Program & Philosophy | High Standards Vault | Slovenski Camps

About High Standards Vault Camp

Vaulters of all levels will improve their technique through our rigorous curriculum of drills, coaching, & video review.

At High Standards Vault Camp, campers will engage in thrilling activities offered only at High Standards Vault Camp. High Standards Vault Camp will emphasize 1) pole vault fundamentals, 2) competition pole vault skills, and 3) strength & conditioning for vaulters. Campers will have extensive vault sessions on the runway every morning and afternoon with low vaulter-to-coach ratios. Vaulting groups are limited to 12 or fewer vaulters. Campers will have the opportunity to watch their vaulting on videotape throughout the week. Camp coaches will help vaulters break bad habits, and improve technique.

The High Standards Vault Camp staff believes that a successful vaulting career begins by learning and repeating drills that teach vaulters the basics of advanced vaulting technique. After the basic drills are covered, Coach Dave will show athletes how to progress from fundamentals to advanced technique which includes acceleration at the takeoff, high plants, dynamic swing-ups, and bar clearances that maximize height.

Coach Dave Slovenski has been instructing high school vaulters for over ten years. Before coaching, Dave was a national high school champion in the vault jumping 16-9 indoors, and held the Ivy League indoor record in the vault while competing for Princeton.

Camp Philosophy

Slovenski Camps are guided by the Liberal Arts traditions of Western Civilization. We believe in helping campers learn what we call the Liberal Arts for Children: swimming, dodgeball, capture the flag, singing, dancing, paddling, sailing, manners, thoughtfulness, reading classics, and cleaning up after ourselves. Summer camp should be a place free from the distraction of glowing screens. Campers will learn to have fun the way their parents and grandparents did — playing outside. They will engage in unique, exciting activities that teach real-life skills such as mental toughness, how to work alone and in teams, how to quickly adapt to new rules and conditions, and how to defend yourself with Nerf weapons.

In the fun of competition campers will create new friendships. Our carefully selected staff is trained to inspire fair play, good sportsmanship, bravery, and exercise.

A day at camp includes games, education, and exposure to the arts including classic literature, music, dance, and poetry. Campers hear and often learn to memorize poems such as “No Man is an Island” by John Donne, “If” by Rudyard Kipling, “The Happy Warrior” by William Wordsworth, and “The Walrus and the Carpenter” by Lewis Carroll. Camp also includes free time periods similar to the freedom children have during school recess or while playing with friends in the neighborhood.

Each evening concludes with a campfire that features contests, singing, dancing, recognition, stories, and encouragement for good standards of self-reliance and friendship that we remember from our Protestant Sunday school classes. “Thoughts for the Day" are read aloud at campfires each night, and include wisdom of the ages such as George Washington's "It is better to be alone than in bad company", and "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" from Jesus in the Book of St. Matthew.

Slovenski camps road sign at the entrance

Who We Are

The Slovenski Family has been in the summer camp business since 1987: "We love summer camp culture. We are excited to show your family what an incredible experience your children can have at our camp."

Owner Peter Slovenski or "Coach" graduated from Dartmouth College in 1979 with a B.A. in English. He spent 34 years working as a college track coach. He has been running educational, fun, and safe camps for over 30 years.

Dugan Slovenski, owner and 'Camp Mom', graduated from Stanford University in 1980. She is the mother of three boys. She is "outnumbered, but not outsmarted". Most of her adult life she worked as a full-time Mom, and also taught math and SAT Prep.

, director, is a graduate of Princeton University where he broke the Ivy League Pole Vault record and ran the school dodgeball tournament. Dave coached track & field at RPI before teaching math, physics, and robotics at Choate Rosemary Hall and then Franklin Road Academy. When he’s not at camp, Dave lives in Nashville, TN with his wife Ieva and son Henry. Henry was born right in a camp cabin in September of 2019.

, director, graduated from Princeton University where he majored in Mechanical Engineering and was an Ivy League scorer in the Pentathlon and Decathlon. He lives in Nashville, TN with his wife Courtney, and their children, Sawyer, Daisy, and Dodger. He is the owner and CEO of “Furniture by Steve”. Steve earned a master’s degree in Education from Vanderbilt University.

Mike Slovenski, Assistant Director, is a 2015 graduate of Harvard University. Mike majored in Classics, and was a pole vaulter on the Harvard track team. He received a master’s degree in Information Technology from the University of Texas in 2020.

Paul Slovenski, Head of Sailing and Wind-Surfing, is a graduate of Bates College. He is the father of three girls who were long-time campers and counselors. Paul is a former athletic director at Bay View Glenn School in Toronto. Paul has years of experience supervising waterfront activities to ensure maximum safety.

Jim Brennan, Director of External Affairs, is a graduate of Union College. He was a camper and counselor for 10 years at Camp Hawthorne, which preceded Slovenski Camps at our location on Panther Pond. Jim coordinates alumni activities, lives on the lake, and can often be found teaching sailing at the camp.