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Camp Craze

Article Published: Apr. 5, 2012 | Modified: Apr. 5, 2012
Camp Craze

Summer’s still a season away, but parents are already making plans to keep the kids from going stir crazy after the school year concludes.

There’s a bevy of summer camps in the High Country, giving families plenty of options for mid-year fun. There’s a camp for just about every personality – wild childs, little actors and whiz kids.

Registration is now open for many of the following camps, so choose away!

Into the Wild

Turtle Island Preserve Summer Camp

Kids can learn and live on the homestead at Turtle Island Preserve’s boys and girls camps. Turtle Island Preserve is a 1,000-acre outdoor classroom where kids receive a basic living and environmental education experience. Campers are challenged to extend their physical, emotional and intellectual capabilities through activities like hiking, blacksmithing, fishing, gardening, food preservation and swimming. Campers live in rustic shelters and learn to make what they need for wilderness comfort. Turtle Island Preserve is located eight miles west of Boone. Camps are offered in one- and two-week sessions in June and July. Ages 7-18 may enroll. Cost is $700 to $1,400. For more information, visit or call (828) 265-2267.

Holston Presbytery Camps

Holston Presbytery Center, a Christian retreat in Banner Elk, provides three camp programs for different age groups.

Summer Camp is small group camping, in which campers and counselors live, play, plan, worship and grow in an environment of fun and fellowship. Kids ages 8-14 can enjoy kayaking, canoeing, climbing, disc golf, fishing, crafts and more over six weeks in June and July. The standard weekly rate is $415 per camper. Full day activities of whitewater rafting and caving are available to campers ages 11 and older for an additional fee.

High Adventure Camp is for ages 13-16. Sessions take place in June and July and include three days and two nights on Appalachian Trail, followed by rafting on the Nolichucky River and rock climbing. Cost is $510 per session.

Day Camp is for 6- to 12-year-olds. Monday through Friday sessions are available between June 11 and July 20, from 8:30 to 4:30 p.m. Campers will swim, paddle, make crafts, have Bible study, hike and study nature. The weekly fee is $130 and includes lunch and all supplies.

Holston Presbytery Camp is located at 6993 Hickory Nut Gap Road in Banner Elk. For more information, visit or call (828) 898-6611.


At EARTH Camp, children learn how to live close to the Earth through using a wide range of earth skills and outdoor activities that promote connection and awareness. The camp is a two-week program at Buffalo Cove Outdoor Education Center in Deep Gap. EARTH Camp, July 1-14 is for children ages 12 to 17. Tuition is $1,500. A less rigorous camp, Explorers Camp, is available to ages 8 to 12 from July 18-23. Tuition is $550. Buffalo Cove is located at 664 Buckskin Hollow in Deep Gap. For more information, check out or call (828) 964-1473.

Avery County 4-H Summer W.O.W.

Avery County 4-H Summer W.O.W, or “Wonderful Opportunities Waiting,” is a summer program for youth ages 5-18. Campers enjoy many different educational workshops and fun adventures while exploring Avery County people and places. The program begins in June and ends in August and conducts approximately 63 programs, two programs each day. For more information, contact (828) 733-8270.

WYN Summer Day Camp

WYN (Western Youth Network) uses outdoor adventures, experiential education, service learning projects and teambuilding to strengthen self-awareness, leadership and social skills within its campers. The camp is open Monday through Thursday, June 11 to July 19, for sixth- through ninth-graders. Priority enrollment is offered to children who have participated in WYN programs in the past. Transportation to and from camp will be available for some children. Registration opens April 16. WYN is located at 155 WYN Way in Boone. For more information, call (828) 264-5174.

