By Dylan Turner
This summer, rather than catching up on re-runs of early 2000s cartoons, make the most of the off-season by attending one of these wonderful camps offered throughout the region! Whether you’re new to nature, or an experienced scout, there’s most certainly something that will suit your fancy. Browse our online listing of summer camp programs for all ages ranging from five to 18 years old. The majority of the programs have an emphasis on environmental sciences and sustainability, with outdoor activities including hiking, wilderness skills, field science and more. Programs offer opportunities for exciting challenges and games, and an interesting, fun-filled summer! Camp costs vary and some scholarships are available.
Session: 1-8 weeks, Open 6/5-7/30
Location: Tallulah Falls, Ga.
Age Group: 7-14 years old (Divided into girls and boys camp)
|Participate in activities that encourage growth and development, including hiking, archery and arts and crafts. Cabins house 16 campers of various age groups.|
Life Adventure Center of the Bluegrass
Session: 5 day session (Open 6/9-8/1)
Location: Versailles, Ky.
Age Group: 7-14 years old
Cost: $375 total (including $150 deposit)
|Life Adventure Center is an educational nonprofit that offers campers various programs from environmental education, to wilderness living, to the challenge course. Campers are encouraged to engage, educate and empower each participant.|
Lexington Strong Camp
Session: Elementary Boys Camp, 6/6-7/1; Elementary Girls Camp, 6/13-6/24; Middle School Girls Camp, 7/11-7/22
Location: Lexington, Ky.
Age Group: Grades 1-8
Cost: Price is dependent upon means. Must first be nominated to enter program.
|The Lexington Strong Camp is a community-powered summer camp where girls explore the importance of and connections between having “strong selves,” “strong neighbors,” and a “strong home”. The program is designed to help girls (and boys) who face structural obstacles due to their circumstances.|
Session: 1 week, Open 6/13-6/17; 6.27-7/1; 7/4-7/8; 7/18-7/22
Location: Asheville, N.C.
Age Group: Separate weeks for rising 3rd-5th grade and rising 6th-8th grade (co-ed)
|RiverLink’s adventurous, fun and educational summer camp! Campers will learn about rivers, enjoy the outdoors, and have fun with arts and crafts! Register online or by calling Education Coordinator Lizzy.|
Green River Preserve
Session: 1 to 5 weeks, Open 6/12-8/12
Location: Cedar Mountain, N.C.
Age Group: 2nd-9th graders
|Green River Preserve provides opportunities for young children and teens to connect with nature in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina. Campers will spend time on hiking, campouts, afternoon activities and group learning projects. Through the activities, campers will learn healthy and rewarding ways to spend their free time.|
Session: 1-4 weeks, Open 6/11-8/14
Location: Pisgah Forest, N.C.
Age Group: 5th-9th grader
*financial aid available
|Join Eagle’s Nest Camp, located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains in N.C., with campers from all around the world. Campers are encouraged to grow simply with activities that promote self-expression, personal growth, skill building and fun. Camp activities are related to wilderness, arts and music, athletics, classes and other special activities.|
Camp Muddy Sneakers
Session: 5 Days, Open 6/13-8/5
Location: Brevard, N.C., Asheville, N.C., or Fletcher, N.C.
Age Group: 1st-3rd graders and 4th-7th graders
Cost:Nature Explorers (1st-3rd): $195
Trail Blazers (4th-7th): $295
|An exciting day camp located in western N.C. that seeks to educate campers on the natural world through hands-on exploration. Camp Muddy Sneakers offers an innovative day camp that seeks to build on recognized environmental education programming while offering fun and adventure.|
Western North Carolina Nature Center
Session: 1-week, 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m., Open 6/13-8/5
Location: Asheville, N.C.
Age Group: Early Childhood – 7th graders
|Each session has a different theme covering subjects such as plants and animals, social studies and the arts and sciences. Crafts and lessons in the classroom will encourage environmental awareness among children.|
Redesigning Our Future: National Environmental Summit
Date: July 12-16
Location: Salisbury, N.C.
Age Group: High School (14-17 years of age)
|At Redesigning Our Future: National Environmental Summit at Catawba College’s Center for the Environment, students will learn the skills needed to use their passions to create a sustainable world. Small group workshops will focus on creating a toolbox of leadership skills that can be used now and in the future.|
Session: 1 session, 7/6-7/20
Location: Across the U.S.
Age Group: 9th-11th graders
Cost: Free *recommendations required
|This advanced leadership academy is based out of a van that travels all throughout the United States. Participants will see anything from a West Virginia coal mine to New York City on their excursions. Participants must be from Watauga County, N.C., to apply and are selected by a committee after being recommended.|
Smoky Mountain Adventure Camp
Session: 1 week to 3 weeks, Open 7/3- 7/23
Location: Smoky Mountains, Tenn.
Ages 10-18 (co-ed)
|Take an adventure with Smoky Mountain Adventure Camp. Activities include backcountry hikes, caving, rock climbing, rafting, tubing, horseback riding and overnight backpacking expeditions at the foothills of East Tennessee.|
Tate’s Day Camp
Session: 4-5 days, Open 5/23- 7/29
Location: Knoxville, Tenn.
Age: 3-13 years old
Cost: $221- $296
|Tate’s Day Camp provides opportunities for campers to participate in a wide-range of outdoor activities from swimming, archery, hands-on nature studies, fishing and much more!|
Session: One-night sleepover, and 4 to 5 days, Open 5/31-8/4
Location: Duck River, Tenn.
