Best Overnight Camps In North Carolina 2024

Overnight Camps In North Carolina

There’s nothing like summertime in North Carolina. Scenic forests like the Pisgah National Forest, rich history, and beautiful beaches offer tons of different ways to enjoy the outdoors.

Your child can relax by the coastal beaches or head to the mountains to explore rivers, lakes, and dense forests at any of these sleepaway camps in North Carolina.

The experience of summer camp is highly beneficial for children. A week away from home where they can make new friends, try new activities, and learn about the natural world can be transformative and restorative.

With plenty of national parks around the state, North Carolina is the perfect place for your children to spend a week or two at a camp.

Best Overnight Camps In North Carolina

Summer CampLocationAgesGenderSession Lengths
Camps Kahdalea & ChosatongaBrevard8-17Separate Boys and Girls1, 2, 3, 5, 9 weeks
AICL Summer Enrichment CampAsheville8-18Coed1, 2 weeks
Rockbrook Summer CampBrevard6-16Girls2, 3, 4 weeks
YMCA Camp KanataWake Forest6-15Coed1 week
Green River PreserveCedar Mountain6-15Coed1, 2, 3 weeks
Camp Glen ArdenZirconia6-17Girls13, 20, 27 days
Camp IllaheeBrevard7-17Girls1, 2, 4 weeks
YMCA Camp HanesKing6-15Coed1 week
Camp RockmontBlack Mountain7-16Boys6, 13, 20, 27 days
Gwynn Valley CampBrevard5-16Coed7, 10, 13, 20 days

1. Camps Kahdalea and Chosatonga

Camps Kahdalea & Chosatonga

Camps Kahdalea for Girls and Camp Chosatonga for Boys take campers 8-17 for an adventure in the Blue Ridge Mountains. These overnight camps feature programs that last 1, 2, 3, 5, and 9 weeks. 

Their facilities feature rock climbing walls, sports fields, high ropes courses, archery range, and everything else you’d come to expect from a premier summer camp. While surrounded by 500,000 acres of wilderness, kids can partake in outdoor activities like white after rafting, mountain biking, kayaking, and rock climbing. They also have arts and crafts, drama classes, dance, tennis, and more, so there is a diverse range of activities for everyone. 

These two separate camps follow a philosophy of prioritizing the well-being of your camper while encouraging them to challenge themselves to foster growth. They instill values in them like, like a willingness to help others and accepting everyone. There are many denominations of Christianity represented at Camps Kahdalea and Chosatonga. 

There are sibling discounts for families with multiple children and even a family camp that brings everyone together for an unforgettable weekend in Brevard. 

2. AICL Summer Enrichment Camp

Appalachian Institute for Creative Learning

One summer can change everything at the Appalachian Institute for Creative Learning. Kids can join the AICL 2024 Camp for a transformative summer! This enriching program offers immersive academic experiences, inclusive connections, and supportive mentorship.

From creative hands-on learning to meaningful friendships, campers thrive in a safe and nurturing environment where curiosity is celebrated, challenges are embraced, and endless possibilities await. It’s designed for ages 8-18 at Mars Hill University from July 7th through July 20th.

3. Rockbrook Summer Camp

Rockbrook Summer Camp is an all-girls program welcoming those ages 6-16. You will find it nestled in the gorgeous Appalachian mountains with scenic outlooks and waterfalls around its 215-acre campus. Its beginnings date back to 1921, and it has always made it its mission to provide young girls with a fun experience filled with blooming friendships and a supportive camp community.

Rockbrook Summer Camp

A typical day at Camp Rockbrook will have girls participate in scheduled activities under the guidance of experienced camp counselors who act as mentors. There will also be free time available so they can play with friends and form strong bonds.

Your daughters can participate in activities like horseback riding, white water rafting, arts and crafts, team sports, hiking and backpacking, dance, acting, and much more! Horseback riding is one of their main specialties, with a specialty camp dedicated to it for girls who are really into horseback riding and want to enjoy it to the fullest.

Parents can sign up their daughters for 2 to 4-week sessions in June and July. They will stay with 8 to 10 other girls in open-air cabins based on their age group.

4. YMCA Camp Kanata

Boys and girls ages 6 – 15 are welcome to spend a week at the YMCA’s Camp Kanata. Camp Kanata’s rustic cabins and no technology policy help kids disconnect from social media and enjoy the simple pleasures of life. Camp Kanata is located just north of Raleigh on 150 acres of forest. The counselor to camper ratio of 1:5 helps counselors give each camper individual attention and care throughout the week. 

Kids can spend their time exploring the wildlife and tranquil trails around camp. There are tons of activities to choose from, like ropes courses, disc golf, canoeing, arts, sports, waterfront activities, and drama. Their Neuse River trip is a seven-mile excursion led by trained counselors, and campers ages 12-15 can sign up for the day trip in advance. 

Camp sessions run from June through August and can be booked online. Day camps and weekend camps are also available for those who can’t commit to a full week or just want to see what Camp Kanata is all about. 

5. Green River Preserve

Located near DuPont State Recreational Forest in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina, Green River Preserve offers coed campers a place to learn about the importance of environmental protection and appreciation. With a counselor to camper ratio of 1:3, campers are adequately supported as they grow physically, spiritually, socially, and intellectually. 

