At a quick glance, it may seem odd to be thinking about outdoor programming and summer camps in the middle of the polar vortex. But there’s still something amazing going on in our city.
The PEAK Initiative, formerly known as Lake Valley Camp, is a Milwaukee nonprofit organization serving more than 500 youth annually. PEAK stands for Potential, Experience, Access and Knowledge, and derived from a rebranding process in 2018 with youth and families to choose a name for the organization that best fit its offerings to the community.
The organization has been active in the community for the last 15 years, with the mission to bring out the limitless potential in young leaders through extraordinary experiences and nurturing relationships. Since its inception, the nonprofit has fostered exploration and discovery for Milwaukee’s young people through experience-based learning, specifically through attending a residential summer camp in western Wisconsin. More recently, the organization has focused intentionally on leadership through social-emotional learning in a variety of experience-based offerings, starting with participants as young as 7 and building on those skills and experiences until age 18.
The founders of the organization envisioned a camp that would give Milwaukee youth novel experiences paired with leadership opportunities. What the PEAK Initiative has evolved into, is an immersive lifelong leadership program that features programming during the school day, after-school, weekend, during school breaks and throughout the summer months.
The PEAK Initiative is one of Milwaukee’s hidden gems. Since its inception in 2002, thousands of Milwaukee youth have been served. The camp is still a core component for PEAK, but programs have evolved and grown into something more dynamic and comprehensive to best serve the community.
Today the PEAK Initiative is headquartered at Tiefenthaler Park, located at 2480 W. Cherry St. in the heart of Milwaukee. Year-round programming occurs at the park, in schools, out in the community, and at the organization’s original site, Lake Valley Camp in Boscobel, Wis. The organization uses research and experience informed best practices in its comprehensive programming.
“We create a path of exploration, discovery, and character development that spans into adulthood,” said Amanda Panciera, Director of Administration. “We continue to build programs with intention, listening to the needs of our youth, and make sure our offerings reflect their interests. The PEAK Initiative name captures all of this in its name.”
The PEAK Initiative works to serve youth in Milwaukee by gearing all programming to the needs and interests of the youth. Registration for the 2019 year as already began and is open to all Milwaukee Youth. For more information on the PEAK Initiative go to www.peakinitiative.org