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Programs

Opportunities

Gwynn Valley provides a nurturing environment and age appropriate program for younger children. Our Main Camp is for campers who have completed Kindergarten through 7th grade. As our campers grow to preteens and teenagers, we offer three programs for older campers, Mountainside, Riverside, and our Young Leaders Program. We also offer a Day Camp Program for those campers who would like a taste of camp. 

Main Camp

Main Camp is for children who have completed K- 7th grade and is divided into two areas.

Main Camp is the core of our camp culture, is our largest program with 160 campers, and is for campers finishing Kindergarten – 7th grade. Life at camp starts in the cabin where campers build strong friendships that may last a lifetime and works outward into program. There are many different activities for our campers to choose from such as the Farm, the Mill, Climbing, Arts and Crafts, Blacksmithing, horseback riding, etc. Campers choose their activities and will have the opportunity to be exposed to many new program areas and skills. Main Camp offers a variety of session lengths including 1 week, 10 day, 2 week and 3 week sessions. The 1 week sessions are designed to provide a “taste” of camp for those children who may not have had a previous overnight camp experience. There are two cabin areas of Main Camp known as Hillside and Brookside. Campers in both areas enjoy all the same programmatic elements of Main Camp, with a slight difference in the cabins to account for the needs of younger and older camper groups. Younger campers live on Hillside, and older campers live on Brookside; the exact age divide varies depending on the median age of the session.

HILLSIDE

On Hillside, the youngest area of camp, there are 8 campers and 2 counselors in each cabin. Many of the Hillside cabins also have either a Staff-in Training who is 17 years old or an Intern who has just completed high school to help in the cabin. Hillside usually is comprised of K-4th graders and in a shorter session, K-3rd graders. These cabins have electricity and a bathroom with a toilet and sinks; the community shower house is a short distance away. Children are placed in cabins according to their completed school grade, age, and years at camp.

BROOKSIDE

Brookside cabin groups consist of 8-10 campers plus 2 counselors. Some of these cabins also have either a Staff-in Training who is 17 years old or an Intern who has just completed high school to help in the cabin. Our Brookside is usually for 4th-7th graders although during a shorter session, we have 3rd graders living on the Brook. The bathrooms and shower house are close by. Children are placed in cabins according to their completed school grade, age, and years at camp.

The Farm

Animal Care, Gardening, Veterinary Science, Meteorology, Gardening

1890’s Grist Mill

Grinding, Fishing, Cornbread, Water Wheel Churned Ice Cream

Arts & Crafts

Beading, Tye-Dyeing, Batik, Candles, Weaving, Fiber Arts, Pottery

Sports

Focus on fun, skill building, and good sportsmanship

Archery

All ages practice target shooting with recurve bows

Mountain Biking

Several miles of single track, wide open spaces, and a small skills course on site

Climbing

Climbing Tower, Rock Climbing, and Tree Climbing

White Water Kayaking

Learn basic kayak skills on our lake, then take a trip on a local river

Camping Skills & Nature

Hiking, Orienteering, Open Fire Cooking, Nature Study, Aqua Biology, Ecology

Fine Arts

Drama, Singing, Set Design, Creative writing

Tajar Times

Creative Writing, Drawing

Waterfront

Lake, Pool, and Creek activities such as Swimming, Zip Line, Traverse Line, Creek-Hiking, Tubing

Horseback Riding

Hunt seat instruction and Trail Riding

Blacksmithing

Work with iron to create a fine craft

Main Camp
Grades
Dates
Length
Rate
Girls
Boys
Session A
K-7th
Saturday, June 5 - Friday, June 11
7 days
$1975
Session B
K-7th
Sunday, June 13 - Friday, June 25
13 days
$3550
Session C
1st-7th
Sunday, June 27 - Friday, July 16
20 days
$4500
Session C1
K-7th
Sunday, June 27 - Tuesday, July 6
10 days
$2850
Session C2
K-7th
Wednesday, July 7 - Friday, July 16
10 days
$2850
Session D
K-7th
Sunday, July 18 - Friday, July 30
13 days
$3550
Session E
K-7th
Sunday, August 1 - Saturday, August 7
7 days
$1975

Camp Availability Key

Available
Limited Space
Waiting List Only

*If you would like to add your camper to a wait list, please complete the online application and submit the deposit. If a space becomes available, we will communicate with your family before enrolling your child. Your deposit is fully refundable at any time while your child is on the wait list.

