1000 x 90

2014 Guide to Summer Camps for Kids

Compiled by Madison V. Fisler

March 24, 2014. Do you need to find something for your kids to do this coming summer? The High County has many summer and day camps available for local children that offer several enriching experiences ranging from agriculture to art to everything in between.

This year’s guide to summer camps includes a comprehensive listing of summer camps that will continue to grow and evolve as we get further into 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 Appalachian State University, Lees-McRae College or your local parks and recreation department for more info on athletic camps.

Recreational Camps

Now & Next Dance Mentoring Project
June 23-27
Contact: 202-460-8887

Now & Next’s Middle School Movers program focuses on healthy body image, physical activity and self confidence development by emphasizing leadership development in the context of modern dance. In addition to full dance classes taught by college women mentors, girls will have the opportunity to make moving self-portraits, develop confidence maps and engage in trust-building activities. Fee is $50-100 (sliding scale). For more information, visit www.nownextdance.org, or contact executive director Ashley Thorndike at 202-460-8887.

Dirt Camp
June 16-20
Contact: Mary’s School

Dirt Camp is for children ages 2-9. We are committed to giving children a “backyard” experience with a community of children and dirt, water, art supplies, games and freedom to explore. We supplement this with speakers from the community (farmers, artists, and those who serve like firemen, rangers, teachers and more). Attendance can be for 2,3 or 5 days.

4-H Camp
July 6 to 11
Contact: 828-264-3061, http://watauga.ces.ncsu.edu/

Enrollment for 4-H Camp for Summer 2014 is now open.  Watauga County 4-H will escort a group of 8-14 year old campers to Betsy-Jeff Penn 4-H Center.  The center is located above Greensboro in Rockingham County, near Reidsville.   The camping week is July 6-July 11.   You can reserve your spot with a $100.00 deposit and have until June to save up for the rest of the fee, which is $360.00 more (total of $460.00).  The fee covers meals, lodging, t-shirt, transportation to camp and more.  Special programming for 12-14 year olds is an additional $20.00.    Some scholarship money is available.  Contact the 4-H office at 264-3061 for more information or to register or download registration form and return to the Extension office.

Chetola Resort’s Kids Summer Camp
June 9 to August 15 (no camp July 4)
Contact: 828-295-5535

Chetola Resort’s Summer Day Camps offer themed days like sports and fitness day, nuts for nature day, waterworks day and more. Each day, campers will go swimming at least once and will participate in themed activities. Prices are $35 for a full day, or $20 for half days. Camps run from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. for full days or half days are 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. or 1 p.m.-5 p.m. Pre-registration is suggested, as these camps fill up quickly! Ages for the camps are 4-12 years.

Blowing Rock Parks and Rec Summer Day Camp
June 16-Aug. 8
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 in Early March for Blowing Rock taxpayers, and open registration starts on March 17. Fees are $60 per week for taxpayers and $120 per week for non-taxpayers.

June 16-18, July 14-16 & July 28-30
Contact: 828-295-9099

Campers will explore the visual arts in BRAHM’s Education Center and will experiment with painting, printmaking and three-dimensional art. This will be augmented by museum galleries, tours, musical activities, games and lessons about traditional Appalachian culture. Includes all materials and a t-shirt. Campers should bring their own lunch, drinks are provided. This camp is for campers 6-10 and cost is $100 for members and $120 non-members.

Summer Adventure Camp
June 16-Aug. 1
Contact: Watauga County Parks and Recreation

Join Summer Adventure Camp, a season of discovery, adventure, art and activities at Watauga High School presented by Watauga County Parks and Recreation. Camps are open to campers ages 5-13 and include a different theme each week including Passport to Adventure, Let’s Get Physical!, When I Grow Up, Raise Your Hand, Sports Center, Get Real! and Back in the Day. Cost is $95 per week per camper.

Camp Mountaintop Discovery
July 26-Aug. 2, Aug. 3-Aug. 10

Contact: www.campmountaintop.org

Camp Mountaintop Discovery is a non-competitive, coed youth empowerment and adventure camp located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina on 380 acres of beautiful mountaintop property. Camp Mountaintop Discovery provides a unique opportunity for self-discovery, relationship building, community awareness, outdoor adventure and developing a healthy and joyful lifestyle. Youth Empowerment Seminars (YES!) and All Around Training and Excellence (ART Excel) programs provide a dynamic and fun experience that challenges teens to take responsibility for their life and provides a comprehensive set of practical tools for releasing stress, mastering emotions and raising self-awareness. This will coincide with fun-filled outdoor excursions including waterfall hikes, rock climbing, river tubing, gem mining, swimming and more.

Buffalo Cove Outdoor Education Center Earth Camp
Earth Camp: July 5 to 18; Explorers Camp: July 22 to 27
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.

Explorers Camp is offered for younger campers to start their journey into a life time of learning form nature. It is a 5 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! Tuition is $550.

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.

