Arboretum’s Discovery Camp and the ultimate in outdoor learning

Kids can explore nature, wildlife, the environment and science during week-long Discovery Camps held at the N.C. Arboretum in Asheville this summer from preschool through middle school. The camps utilize the 434-acre arboretum property as an outdoor classroom to cultivate a sense of adventure and wonder in the outdoors and promote environmental stewardship and conservation.

There are multiple camps at the arboretum throughout the summer on a variety of different themes different weeks. For the specific themes, weeks and times for different age groups, go to

Preschoolers will discover the critters in the forests, ponds and fields and go on short hikes to meet real animals during “animal adventure week.” There is also bug week, and “Camouflage Critters.”

Rising Kindergarten and first graders can spend a week as a “nature ranger” while they play outdoor games, go on hikes and make crafts, or during aquatic week exploring creeks, ponds and puddles and other water habitats. There’s also an “Eco Artists” week or “Fur, Feathers and Scales.”

Rising second and third graders will learn about animals that live in the Southern Appalachians and become junior mountaineers, learning outdoors skills. There’s also a “Nature’s Superheroes!” theme, “Active Adventurers” and “Nature’s Studio.”

For fourth and fifth graders, themes include “Wilderness Explorers,” where they learn to use maps and GPS units while exploring the woods, “Boots, Paddles and Reels” and “Mountain Sports Camp” with activities from disc golf to mountain biking.

The camp for rising sixth through eighth graders will be more adventure based, with hiking, paddling, orienteering and other skills, with field trips to the Pisgah National Forest, Dupont State Forest, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and other recreation spots.

828.665.2492 or

Go to top