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Monday, March 02, 2015
@ EducationSummer Camps


Summer camps at the Nature Center are fun, educational experiences for all campers. Camp facilitators draw upon the Nature Center staff naturalist and the natural history collection to present a program designed to involve children in the wonders of the natural world. The classroom provides a headquarters for crafts, lessons, and shelter from summer heat and thunderstorms as the children engage in exploratory activities throughout the Nature Center. Each camp session offers creative themes using both plants and animals in its design, offering fun learning activities using STEM education (science, technology, engineering, and math) along with arts and social studies.  As a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, we celebrate the continuous promotion of making proper ethical choices for our environment!

We offer you three distinct camp experiences for you and your children:
  1. Wild Weeks Camps are for children entering first grade this fall (2015) and older, with each week offered to specific grade levels with specific topics for that week’s experience.
  2. Pee Wee Camps are designed primarily for children ages 3-5 and offered to the child/parent combination with at least one parent/guardian accompanying the child throughout the experience.
  3. Overnight Delight We present an evening of crafts, activities, a Wolf Howling program, and bonfire story telling right on grounds.  Pitch a tent or stay in the Appalachian Station and let us do the rest! Evening snacks with a continental breakfast. Any grade level & all family members welcomed!

Click here for pdf registration form or register online here starting March 2!

About Camp

Wild Week Camps 
Are for campers entering first grade or above. Each camp is designated by grade level, sharing three consecutive grades in each camp session (IE: grades 1-3 or 4-6). Campers are responsible for bringing closed-toed shoes, a lunch, a water bottle, and sunscreen. Snacks are provided daily and drinks are available at the vending machines outdoors. Wild Week camps also offer AfterCare services, 3:00-5:00 p.m., for children who need extended coverage at the 3:00pm close of camp each day. AfterCare consists of visiting &/or swimming at the Parks and Rec Pool. Please provide our staff with the status of your child’s swimming challenges if any. Wild Week Camps run  June 15 – July 31, Mon.-Fri., from 8:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m. (arrival time 8:15-8:30 a.m.).

Pee Wee Camps
Are for preschool and kindergarten children with a parent or guardian. Our pre-K camps are designed to enhance basic learning skills by connecting nature with the arts, sciences, mathematics, and the English language. Pee Wee Camps run: June 22 - 26, July 6 - 10, and/or July 20 - 24, Mon-Fri., from 9:00 a.m.-12 noon. Each morning we will host a new theme, discovering life with activities, outdoor adventures, crafts, snacks, games, and storytelling. Let’s not forget to meet some of our animals with a close encounter! Topics include predators, reptiles, amphibians, farm animals, birds, flowers, trees, and various environments. This is a marvelous introduction to the camp atmosphere for Pre-K and kindergarten children.

Overnight Delight
Invites the entire family for a sleepover at the Nature Center with programming, crafts, tours, and plenty of food!

Camp Hours

** Pee Wee Camps: Mon-Fri., 9:00 a.m.-12 noon (child-parent combination)

** Wild Week Camps:  Mon.-Fri., 8:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m. (arrival time 8:15-8:30 a.m.)

**Overnight Delight: August  6-7 (Thursday 7:00pm – Friday 10:00am)

**After Care – 3:00-5:00 p.m. (for Wild Week Camps only, additional fee, see below).

Grade Level & Class Size

Registration is based on the grade the child will be entering in the fall 2015-16 school year. Unless otherwise noted, each class is limited to a maximum of 21 children to ensure individual attention and safety considerations.

Special Needs

The primary goal is safety for campers and staff, and a positive camp experience for all. Camp staff is unable to provide one-on-one supervision for a special needs situation, but we would be happy to assist the family in making those arrangements with a care facilitator of your choice. Parents are asked to discuss this need with the program director prior to registration. Camp registration may be denied if the need is determined to be in excess to camp resources and capabilities.

