Discovery Camp

Registration for Summer Camp will open on February 14, 2023 at 11 am!

Summer camp programming will be 6/5 – 6/30 and 7/10 – 8/18, from Monday to Friday, 9am – 3pm.

Registration for Spring Break Camp will open on February 7, 2023 at 11 am!

Spring Break camp programming will be from 4/3 – 4/7,  from Monday to Friday, 9am – 3pm.

 

We can’t wait to welcome rising Kindergarten through 8th grade campers back to the Arboretum in 2023! 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!


Summer Discovery Camp Waitlist

Sign Up for Waitlist here


 

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!


 

Summer 2023 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 Kindergarteners & 1st Graders

  • 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 5 – 9*: SOLD OUT
    Session 2: June 5 – 9*: SOLD OUT

    Members:  $315.00
    Non-Members:  $350.00

  • 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 17 – 21*: SOLD OUT
    Session 2: July 17 – 21*: SOLD OUT
    Session 3: August 14 – 18: SOLD OUT

    Members:  $315.00
    Non-Members:  $350.00

  • 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 19 – 23*: SOLD OUT
    Session 2: August 14 – 18*: SOLD OUT

    Members:  $315.00
    Non-Members:  $350.00

  • 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 12 -16*: SOLD OUT
    Session 2: August 7 – 11*: SOLD OUT

    Members:  $315.00
    Non-Members:  $350.00

Rising 2nd & 3rd Graders

  • 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 5-9
    Session 2: June 12 – 16: SOLD OUT
    Session 3: August 7 – 11: SOLD OUT

    Members:  $315.00
    Non-Members:  $350.00

  • 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 19 – 23: SOLD OUT
    Session 2: June 26 – 30: SOLD OUT
    Session 3: August 14 – 18: SOLD OUT

    Members:  $315.00
    Non-Members:  $350.00

  • This camp offers 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 24 – 28: SOLD OUT
    Session 2: July 31 – August 4: SOLD OUT

    Members:  $315.00
    Non-Members:  $350.00

  • 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: June 26 – June 30*: SOLD OUT
    Session 2: July 17 – 21*: SOLD OUT
    Session 3: July 24 – 28*: SOLD OUT

    Members:  $315.00
    Non-Members:  $350.00

  • 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 5 – 9
    Session 2: June 12 – 16: SOLD OUT
    Session 3: July 31 – August 4*: SOLD OUT

    Members:  $315.00
    Non-Members:  $350.00

  • Grab your gloves and get ready to grow with us! We’ll be digging in to learn all about gardening, solve the mystery of what soil is really made of, learn the life cycle of a plant from seed to fruit, and find out exactly how to get started with growing our own food. We’ll plant seeds, play games, make garden art, celebrate our pollinator friends, and end the week harvesting some yummy food to eat!

    Session 1: July 10 – 14: SOLD OUT

    Members:  $315.00
    Non-Members:  $350.00

  • 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, make art with materials you find in the woods, pattern a t-shirt, and even work with clay. Make an original masterpiece every day!

    Session 1: August 7 – 11*: SOLD OUT

    Members:  $315.00
    Non-Members:  $350.00

Rising 4th & 5th Graders

  • 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 24 – 28

    Members:  $315.00
    Non-Members:  $350.00

    Session 2: August 7 – 11: SOLD OUT 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 19 – 23: SOLD OUT Optional Overnight

    Members:  $380.00
    Non-Members:  $425.00

    Session 2: July 10 – 14

    Members:  $315.00
    Non-Members:  $350.00

  • 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 12 -16: SOLD OUT
    Session 2: July 31 – August 4: SOLD OUT

    Members:  $315.00
    Non-Members:  $350.00

  • 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: June 26 – June 30: SOLD OUT

    Members:  $315.00
    Non-Members:  $350.00

  • Do you hear that sound?! It’s the sound of juicy fruits ready to burst off the vines as we explore the garden and dig into adventure! We’ll learn about the life cycle of a plant from seed to fruit, solve the mystery of what soil is really made of, and figure out exactly how to get started with growing our own food. We’ll sprout seeds, play games, make garden art, celebrate our pollinator friends, and get down and dirty with soil! We might get muddy along the way, but don’t worry, we’ll cool off and clean up in the creek afterward!

