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2013 Guide to Summer Camps for Kids

Compiled by Paul T. Choate

ASUcamp2March 1, 2013. Need to find something for your kids to do this coming summer? The High County has many summer camps available for kids that offer several enriching experiences ranging from agriculture to art to everything in between. 

The HCPress.com guide to summer camps includes a comprehensive listing of summer camps that will continue to grow and evolve as we get closer to spring and summertime. 

Registration has already begun for some camps and many of them fill up quick, so don’t delay. Athletic camps are not included—contact ASU, LMC or your local parks and recreation department for more info on athletic camps.


4-H Camp
July 7 to 12
Contact: 828-264-3061, http://watauga4h.blogspot.com

Watauga County 4-H will escort a group of 8- to 14-year-old campers to Betsy-Jeff Penn 4-H Center located in Rockingham County. Reserve your spot with a $100 deposit and have until June to save up for the rest of the fee, which is $360 more. Info on other 4-H camps is available at www.nc4h.org/centers.

Chetola Resort’s Kids Summer Camp
June 3 to August 9 (no camp July 4)
Contact: 828-295-5535

Chetola Resort’s Kids Summer Camp for kids aged four to 12 features a little bit everything, including sports and fitness, aquatics, gardening, nature exploration and more. Plus, every Wednesday is Tweetsie Day, where campers get to visit Tweetsie Railroad (Tweetsie ticket is not included in camp fee). The camp offers full days (8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.) or half days (8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.). The camp is $35 per day for a full day ($30 for additional siblings) with a $20 discount if campers are registered for a full day for the whole week. Half-day camps cost $20. Pre-payment is required for all camp reservations. 

Blowing Rock Parks and Rec Summer Day Camp
June 10 to July 29
Contact: 828-295-5222, www.townofblowingrock.com

The Blowing Rock Parks and Recreation Summer Day Camp is open to rising kindergarteners (at least 5 years old with daycare experience) through 6th graders. Camp hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Children swim, hike, play sports, fish and go on field trips. Registration started March 4 for Blowing Rock taxpayers, and open registration starts on March 18. Fees are $60 per week for taxpayers and $120 per week for non-taxpayers. 

BuffaloCove5cmykBuffalo Cove Outdoor Education Center Earth Camp
Earth Camp: July 7 to 20; Explorers Camp: July 24 to 29
Contact: 828-964-1473, www.buffalocove.com

The Buffalo Cove Outdoor Education Center presents Earth Camp and Explorers Camp, programs of traditional mountain skills and woodland adventure. Earth Camp is a two-week program that takes place during the summer months. Participants range in age from 12-17 and come from all over the country. While at camp participants will spend time in camp doing a wide range of activities as well as time out of camp on adventures participating in life-lasting learning experiences. Enrollment limit: 18. Tuition: $1,500.

The camps offer experiential education in the lessons of the Southern Appalachian Mountains, including traditional earth skills, campcraft, woodslore, woodworking, archery, backpacking, low-impact camping and river canoeing.

Explorers Camp is offered for younger campers to start their journey into a lifetime of learning form nature. It is a five-day session for 8-12 year olds. In Explorers, we initiate the foundation in earth skills, woodslore, campcraft and community living. We focus on the basics with an emphasis on self-awareness, personal growth and fun! Enrollment limit: 16. Tuition: $550.

To enroll in 2013 sessions please print the application, fill it out and send it in with a $250 deposit to Buffalo Cove Outdoor Education Center, 664 Buckskin Hollow, Deep Gap, NC 28618.

Fun in the Sun Camp
June 17 to August
Contact: 828-264-9511, wataugacounty.org/main/App_Pages/Dept/ParksRec/forms.aspx

The Watauga Parks and Recreation Fun in the Sun Camp takes place at Hardin Park School, is open to rising first- through seventh-graders and will take place for seven weeks this summer. Campers can attend one week or as many weeks as they want.

The camp features many different recreational activities, games and sports. The cost is $85 per week, and registration has already started. Registration is $127.50 per week for non-county residents beginning April 1. 