* All clothing and personal items must be labeled.
Please look on our Packing page for more details .  The following are some of the essential items included on the Packing List:
  • rain jacket (essential)
  • day pack (book bag)
  • sleeping bag
  • flashlight with extra batteries
  • bathing suit (one piece only) & towel
  • water bottle
  • sunscreen
  • insect repellant
  • closed toe water shoes (old tennis shoes or Keens ok, no Crocs, Tevas, or Aqua Socks)
  • long pants (for chilly mornings & rainy days)
  • sweater, fleece or sweatshirt (it can get chilly)
  • white t-shirt or other item for tie-dyeing or batik
8:00 AM
Wake Up Bell
8:30 AM
Breakfast
9:15 AM
Cabin Time
10:05 AM
Morning Activity 1
11:05 AM
Activity Transition
11:15 AM
Morning Activity 2
12:15 PM
Cabin Time
12:45 PM
Lunch
1:30 PM
Singing, Sign Ups, Announcements
2:15 PM
Rest Hour
3:15 PM
Snack
3:40 PM
Afternoon Activity 1
4:30 PM
Activity Transition
4:40 PM
Afternoon Activity 2
5:30 PM
Cabin Time
6:00 PM
Dinner
7:00 PM
After Supper Activities
7:45 PM
Evening Program
8:30 PM
Bedtime Routines and Friendship Circle

“Gwynn Valley is such a comforting and accepting environment; I look for similarities in any place that I go.  I try to carry the same values such as simplicity, independence, and compassion for others with all that I do, whether at school, work, on the lacrosse field, or volunteering.  GV is my favorite place on earth; it has helped me become the person I am proud to say I am today.

Mountainside

A co-ed program for campers finishing 6th - 9th grades.

PLAYING OUTSIDE & GROWING INSIDE

After finishing 6th, 7th, 8th, or 9th grade, Mountainside is a good option for many young people to continue their Gwynn Valley experience, or to attend Gwynn Valley for the first time. Mountainside has two 10-day sessions and two 3-week sessions and gives young people the opportunity to become an essential part of a small community of 50 campers. In Mountainside, campers are asked to take on more responsibility for themselves and the community. With this responsibility however, comes more freedom, spontaneity, and involvement in the program.

THREE-WEEK SESSION

During the three week session of Mountainside, campers participate in daily activities in addition to a 4 day wilderness adventure during the last week of the session. Throughout the session, activities are centered on positive peer interaction, community building, learning skills, and preparing for the adventures. Activities leading up to the adventures encompass rock/wall climbing, hiking, orienteering, earth skills, pioneer skills, mountain biking, lake and river canoeing, teamwork and initiatives, service projects, and the ropes course. Many of the activities during the Mountainside program are similar to our Main Camp program. These might include arts and crafts, waterfront, creek hiking, tubing, group games, campouts, a visit to the Farm, sports, international days, and many others. Adventures In the first week, all campers will spend five separate days on “mini adventures” which gives them the opportunity to try each of the adventures offered. The second week, campers choose an adventure and then spend two days learning and practicing the skills needed to participate in it. During the third week, campers head out for their 4 day adventure. Possible adventures for each session could be: flat and whitewater canoeing, rock climbing, mountain biking, backpacking, and earth skills. Most activities that leave camp will take place in Pisgah National Forest, Nantahala National Forest or DuPont State Forest. Pisgah and Nantahala National Forest activities are authorized by US Forest Service special permits.