Registration Fees:

Fees include activities, snacks, all materials and a Wild Weeks t-shirt. Pee Wee camp participants and Overnight Delight families receive a special Nature Center gift in lieu of a tee shirt.  

Pee-Wee Camp (June 22 - 26, July 6 – 10, and/or July 20-24)

Registration per child/parent is $70.00 (Members of the Friends of the WNCNC)
Additional participant is $25.00 (Members of the Friends of the WNCNC)
Registration per child/parent is $75.00 (Non-members)
Additional participant is $25.00 (Non-members)

Wild Week Camp (Weeks One - Seven)
Registration is $150.00/week(Members of the Friends of the WNCNC)
After Care is $50.00/week (Members of the Friends of the WNCNC  
Registration is $175.00/week    (Non-members)
After Care is $50.00/week     (Non-members)


Overnight Delight Family Sleepover (Week Eight only) – child and/or adult pricing

Registration is $30.00/Member of the Friends of the WNCNC
Registration is $35.00/Non-member

How to Register

Pre-registration is required with full payment to guarantee enrollment in the camp session of your choice. To register, you may visit the Nature Center on Sunday March 1 starting at 8:00am. March 1 is registration for Friends of the WNC Nature Center Members only! Please MAKE SURE your membership is up to date. Those adults who come to the WNC Nature Center March 1 (first day of camp registration) will have preferential treatment to registration over any registration forms that had been mailed and received by our office. If you are a member and unable to attend the March 1 registration, you may elect another person to register for you as long as they have your current membership card, the completed camp registration form, and full payment. Open registration will begin for non-members March 2, 2015.

Click here for a camp registration form or register ONLINE starting March 2nd

at:  https://webtrac.asheville.nc.us/wbwsc/ncwebtrac.wsc/wbsplash.html?wbsi=e5d6c94d-03f5-ad90-e311-aa78e5766ce1.

You may also email ([email protected]) or FAX (828-298-2644) your registration, but full payment must be received to finalize your reservation. Payments on line will accept Visa or Master Card. Letters of acceptance will be mailed 3-weeks prior to your designated camp date(s).

Cancellation Policy

A fee of $25.00 will apply to all cancellations. Cancellations must be received at least three weeks prior to the camp session to receive a full refund (minus $25 cancellation fee). 50% of the registration fee will be withheld for cancellations made less than three weeks prior to the session (plus the cancellation fee). No refund for cancellations made three days or less prior to the session. Allow four to six weeks for refunds to be issued from the time of cancellation.


All program activities posted in the course descriptions (below) are subject to change during the course of the week due to weather conditions, timing, or other factors. We will try to accommodate every activity listed in the descriptions, but may need to alter some at the discretion of the camp director and/or the camp facilitator.


Pee Wee Camps

Monday – Friday 9:00am – 12:00noon each week in the Tree Top Classroom, Level A

June 22-26 -  Reptiles and Amphibians                   

July 6-10 - Mammals of the Forest      

July 20-24 - Birds of a Feather


Wild Weeks Summer Camps

Monday – Friday,  June 15 – August 7, 8:30 am – 3:00 pm in our Summer Camp Room,  Level B

June 15 - 19 Grades 1-3 Wende Fonvielle, Beastly Behavior

June 22 - 26 Grades 4-9 Kevin Fitzpatrick, ATBI

June 29 - July 3 Grades 1-3 Cathy Nines, Fur, Feathers, & Scales

July 6 - 10    Grades 1-3 Jeff Menzer, Reptiles & Amphibians 

July 13 - 17 Grades 4-6 Virginia D’Orazio, Spanish Wilds

July 20 - 24 Grades 1-3 Candace Paden, Forest Adventures

July 27 - 31   Grades 1-3 Carlton Burke, Budding Naturalists

August 6 - 7 Family Sleep Over, Nature Center Staff, Overnight Delight

Week #1 - Beastly Behavior (Grades 1 – 3)

June 15-19

Animals can do the zaniest things and our campers get to study the world of behavior as they become Citizen Scientists, observing how our animals react to environmental conditions. Campers will make animal enrichment items, test theories of behavior, use scientific equipment, and participate in experiments designed to stimulate a sense of wonder through science. Crafts, creative activities, nature hikes, and games will help us view the natural world! STEM based learning.