Camp Ginger Cascades
June and July
Contact: www.gingercascades.org, 1-800-672-2148

Girl Scouts Carolinas Peaks to Piedmont’s Camp Ginger Cascades is located in the Brushy Mountains outside of Lenoir. Ginger Cascades offers more than 40 different sessions in June and July for girls—Girl Scouts and non-Girl Scouts alike—who will be in grades 1 through 12 in the fall.

Most sessions are either three or six days each. Activities include archery, canoeing, swimming, crafts, a climbing wall, fishing, geocaching, mountain biking, sports and games. Fees range from $135 to $850. Save money by registering by March 18. On Aug. 3, Ginger Cascades will have a 50th anniversary birthday bash. 

WYN2Western Youth Network Summer Day Camps
TBD depending on when school lets out
Contact: 828-264-5174

The Western Youth Network will host outdoor day camps for five weeks from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday for rising sixth- through ninth-graders in Watauga County. No camp will be held July 4 to 8.

Participants will enjoy adventure-based activities, team building activities and exploring the High Country. Campers can sign up for one week or for all sessions. Transportation will be provided for those who qualify. The camp is $100 per week, but WYN also offers payments based on a sliding scale, as well as scholarships. Registration begins April 15.

Holston Presbytery Camp
June and July
Contact: 828-898-6611, www.holstoncamp.org

Holston Presbytery Camp is located on Wildcat Lake, just one mile up Hickory Nut Gap Road from N.C. 184 near Banner Elk. Holston offers six weeks of weeklong camps for those aged 8 to 16 between June 9 and July 19.

The camp provides opportunities for canoeing, rock climbing, backpacking, camping, campfires, outdoor cooking, Bible studies, evening worship, arts and crafts, kayaking, zip line, fishing, orienteering and more. The standard weekly rate is $415 per camper. Call or click to the website for specific dates, programs and costs. 

Camp Lutherock
June 2 to August 3
Contact: 828-684-2361, www.llmi.net

One-week sessions are offered for youth in grades 3 through 12 at Camp Lutherock in Newland. Outdoor activities, Bible study and worship are a part of each day’s schedule. Fees vary according to session and age.

CCC&TI Extreme Super Summer Camp for Kids
June, July and August
Contact: 828-726-2242

This summer, Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute’s Continuing Education Division will once again offer “Extreme Super Summer Camp” for kids ages 5 and up. The program will offer week-long courses and activities from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Each session covers two different topics with students separated into different age groups to allow each program to be customized with appropriate activities.

Extreme Super Summer Camp sessions begin on June 3 and run through the week of Aug. 9. Early drop-off times will be available from 7:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. Late pick-up times will be from 12 p.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Cost per session is $65 and includes early drop-off, late pick-up, two programs and a snack in between programs.

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

Summer Adventure Camp
June 17 to August 2
Contact: 828-264-9511, wataugacounty.org/main/App_Pages/Dept/ParksRec/forms.aspx

The Watauga County Parks and Recreation Summer Adventure Camp will take place for seven weeks this summer at Watauga High School. Campers can attend one week or as many weeks as they want. Each week has a different theme. The camp includes physical activity, arts and crafts, swimming and a field trip every week.

The camp is for rising first- through seventh-graders. The cost is $95 per week, and registration has already started. Registration starts March 4. Registration for non-county residents begins April 1 and is $142.50 per week.

June 10 to July 26
Contact: 828-262-2100, www.campurec.appstate.edu

Located on the ASU campus, Camp UREC is open to rising first- through ninth-graders. Camp UREC explores all aspects of recreation through sports, fitness, outdoors and traditional camp activities. Camp is from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Each week has a theme. Call or click to the website for cost information. Discounts are available for multi-week signups.


4-H Super Summer
June and July
Contact: 828-264-3061, www.watauga.ces.ncsu.edu 

These workshops are designed to offer fun and educational activities and introduce youth ages 5 to 12 to 4-H topics. Registration opens in May, but a list of dates and topics is available at the Watauga County 4-H office. 