TEN DAY SESSION

The shorter 10 day Mountainside experience is a great way to be introduced to what Mountainside has to offer on a smaller scale. The same core philosophy of the 3 week sessions holds true in our shorter program: learning successful group living, respect for the environment and the outdoors, and developing new outdoor skills. Adventures The possible adventures for the 10 day sessions are similar to those offered during the 3 week sessions. Campers will spend a half day trying out each of the five adventures on “mini adventures”. Next they choose the adventure in which they want to participate and spend one day training in this particular activity. They will then be ready for their overnight adventure which consists of two days and two nights out of camp in Pisgah National Forest or Dupont State Forest.

Rock Climbing

Climbing on a climbing wall and real rock face on belay.

Mountain Biking

Mountain biking on site and in Dupont State Forest

White Water Canoeing

Open-boat canoeing on nearby rivers.

Backpacking

Orienteering, Leave-no-trace camping, Hiking

Earth Skills

Fire craft and open fire cooking, knife skills, shelter building

Other Activities

Crafts, Farm, Sports, Camping Skills & Nature, High Ropes Course, & other camp activities based on interests of the campers.

Mountainside
Grades
Dates
Length
Rate
Girls
Boys
MS1-A
6-9th
Saturday, June 5 - Monday, June 14
10 days
$2900
MS1-B
6-9th
Wednesday, June 16 - Friday, June 25
10 days
$2900
MS2
6-9th
Sunday, June 27 - Friday, July 16
3 weeks
$4750
MS3
6-9th
Sunday, July 18 - Saturday, August 7
3 weeks
$4750

Camp Availability Key

Available
Limited Space
Waiting List Only

*If you would like to add your camper to a wait list, please complete the online application and submit the deposit. If a space becomes available, we will communicate with your family before enrolling your child. Your deposit is fully refundable at any time while your child is on the wait list.

* All clothing and personal items must be labeled.
Please look on our Packing page for more details .  The following are some of the essential items included on the Packing List:
  • Firm soled shoes or light to medium weight hiking boots
  • hat for sun protection
  • rainjacket (essential)
  • wool or fleece socks
  • quick-dry shirts, shorts, & pants
  • synthetic long underwear
  • compact, lightweight sleeping bag
  • headlamp with extra batteries
  • fleece sweater, pullover, or jacket
  • day pack/book bag
8:30 AM
Breakfast
9:15 AM
Cabin Time
10:00-12:30
Activity Time/Sign-Ups: Adventure or Training
12:45 PM
Lunch
2:15 PM
Rest Hour
3:15-5:30 PM
Activity Time/ Sign-Ups or Adventure Training
5:30 PM
Group Time
6:00 PM
Dinner
7:00 PM
After Supper Activities
8:00 PM
Mountainside/Riverside Evening Program
9:30 PM
Bedtime Routine & Friendship Circle

“Being at Gwynn Valley has helped me not only grow as a professional in my management skills, but I came out of my shell a little bit. My anxiety of being around large groups has decreased dramatically, and the comfort of the camp atmosphere that [Anne and Grant] have created is a major reason for that.” 

Riverside

A co-ed program for campers finishing 9th & 10th grade.

NEW CHALLENGES

Riverside is a good opportunity for young people who have finished 9th and 10th grades to continue their Gwynn Valley experiences. The community living, physical challenges, responsibility, and peer interactions provided in Mountainside continue in development and are expanded upon in Riverside.