    Session 1: June 12 – 16

    Members:  $315.00
    Non-Members:  $350.00

  • Ever wonder what your backyard birds eat? Or where the neighborhood box turtle likes to hang out? We’re on a mission to find out! Join us as we participate in real life citizen science studies to discover our community’s wildlife and how we can protect it! We’ll adventure through The Arboretum’s forests, fields, and streams, play games, get creative, and use our observation skills to connect with nature and discover the answers to all of our wildlife questions.

    Session 1: June 26 – June 30

    Members:  $315.00
    Non-Members:  $350.00

  • Discover the many wonders of water through various aquatic ecosystems on the North Carolina Arboretum property. Get wet and wild by searching for macroinvertebrates and salamanders, and maybe even an opportunity to catch fish! Learn to use microscopes, create ecospheres, and build boats from natural materials. Walk away with a greater appreciation for water and knowledge of how to protect aquatic habitats.

    Session 1: July 24 – 28: SOLD OUT
    Session 2: July 31 – August 4: SOLD OUT

    Members:  $315.00
    Non-Members:  $350.00

  • In this camp we’ll break away from the idea of lab coats and beakers to get outside for hands-on exploration. Girls and gender expansive youth will have a chance to investigate some of the many sciences of western North Carolina. They will also meet women that are professionals in these different areas and get to participate in field studies in and around the Arboretum.

    Session 1: June 19 – 23*

    Members:  $315.00
    Non-Members:  $350.00

Rising 6th-8th Graders

  • 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. Participants will use the skills they have practiced in video games to solve puzzles and express themselves, while encountering helpful guides along the way!

    Session 1: July 17 – 21: SOLD OUT Optional Overnight: 

    Members:  $380.00
    Non-Members:  $425.00

  • Many artists have found inspiration in nature, 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 10 – 14: SOLD OUT

    Members:  $315.00
    Non-Members:  $350.00

  • Take on the role of a scientist as you experiment and make discoveries with Spectacular Scientists. 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 26 – 30*: SOLD OUT

    Members:  $315.00
    Non-Members:  $350.00

  • This camp centers connection to nature through songwriting and playing music outdoors. Participants will make simple instruments from naturally sourced materials, write their own lyrics, practice rhythm and team building exercises, and gain confidence in expressing their passion through music. During the week, we will cultivate a supportive community that fosters artistic expression individually and collectively in music.

    Session 1: July 24 – 28*: SOLD OUT

    Members:  $315.00
    Non-Members:  $350.00

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 exclusively 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.

Medical and Legal Liability Form – Spring Break 2023

Medical and Legal Liability Form – Summer 2023

Medical and Legal Liability Form Spanish -Summer 2023

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.
  • Please review our Safety Guidelines.
  • 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.

Youth Education’s policy regarding mask use is based upon the current Buncombe County Community COVID-19 Level, according to the CDC. This is effective beginning Friday, March 11, 2022. Note that we are presently within the Yellow category.

Green: Low

CDC Guidance: Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines; Get tested if you have symptoms

TNCA Youth Education: Masks are optional for staff and participants indoors and outdoors.

Yellow: Medium

CDC Guidance: If you are at high risk for severe illness, talk to your healthcare provider about whether you need to wear a mask and take other precautions; Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines; Get tested if you have symptoms

TNCA Youth Education: Masks are optional for staff and participants outdoors, but recommended indoors.

High: Red

CDC Guidance: Wear a mask indoors in public; Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines; Get tested if you have symptoms; Additional precautions may be needed for people at high risk for severe illness

TNCA Youth Education: Masks are recommended for staff and participants outdoors and indoors.


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 

Financial need-based camperships CLOSED

If you applied for a campership for this year, you will be notified if you received one by February 13th.

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.