UPDATE, 4:00 p.m. 4/22/24:

Thanks for your interest in Discovery Camp at the Arboretum. Most of our camp spots filled up during the Lottery registration process. We are adding camps that have not been filled through the lottery and waitlist as they become available, including STEAMed for Science and Wild Encounters 1. If you would like to be added to the waitlist for unavailable camps please do so here:

Discovery Camp

Summer Camp Hours

Summer camp programming will be 6/10 – 6/28 and 7/8 – 8/23 , from Monday to Friday, 9am – 3pm.

Camps Available for Registration Below

STEAMed for Science, Wild Encounters 1, Nature’s Mysteries 1


We can’t wait to welcome rising Kindergarten through 8th grade campers back to the Arboretum in 2024! Kids can spend a week exploring the great outdoors in the beauty of our 434-acre campus.  Camps this year will be a mix of indoors and outdoors, but mostly outside!

Each week of camp will cost $370 for nonmembers and $333 for members.  Overnight camps will be $425 for nonmembers and $380 for members, and Mountain Sports and Wildlife Trek camps will also be $425 for nonmembers and $380 for members.  If a camp has an overnight trip as well as offsite trips, it will be $475 for nonmembers and $427 for members.


 

Tips for Registration:

  • Make sure you login to your account before checking out.  It may be a good idea to make sure your account has your membership if you are a member before registration opens.  If your account does not reflect your active membership, please contact our membership services by calling 828-665-2492 or emailing membership@ncarboretum.org so we can fix it before registration!  Your membership discount will not be reflected immediately, but should appear when you’ve added your participant to your cart.
  • If you add a class to your cart and your membership discount does not appear, we still suggest completing checkout and contacting us to receive the discount later.  If you release a camp from your cart to try to figure out your membership login, there’s a chance the spot will be taken.
  • Add a camp to your cart by finding the camp that you’re interested in and then clicking the linked session and date that you’d like to register for.
  • You will have 40 minutes to complete checkout once you add a camp to your cart.  We recommend you add all of the camps you want to register for to your cart before you complete checkout to increase your chances of registering for all of your desired camps before they sell out.
  • In addition, those camp spots will be held when they’re in a cart. As a result, even when a camp looks sold out there may be a chance of someone’s cart being released after their timeout. We encourage you to keep looking at a camp and refreshing in case someone releases a camp from their cart and it becomes available before the waitlist is released at 2pm.
  • If you are unable to register for the camp(s) that you would like, we encourage you to sign up online for the waitlist as soon as it opens which will be at 2pm that same day (2/14). Camp and waitlist spots fill on a first come, first serve basis. The most efficient way to register for the waitlist is by signing up using the designated link on the Discovery Camp page.
  • Registration will occur solely over the website. We will not be able to complete registration over the phone, so please make sure you’re prepared before 11am.

If you have any questions, please email us at youtheducation@ncarboretum.org.  We look forward to seeing you this summer!


 

Keeping Campers Safe:

Discovery Camp features a safety-first approach to protect the safety of our campers and staff. As such, group sizes are limited to just 12 campers accompanied by a minimum of two staff at all times. In addition, sanitation of program equipment and materials will be maintained and instruction will take place mostly outdoors. The program will follow current guidelines regarding items such as health screenings, face coverings and social distancing. Our policies, procedures and schedule are subject to change depending upon guidance from local, state and/or federal agencies.

Forms due May 24th

Medical and Legal Liability Form – Spring Break 2024

Medical and Legal Liability Form English- Summer 2024

Medical and Legal Liability Form Spanish -Summer 2024

What we require of participants:

In order to participate in Discovery Camp at the Arboretum, families must commit to the following procedures to ensure a safe experience for your group, our visitors and our staff:

  • Be responsible and abide by all policies and procedures the Arboretum deems necessary including, but not limited to, such practices as: maintaining six feet of distance from Arboretum staff and participants outside one’s own household/family/group unit; wearing a protective face mask; and frequently washing hands and/or using hand sanitizer.
  • Complete a medical and liability waiver prior to participating.
  • Maintain an understanding that Arboretum policies and procedures may change related to schedule and that refusal to follow Arboretum policies and procedures may result in immediate dismissal from the program.

Safety Guidelines for Gathering in Groups: 
The Arboretum’s COVID-19 safety precautions are in line with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control, the North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services, the Buncombe County Department of Health, and the City of Asheville.
Here are some ways we encourage participants to take precautions:
  • Consider testing yourself and child at home before programming at the Arboretum, regardless of how you feel.
  • Proactively monitor yourself and child and have them stay home if you or anyone in your family are experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19 or any illness or if you have been notified of possible exposure.
  • Although mask wearing is currently not mandated indoors or outdoors, masks will be available to use according to your preference.

