The Camps of Summer

By Jesse Campbell & Frank Ruggiero (

Article Published: Apr. 24 | Modified: Apr. 24
The Camps of Summer

In the High Country, 'summer camp' is an all-encompassing term that includes a range of activities as diverse as the area’s flora and fauna.

Photo submitted

Typically, the word, “camp,” conjures quintessential images of starry nights by a warm fire or summer expeditions by a picturesque mountain lake with your closest friends.

In the High Country, “summer camp” is an all-encompassing term that includes a range of activities as diverse as the area’s flora and fauna.

As such, The Mountain Times has compiled a list of summer camp offerings to energize, educate and entertain children of all ages.

Elkland Art Center
Elkland Art Center Summer Camp in Todd will be held from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. June 24 to 27. The camp is geared for children between ages 6 and 12. The cost is $140 for the first child in a family and $120 for each additional member. Students will make items inspired by this year’s Liberty Parade theme, “Fanning the Flames.” Students will also make their own props and puppets. To register, email Lexie Danner at ( , or call Elkland Art Center at (336) 877-5016.
Go play in the dirt

Dirt Camp

Mary’s Montessori School Dirt Camp serves ages 2 to 9. Dirt Camp features a wide array of activities to give children a “backyard” experience with a community of children and dirt, water, art supplies, games and a lot of freedom to explore. Camp supervisors supplement this fun with speakers from the community, including farmers, artists, firefighters, park rangers and teachers. Children can attend in two-, three- or five-day increments. Single or multiple weeks of registration may be selected. Camp runs from June 16 to Aug. 8, with the exception of the week of July 4.

Registration for camp includes a one-time $25 fee. For additional family members, there is a $12 per week charge. For more information, send an email to ( , or visit

You Run, Girl!

Dust off your running shoes or dig them out of your closet packed full of winter clothes, because Girls on the Run of the High Country will be offering a two-week physical activity summer camp from July 12 to 25, with a family 5K scheduled for July 26.

In addition to lessons, girls will choose from a list of different experiential options, including golf, tennis, hiking, climbing, nutritional cooking and cross-fit. The cost is $300 for two weeks. Camp will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Rising fourth- through sixth-graders are welcome to register at Registration is limited to 10 girls. For more information, email Mary Sheryl Horine at (


Camp BRAHM will be held over the course of three sessions this summer, all running from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Session One runs June 16 to 18, Session Two will be held July 14 to 16, and Session Three will occur July 28 to 30.

Campers will explore the visual arts in the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum’s Education Center and will experiment with painting, printmaking and three-dimensional art. Museum galleries, tours, musical activities, games and lessons about traditional Appalachian culture will augment this part of camp. Registration cost includes all materials and a T-shirt. Campers should bring their lunch, although drinks will be provided. All camps are targeted for ages 6 to 10.

“Brilliant at BRAHM” will be held June 30 to July 3, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. each day. This all-encompassing art camp covers a variety of media for children to explore: sculpture, painting, watercolor, collage and more. Campers will construct their own “brilliant” pieces of art. Campers should bring their lunch, and drinks will be provided.

The cost is $150 for BRAHM members and $170 for nonmembers.

Summer Fun at Caldwell Community College

Summer fun isn’t limited to Watauga, as Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute has prepared a season of fun activities at its Hudson campus to add a welcome reprieve from the doldrums of the school year.

CCCTI will once again offer Extreme Super Summer Camp for kids ages 5 and older. The program will offer weeklong courses and activities from 8 a.m. to noon.

Extreme Super Summer Camp sessions begin on June 23 and run through the week of Aug. 11. Early drop-off times will be available from 7:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. Late pick-up times will be from noon to 12:30 p.m.

Cost per session is $75 and includes early drop-off, late pick-up, two programs and a snack between programs.

Registration for Extreme Super Summer Camp is ongoing. To register, or for more information, call (828) 726-2242.

From June 23 to 27, CCCTI will offer a slew of activities as part of its “Musical Madness” programs, which includes Mountain Music, where students explore how music of Appalachia is created, and The Art of Music 101.

If old-fashioned folk music isn’t your forte, check out the college’s summer basketball and martial arts camps, offered from July 7 to 11.

For those with a quest for knowledge and how things work, CCCTI is preparing two science adventure courses, including “Mad Scientist!” — where students will summon their inner chemist, physicist or engineer — and Dinosaur Discovery, which teaches children all things related to these prehistoric beasts.

CCCTI will also offer beginners’ Spanish lesson from July 14 to 18. Students will learn basic concepts in Spanish, such as greetings, numbers, colors and days of the week through interactive games and activities.

From July 21 to 25, camp attendees will learn how to build a primitive shelter from natural materials, as well as how to safely make and maintain a campfire without matches.

The college kicks things up a notch from July 28 to Aug. 1, with Robotics 101, where campers will be involved in interactive, hands-on activities that include creating, designing and constructing eco-jewelry, robots and cars. Students will also learn how to interact with robots on a daily basis.

The month of August kicks off with an Art Expo, which features an overview of pottery Aug. 4 to 8.
Summer takes a theatrical turn from Aug. 11 to 15, with training on costumes, props, characters and scripts for those with a knack for acting.