4-H Camp

Watauga County 4-H plans to escort a group of 8- to 12-year-old campers to the Betsy-Jeff Penn 4-H center June 24 through 29. The center is located near Reidsville in Rockingham County. Campers will discover North Carolina’s natural resources through nature exploration, horseback riding, swimming, archery, climbing and more. The entire fee of $430 covers meals, lodging, T-shirt, program materials, camp store money and transportation to and from camp. For registration or more information, contact Watauga County 4-H at (828) 264-3061 or visit the 4-H and Youth link at Other summer camping opportunities with 4-H are available online at

Rec for the restless

Blowing Rock Parks & Rec Summer Day Camp

Rising first- through seventh-graders can enjoy an active summer day camp in Blowing Rock. Campers can expect to swim at the pool and play at Memorial Park and Davant Field. Other activities include arts and crafts, canoeing, hiking, fishing, mini-festivals and cookouts. Campers can sign up for the summer or by the week. Camp starts June 11 and ends July 28. Registration is open to residents and non-residents. For more information, visit or call (828) 295-5222.


Camp UREC, an Appalachian State University camp for rising first- through ninth-graders, focuses on outdoor recreation activities like sports and fitness. Camp UREC is a six-week program, beginning June 11 and ending July 27. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays. Tuition ranges from $200 to $250 per week of camp. For more information, visit or call (828) 262-2100.

Fun in the Sun

Watauga County Parks and Recreation is providing seven weeks of Fun in the Sun from June 11 through July 27. The day camp will be held at Hardin Park Elementary School, Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Campers must be between the ages of 5 and 13 and be a rising first- through seventh-grader in fall 2012. Children will be divided into age specific groups: Rugrats (ages 5-7), Jetsons (8-9), and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (10-13). Activities will vary per group, but all children can expect swim days, games, local field trips and playing outdoors.

The cost is $75 per week for county residents and $112.50 per week for non-residents. Participants may be registered for any combination or number of weeks as space allows. Parents can register their children at the Watauga County Parks and Recreation office, located at 231 Complex Drive in Boone. For more information, call (828) 264-9511.

Summer Adventure Camp

Watauga County Parks and Recreation’s Summer Adventure Camp is a season of discovery, adventure, art and activities for campers ages 5-13. The day camp operates June 11 through July 27, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., at Hardin Park School in Boone. Field trip opportunities include Lazy 5 Ranch, Altapass Apple Orchard, Blue Ridge Parkway, Bo’s Family Fun Center, Barter Theatre and Wildcat Lake. Field trips may cost extra. Campers get a swim day each week. The cost of camp is $85 per week. For more information, contact Watauga County Parks and Recreation at (828) 264-9511.

Camp Rainbow

Camp Rainbow, located in Foscoe, is a weekly summer camp for girls and boys ages 9 to 17 years old. Established by the N.C. Order of the Eastern Star in 1954, the camp promises crafts, field games, swimming, miniature golf, tennis, shuffleboard, basketball and its own certified “Outward Bound” ropes course. Past field trip locales have included Tweetsie Railroad, Grandfather Mountain and Horn in the West. There are five sessions of camp between June 17 and July 28. The camp costs $280 a week. For more information, call (828) 963-4680 or visit

Acting Up

Ensemble Stage Summer Theatre Camp

All the world’s a stage at Ensemble Stage Summer Theatre Camp. Children can hone their theatrical skills at two separate camps in Blowing Rock this summer. Theatrical Nature, for ages 5-8, is a one-week camp where kids discover the fun of theater through the use of games, creating props, sets and costumes, and using their imaginations to create characters. The campers will then use these new skills to create and explore a world similar to the wild world of Grandfather Mountain. The camp runs June 18-22, Monday through Friday, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the Blowing Rock School auditorium. The cost is $175 per student.

Ensemble’s second camp, Stories of the High Country, is geared toward ages 9-15 and is a two-week camp where campers will learn basic and advanced techniques in creating a play and characters for the stage, character relationships onstage, improvisational techniques, make-up applications, lighting, sound, set construction and more. Kids will also learn some of the stories and tall tales of the High Country. They will then write a play based on what they’ve discovered, adding their own twists and interpretations, and publicly perform the play at the end of the camp. The camp runs July 9 to 20, Monday through Friday each week, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Blowing Rock School auditorium. Cost is $350 per student. For more information, or to enroll in an Ensemble Stage summer camp, call (828) 414-1844 or visit

Dance Camp

Feet will flock to Watauga County Parks and Recreation’s Extreme Dance Camp, being held at Watauga High School from July 23 to 27. Kids 5 to 15 years old will learn cheering, clogging, jazz and hip-hop dance styles. Camp will take place 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. The cost is $100 per week. For more information, call Watauga County Parks and Recreation at (828) 264-3511.

