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Summer Adventures

Article Published: May. 5, 2011 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
Summer Adventures

Summer camps are a great way to enjoy the outdoors.

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Summer camps are a great way to enjoy the outdoors, get out of the house and take advantage of the break between school years. Many opportunities exist in the High Country for a host of summer-camp-style activities.

Outdoor Adventures

Fun in the Sun 2011

The recreation-based day camp starts June 13 and runs for 6 weeks. Campers get a swim day each week and a field trip. $75 per week. Camper must be between the ages of 5 and 13 and be a rising first- through seventh-grader in the fall of 2011. For more information, contact Watauga County Parks and Recreation at (828) 264-9511.

Turtle Island Preserve Summer Camp:

Teach your kids about Homestead Living! Turtle Island Preserve was founded in 1987 by naturalist Eustace Conway and consists of 1,000 acres of southern Appalachian wilderness. The non-electrical Appalachian Farmstead operates as if it were 100 years ago, by hunting, growing food and raising livestock. Turtle Island Preserve, located 8 miles east of Boone, hosts summer youth camps and family camps dealing with traditional living and a close relationship to the natural world.
Camps come in one and two week sessions. For more information, visit or call (828) 265-2267.

Holston Presbytery Summer Camp

Holston Presbytery Center offers a variety of camps for kids ages 8 through 13, including Action and Adventure, River Rats, High Country Explorers and Mountaineers. The five-day sessions costs start at $385. Billed as a perfect "first camp" experience, Discover, the two-day camp (May 13-15) allows campers to spend two nights with a parent discovering Holston Camp. Campers will enjoy arts and crafts, short hikes, paddling and a campfire. The camp costs $90 per person. For more information, visit or call (828) 898-6611.

Holston Presbytery Day Camp

A day camp for 8- to 13-year-olds happens in one-week sessions between June 13 and July 15 in Banner Elk from 8:30 to 4:30 p.m. Campers will swim, hike and canoe. Other activities include arts and crafts, nature study and bible study. The camp costs $100 per week, with $25 to pre-register. Registration can be sent in through mail or done online. For more information, visit or call (828) 898-6611.

Blowing Rock Parks & Rec Summer Day Camp

Campers from kindergarten to sixth grade can enjoy day camp in Blowing Rock this summer. Campers can expect to swim at the pool and play at Memorial Park and Davant Field. Local field trips are also scheduled to take advantage of area recreational opportunities. The fun starts June 13 and ends Aug. 5, but kids can sign up by the week. For more information, visit or call (828) 295-5222.

EARTH Camp 2010

Wilderness Adventure Program: Buffalo Cove, a nonprofit organization in Deep Gap dedicated to "meaningful experiences with the earth and community," promises to teach through a combination of fun and unique outdoor living experiences. Campers will experience traditional earth skills, campcraft, woodslore, woodworking, archery, backpacking, low impact camping and river canoeing. Buffalo Cove boasts of a kitchen serving home cooked, healthy, family-style meals created from mostly organic and local foods. The camp runs in one- and two-week sessions for campers ages 8-17. Session I for ages 12-17 runs July 3-16 and costs $1,400. Session II for campers ages 9-12 runs July 11-16 and costs $500. For more information, check out or call (828) 964-1473.

Valle Crucis Summer Day Camp

Organizers say the primary purpose of this day camp is fun and safety. Campers should learn new physical and social skills, companionship and individual growth and development. Activities include ceramics, horseback riding, hiking, arts and crafts, swimming, fishing and football. Campers can enjoy one week sessions from June 21 through July 30 at a cost of $225 per week. The experience happens at Valle Crucis Farm. For more information, call (828) 963-5399 or visit

W.O.W. (Wonderful Opportunities Waiting)

Presented by the Avery County 4-H, the summer program offers youth, ages 5-18, the opportunity to 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 63 programs, two programs each day. For more information, contact (828) 733-8270.

Camp UREC:

This Appalachian State University camp focuses on outdoor recreation activities like sports and fitness and is open to rising first- through rising eighth-graders. The day camp is from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays. More information is available on the camp's website,

WYN Summer Day Camps

WYN (Western Youth Network) plans to use outdoor adventures, experiential education, service learning projects and team building to strengthen self-awareness, leadership and social skills within its campers. The camp happens Monday through Thursdays, June 13 to July 21 for sixth- through ninth-graders. For more information, call (828) 264-5174.