Anatomy & Physiology Camp
Session I: June 9 to 15; Session II: June 16 to July 22; Advanced Session: June 23 to 29 
Contact: 828-262-2744, www.camps.appstate.edu/youth.php

Held on the ASU campus, this intense, highly interactive residential camp led by ASU faculty and other medical professionals will introduce students in grades 8 to 11 to a host of health-related careers. The camp fee is $1,100 for residential or $950 for day camp and includes, meals, materials and recreational activities. 

Animal Studies Camp
Session I: June 17 to 21, Session II: July 29 to August 2
Contact: 828-262-2530, www.pathways.appstate.edu

The Animal Studies Camp at ASU is science exploration for young animal-lovers interested in studying salamanders, lizards, snakes, fish, turtles and both live and preserved mammal specimens. ASU faculty and area educators lead the camp.

Session I is for rising second- through fourth-graders; Session II is for rising fifth- through eighth-graders. Camp will take place from 1:00 to 5:15 p.m. each day at Rankin Science Building. The camp fee is $150. Campers will spend time in lab classrooms and outside. 

Forensic Science Camp
July 10 to 13, July 24 to 27
Contact: 828-262-8718, www.camps.appstate.edu/youth.php

ASU’s Forensic Camp is designed for students with an interest in the laboratory analysis of crime scene evidence in grades 9 through 12, recommended by a science teacher or counselor. Register by March 31 and receive the discounted price of $484. Regular registration is $509. The fee includes housing, food, materials and activities. Each session is limited to 24 participants.

Forensic Anthropology Camp
July 7 to 12, July 14 to 19, July 21 to 26
Contact: 828-262-8718, www.camps.appstate.edu/youth.php

Students work with human skeletons in an osteology laboratory to gain hands on experience in forensic analysis. The mission of this camp is to build knowledge and enthusiasm for biological anthropology and science among gifted young people, and a teacher recommendation is required to be accepted in this camp.

The registration fee is $700, which includes 5 nights’ lodging in the residence hall, 15 meals total (starting with dinner on Sunday, July 7th), limited illness/accident insurance, lab manual, lab and supplemental materials, and a camp T-shirt. Space is limited to 25 participants. 

Outdoor Leadership and Adventure Camp
June 15 to 21
Contact: 828-898-8772, www.lmc.edu/whats_happening/summer_camps

The Outdoor Leadership and Adventure Camp is designed for rising 9th-12th grade students who have an interest in learning and exploring outdoor recreation and related environments.  Participants will have the opportunity to study in the beautiful mountains of western North Carolina, a natural setting for outdoor activities such as hiking, backpacking, camping, white water rafting, rock climbing, kayaking, fishing, swimming and zip-lining.  The curriculum combines classroom instruction with leadership education, skills application and field experiences.

The cost is $450 for day campers and $750 for residential. Registration forms are available online. 

Wildlife Rehabilitation and Field Studies Camp
June 15 to 21 or July 7 to 12
Contact: 828-898-8772, www.lmc.edu/whats_happening/summer_camps

The Wildlife Rehabilitation and Field Studies Camp is designed for rising 9th-12th grade students who have an interest in nature, animals and wildlife.  Participants will experience the academic side of wildlife biology and wildlife rehabilitation programs and work with patients at the Blue Ridge Wildlife Institute (BRWI).  The camp is designed for motivated students and will feature lectures, labs, clinical and field experiences.  Each day features hands-on learning at the BRWI.  Participants will work with mammals, songbirds, raptors, and reptiles and will learn about the native habitat of western North Carolina.

The cost is $450 for day campers and $750 for residential. Registration forms are available online.