THE PROGRAM

A large portion of the time on Riverside will be spent on three separate four-day wilderness adventures off of camp property. Each trip will focus on one of the following skills: rock climbing, white water canoeing, and backpacking. As a Riversider, campers will not only be involved in participating in the trips, but will also be active in the many aspects of getting ready for multi-day excursions. Our days at camp will be spent preparing for the adventures, building skills for each outdoor component, participating in a service project, and building a strong Riverside community. Availability and Living Arrangements Riverside campers live in “Indian Paintbrush” and “Joe Pye” along with one counselor for each cabin. The Head Counselor and Logistics Coordinator will also help with cabin responsibilities. These cabins are close to the “Center”, which will act as the community meeting space and shower house. Campers take an active role in maintaining a cooperative spirit by assisting with maintaining our Riverside community. When they are on camp, they will eat in our dining room with the rest of camp. Riverside is not for everyone. Young people with a keen interest in the outdoors, a strong desire to develop skills in adventure recreation activities, and a concern for building a positive, responsible community will get the most out of their experience on Riverside. Most activities that leave camp will take place in Pisgah National Forest, Nantahala National Forest or DuPont State Forest. Pisgah and Nantahala National Forest activities are authorized by US Forest Service special permits.

White Water Canoeing

A four day adventure canoeing on multiple nearby rivers

Rock Climbing

A four day rock climbing adventure

Backpacking

A four day adventure backpacking in nearby national forests

Other Activities

Waterfront, Arts & Crafts, Pottery, group games & initiatives

Riverside
Grades
Dates
Length
Rate
Girls
Boys
RS1
9-10th
Saturday, June 5 - Friday, June 25
3 weeks
$5300
RS2
9-10th
Sunday, June 27 - Friday, July 16
3 weeks
$5300
RS3
9-10th
Sunday, July 18 - Saturday, August 7
3 weeks
$5300

Camp Availability Key

Available
Limited Space
Waiting List Only

*If you would like to add your camper to a wait list, please complete the online application and submit the deposit. If a space becomes available, we will communicate with your family before enrolling your child. Your deposit is fully refundable at any time while your child is on the wait list.

* All clothing and personal items must be labeled.
Please look on our Packing page for more details .  The following are some of the essential items included on the Packing List:
  • Firm soled shoes or light to medium weight hiking boots
  • hat for sun protection
  • rainjacket (essential)
  • wool or fleece socks
  • quick-dry shirts, shorts, & pants
  • synthetic long underwear
  • compact, lightweight sleeping bag
  • headlamp with extra batteries
  • fleece sweater, pullover, or jacket
  • day pack/book bag
8:30 AM
Breakfast
9:15 AM
Cabin Time
10:00-12:30
Activity Time/Sign-Ups or Adventure Training
12:45 PM
Lunch
1:30 PM
RS Time
2:15 PM
Rest Hour
3:15-5:30 PM
Activity Time/Sign-Ups or Adventure Training
5:30 PM
Group Time
6:00 PM
Dinner
7:00 PM
After Supper Activities
8:00 PM
Mountainside/Riverside Evening Program
9:30 PM
Bedtime Routine & Friendship Circle

“You guys make the highlight of hundreds of children’s summer. Riverside might be the best three weeks of my entire life, and I still talk to most of them still to this day, two years later! Every year, you guys fulfill my need for adventure, loving people, and a place to just be myself. I am my true self at Gwynn Valley.”

Young Leaders

A co-ed program for campers finishing 9th and 10th grades.

LEARNING TO LEAD

The Young Leaders Program is part of Gwynn Valley’s Older Program progression and is specifically designed for campers finishing 9th and 10th grades. This program focuses on leadership development and acts as a bridge between camper and staff roles at Gwynn Valley. Leadership skills developed in this program will serve campers in many aspects of young adulthood and beyond. These are the key components of the Young Leaders Program.