Instructor: Wende Fonvielle

Week #2 - All Taxa Biodiversity Index: ATBI (Grades 4 - 9)

June 22-26

Join visiting state scientists for a documentation effort of our Appalachian flora and fauna called the All Taxa Biodiversity Index (ATBI) along the Trillium Trail and Swannanoa River at the WNC Nature Center. Participants will research multiple forms of living organisms found on our property which are then registered into the ATBI database. Prepare to get wet, dirty and challenged!  All activities are based on scientific collection modules and will involve digging, seining, netting and identifying species of mollusks, fungi, mammals, birds, fish, flowers and ferns. With any scientific research, we may find a new species not yet documented!

Instructor: Kevin Fitzpatrick

Week #3 – Fur, Feathers, & Scales (Grades 1 – 3)

June 29 – July 3

It’s an animal, alright! But how does it survive in these mountains with  winter’s cold, drenching rains, and hot summer days? Discovering these answers and closely examining animal physiology is this year’s best camp for young scientific minds wanting to delve into biology and ecology. Crafts, games, and daily animal programs will enhance your child’s interest in how animals eat, hunt for food, protect themselves, and survive the Appalachian wilderness.

Instructor: Cathy Nines

Week #4 – Amphibians and Reptiles: Fact and Fiction (Grades 1 – 3)

July 6-10

Direct observations of snakes, lizards, turtles, toads, frogs, and salamanders will lead to a study of their life cycles and life styles.  Coloration, patterns, and shapes will be explored through many crafts and activities.

Instructor: Jeff Menzer

Week #5 – Spanish Wilds (Grades 4 - 6)

July 13-17

Buenos dias! It’s another year of beginner’s Spanish for our campers. Learning the basics of Spanish has never been so engaging. Based on integrated learning, campers discover the names of plants, insects, wildlife, and even foods as they journey throughout the center’s 43 acres. Spanish has quickly become our second language in the US and will be an important part of our children’s education. It’s all great fun with crafts, games, and outdoor activities.

Instructor: Virginia D’Orazio

Week #6 – Forest Adventures (Grades 1 - 3)

July 20-24

The theme this week is on connecting plants and animals to their native habitats. Activities will include the arts, games, music, science and team challenges. Several problem-solving scenarios will enhance the campers experience as they make those wild connections between themselves and the world around them! Every day will see 2 hikes to a new animal destination somewhere in the park with interactive games planned to encourage team building and understanding our natural environment.

Instructor: Candace Paden

Week #7 - Budding Naturalists (Grades 1 - 3)

July 28 – August 1

In this week's camp we will explore the wide world of nature through fun activities designed to help young budding nature enthusiasts build a life-long appreciation and respect for the natural wonders around us. Creative games, fun crafts, and numerous outdoor experiences will enlighten camper’s ability to see beyond the sight of something, bringing home an understanding as to why nature exists and how its inhabitants survive!

Instructor: Carlton Burke

Week #8 – Overnight Delight for Families (any age group)

August 7 – 8 (Aug. 7 starting 7:00pm and ending Aug. 8th by 10:00am)

Welcome to this year’s overnight camping opportunity at the Nature Center for families. We present an evening of crafts, activities, a Wolf Howling program, and bon fire story telling right on grounds.  Pitch a tent or stay in the Appalachian Station and let us do the rest! Evening snacks with a continental breakfast. Any grade level & all family members welcomed!

For more information, contact the Nature Center at (828) 259-8082.


~ WNC Nature Center ~ 75 Gashes Creek Road ~ Asheville ~ NC 28805 ~
Phone (828) 259-8080


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