Things pick up some momentum with Speed Camp, which includes instruction on aerodynamics and the construction a pinewood derby car.

If you can’t beat the summer heat, try it in the kitchen with CCCTI’s Baking Magic from June 23 to 27. Students will learn the science behind the magic of baking and pastries. Students will prepare and enjoy such items as cupcakes, puff-pastry desserts, tarts and finish the week off with their own specialty cake.

Lees-McRae CAPA

Join Lees-McRae College for Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) week June 21 to 27. The cost is $300 for high school day camp sessions and $200 for those in pre-K through eighth grade. For more information, call (828) 898-3372.

Ensemble Stage

Ensemble Stage invites kids ages 7 to 11 to experience “Broadway, Baby!!” — two weeks in which campers will explore the many aspects of drama and musical theater through imagination-building, confidence-boosting activities. Campers will also learn kid-friendly choreography and favorite songs from well-known Broadway musicals. “Broadway, Baby!!” runs Mondays through Fridays, June 16 to 27, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each day. Enrollment is limited to 10 campers. Each day will include singing, dancing, rehearsals and games, followed by a public performance of the show the campers will create on June 27 at 4 p.m.

For ages 10 to 15, Ensemble offers “More Than a Song,” in which campers will create an entire story around songs they choose. Songs will serve as inspiration for plays, for which kids will develop storylines and characters they write, rehearse and present in a production. The camp runs Mondays through Fridays, July 7 to 18, from 9:30 to 3:30 p.m. each day, with a performance scheduled for July 18 at 4 p.m. Enrollment is limited to 14 campers.

For more information, call (828) 414-1844, or visit

Dealing with Grief and Sadness

Camp Sunshine Grief Day, an event offered by Medi Home Hospice on Saturday, July 26, is an event for children ages 5 to 12, who have experienced the loss of a loved one. The event is open to any child in the appropriate age range. The children will enjoy activities, crafts, arts and share in laughter. The daylong event will also explore fun and creative ways to release grief and emotions. Pre-registration is required by Friday, July 18. A confirmation letter will then arrive in late June.
For more information, call Virginia Peurifoy or Anna Day at (828) 265-3926.

Camp Like a Mountaineer

Appalachian State University hosts a variety of youth and athletic camps, starting in June. Topics include Animal Studies June 23 to 27 and July 14 to 18; Camp Kaleidoscope July 7 to 25; Forensic Anthropology Camp June 22 to 27, July 6 to 11 and July 20 to 25; and Forensic Science camp July 9 to 12 and July 16 to 19.

Athletic camps include Baseball Academy June 23 to 27 and July 20 to 23; Basketball Junior Mountaineer Day Camp (ages 5 to 8) June 7; Boys Basketball Mountaineer Camp (ages 9-17) June 11 to 14; Boys Soccer Junior Camp (both team and individual July 19 to 22); Boys Soccer Senior Camp (both team and individual) July 24 to 27; Boys Soccer Senior Elite Camp June 12 to 15; Field Hockey Camp (individual and team) July 9 to 12; Football Kicking Camp June 7 to 8; Football Skills Camp (individual and group) June 11 to 12; Football Offensive and Defensive Lineman Camp (group and individual) June 13 to 14, Football Senior Clinic (rising high school seniors) June 15 and 19, Mighty Mountaineer Football Camp July 21 to 23; Girls Basketball Youth Clinic May 3 to 4, Girls Basketball Individual Elite Camp June 20 to 22; Girls Soccer One Day College Prep Spring Camp (individual and team) May 31; Girls Soccer Elite Camp (individual and team) June 18 to 21 and July 16 to 19; Girls Softball Camp June 17 to 19; Cross Country Team Camp July 20 to 24 and July 27 to 31; Track and Field Cross Country Team Camp July 20 to 24 and July 27 to 31; Track and Field Distance Individual Camp July 13 to 18; Track and Field High Jump Camp June 23 to 25; Track and Field Long and Triple Jump Camp July 24 to 26; Track and Field Speed Camp June 3 to July 24; Track and Field Throws Camp for High School Students June 22 to 25; Volleyball Camp Attacking, Libero or Setter Clinic June 26; Volleyball Middle School Team Camp June 27 to 28; Volleyball Skills Camp July 19 to 22; Volleyball Team Training Camp July 23 to 26; Wrestling Specialized Technique and Training Camp June 16 to 20; Wrestling Camp High School Division Only (individual and team) July 6 to 9; Wrestling Camp High School and Junior High Division (individual and team) July 10 to 14 and July 15 to 18; Wrestling Intensive Camp (individual and team) July 10 to 18.
For more information, including pricing, times and contact, visit

And More

Is your camp not listed here? No problem! Email ( with information about your program, including times, dates, description and age range, to be included in a future issue.

Additional Images

In the High Country, 'summer camp' is an all-encompassing term that includes a range of activities as diverse as the area’s flora and fauna.
Photo submitted

A group of children learns a cheer during the 2013 Super Summer Cheer Camp at Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute. For a complete schedule of 2014 Super Summer offerings, visit or call (828) 726-2242.

Kipenzi Perry and Felix Roe play at Mary’s Montessori School, which will offer its ‘Dirt Camp’ this summer for ages 2 to 9.
Photo courtesy of Mary Willis

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