THE PROGRAM

Much like on Riverside, the Young Leaders live together in single-gender cabins under the direct supervision of a staff member. In both the boy’s cabin and the girl’s cabin, there is a staff member living in the cabin as a designated YL cabin counselor and additional support staff such as program leaders who live in the physical space to provide support and coverage where needed. As in all program areas at camp, there is also a Head Counselor who oversees the Young Leaders program. Community Building: As in all programs at Gwynn Valley, we place a strong emphasis on community building with peers. Young Leaders are still campers and will have the opportunity to participate in uniquely designed evening programs, art projects, trips, activities, socializing and more. Young Leaders participate as a group in some Main Camp activities as interest, time and resources allow. Young Leaders are able to participate at the farm, stables, crafts, mill, waterfront, and more. Leadership Seminars: The exact list of seminars is always evolving based on the interests and specialties of both staff and campers at Gwynn Valley in a given summer. o=Some of our past Leadership Seminar topics included exploring personal leadership styles, servant leadership, public speaking, gender and leadership, outdoor adventure and leadership, event planning, the FISH! philosophies, child development, conflict mediation, and among others. First Aid & CPR Certification: Young Leaders participate in a full day of training and receive a certification in basic First Aid & CPR through the Red Cross. This certification is valid for 2 years. Apprenticing with Main Camp Program Leaders: Young Leaders have the opportunity to participate in Main Camp activities as an apprentice by assisting with instruction during Morning Discoveries. Young Leaders are assigned to discoveries based on their interests and skills as well as the needs of camp. Outdoor Adventure: This aspect of Gwynn Valley is very much part of the YL Program, though it is emphasized less strongly than in Mountainside and Riverside. On camp, Young Leaders participate in hiking, swimming, the Ropes Course, and camping out as all Gwynn Valley campers do. Young Leaders also leave camp for a taste of outdoor adventure (day trips only) such as white water rafting, hiking and swimming in nearby National and State forests. Additional day trips in rock climbing or mountain biking could be added depending on the interests of the group. Community Service and Chores: Young Leaders help the Gwynn Valley community by setting tables before each meal and helping out with big camp events such as Special Day and Tajar Ball. Young Leaders also engage in a few community service trips off camp such as volunteering at the Transylvania County Boys & Girls Club and donating surplus GV Farm produce to local food pantries and soup kitchens. The Young Leaders Program was founded in 2016 and continues to evolve each summer. If you have any questions about the program, please contact Kevin McDonald via email (kevin@gwynnvalley.com) or phone (828-885-2900).

The Farm

Animal Care, Gardening, Veterinary Science, Meteorology, Gardening

1890’s Grist Mill

Grinding, Fishing, Cornbread, Water Wheeled Churned Ice Cream

Arts & Crafts

Beading, Tye-Dyeing, Batik, Candles, Weaving

Sports

Archery, Soccer, Mountain Biking, Climbing, International Games, Basketball, Volleyball

Archery

All ages practice target shooting with recurve bows

Mountain Biking

Several miles of single track, wide open spaces, and a small skills course on site

Climbing

Climbing Tower, Rock Climbing, Tree Climbing

White Water Kayaking

Learn basic kayak skills on our lake, then take a trip on a local river

Camping Skills & Nature

Hiking, Nature Study, Aqua Biology, Ecology

Fine Arts

Creative Writing, Drama, Set Design

Tajar Times

Creative Writing, Drawing

Waterfront

Swimming, Kayaking, Tubing, Creek Hiking

Horseback Riding

Hunt Seat Instruction, Ring and Trail Riding

Blackmithing

Work with iron to create a fine craft

Young Leaders
Grades
Dates
Length
Rate
Girls
Boys
YL1
9-10th
Saturday, June 5 - Friday, June 25
3 weeks
$3600
YL2
9-10th
Sunday, June 27 - Friday, July 16
3 weeks
$3600
YL3
9-10th
Sunday, July 18 - Saturday, August 7
3 weeks
$3600

Camp Availability Key

Available
Limited Space
Waiting List Only

*If you would like to add your camper to a wait list, please complete the online application and submit the deposit. If a space becomes available, we will communicate with your family before enrolling your child. Your deposit is fully refundable at any time while your child is on the wait list.