Creative and Performing Arts Camp

Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk presents CAPA (Creative and Performing Arts Camp) June 18 to 22 and June 25 to 29 for grades K-8 and June 23 to 29 for high school students. The day camp lasts from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. Campers will explore drama, dance, music, costuming, storytelling, creative writing, design and visual arts. The week culminates in a performance showcase. The cost per camper is $250 per week for grades K-8 day campers, $400 for high school day campers and $750 for high school residential campers. Price includes lunch, a camp T-shirt, field trips and instruction. Multiple-child family discounts are offered. Deadline for applications is May 1. For more information, visit

Summer Arts Camp

The Watauga Arts Council Summer Arts Camp features workshops in storytelling, music, improvisation, the visual arts and more. Open to rising first- through rising 10th-graders, the day camp is to be held June 25 to 30 at the Watauga High School auditorium. The highlight of arts camp is a production of “The Secret Garden,” which children will rehearse throughout the week and then perform for the community on June 30.

Registration is $175 for the first child and $150 for each additional child in a family. Cost includes two tickets to the final production of “The Secret Garden” and a DVD of the performance. Scholarships are available for families in need. For more information or to register, visit or call (828) 264-1789.

TCVA Summer Art Workshops and Camps

Appalachian State University’s Turchin Center for the Visual Arts is presenting a summer full of workshops for children. From April to October, the Elkland Art Center will host Saturday workshops where kids make costumes, prepare their own Liberty Parade and transform trash to fashion. The Turchin Center will also hold color workshops in June for children ages 6-13 years old and Kids Art Camp in July for children ages 8-13 years old. All workshops will be held in the Turchin Center’s education wing in room 3200. The Turchin Center is located at 423 W. King St. in downtown Boone.

To learn more, visit or call (828) 262-3017.

Sensational summer schooling

ASU Forensic Camp

At ASU’s Forensic Science Camp, students in grades nine through 12 will get the opportunity to investigate a suspicious arson, detect and classify fingerprints, identify unknown drugs, compare trace evidence using a microscope, and detect gunshot residue just like professional investigators. The camp, held from July 11 to 14 and July 25 to 28, is designed for students with an interest in the laboratory analysis of crime scene evidence. Participants will be staying on-campus with adult supervision. Participants must have either their science teacher or counselor email ( a recommendation for them to attend camp. The cost is $484. For more information, call (828) 262-8718 or visit

Anatomy and Physiology Camp

Anatomy and Physiology Camp at ASU is a one-week program providing high school students with hands-on experience studying the major organ systems of the body, as well as discussion about diseases and injuries that affect these systems. Three, one-week sessions will be offered in June. Rising ninth- through 12th-graders are eligible for the camp. The residential camp cost is $1,100, and the day camp cost is $950. Registration deadline is June 1. For program information, contact the program director, Amy Sanders, by email at ( or by phone at (828) 262-2744.

Camp Invention

Billed as an interactive science camp for High Country kids, open to campers rising in first through sixth grades and runs from June 25 to 29 from 8:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Hosted by ASU, Camp Invention costs $235. A program of the National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation, the camp plans to instill creative problem-solving and critical thinking skills that will encourage children’s future success. For more information, check out or call (828) 262-2530.

Animal Studies Camp

Animal lovers and young scientists will love Animal Studies Camp, hosted by ASU June 18 to 22, from 1 to 5:15 p.m. The camp, planned for rising second- through fourth-graders, will give kids the opportunity to examine salamanders, lizards, snakes and turtles and study both live and preserved mammal specimens, research water quality and explore inhabitants of Kraut Creek. The session costs $150. For more information, visit or call (828) 262-2530.