Summer Adventure Camp

Billed as a "season of discovery, adventure, art and activities," the program is open to campers ages 5-13. The day camp operates June through July, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Hardin Park School for a cost of $85 per week. Field trip opportunities include Blowing Rock Park, SciWorks, Tweetsie Railroad, Bo's Family Fun Center, the Barter Theatre, a Hickory Crawdads game, Wildcat Lake and Valle Crucis Park. Field trips may cost extra. Campers get a swim day each week. Registration is open for campers. For more information, contact Watauga County Parks and Recreation at (828) 264-9511.

Camp Rainbow

This weekly camp is sponsored by the Eastern Star Chapters of North Carolina is located in Foscoe. Established in 1954, the camp promises crafts, field games, swimming, miniature golf, tennis, shuffleboard, basketball and its own certified "Outward Bound" ropes course. Field trip locales include Tweetsie Railroad, Grandfather Mountain and Horn in the West. The camp costs $280 a week. For more information, call (828) 963-4680 or visit

4-H Camp

Watauga County 4-H plans to escort a group of 8- to 14-year-old campers to the Betsy-Jeff Penn 4-H center June 26 through July 1. The center is located near Greensboro in Rockingham County. Spots can be reserved with a $100 deposit. The rest of the fee ($280) must be paid by June 20. To register, 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

Additionally, Watauga 4-H offers a variety of workshops in June and July designed to offer fun and educational activities and introduce kids ages 5 to 12 to 4-H topics. Registration opens in May. For a list of dates and topics, contact the Watauga County 4-H office at (828) 264-3061.

Performing and Visual Arts

Ensemble Stage Summer Theatre Camp

This summer, Blowing Rock's Ensemble Stage offers two camps to explore the world of theater in fun ways. Discovering Theatre, for ages 5-8, is a one-week camp where kids discover the fun of theater through fairy tales, games, prop-making, stage makeup, creating costumes and imagination to create a short play that'll be performed at the end of the week. The camp runs July 11-15, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the Blowing Rock School auditorium. The cost is $175 per student (payment plans are available).

Ensemble's second camp, Bringing History to Life with Theatre, is geared toward ages 9-15 and is a two-week camp where kids learn basic and advanced techniques in creating a character for the stage. Campers will also learn about High Country history from local historians, and then write their own play based on their learnings to be presented at the end of camp. The camp runs June 20 to July 1, Monday through Friday each week, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Blowing Rock School auditorium. Cost is $325 per student. To register, contact Ensemble Stage at (828) 919-6196, e-mail ( or visit

Dance Camp

Get ready to move! Watauga County Parks and Recreation is hosting a one-week dance camp that promises to get your kids moving to the music. It will be held July 11-15, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. The camp is held at Watauga High School and will cost $100 a week for ages 5 to 15. For more information, call Watauga County Parks and Recreation at (828) 264-3511.


Lees-McRae College presents CAPA (Creative and Performing Arts Camp) June 20-24 and June 27 to July 1. The day camp lasts from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and this year's theme is "Broadway's Best." Campers will explore drama, dance, music, costuming, storytelling, creative writing, design and visual arts. Educational opportunities are promised for all ages, kindergarten through 12th grade. The week culminates in a performance showcase. The cost per camper is $220 per week. That price includes lunch, a camp T-shirt, field trips and instruction. Multiple-child family discounts are offered. For more information, visit

Summer Arts Camp

Presented by the Watauga Arts Council, this summer's Arts Camp features the Missoula Children's Theatre and takes place June 20-25. This year's camp happens at the new Watauga High School Auditorium and is open to rising first- through 10th-graders. The camp features workshops in storytelling, music, improvisation, the visual arts and more, but the highlight is a production of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs." Children will rehearse throughout the week and perform the show for the community on Saturday, June 25. Registration is $175. For more information, visit or call the arts council at (828) 264-1789.

Turchin Center Workshops

Appalachian State University's Turchin Center for the Visual Arts and An Appalachian Summer Festival promise to present a summer season of arts and fun for kids, teens and adults of all interests and skill levels. Workshops exploring puppet making and superheroes are available for kids ranging in age from 6-12 years old. Older teens and adults can participate in workshops on drawing, painting, creating heirloom jewelry, paper-making and more. Workshops are offered during the month of July and include three-day camps/workshops for children 6-12 and 12 workshops for older teens and adults, including a teacher accreditation workshop for art educators. To learn more, visit or call (828) 262-3017.