Age Group: 5-13 years old
Cost: $100-$315, Discount may apply.
|Camp Idyllwild provides opportunities for campers to spend time outside in an unstructured way and use their imaginations to discover their natural environment. Campers will build forts, explore creeks, hike, make arts and crafts, and learn about organic gardening. Camp Idyllwild’s child-centered camp philosophy allows campers to make choices throughout the day and encourages independent thinking and decision-making, and teaches children how to prioritize and experience the results of their choices.|
|Tennessee Outdoors Youth Summit
Location: Montgomery County Shooting Complex near Clarksville, Tenn.
Age Group: High School
|The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency aims to teach the next generation about the outdoors and natural resource management with activities such as boating, hunting, trapping, archery, ATV safety, photography, marksmanship, plant identification, forestry, camping, water quality, trap shooting, skeet shooting, wildlife identification, and several classes focusing on wildlife and fish biology.|
Session: 2-3 weeks, Open 6/19-8/13
Location: Rockbridge County, Va.
Age Group: 7-15 years old
Cost: $890 *financial aid available
|Nature Camp offers educational and recreational programs. Founded by Lillian Schilling of Afton, Va., in 1942, this camp educates campers on the importance of conserving and protecting the environment.|
Wilderness Adventure at Eagle Landing
Session: 1-4 weeks, Open 6/19-8/13
Location: New Castle, Va.
Age Group: 8-18 years old
Cost: $945- $2750
|Wilderness Adventure at Eagle Landing lies on 500 acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains, just 35 miles northwest of Roanoke, Va. Campers can explore the outdoors learn about wildlife. Provided programs are designed to challenge children both physically and mentally, but the ultimate goal is the fun, friendship and camaraderie that can only be found around a campfire, sleeping under the stars.|
Burgundy Center for Wildlife Studies
Session: 3-14 days, Open 6/26-8/27
Location: Capon Bridge, W.Va.
Age Group: Ages 8-21+
Cost: $235- $1595
|Located in a remote valley of the West Virginian Appalachians, the Burgundy Center offers campers great ways to explore nature. Small camp size fosters camaraderie, and activities include gardening, nature-based workshops, games and hikes.|
West Virginia State Conservation Camp
Session: One six-day session, 6/13-6/18
Location: Webster County, W.Va.
|WV State Conservation Camp is located on the edge of Monongahela National Forest in the towering mountains of southern Webster County, W.Va. Campers can enjoy an action-packed week filled with interactive workshops, group assemblies, recreation opportunities, evening campfires and social events.|
Junior Conservation Camp
Session: 1 week, 6/20-6/24
Location: Ripley, W.Va.
Age Group: 11-14
|The camp offers a wide variety of classes that will enhance the participant’s knowledge of the environment and enable them to become good stewards of our natural resources. Classes include forestry, wildlife, archery, water study, recycling, hunter education, fishing, and many others. Sports activities include basketball, kickball, volleyball, and more.|
Camp Greenbrier for Boys
Session: 3-6 weeks, Open 6/26-8/6
Location: Alderson, W.Va.
Age Group: 7-18 years old (boys only)
|Camp Greenbrier For Boys, found in 1898, is located on the banks of the Greenbrier River in Alderson, West Virginia. Operated by the same family for three generations, Camp Greenbrier is a safe haven where boys have fun, gain self-confidence, and make lifelong friends.|
Camp Rim Rock for Girls
Session: 1-4 weeks, Open 6/26-8/13
Location: Yellow Spring, W.Va.
Age Group: 6-16 years old (girls only)
|Operating for over sixty years and regarded by campers and camp professionals as one of the finest camps for girls, Camp Rim Rock Camp for Girls offers a well-rounded program. Activities include performing arts, arts and crafts, horseback riding, various sports and more.|
Wind Dance Adventure Camps
Session: 1-4 weeks, Open 6/26-8/6
Location: Berkeley Springs, W.Va.
Age Group: Ages 8-High School
Cost: $600 for each camp, plus a $25 registration fee, and a $25 administration fee.
|Wind Dance Adventure Camps offer many different activities for campers including farming, participating in conservation service projects, earth games, wilderness exploration and more!|
Ted Harriman Forest Industries Camp
Location: Upshur and Randolph Counties, W.Va.
Age Group: Ages 16-20
Campers experience five full days of rigorous forestry training including:
Chain Saw Safety; Cruising Timber; Fire Protection; Forest Insects & Diseases; Forest Management Techniques & Plans; Leaf Collecting; Monitoring Water Quality; Studying Forest Ecosystems; Tree Identification; Wilderness Areas & Forest Recreation. Evening recreational activities include softball, volleyball and camp meetings.
The Mountain Adventures Summer Camp
Location: Spruce Knob, W. Va.
Age Group: Grades 6-12
Cost: $100 in state, $600 out of state. ($100 deposit)
|During each week the participants will take an overnight trip, either canoeing on the South Branch of the Potomac or backpacking through the national forest. They’ll learn technical skills such as how to use a paddle, load a boat, pack and carry a backpack, and cook and prepare their own meals. Although our “big” adventure changes every week, each camper will have the opportunity to hike to the peak of Spruce Knob (the highest peak in West Virginia), enjoy refreshing swimming holes, participate in a Murder Mystery Dinner, stargaze and relax.|