Summer 2024 Discovery Camps

**Please note that any camp that has an asterisk by it may have a basecamp that’s in our EcoLab inside the Education Center. This means that your child will be spending some of their day inside for certain activities, meals, and restroom breaks. Please consider this before registering if you have any reservations about your child spending time inside each day.  As a side note, all camps will spend at least some time inside (up to 15 minutes at a time) for bathroom breaks. **

Rising Kindergarten and 1st Grade Camps

  • Embark on an outdoor adventure every day as a little mountaineer. Learn how to get ready for a hike, discover how to read trail maps, and explore the trails and woodlands of the Arboretum on age-appropriate excursions. Don’t miss out on this week of fun in the great outdoors!

    Session 1:  June 10 – 14*
    Session 2: June 10 – 14*
    Session 3: August 19 – 23*

     

    Members:  $333.00
    Non-Members:  $370.00

  • Creeks and ponds and puddles, oh my! Come along as we visit the many aquatic habitats found in our forests and along our trails. We’ll use nets and magnifying lenses in search of fish, salamanders, dragonflies and other animals. There’s no telling what sort of water critters we’ll encounter! Water games and crafts will serve as a great way to cool off this summer!

    Session 1:  July 8 – 12*
    Session 2: August 12 – 16*

    Members:  $333.00
    Non-Members:  $370.00

  • Wildlife abounds at the Arboretum! Join us for a wild encounter as we explore streams, woodlands, and gardens in search of lizards, chipmunks and songbirds. Wildlife crafts, games and stories, along with live animal demonstrations, guarantee a wild week for all!

    Session 1: June 17 – 21*
    Session 2: July 15 – 19*

    Members:  $333.00
    Non-Members:  $370.00

  • Join us as we explore all the amazing classic camp adventures waiting for you at the Arboretum. Bring your friends and meet new ones as we hike in search of critters, splash in creeks, and play games outside. Each day will be different and you’ll get to make at least one craft to remember your time here!

    Session 1: July 22 – 26*

    Members:  $333.00
    Non-Members:  $370.00

  • Bring your friends and meet new ones as we spend the week splashing in the creek and walking through the woods to learn about all things bugs! We will learn about butterfly life cycles, pollinators, aquatic insects, and so much more. Join us to make crafts, play games, tell stories, and explore The North Carolina Arboretum’s bugs!

    Session 1: June 24 – June 28*
    Session 2: August 19 – 23*

    Members:  $333.00
    Non-Members:  $370.00

Rising 2nd and 3rd Grade Camps

  • Animals are everywhere at the Arboretum, but seldom seen. Learn how to spot the many critters that live in the mountains and discover how to identify them. Through interactive games and hikes, we will further grasp the importance of these animals to their habitats. We’ll look for tracks and other wildlife signs as we explore the homes of lizards, birds, and mammals that inhabit our ecosystem.

    Session 1: June 10-14
    Session 2: June 17-21
    Session 3: August 12-16

    Members:  $333.00
    Non-Members:  $370.00

  • Discover the diversity of aquatic life in our natural environment. Explore aquatic wonders on creek walks, pond investigations, a salamander safari, and a trip to Lake Powhatan. Learn to use kick nets and dip nets to capture and observe a variety of life; and most importantly, learn how to protect our amazing aquatic habitats.

    Session 1: June 24-28
    Session 2: July 22-26
    Session 3: August 19 – 23

    Members:  $333.00
    Non-Members:  $370.00

  • As Junior Mountaineers, we’ll practice all sorts of outdoor skills, games and activities, like making shelters out of found materials, fire building, and learning how to use a map while on a hike. Create nature themed crafts, splash in a creek, and play outdoor games. Get ready for a week of outdoor fun!

    Session 1: July 29 – August 2
    Session 2: August 5-9

    Members:  $333.00
    Non-Members:  $370.00

  • Get “unplugged” and have fun outside this summer with a different outdoor, active adventure every day! Spend your days hiking the Arboretum trails, exploring the creeks, and playing outdoor games. Make friends, have fun, and challenge yourself as we explore the trails and woodlands of the Arboretum. We’ll even hunt for treasures using a GPS device. Don’t miss out on this week of fun and adventure in the great outdoors!

    Session 1: July 15 – 19
    Session 2: July 22 – 26

    Members:  $333.00
    Non-Members:  $370.00

  • Join our Nature Ranger team! Learn all about many animals that live in the Southern Appalachian Mountains, how to spot them and where they live. Observe salamanders, insects and fish as you explore Bent Creek. Scout for tracks and other wildlife signs as you explore the homes of lizards, birds and mammals. Special wildlife mysteries will put you to the test as you examine evidence left behind by creatures of the forest. You never know what animals we may encounter!