Out-of-School Academic Experiences

ASU Forensic Camp

Would-be investigators will learn exactly what happens to evidence collected from real crime scenes at this camp. Kids will learn the differences between the facts and fiction of shows like "CSI" as they investigate a suspicious arson, detect and classify fingerprints, identify unknown drugs, compare trace evidence using a microscope and detect gunshot residue. To attend the camp, participants must have either their science teacher or counselor e-mail a recommendation to ( Regular registration costs $484. The camp is open to students in grades 9 through 12. For more information, call (828) 262-8718 or visit

Pizza Adventure Week

Campers, ages 6-10 years old, will explore local sources of food as they collect ingredients for pizza. Campers will see a cheese factory, a grain mill and more as they learn about what it takes to make a slice. The camp is from June 20-23, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. To register, contact 4-H at (828) 264-3061 or visit

Anatomy and Physiology Camp

Aimed at ninth- to 12th-grade college-bound students, especially kids interested in the human body and hoping for careers in scientific fields like medicine, forensics, nutrition and exercise science, this camp engages participants in a variety of in-depth, hands-on experiments, labs and assessments. Activities include cow and sheep organ dissections and blood type analysis. Kids will even get to eat ice cream for breakfast in order to produce a "glucose load challenge" to help them understand the pancreas, glucose absorption and diabetes. The camp will be held on the Appalachian State University campus. Camp sessions, with current discount, cost $1,425. The camp comes in multiple weeklong sessions in June and July. For specific date information and to register, visit

Camp Invention

Billed as an interactive science camp for High Country kids, it's open to campers in first through sixth grades and runs from June 27 to July 1. Hosted by ASU, Camp Invention costs $235, but scholarships are available. A program of the National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation, the camp plans to instill creative problemsolving and critical thinking skills that will encourage children's future success. For more information, check out or call (828) 262-2530.

Animal Studies Camp

Hosted by ASU, this camp comes in two sessions. The first session (grades K-3) happens June 20-24. The second session (grades 3-5) happens July 25-29. Sessions cost $150. The camp is aimed at animal lovers and young scientists. Kids will have the opportunity to examine salamanders, lizards, snakes and turtles and will also study both live and preserved mammal specimens, research water quality and explore inhabitants of Kraut Creek. For more information, visit or call (828) 262-2530.

Math Camp

Its website promises if you love or hate math, that this camp is for you. Offered to rising sixth- through 12th-graders, Math Camp happens at Walker Hall at Appalachian State University from June 27-30. Similar to a sports camp, Math Camp has teams and each team has an ASU student as its coach. Kids are treated to hands-on activities including graphing calculators, math competitions, computers and magic tricks. The camp costs $120 per student and takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. each night. Twelve campers will be invited to participate in an Extended Math Camp from 1 to 5 p.m. at no charge. For more information, visit or call Dr. Anita Kitchens at (828) 262-0181.

Mountain Pathways Montessori School Summer Camp

Mountain Pathways promises to provide an educational and fun alternative to regular summer camp from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily with an option for after care until 5:30 p.m. Campers must be between 18 months and 10 years old. Three and under care will be available for a June and/or July session, while Montessori Summer Sessions will be available by the week for 4-10 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 in the sun." For more information, visit and click the link to Summer Sessions. Day camp for older kids starts at $150 per week.

Miscellaneous Summer Fun

Camp Sunshine

Presented by High Country Hospice, this 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 preregistration 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 Jennifer Johnson at (828) 365-3926. For information on all three camps, visit

Camp Broadstone

Established in 1975, Camp Broadstone offers a specialized summer camp for academically gifted youth. Appalachian State University's year round outdoor adventure and retreat center is located on 55 acres of woods and meadows in Valle Crucis and has programs designed to foster children three ways: Intellectually, socially and physically. One- and two-week sessions are available.

The enrichment program offers fourth- through ninth-graders the chance to take enrichment classes in science, arts, cultural and environmental studies as well as participate in high ropes, climbing, canoeing, rafting, hiking and camping trips.

A day camp program is offered for grades three to five. For more information, visit or call (828) 963-4640.


For athletic camp opportunities, contact Watauga Parks and Recreation at (828) 264-9523 and Appalachian State University at (828) 262-8718, or visit and, respectively.

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