Advanced Wildlife Studies Camp
June 22 to 28
Contact: 828-898-8772, www.lmc.edu/whats_happening/summer_camps

The Advanced Wildlife Camp is designed for rising 9th-12th grade students who desire to pursue a college education in a wildlife field.  Successful participants will have either attended a previous wildlife camp at Lees-McRae College before or have received a strong recommendation from his/her science teacher as being an advanced wildlife or science student with promise for success in the field.  Participants will work in a clinical setting at the Blue Ridge Wildlife Institute, engage in advanced wildlife studies, conduct education programs, and tour parts of western North Carolina to study wildlife.

The cost is $450 for day campers and $750 for residential. Registration forms are available online. 

300x300Camp Invention
June 24 to 28
Contact: 828-262-2530, www.pathways.appstate.edu

ASU’s Camp Invention is a hands-on summer science experience, led by certified teachers, designed for creative, inventive students interested in science and the arts. Camp is from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each day at Edwin Duncan Hall and is open to all current kindergarten- through fifth-grade students. The camp fee is $240 or $235 if you register online.

Math Camp
July 8 to 11
Contact: 828-262-2530, www.camps.appstate.edu/youth.php

Math Camp, for rising 6th through 12th graders, is a sports-style camp for students who love math, hate math, fear math, catch on quickly, can’t seem to catch on and want a strong start in math next year. ASU faculty and area educators lead the camp.

Located in ASU’s Walker Hall, Math Camp takes place from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. each night. Cost is $120 per student.

Mountain Pathways Summer Sessions
June, July and August
Contact: 828-262-5787, www.mountainpathways.org/programs/summer

The Mountain Pathways School, located at 453 Howard’s Creek Road, provides children between the ages of 4 and 10 with a wealth of experiences, activities and projects. Three and under programs are also available.

Montessori-trained teachers will help children engage in hands-on learning activities that expose them to science, nature, practical life skills, sensorial explorations, art projects, games and special classes. Special guests present lessons and entertainment. Camp hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. each day; afternoon care is from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. The cost is $150 per week and $25 per week for afternoon care.

Future Engineers and Robotics Camps
Product Development Camp: June 17 to 21; Robotics Camp: June 17 to 21; Future Engineers Camps, 6-8 Graders: June 24 to 28; 3-5 Graders: July 8 to 12 or July 15 to 19
Contact: 828-328-6183, www.nccet.appstate.edu

Each camp is a five-day camp, beginning at 9 a.m. and ending at 3 p.m. daily. Licensed teachers who are trained by NCSU and ASU faculty and staff lead all Future Engineers Camps. There are hands-on activities introducing various engineering concepts in all the camps. Campers work in groups and individually to design and create solutions to various problems. The elementary and middle school camp activities are different each year, so campers are encouraged to return! On the final day of camp, students will spend the morning working on final displays and challenges that incorporate activities from the camp. Students will demonstrate their work in a public competition/demonstration. Families and the community are invited to attend this final presentation.

Registration for the camps is $325. Once a student has been accepted, full payment will be due by Friday, May 10. All application materials must be postmarked no later than March 1, 2013. Applications received after the March 1 deadline will be considered only if there are openings in the chosen camp. 


Photo by Bannister Pope
Photo by Bannister Pope

Elkland Art Center Kid’s Summer Art Camp
June 24 to 27
Contact: lexie@elklandartcenter.org or 336-877-5016

Elkland Art Center summer camp in Todd is for children ages 6-12. Students will make items inspired by this year’s Liberty Parade theme, “Fanning the Flames.” Students will make their own props and puppets. Camp will end with a parade in downtown Todd!

The camp is limited to 10 participants and will fill up quickly. Admission is $140 for the first child in the family, $120 for each additional child in family.

Cherokee Cove
All Summer
Contact: 423-727-8560, www.cherokeecove.org

Cherokee Cove Family Camp, Conference Center and Retreat, located just over the Tennessee line, will offer multiple family campout weekends, a Songwriters Camp for ages 12 and up from June 24 to 29 and several other camps. Check the Cherokee Cove website for more information. Fees vary by camp.