Math Camp

Math Camp is a social happening for all rising sixth- through 12th-graders. The camp happens at Walker Hall on the ASU campus from July 9 to 12, from 6 to 9 p.m. There will be hands-on activities, graphing calculators, computers, competitions, group interaction, prizes, snacks, fire-side chats (without the fire) and magic tricks that introduce algebra word problems. Also, real-world problems will answer the question, “What is math good for?” Registration deadline is July 6. The cost is $120. For more information, visit or call Dr. Anita Kitchens at (828) 262-0181.

Mountain Pathways Montessori Summer Camp

Children will engage in hands-on learning activities that expose them to science, practical life skills and sensory explorations at Mountain Pathways Montessori School Summer Camp from June 4 to Aug. 10. Camp is every weekday from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., with an option for afternoon care until 5:30 p.m. Campers must be between 18 months and 10 years old. Three and younger care will be available for a June and/or July session, while Montessori Summer Sessions will be available by the week for 4- to 10-year-olds. Older kids can expect a different theme each week with Montessori-trained teachers leading hour-long lessons each morning. The rest of the day is filled with fun-filled activities. Day camp for older kids starts at $150 per week. Mountain Pathways is located at 453 Howards Creek Road in Boone. For more information, visit or call (828) 262-5787.

Just for Girls

Girl Scout Camp

Girls can practice leadership skills while making new friends and having fun at Girl Scout camp. Girl Scouts Peaks to Piedmont is welcoming all girls entering grades first through 12th to have fun at camp this summer. The camps offer traditional camp activities, including swimming, boating, nature exploration, low challenge course, hiking and campfire gatherings. Specialty sessions target the arts, dance, horseback riding, water activities, adventure sports, science and more.

Resident camps are being offered throughout June and July at three of the council’s camp properties: Camp Ginger Cascades (Lenoir) Camp Pisgah (Brevard) and Keyauwee Program Center (Sophia). Registrations are now being accepted for all girls, both member and non-member. The average cost for a camp session is $280. For more information or to register, call (800) 672-2148 or visit

Everything in between

Camp Sunshine

Camp Sunshine day camp is aimed at children between 5 and 12 years old who are grieving due to the death of a family member or other loved one. The camp is available to children and their family free of charge, but pre-registration is required. The camp is held in Ashe, Alleghany and Watauga counties and takes place in June and July. Campers will learn about their grief and participate in specific activities designed to facilitate healing. For more information on the camp in Watauga County, call (828) 365-3926. For information on all three camps, visit

Extreme SuperSummer Camp

Extreme SuperSummer Camp for Kids is offering a wide range of summer activities, with week-long programs revolving around science, art, theater, dance, gymnastics, cheerleading, basketball, martial arts, a pinewood derby and model airplanes. Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute’s continuing education division will offer the camp for kids ages 5 and older.

The courses will be held at CCC&TI’s Hudson campus from June 18 through the week of July 30. Each session covers two different topics, with students separated into different age groups to allow each program to be customized with appropriate activities. Hours are 8 a.m. to noon, Monday through Friday. Early drop-off times will be available from 7:30 to 8 a.m. Late pick-up times will be from noon to 12:30 p.m. Cost per session is $60 and includes early drop-off, late pick-up, two programs and a snack in between programs. Registration for SuperSummer Camp is ongoing. To register, or for more information, call (828) 726-2242.

Kids in Kitchen

Kids curious about the kitchen can learn the basics of cooking and baking at Kids in the Kitchen. Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute’s continuing education will be offering the series of courses to children ages 9 and older on the Hudson campus. The weeklong programs are Baking Magic (June 25 to 29), Candies and Chocolates (July 16 to 20) and Pizza!! Pizza!! (Aug. 6 to 10). Each day of camp begins at 1 p.m. and ends at 4 p.m. For more information or to register, call (828) 726-2242.

Did we miss one?

If so, please email all relevent information to ( for publication in a future issue.

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