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High Country Adventures

Article Published: Apr. 1, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
High Country Adventures

The Riding Company

Coming soon: Teachers take a break and camps take over.

Despite delays due to historic snow falls in and around the High Country, school will come to an end, and that means free time for area youth.

High Country camps offers dozens of ways to fill that time, be it on a stage, on horseback or simply enjoying the natural landscape.

Outdoor Adventurers

Fun in the Sun 2010

The recreation-based day camp starts June 21 and runs for 6 weeks. Campers get a swim day each week and a field trip. $75 per week, dates to be announced. Camper must be between the ages of 5 and 13 and be a rising 1st through 7th grader in the fall of 2010. 6 weeks. Non-county registration starts April 5 and county registration is currently under way. For more information, contact Watauga County Parks and Recreation at (828) 264-3511.

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 Camps

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 (April 30-May 2) 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. Camp Celebration, from July 24-25, allows campers to enjoy climbing, worship, paddling and arts and crafts for $35 a person. Kids in Camp Celebration must be accompanied by an adult.

For older kids, the fun doesn't have to stop at the end of summer. A backpacking trip happens October 1-3 for kids 12 and up. That program costs $50 a person. For more information, visit or call (828) 898-6611.

Holston Presbytery Day Camp

A day camp for 10-13-year-olds happens in one week sessions between June 13 and July 16 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. The day camp is a new program. Saturday sign-up days will be held at Holston camp April 10 and 17 at 10 a.m. For more information, visit or call (828) 898-6611.

Blowing Rock Parks and Recreation Summer Day Camp

Campers from kindergarten to 6th 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 14 and ends July 30, 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 5-18 and costs $1,400. Session II for campers ages 8-12 runs July 23-28 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 form June 21 through July 30 at a cost of $250 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.


This ASU camp focuses on outdoor recreation activities like sports and fitness and is open to 1st through 8th graders. Registration starts April 14. The day camp is from 8:30 to 4:30 p.m. weekdays. More information is available on the camp's Web site,

WYN Summer Day Camps

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 14-July 22 for 6th-9th graders. For more information, call (828) 264-5174.

The Riding Company Summer Day Camp

Each four-day session promises to take campers, ages 8-17, for a ride. The camp, located in Banner Elk, offers a variety of instruction in western style riding, horse care, horse fundamentals, etiquette and tack use. Activities include arts and crafts and picnic trail rides. Camp is from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sessions cost $400 and include snacks, lunch, equipment, art supplies and instruction. For more information, shoot an e-mail to ( , visit, or call (828) 260-6628.

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 Tweetsie Railroad, a tropical themed canoe expedition, Genesis Wildlife Center, the Barter Theatre, Hickory Dickory Dock, the Blue Ridge Parkway 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 as is located in Foscoe. Established in 1954, the camp promises crafts, field games, swimming, put-putt, 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 8-14-year-old campers to the Betsy-Jeff Penn 4-H center July 25-30. The center is located above Greensboro in Rockingham County. Spots can be reserved with a $100 deposit. The rest of the fee ($265) must be paid in June. 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 on-line 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 5-12 to 4-H topics. Registration opens in May. For a list of dates and topics, contact the Watauga County 4-H office.

Artists and Actors in Need of a Stage

Dance Camp

Get ready to move! Watauga County Parks and Recreation is hosting a 1 week dance camp that promises to get your kids moving to the music. Dates and specifics have not been announced, but if you're interested, call Watauga County Parks and Recreation at (828) 264-3511.

CAPA 2010

Lees-McRae College presents Creative and Performing Arts Camp June 21-June 25 and June 28-July 2. The day camp lasts from 9 am to 3pm, and this year's theme is 'Appalachia and the Arts." Campers will explore Appalachian Culture and Arts through 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 so family and friends can also experience "Appalachia and the Arts." The cost per camper is $200 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 21-26. This year's camp happens at the Blowing Rock School and is open to rising first through tenth graders. The camp features workshops in storytelling, music, improvisation, the visual arts and more, but the highlight is a production of Robinson Crusoe. Children will rehearse throughout the week and perform the show for the community on Friday and Saturday, June 25 and 26. Registration is $175. For more information, visit or call the 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 Mexican art, puppet making and super heroes 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 twelve workshops for older teens and adults, including a teacher accreditation workshop for art educators. To register, visit or call (828) 262-3017.

Snoops, Scientists and Scholastic Over-achievers

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. Camp sessions are July 21-24 and July 28-31. Participants must have either their science teacher or counselor e-mail ( a recommendation to attend the camp. 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 costs $60. To register, contact 4-H at (828) 264-3061 or visit

Anatomy and Physiology Camp

Aimed at 9th-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.

Campers will engage 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. The 10 percent discount for early registration ends April 5.

With the discount, camp sessions cost $1,350. The camp comes in multiple week-long 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 5th grades and runs from June 28 to July 2. Hosted by ASU, Camp Invention costs $238 but is discounted to $195 for community members registering before April 2. The ASU rate of $195 for children of currently enrolled ASU students or current ASU employees is available until April 30.

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

Hosted by ASU, this camp comes in two sessions. The first session (grades 1-4) happens June 21-June 25. The second session (grades 4-6) happens July 26-30. Sessions cost $145. 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 Web site promises if you love or hate math, that this camp is for you. Offered to rising 6-12th graders, Math Camp happens at Walker Hall at Appalachian State University from July 12 to 15.

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 6-9 p.m. each night. 12 campers will be invited to participate in an Extended Math Camp from 1-5pm at no charge. For more information, visit or call Dr. Doug Jones at (828) 262-2862.


Presented by 4-H, Leadership, Environment & Agricultural Discoveries is a science day camp for limited resource rising 7th and 8th grade females that promises hands-on science and outdoor adventures in the areas of plant, health, environment, animal sciences and more. Campers can expect canoeing and a ropes course to add to the excitement. The one-week program meets from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 12-16. Scholarships will cover all but $20 of the fee, which is due by May 14. For more information, visit or call (828) 264-3061.

Mountain Pathways Montessori School Summer Camp

Mountain Pathways promises to provide an educational and fun alternative to regular summer camp from 8:30 to 2:30 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 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 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 4th through 9th 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 3-5. For more information, visit or call (828) 963-4640.

For athletic opportunities, contact Watauga Parks and Recreation at (828) 264-9523.

Additional Images

The Riding Company

Holston Presbytery Camp

Mountain Pathways

Turtle Island Preserve

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