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Monday, November 6, 2017
@ Family ProgramsSummer 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. 

Registration begins in person and online February 20, 2017 at 9:00am (see details below).

We offer you four distinct camp experiences for your children:

  • Early Childhood 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. Our three (3) weeks will also have basic animal themes, early childhood discovery of shapes, numbers, and colors, along with socialization and group dynamics throughout the 3-hour day. (options: add additional children or adults).
    • June 26-30, Camp #EC 1 “Play It Again, Sam!” Learning how to share with others, forming friendships, and introducing early childhood concepts of nature, the arts, and play.

    • July 10 – 14, Camp #EC 2 “Wild Exploration” Hikes, plant collections, animal signs, and lots of hands-on activities will engage our campers in how nature thrives in our sub-tropical ecosystem of North Carolina. Crafts, stories, & games will depict the struggles of wild survival.  

    • July 24-28, Camp #EC 3 “Discovery Camp” Mini-science experiments, daily discovery hikes, & physical activities for young minds are all designed to introduce children to nature through basic connections comparing our homes to the outside world. Colors, shapes, sizes are all but games for early childhood learning during camp!

  • Kindergarten Camp is a great way to engage your five year old in the wonders of camp life, social interaction, communication skills, and self-expression through the arts. (options: pre & post camp care)
  • June 19-23, Camp #K 1 “Introduction to Nature” An easy introduction to nature, how it works, the essentials of life, connections to living organisms, and lots of fun teachable moments with hikes, games, crafts, and live animals!

  • July 3-7, Camp #K 2 “Craft Time with Critters” Learning  about nature through visual arts, crafts, Trillium Trail adventures, with emphasis on sharing things as a team and with nature will bring about an appreciation for other campers, community, and our own strengths.  

  • July 17-21, Camp #K 3 “Feathers, Fur, and Fun” This week will introduce campers to the sciences of botany, mammology, herpetology, and more. Through more games &  crafts, explorations on ground, and nature hikes out to the Trillium Trail, campers feel, see, hear, and collect & return native specimens to the forest after discovering what life abounds in our mountains.

  • Wild Weeks Camps are for children entering first grade through third grade this fall (2017). Camps will vary slightly during the seven (7) scheduled weeks with basic themes on animals, outdoor recreation, crafts, and group activities on the grounds. (options: pre & post camp care)
    • June 19-23, Camp #WW 1 “Beetles, Bugs, and Butterflies” Discovery the tiny world of insects that look a whole lot larger when we see them up close! Hands-on collection, identification, and release of our native bugs promotes ethical choices in wildlife conservation and engagement into research technology.

    • June 26 -30, Camp #WW 2 “Camp Wattchamacallit” This camp explores the world of nature including animals, plants, and ecosystems in a fun and safe environment. Nature hikes, animal encounters, crafts, and plenty of fun challenges will encourage your child to learn about our wild mountains!

    • July 3-7, Camp #WW 3 “Crafting with Nature” Designing your passion for nature through art is a significant way of connecting our culture with plants & animals. Trillium Trail hiking, wild collections, and multi-media crafting will provide our campers an opportunity to embrace our mountains beauty and heritage.

    • July 10-14, Camp #WW 4 “Reptiles and Amphibians” Herpetology is the name of the game. Investigation of our cold-blooded reptiles & amphibians will include ecology, biology, recycling crafts, stories, and games that will surround these living fossils of the earth.

    • July 17-21, Camp #WW 5 “Raccoon Rangers” Would you like to be a Forest Ranger or Game Warden? This camp will empower campers to look at careers in wildlife ecology and protection. Games, challenges, crafts, and outdoor research will engage them in how important science is and how fun it can be!

    • July 24-28, Camp #WW 6 “Swannanoa River Camp” It’s gonna’ be wet! Come prepared to see, feel, and experience how water makes life possible on our planet. Science activities, games, crafts, and a trip into the Swannanoa River will grant us the fascinating look at the properties of water, H2O! Conservation, ethical decision making, and great fun will be our goals!

    • July 31 - August 4, Camp #WW 7 “Woodland Arts and Crafts” Summer camp concludes with tons of nature crafting, using specialty craft supplies and mediums to make all sorts of majestic art pieces to treasure for years to come! Hikes, games, outdoor fun all included! Art show on the last day: families invited to come early!!

  • Nature’s Bio-Blitz Camp is a 3-day camp offered June14-16, is for youth entering fourth through seventh grade in the fall of 2017. This camp promotes critical thinking and citizen science as a means of collecting and analyzing aspects of our wild heritage from 8:30am – 3:00pm. (campers will be getting wet each day; options: pre & post camp care).
About Camp

Camp Hours

  • Early Childhood Camps: Mon-Fri., 9:00 a.m.-12 noon (child-parent combination)
  • Kindergarten, Wild Weeks, and Bio-Blitz Camps:  Mon.-Fri., 8:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m. (arrival time 8:15-8:30 a.m.)
  • Pre-Care - 7:30-8:30 a.m. (additional fee, see below)
  • After Care – 3:00-5:00 p.m. (additional fee, see below)
Grade Level & Class Size

Registration is based on the grade the child will be entering in the fall 2017. Kindergarten and Bio-Blitz camps have a maximum of 15 campers per session. Early Childhood camps have a maximum of 20 participants (parents and children) while Wild Week Camps have a maximum of 20 campers per week. 

Pre & Post Camp Care Options

We offer families the option to drop off their your camper(s) at 7:30am, one-hour prior to the beginning of camp called our Pre-Care Service. We also offer After (Post) Care Service where families can extend the camp experience with a pick-up time of 5:00pm instead of 3:00pm. Children in After Care generally swim at the Rec Park Pool unless the weather dictates a pool closing. These services are not pro-rated daily, so please pre-register or sign up on the first day of camp.

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. Camp registration may be denied if the need is determined to be in excess to camp resources and capabilities. Parents are asked to discuss this need with Keith Mastin prior to registration at (828)259-8082.

Registration Fees:

Early Childhood Camps

  • Registration per child/parent is $85.00 (Members of the Friends of the WNCNC)
  • Additional participant is $35.00 (Members of the Friends of the WNCNC)
  • Registration per child/parent is $100.00 (Non-members)
  • Additional participant is $40.00 (Non-members)

Kindergarten and Wild Weeks Camps

  • Registration is $175.00/week (Members of the Friends of the WNCNC)
  • Registration is $200.00/week (Non-members)
  • Pre-Care is $25.00/week (Members and Non-members)
  • After Care is $50.00/week (Members and Non-members)

Bio-Blitz 3-Day Camp

  • Registration is $105.00/session (Members of the Friends of the WNCNC)
  • Registration is $120.00/session (Non-members)
  • Pre-Care is $15.00/week (Members and Non-members)
  • After Care is $30.00/week (Members and Non-members)
Fees include instruction, activities, snacks, all materials and a gift.

How to Register

Pre-registration is required with full payment to guarantee enrollment in the camp session of your choice. Registration begins in person and online February 20, 2017 at 9:00 am. 

Click here for a camp registration form or register ONLINE starting February 20.

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.


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


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