    Session 1: June 10-14
    Session 2: June 17-21
    Session 3: August 5-9

    Members:  $333.00
    Non-Members:  $370.00

  • There is an artist inside everyone, and you’ll find yours exploring with Nature’s Studio. Hike with us through forests, creeks, and meadows and meet live animals as we search for inspiration from the Arboretum’s incredible landscape. With fun activities like games, crafts, painting, journaling, and more, we’ll find joy and creativity during an amazing, art-filled week!

    Session 1: August 12-16

    Members:  $333.00
    Non-Members:  $370.00

  • Take a deep breath, connect with nature, and allow the secrets of the Arboretum’s natural ecosystems to reveal themselves to you. We will hike deep into the forest to search for animal tracks, listen to the chatter of wildlife, and discover how animals use special skills to survive. Join us as we heighten our senses and explore the woodland ways of nature.

    Session 1: June 24-28
    Session 2: July 29 – August 2

    Members:  $333.00
    Non-Members:  $370.00

  • Ever notice how many superheroes and heroines get their powers from nature and wildlife? Join our “Creature Crew” as we choose our own secret identities, learn about animals that have their own super powers, and dream up our perfect sidekicks. We’ll head outside to observe animals and learn about their adaptations through games, observation, and exploration. Be sure to get in on the adventure!

    Session 1: July 8 – 12

    Members:  $333.00
    Non-Members:  $370.00

Rising 4th and 5th Grade Camps

  • Become a true Wilderness Explorer by learning essential outdoor skills such as Leave No Trace principles and survival skills, and find the best places to practice them! You’ll experience heightened senses during awareness games that will help you master the art of observation. Put your new skills to the test with treks that go beyond the normal trails and out into the less visited places within the Arboretum’s 434 acres. Who knows what wildlife we will encounter!

    Session 1: July 29 – August 2

    Members:  $333.00
    Non-Members:  $370.00

    Session 2: August 12 – 16 OPTIONAL OVERNIGHT

    Members:  $380.00
    Non-Members:  $425.00

  • We’ll follow our curiosities as we learn about plants and animals. Through exciting games, hands-on activities and off trail adventures, we’ll use all our senses, deepen our natural awareness and build outdoor skills. Join us as we walk on the wild side of the Arboretum!

    Session 1: June 17 – 21
    Session 2: July 22 – 26

    Members:  $333.00
    Non-Members:  $370.00

  • Birds, beetles, and bears, oh my! Join us for a whirlwind of wildlife and fun as we explore the Arboretum’s incredible landscape. We’ll visit streams, meadows, and woodlands in search of wild critters and the wonderful places they call home. With nature crafts and games abound on top of live animal encounters, there’s no doubt it will be an amazing week!

    Session 1: June 10 – 14
    Session 2: July 15 – 19

    Members:  $333.00
    Non-Members:  $370.00

  • Many artists have found inspiration in nature, and through journaling, sketching, and painting, you’ll have a chance to commune with a multitude of animals and plants in the national forest. Take a hike on a trail to sketch a mountain vista and observe live animals to inspire the artist within you. Get in touch with your creative side as you paint and draw from nature, using the rippling streams and majestic mountains of the Arboretum as your muse. Make an original masterpiece every day!

    Session 1: July 15 – 19

    Members:  $333.00
    Non-Members:  $370.00

  • Discover the many wonders of water through various aquatic ecosystems on the North Carolina Arboretum property. Ponds, streams, and lakes will provide you with endless opportunities to get wet and wild while searching for macroinvertebrates, salamanders, and fish!

    Session 1: July 29 – August 2
    Session 2: August 5 – 9

    Members:  $333.00
    Non-Members:  $370.00

  • Embark on an exhilarating week of adventure in Mountain Sports camp! Uncover hidden geocaches at the North Carolina Arboretum, chase waterfalls in Dupont State Forest, master frisbee skills in Black Mountain, tube down the French Broad River, and even try your hand at fishing at Marion State Fishing Hatchery. Join us for a week of unforgettable fun, camaraderie, and the joy of exploring the playground that is western NC. We’ve got transportation covered to each offsite location, with daily drop-off and pick-up at the Arboretum.

    Session 1: June 24 – June 28

    Members:  $427.00
    Non-Members:  $475.00

  • With nets and magnifying glasses in hand, join us as we dive into the world of insects and other “creepy-crawlies” for a whole new perspective. We’ll explore forests, meadows, ponds, and creeks on the Arboretum’s vast, 434-acre property and become experts on a small-but-mighty part of this Appalachian mountain community.

    Session 1: August 5 – 9

    Members:  $333.00
    Non-Members:  $370.00

  • Come learn about the wonderful world of plants! Plants are all around us, yet not always noticed. We’ll explore the many types of plants found at the Arboretum; from the gardens to the forest and everywhere in between. We’ll spend the week hiking in the woods, getting our hands dirty in the garden, playing games, making plant-related crafts, and cooling off in the creek.