* All clothing and personal items must be labeled.
Please look on our Packing page for more details .  The following are some of the essential items included on the Packing List:
  • rain jacket (essential)
  • day pack (book bag)
  • sleeping bag
  • flashlight with extra batteries
  • bathing suit (one piece or takini only) & towel
  • water bottle
  • sunscreen
  • insect repellant
  • closed toe water shoes (old tennis shoes or Keens ok, no Crocs, Tevas, or Aqua Socks)
  • long pants (for chilly mornings & rainy days)
  • sweater, fleece or sweatshirt (it can get chilly)
  • white t-shirt or other item for tie-dyeing or batik
7:45 AM
Wakeup
8:00 AM
Set Tables
8:30 AM
Breakfast
9:15 AM
Cabin Time
10:05 AM -12:15
Program Assistant Teaching Time
12:15 PM
Set Tables
12:45 PM
Lunch
2:15 PM
Rest Hour
3:15 PM
Snack
3:40 PM
Leadership Training or Young Leader Group Activity
5:30 PM
Set Tables
6:00 PM
Dinner
7:00 PM
After Supper Activities or Young Leader Group Time
7:45 PM
Main Camp Evening Program
8:30 PM
Young Leader Evening Program
9:30 PM
Bedtime Routine & Friendship Circle

“Here I grew up, I challenged myself, I made my most important friendships, I laughed, I cried, and I escaped the city and the “real world”. As your camper, I spent 5 amazing summers, and as your employee, I loved a job more than I ever thought was possible.”

Day Camp

We will not run our Day Camp program for the 2021 season due to COVID-19

After a lot of thought, planning, dialogue, and research, we are saddened to inform you that Gwynn Valley has decided to cancel our Day Camp Program for the 2021 summer. For those of you who have been waiting to enroll, we are sorry.

Gwynn Valley’s primary mission has always been to nurture each child by building character and relationships in a community that fosters personal challenge, a connection to nature, and the simple joys of childhood through the overnight camp experience and this goal remains constant. We plan to run our overnight program. Closing the Day Camp program will help us decrease our camper and staff numbers which will provide more space to spread out on our site for meals and in program. One of our challenges in Day Camp would be the daily exposure of campers coming in each day from their location. Our Day Camp Staff live on site, so this decision will help to mitigate the risk of daily exposure for them and others in our camp community.  Although it is impossible to eliminate the risk of exposure to COVID, we are striving to minimize it and mitigate it as best we can.  

COVID-19 has interrupted, changed, and challenged us all in so many ways. Many children have spent the year learning virtually with limited opportunities for gathering with friends which is why we are moving forward with running Gwynn Valley’s overnight program for all of our age groups.  As we move forward with plans to open camp this summer, we feel that this is the best decision for the health of our campers, staff, and camp. We hope you understand our position. 

If you are interested in an overnight session for your child this summer, please feel free to reach out to us.

The Farm

Animal Care, Gardening, Veterinary Science, Meteorology, Gardening

1890’s Grist Mill

Grinding, Fishing, Cornbread, Water Wheeled Churned Ice Cream

Arts & Crafts

Candles, Tye-Dyeing, Gourd Art, Painting

Horseback Riding

Hunt Seat Instruction, Barn and Horse Care Lessons, Ring and Trail Riding

Waterfront

Swimming, Kayaking, Tubing, Creek Hiking

Archery

Learn safety and technique for target shooting

Sports

Archery, Soccer, International Games, Basketball, Volleyball

Climbing

Climbing tower for oldest group

Camping Skills & Nature

Hiking, Nature Study, Aqua Biology, Ecology

Fine Arts

Learn & perform songs & skits

Day Camp
Grades
Dates
Length
Rate
Girls
Boys

Camp Availability Key

Available
Limited Space
Waiting List Only

*If you would like to add your camper to a wait list, please complete the online application and submit the deposit. If a space becomes available, we will communicate with your family before enrolling your child. Your deposit is fully refundable at any time while your child is on the wait list.