Participants learn about environmental science and explore the natural world by rock climbing, fly fishing, canoeing, biking, learning outdoor skills, and going on the popular mentor hike. During the mentor hike, expert naturalists guide campers through the camp’s forests, streams, and valleys, where they can discover waterfalls and caves while learning things about the environment. Other camp activities include yoga, music, arts, theatre, homesteading skills, ropes courses, and field games. 

Different camp sessions lasting 1-3 weeks are offered from June through August for children in 1st-9th grade. The Rookie Session is available for children who are new to summer camps. 

6. Camp Glen Arden

For over 70 years, girls in 1st through 11th grades have been coming to Camp Glen Arden to connect with nature in a supportive environment. The summer sessions run from June until August with 2, 3, or 4-week camp experiences. 

Camp Glen Arden summer camp for girls is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, where evergreens, rhododendron, and fresh air inspire campers to appreciate the great outdoors. The all-girls camp emphasizes the importance of physical strength, health, and connections with friends and nature.

Campers have access to various activities such as horseback riding, rock climbing, pottery, mountain biking, gymnastics, music, waterfront games, swimming, sports, and more! 

Camp Glen Arden’s progression system is used to pace girls through activities from beginner skill level to expert skill level. Together, campers and counselors push each other, support each other, and celebrate each other’s accomplishments. In August, they also host a mother/daughter weekend.

7. Camp Illahee

Founded in 1921, Camp Illahee offers a beautiful environment for girls to grow, learn, and make meaningful friendships. Located in the western region, Camp Illahee boasts beautiful open-air cabins, an abundant forest, and a spring-fed lake. On the beautiful campgrounds, girls can spend the week horseback riding, playing games, and learning wilderness survival skills. 

At this all-girls summer camp, they can explore new interests, enjoy the outdoors, and celebrate Christian values. Girls spend their days exploring different activities like archery, canoeing, outdoor sports, pottery, woodworking, ropes courses, rock climbing, and trail hiking. They might even take a field trip to the Sliding Rocks or the Hannah Ford Farm. 

Kids book their schedules in advance, so they know exactly what they’ll be doing when they arrive at camp. It’s truly one of the best North Carolina summer camps for girls. At night, they gather around to play games, dance, do skits, and connect with each other. 

Junior camp is a five-day introductory program for girls entering 2nd-5th grades. Two-week sessions are available for girls entering 2nd-8th grades, or camp enthusiasts can enroll in three or four-week sessions for girls in 3rd-11th grade. 

8. YMCA Camp Hanes

YMCA has a few sleepaway camps in North Carolina. The YMCA’s Camp Hanes is located in the northwest region of the state. Here, kids ages 6-15 can spend a week camping with their peers and trained counselors in a Christian-focused setting. 

Daily activities include swimming, outdoor cooking, paddleboarding, nature study, hiking, rock climbing, horseback riding, fishing, riflery, arts and crafts, sports, and chapel service. At night, campers bond by the campfire, play cabin games, perform during skit night, or enjoy a nighttime pool party. The wide variety of activities at this summer camp allows kids to explore new interests and develop new life skills. 

Campers are divided by age into groups of 1st-4th graders, 5th-7th graders, and 8th-10th graders. Young adults interested in leadership can enroll in the Leaders in Training session or the Counselors in Training session, so they can one day become a camp counselor or camp director. 

9. Camp Rockmont

Camp Rockmont offers all-boys residential summer camps. Located just outside Asheville in North Carolina’s mountains, Camp Rockmont offers young men the opportunity to develop physically, emotionally, spiritually, and socially. Boys ages 7-16 can enroll for 1, 2, 3, or 4-week sessions this season. 

There’s so much to do at Camp Rockmont. Kids can choose from wilderness survival skills courses, waterfront activities, outdoor sports, Appalachian arts, adventure trips, and group activities to fill their days. Horseback riding and whitewater rafting are some of the adventure trip highlights. 

At camp, boys have access to hiking trails and a private lake for swimming, paddle boarding, and bouncing on the blob or water trampoline. Additionally, counselor training programs are available for 16 and 17-year-olds interested in becoming camp counselors. Children can welcome to experience an unforgettable summer camp where they can focus on Christian values and grow as individuals. 

10. Gwynn Valley Camp

Gwynn Valley Camp values simplicity, sustainability, nature, and non-competitive activities. The camp’s conservation easement protects the 435 acres of land and its endangered plants and animal species. At Gwynn Valley, youth learn about food production, sustainability, and recycling in a positive camp environment. Camp leaders strive to teach children the importance of sustainable practices and living in harmony with nature. 

Campers gain access to traditional camp activities like rock climbing, horseback riding, arts and crafts, ropes courses, canoeing and kayaking, mountain biking, and wilderness survival skills. In addition, they explore the camp farm, which provides most of their meals, and create cornmeal and grits from scratch at the mill.

This overnight camp even has its own newspaper, the Tajar Times, where campers can conduct interviews, follow stories, and publish articles. Backpacking day trips are also available, as well as activities like blacksmithing and creative writing. 

Camp Gwynn is located in the western region of North Carolina just an hour outside of Asheville. Younger campers K-6th grade can enroll in Main Camp, which runs June 4th through August 6th. Students in 6-8th grade can enroll in Mountainside Camp, and 8th-9th graders can enroll in Riverside Camp. While 9th and 10th graders interested in becoming camp counselors can enroll in the Young Leaders program. 

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