Ensemble Stage Summer Camps
June 17-28, July 8-19
Contact: www.ensemblestage.com, 828-414-1844

Mother Grimm — June 17-28

What can be created when you combine characters from Mother Goose stories and Grimm’s fairy tales? That’s what will be discovered in this two week camp. The kids will spend the first few days of camp acting out various stories from these two iconic entities in children’s literature. Then each kid gets to choose their favorite character and then they’ll create a show where all those characters have to interact with each other, complete with a central plot, a definitive beginning and end and a scripted play they write themselves. They will have a public performance of the play they’ve created on June 28 at 4:00 p.m. 

Enrollment is limited to 10 campers and ages 7-11.

Quantum Leap — July 8-19

Time travel is the order of the day in this two week camp. The kids will hit the ground running as they use their imaginations to explore the possibilities, pitfalls and advantages of moving through time. They’ll learn basic and advanced techniques in creating a play and characters for the stage, character relationships onstage, improv techniques, make-up applications,lighting, sound, set construction, etc. They will then write a play based on what they’ve discovered and publicly perform the play at the end of camp. Will Lincoln have to match wits with Julius Ceasar? Will Amelia Earhart teach Betsy Ross to fly? Who knows? It’s all up to the kids imaginations as to where their creation will take us.

Enrollment is limited to 14 campers and ages 10-15 (kids 10 or 11 YOA and/or their parents must be interviewed before enrollment is allowed in this camp).

Creative and Performing Arts Camp
June 15 to 21 or June 22 to 28
Contact: 828-898-8772, www.lmc.edu/whats_happening/summer_camps

CAPA is a model arts program for rising 9th-12th grade students. Participants will discover and explore a wide range of arts experiences including, but not limited to Acting, Costuming, Dance, Improvisation, Make-up, Music, Performance, Script Writing and Set Design and how all of these theatrical elements work together. The camp will culminate in a performance at the end of the week for family, friends, and the college community.

The cost is $400 for day campers and $750 for residential. Registration forms are available online. 

ASU Department of Theatre and Dance: Cre8tive Drama Day Camp
June 24 to 28
Contact: hensleyg@appstate.edu, 828-262-7521

The ASU Department of Theatre and Dance will hold the Cre8tive Drama Day Camp at the I.G. Greer Studio Theatre. Classes are available for grades K-12. Registration is $100-150 and begins May 1. More info is available at appstate.edu/~hensleyg/cre8tive_drama/welcome.htm.

Next Generation Kids Performing Arts Camp
July 15-19; July 22-26
Contact: www.nextgenkids.com, 828-265-4111

Next Generation Kids offers two sessions of its one-week performing camps at Studio K in Boone, with singing, dancing, acting and more. At the end of the week, campers will perform for family and friends. The camp is available for students in grades K-12. 

Watauga Arts Council Summer Arts Camp
June 20 to 25
Contact: 828-264-1789, www.watauga-arts.org

The Watauga County Arts Council will open registration for its annual Summer Arts Camp, featuring Missoula Children’s Theatre on March 21st.The camp will take place the week of June 17-22.  It will be held this year at Watauga High School Auditorium.  The Arts Camp is open to rising first through rising tenth graders and features workshops in storytelling, music, improvisation, the visual arts, and more.

The featured highlight of the arts camp is a production of Jack and the Beanstalk, which children will rehearse throughout the week and then perform for the community on Friday, June 21 and Saturday, June 22. Registration is $185.00 for the first child (which includes two tickets to the final production and a complimentary DVD), and $160 for each additional child in a family. Partial scholarships will be available for families in need.  

Know About a Summer Camp We Didn’t Include?

Send the information to ptchoate@highcountrypress.com, and High Country Press will add it to this compilation.


Valle Crucis Horseback Riding Camp
Contact: 828-963-5399

Valle Crucis Summer Riding Camp has been confirmed to take place this summer, but specific dates are not yet known.

Turchin Center Summer Camps
Contact: 828-262-3017

The Turchin Center for the Visual Arts will be holding summer camp(s) this summer, but specific dates and details are not yet known.