Western 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 the week of July 4.

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 in April.

Holston Presbytery Camp
June 16-Aug. 1
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.

Are you looking for a Christian day camp for 6-12 year olds?  A place where kids can get out side and play with new friends while trying new experiences.  We offer themes for each week and daily Bible studies.

They will also have the opportunity to swim, canoe, get creative with arts & crafts, hike, and study nature.  Camp runs from Monday through Friday from 8:30-4:30 and lunch is provided.  The first week starts June 16th and the last day will be August 1st.

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 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 12 p.m. 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 Super Summer Camp is ongoing.

June 16 to July 25
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.

Educational Camps

Camp Kaleidoscope
Session I: July 7-11; Session II: July 14 -18; Session II: July 21-25
Contact: 828-262-2744, www.camps.appstate.edu

An Appalachian State, summer enrichment experience for rising first through fifth grade youth. Cooperative games, science experiments, music, arts and crafts, wild and wacky water games, Geo-catching, and social awareness activities. Register for one week or all three- activities for this full day program will be different every day. Camp will begin each day at the College of Education building, and activities will vary between the woods and trails near campus, the pool, campus courtyards, and various campus buildings. The camp fee is $195, and discounts are available.


Animal Studies Camp
Session I: June 23 to 27, Session II: July 14 to July 18
Contact: 828-262-2530, 


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 Anthropology Camp
June 22 to 27, July 6 to July 11 & July 20-25
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 limited illness/accident insurance, lab manual, lab and supplemental materials, and a camp T-shirt. Space is limited to 25 participants.

Forensic Science Camp
July 9 to 12, July 16 to 19
Contact: 828-262-8718, www.camps.appstate.edu/youth.php

ASU’s Forensic Science Camp is designed for students in grades 9 through 12 with an interest in the laboratory analysis of crime scene evidence, and recommended by a science teacher or counselor. Register by March 31 and receive the discounted price of $484. Regular registration is $519. The fee includes housing, food, materials and activities. Each session is limited to 24 participants.

Wildlife Science Summer Camp
June 14-20
Contact:  828-898-2519

This program is designed for rising 9th-12th grade students who have an interest in conservation, animal medicine and wildlife studies. Participants will experience wildlife biology and wildlife rehabilitation programs while working with patients at the Blue Ridge Wildlife Institute.

Advanced Wildlife Science Program
June 21-27
Contact:  828-898-2519

This program is designed for rising 9th-12th grade students interesting in pursuing a college education in the wildlife field. Successful participants will have attended a previous wildlife camp at Lees-McRae College, have previous experience working with wildlife, or have successfully completed multiple Honors/AP level biology or environmental science classes in high school. Participants will work in a clinical setting, engage in advanced wildlife studies, conduct education programs and tour parts of western North Carolina to study wildlife.

Saturday-Friday, June 21-27 (Non-high school camp is Monday through Friday only.)
 High School Day Camp: $300  |  Pre-K – 8th Grade Day Camp: $220
Contact:  828-898-2519

Join us as we explore drama, dance, music, technical theater and other art forms! Classes are available for students Pre-K through 12th Grade.

CAPA is a model arts program for young people in Western North Carolina. The faculty and staff of CAPA greatly value quality education and arts experiences for all youth. Discovering ones creative potential and individual self in relationship to the world in which they live, work, and play is essential to the creative and performing arts experience. A safe, encouraging and respectful environment is central to building a cohesive and collaborative learning experience.

Camp Invention
July 21 to 25
Contact: 800-968-4332, www.campinvention.org

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 Invention is hosted by Hardin Park School. Camp is from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each day and is open to all current kindergarten- through fifth-grade students. The camp fee is $240 or $235 if you register online.

Future Engineers Camps,
June 23-27, July 7-11July 28- Aug. 1, July 14-18
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.

Arts Camps 

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 and several other camps. Check the Cherokee Cove website for more information. Fees vary by camp.

Ensemble Stage Summer Camps
Contact: www.ensemblestage.com, 828-414-1844


Broadway, Baby! is a fun-filled two weeks in which kids will explore the many aspects of drama and musical theatre. Children will tap into their creative energy and discover the magical world of theatre through imagination building, confidence boosting activities.  Additionally, they will learn kid-friendly choreography and favorite songs from well-known Broadway musicals.  Each day includes singing, dancing, rehearsals and fun games. They will have a public performance of the show they’ve created on June 27 at 4 p.m.

Watauga Arts Council Summer Arts Camp
July 7 -11
Contact: 828-264-1789, www.watauga-arts.org

WCAC Summer Arts Camp is a day camp for rising 1st through 10th graders. This year’s camp will be held July 7-12 at Watauga High School from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Performances on Friday, July 11 at 6 p.m. and Saturday, July 12 at 1 p.m. Registration is now open, and this year’s play will be The Pied Piper, an original adaptation of the classic children’s story.

Know About a Summer Camp We Didn’t Include?

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