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2023 program dates for the Eastern Sierra Youth Outdoor Program are June 20 to June 25, 2023.

The program is led and facilitated by experienced outdoor education professionals with many years of experience. Todd Vogel, Eastside Sports co–owner, has spent over 25 years working as a professional mountain guide and outdoor educator. All other staff are people with similar experience.


What to bring on a hike, rock climbing equipment use, movement skills and rappelling; packing a pack; map reading and navigation; care of self, group, equipment, and the environment; introduction to outdoor leadership; campsite selection and tent use, water purification, backcountry cooking, and sanitation.


If you are 13 to 18 years of age you are invited to apply to the program. 26 participants will be selected from all applicants with priority going to those who have never tried climbing or backpacking. The application period is open starting March 15 and closes when the program is full. There is a selection process, participants will be informed as they are chosen for the program.


This is not a program for adjudicated youth or youth with significant behavioral issues. It’s not a place to send your child so you can have the week off from looking after them. In short: poor behavior, kids who really don’t want to be there, or violating the rules of the program will not be tolerated and you will be asked to come pick up your child if we have an issue.


Day 1: The program will start at a group campground, site still to be arranged, up Bishop Creek, at 11 am. We will split into the cohort age groups and go over the equipment list and do a final pack check and issue any equipment that is still needed. We will go for an afternoon hike, and do some other activities to get to know each other. We’ll return for dinner and an evening program. (Participants will have meals, clean up, and other chores assigned each day).

Day 2: This is rock climbing day. We will head up to the climbing site at the end of the road at South Lake, and spend the day there learning how to climb, belay, and rappel.

Days 3 – 6: We will spend the morning of the third day going over the basics of backpacking: meal selection, packing a pack, pace, and navigation. We’ll hike 3 to 5 miles to our backcountry camp – each age cohort will have a separate itinerary – and get settled in. Days 4 and 5 we will spend part of the day doing various service projects and exploring the area. Day 6 return to the front country. The last two hours of the program will be spent cleaning and sorting any borrowed equipment and debriefing the program.


We have some needs for parents and other community members to help out:

  • -We will need help with transportation on the climbing day, to and from the campsite.
  • -We will also need help with transportation on the days we enter and exit the backcountry. This would involve picking us up at our campsite and taking us to the trailhead, and vice versa at the end.
  • -For those with advanced recreational climbing experience: working alongside our trained experts we’ll need some help carrying gear to and from the site and help supervising rope teams on the climbing day.


Complete the following forms and return to esyo e-mail or send or drop them off at Eastside Sports, attn: youth outdoors, 224 North Main St., Bishop, CA 93514. Questions? Call Todd at 760-920-0774.

Application form 

(This may be filled out by hand or on a computer. To fill it out on a computer you’ll probably have to download it and use a pdf viewer, rather than a browser.)

Equipment list 

On the equipment needed: we have much of it available to lend. Also, we have a small budget available to help participants round up what is needed. No one will be turned away because they cannot get the appropriate equipment. But please print the equipment list out and take a look and let us know ASAP what items you might need for the trip.