaction, problem solving and decision making learned on the low and high ropes courses are later applied while rock climbing and rappelling.


Rock Climbing Clinic
The goal of this clinic is to provide students with an in-depth rock climbing experience. Students will come away with knowledge of rock climbing techniques, top-rope anchor construction, and basic rescue techniques and first aid applicable to the sport. This clinic is ideal for those with prior experience and a desire to focus entirely on rock climbing.


Rock, Trek and Paddle
This course is a must for back country travel enthusiasts. Days of rock climbing, backpacking, canoeing and camping in secluded sites expose the students to a wealth of knowledge and experience, empowering them to become effective leaders.


Rock and Roll Adventure
Crews will ride a network of trails and dirt roads from rock climbing sites to campsites. Riding skills and techniques are demonstrated and practiced at the start of the trek, and an emphasis on safety is strictly addressed throughout the program.



Surf and Cycle
Cycling and kayaking in the Connecticut River Valley offer a variety of experiences. Gear preparation, lightweight travel and Leave No Trace are taught, as well as the skills required for safe kayaking and cycling. Crews will venture to remote sites in the Connecticut State Forest and along the Connecticut River.

Warm Weather | Cold Weather | All Weather | Multi-Day