    Session 1: July 8 – 12

    Members:  $333.00
    Non-Members:  $370.00

  • Just like detectives, scientists ask questions and search for answers. In Nature’s Mysteries, you will help scientists investigate questions like, “Where do box turtles like to hide out?” and “What kinds of birds call the Arboretum home?” With the tools of a naturalist and the spirit of a detective, we’ll adventure through the Arboretum’s forests, fields, and streams, play games, get creative, and use our observation skills to discover the answers to all our wildlife questions.

    Session 1: June 17 – 21

    Members:  $333.00
    Non-Members:  $370.00

Rising 6th through 8th Grade Camps

  • Get ready to experience all of the fun, adventure, and skill-building found in video games outdoors! ecoQUEST camp weaves outdoor activities with video game elements like strategy, puzzles, balancing risk and rewards, quests, teamwork, storytelling, crafting, and survival skills. Join us as we use the skills you’ve practiced in video games to solve puzzles and express yourself, while encountering helpful guides along the way!

    Session 1: July 22 – 26 OPTIONAL OVERNIGHT

    Members:  $380.00
    Non-Members:  $425.00

  • Nature has always offered inspiration to artists, whether from the shape of a delicate flower, the rushing waters of a mountain stream, or the vivid colors of a songbird. Discover the many trails and secret spots of the Arboretum that will ignite the inner artist in you. Using natural materials and/or art supplies, this camp will offer open space and time to hone your unique artistic voice and create original works of art you might not have known you were capable of creating!

    Session 1: July 8 – 12

    Members:  $333.00
    Non-Members:  $370.00

  • Take on the role of a scientist as you experiment and make discoveries in STEAMed for Science. We’ll spend each day outdoors exploring the amazing natural world from the smallest grain of pollen to the largest tree, making observations and asking questions along the way. With an emphasis on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics), we’ll have fun and become better scientists in the process!

    Session 1: June 24 – June 28

    Members:  $333.00
    Non-Members:  $370.00

  • With off-property adventures to incredible Appalachian wildlife hotspots, we’ll explore worlds big and small through the lens of a camera. We’ll climb high and low to capture the immense biodiversity of the region, and through the use of Community Science tools like iNaturalist, our wildlife photos will contribute vital information to scientists in the Appalachian region and beyond. Campers are invited to bring their own camera equipment if they would prefer, but should be aware that cell phones are not permitted, and the majority of camp days are spent outdoors in the elements. We’ve got transportation covered to each offsite location, with daily drop-off and pick-up at the Arboretum.

    Session 1: July 15 – 19

    Members:  $380.00
    Non-Members:  $425.00

  • The Southern Appalachians are home to some of the most unique plant communities in the world! Join us as we visit some of these special places, from the Arboretum to the Blue Ridge Parkway and many more hidden gems along the way. We’ll hike our way through mountain bogs and old-growth forests, explore mountaintops, and end the week camping under the stars. Along the way, we’ll discover why Western North Carolina is such a special place for both plants and people to live! We will provide transportation to each offsite location. Pick-up and drop-off will still be at the Arboretum each day except for the campout on Thursday night.

    Session 1: August 5 – 9 (OFFSITE/OPTIONAL OVERNIGHT)

    Members:  $427.00
    Non-Members:  $475.00

  • Join the NC Arboretum on its most thrilling adventure yet! Traverse the scenic trails of Craggy Gardens, explore the captivating “Land of Waterfalls,” and test your courage on NAVITAT’s tree courses. This journey promises breathtaking landscapes, adrenaline-pumping challenges, and a memorable campfire experience, creating lasting memories in the heart of nature. Don’t miss this unforgettable blend of exploration and camaraderie! We’ll handle transportation to each site, with pick-up and drop-off at the Arboretum daily, except for the campout on Thursday night.

    Session 1: July 29 – August 2 (OFFSITE/OPTIONAL OVERNIGHT)

    Members:  $427.00
    Non-Members:  $475.00


If you cancel your purchase more than 30 days prior to the program start date, the whole amount paid is refunded. If you cancel your purchase(s) 30-11 days prior to the program start date, half the total fee is refundable. If cancellation occurs 10-0 days prior to the start date, none of the total fee is refundable, with the exception of a COVID-19 related reason (documented positive exposure or contact-traced positive exposure or quarantine order). In this case please contact the Director of Education, Jonathan Marchal, at 

The Arboretum is committed to making Discovery Camps accessible and getting all kids out and in nature, regardless of family income. If you would like to help more children attend camp please click here.


 

For additional information please email youtheducation@ncarboretum.org, or contact Discovery Camp Director, Rich Preyer, at rpreyer@ncarboretum.org.