True Colors

We give 14- to 18-year-olds the tools to make good choices

True Colors


In our True Colors residential workshop, teens age 14 to 18 discover inner resources they never knew they had and learn to apply these to making choices now, even in the face of peer pressure, to create the future they truly want.

Teens join educator and wilderness adventure program facilitator Tom Shelstad for nearly a week at southern Oregon’s Camp Latgawa. They have a great time while making friends more quickly and easily than they would have believed possible. They learn:

  • To set goals for themselves and to solve problems together
  • The power of integrity and accountability
  • The fun of spontaneity and openness
  • The rewards of clear communication
  • How to make healthy choices
  • How to talk so adults listen
  • How parents think, and why they do what they do

In True Colors, teens take giant steps on the path toward adulthood. They learn how to be authentic and self-aware. They practice skills of self-compassion and reflection as they make new connections with others. They leave excited to be actively engaged in their lives, putting their new skills to work, deepening friendships, achieving goals, and becoming responsible leaders of their lives.

True Colors Details:

Prerequisite: Must be 14-18 years old at time of workshop
Schedule: 5.5 days. See our calendar.
Language: English
Format: In person
Cost: $175 to $1,495 (including food and lodging).  Learn about payment options.

To register, click here.
For more details:
 Call 541-494-4796 or email

Are you thinking of enrolling your teen in True Colors? Here are answers to some questions you may have:


When does True Colors take place? The week begins with registration from 5 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Monday and continues until 6 p.m. Saturday.

Where does True Colors take place? True Colors will be at southern Oregon’s Camp Latgawa, which is about 45 minutes east of Medford off Highway 140 at 13250 South Fork Little Butte Creek Road

Here are some photos of Camp Latgawa:

What can my teen expect from this experience? As a participant in True Colors, they can expect play, fun, personal growth, and making friends who they’ll feel like you have known for years. This program is a mixture of inside and outside, speaking and listening, movement and stillness, growth and connection, and presence and invitations. It is a dynamic experience that includes laughter, connection, growth, games, a slice of adventure, and support for your teen as they become inspired.  

Who is leading True Colors? Facilitator Tom Shelstad is a wilderness educator from Ashland who operates Inner Guide Expeditions, a wilderness adventure program for teens. He will be joined by at least six adult volunteers in working with True Colors participants. 

Where will my teen stay? Participants will stay in eight-person heated cabins with bathrooms and showers a short walk away from cabins or in a dorm-style building with four-person rooms and bathrooms across the hall. All accommodations will have up to six campers and two adults. Mattresses are included on the bunk beds.

What about food? Camp Latgawa offers three meals a day and can provide substitutions and meet dietary requirements such as gluten-free and vegetarian. Please let us know about dietary needs when you register. 

How would I know whether my child is ready for this? The skills taught at True Colors are beneficial for all teens ages 14-18.

Which specific skills will teens gain in this workshop? Teens will learn:

  • To effectively communicate with peers
  • To talk so adults listen
  • To make healthy choices
  • To set goals for themselves and solve bigger problems together
  • The power of integrity and accountability

What should my teen bring? We recommend the following: 

  • Sleeping bag and pillow, toiletries, alarm clock, and towel 
  • Required medication. Medication is checked in at the start of the session and distributed by a designated adult volunteer. 
  • Comfortable shoes for hiking and flip-flops for the shower 
  • Clothes for different temperatures. Days can be warm, with chilly nights and mornings. Bring a swimsuit if you want to swim.  
  • Bug spray, sunscreen, reusable water bottle, and a flashlight with spare batteries
  • A threering binder with blank pages to journal and a pen  
  • Optional: portable musical instruments
  • A desire to learn and make new friends

Can my teen use their cell phone during True Colors? Please don’t have your teen bring their phone or other electronics. In this busy life full of screens and distractions, this program provides a chance to put down those distractions and focus on where we are, what we are doing, and the people we are with. This approach supports a safe space for participants.  

What if I need to talk to my teen during True Colors? We will provide a direct number for parents to call in an emergency.  

How do I get my teen to the camp? Does someone need to bring them, or can they drive themselves? True Colors includes opening and closing ceremonies that involve loved ones, so we recommend a family member drop off and pick up at Camp Latgawa. We provide detailed directions with the welcome packet. 

How is gender handled at True Colors? We will ask about your teen’s gender identity at registration and will group them with others with the same gender identity. Bathrooms at Camp Latgawa are gender inclusive. 

Is True Colors accessible to people who don’t speak English? This program is offered in English. We also can accommodate Spanish speakers with advance notice. If they speak another language and would like to attend, let us know. 

How does The Learning Well ensure my teen stays safe during True Colors? We set clear boundaries of where teens are expected to be at all times. Teens will be supervised and joined at True Colors by a team of adults who are committed to their experience and safety. In addition: 

  • We follow all Camp Latgawa policies. 
  • We ask that participants are always in groups of at least three. 
  • Our facilitator and volunteers undergo background checks.  
  • We require a lifeguard to be on duty whenever participants are swimming.  
  • Facilitator Tom Shelstad is a certified Wilderness First Responder, trained to provide aid during crisis. He is certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the use of an automated external defibrillator (a device that helps re-establish heart rhythms). Camp Latgawa’s director and support staff are CPR-certified as well. 

What is the size of the group? A typical group size is 30 – 40 teens. We have space for a maximum of 40 teens.

Does the tuition include all expenses my child would have? It covers the cost of the workshop, tent, and meals. Teens are welcome to bring extra snacks if they choose.

What does a workshop day look like? Any traditional camp elements? True Colors is a series of learning sessions with fun communication and team-building activities mixed in. Teens have a chance to get up and be physical both during and outside of workshop sessions. They have adult-supervised free time each of the five evenings they are at True Colors. That’s when great conversations often develop.

What physical or behavioral abilities are necessary to participate in True Colors? We can accommodate most teens at True Colors. If they want to attend and have questions about physical or behavioral accommodations, please contact us at 541-494-4828 or 

Where can I get answers to other questions? Please contact us at 541-494-4828 or 


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