Hike / Paddle / Climb

— your way through the adventure of a lifetime! —

Open to all High School Students
Teenagers ages 14 and up, including recently graduated seniors.

2018 Application Coming Soon!

High School Students — attend a summer camp that goes beyond most summer schools. Featuring week-long wilderness camps covering Hiking, Bouldering & Kayaking.

The E&H Summer Adventure Program extends its popular outdoor experiences to high school students, running camps from June 11 through July 1st, 2017. The Program places emphasis on group awareness and cooperation, so you will face the challenges of the backcountry with the support of a non-competitive, friendly group. Because we keep camp sizes small with a low student-to-instructor ratio, you'll receive personalized guidance and instruction every step of the way.

First, we'll cover the basics and then we'll explore the wild and wonderful Blue Ridge Mountains of the Southeast, predominantly in the southwestern Virginia(SW VA) area. Ultimately, you will experience the freedom and wonder of the beautiful and ancient Appalachian Mountains — all while building backcountry expertise, self-confidence, and new friendships.

3 Weeks of Summer

—— to choose from ——

Only $750/week

for a skill set that will last a lifetime

Backpacking · Bouldering · Hiking · Kayaking · Stand-Up Paddle Boarding · Rafting · Rock Climbing

Choose Your Camp(s)

—— attend one or multiple weeks ——


You may choose to attend one or more weeks — or to engage all three weeks as a continuous, comprehensive outdoor experience. Pick and choose the best camp(s) for you and your budget.

Week I: Whitewater Kayaking, Stand Up Paddling (SUP), Rafting — June 11 – 17, 2017

Paddling Program

The essence of summer fun is playing in creeks, rivers, and lakes, and the E&H Summer Adventure Program introduces participants to the next level with whitewater kayaking, stand up paddling, and rafting. The SW VA region is blessed with pristine lakes and rivers, Hungry Mother Lake, and the Holston, Nolichucky, and French Broad rivers are all close by.

Participants will engage the fundamental safety concepts and practices associated with all paddle sports in the comfort of the campus pool and on local lakes — then head out for more instruction and excitement on river trips.

The Emory & Henry Outdoor Program has a handsome fleet of Jackson whitewater kayaks and Stand-Up Paddle Boards by Imagine, Corran, and Liquid Logic.

Participants will gain foundational instruction in the following:

  • Leave-No-Trace backcountry ethics
  • Group dynamics
  • Appropriate gear choices and proper fit
  • Self-rescue techniques
  • Swimming in swift water
  • Assessing water hazards and setting safety
  • Paddle strokes for kayakers and paddle boarders
  • How to read water: a brief introduction to hydro-topography

Week II: Hiking & Backpacking — June 18 – 24, 2017

Hiking & Backpacking Program

God gave us legs to hike up glorious mountains and lungs to inhale sweet mountain air. Hike on! Walking in the woods is one of the simplest of pleasures, but mastering camp craft involves careful study and an intentional process.

The E&H Summer Adventure Program offers participants an immersion in backcountry skills and camp craft. Skills and instruction will be placed in context as participants take a day hike to one of the area's natural wonders — like The Great Channels of Virginia, for example — and then a multi-day backpacking trip on the Appalachian Trail, located only fourteen miles from the E&H campus.

Participants will make miles, but the E&H Outdoor Program fosters a value for taking the necessary amount of time to observe flora and fauna, dip in pristine river pools, and ponder the breathtaking views that only the Appalachia Mountains of Southwestern Virginia affords.

Participants will gain foundational instruction in:

  • Leave-No-Trace backcountry ethics
  • Group dynamics
  • Shelter systems
  • Effective packing
  • Backcountry cooking and the value of eating well in the woods
  • Layering systems and a brief introduction to thermodynamics
  • Navigation
  • Risk management associated with (but not limited to): weather, insects, animals, and river crossings.

Week III: Bouldering & Rock Climbing — June 25 – July 1, 2017

Bouldering & Rock Climbing

Climbing is the perfect combination of problem solving, physical exertion, and fun, and the E&H Summer Adventure Program offers participants the appropriate fundamentals for a safe and successful climbing experience. Climb On!

The premiere bouldering opportunities that exist in Grayson Highlands State Park are less than an hour away from campus, and the Backbone Rock and Hidden Valley climbing areas are minutes away and offer fun and challenging climbs in beautiful settings.

The week will begin with a focus on climbing basics, and participants will practice basic skills on the Outdoor Program’s 50ft. climbing tower and indoor bouldering crag. Once the fundamentals have been established, it’s all about getting to the rock!

Participants will engage the following skills and topics:

  • Leave-No-Trace Backcountry Ethics
  • Group Dynamics
  • Appropriate gear choices and proper fit
  • Knots!
  • Efficient Body Movement
  • Pull, Brake, Under, Slide (PBUS Belay Technique
  • Risk Assessment: Terrain Considerations, Weather, Route Choices, Protections Climbs, etc.
  • Introduction to Anchor Systems

Summer Camp Fun & Adventure 

— in SW VA

Emory & Henry College is ranked a Top Adventure School in the East & Southeast U.S. by Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine.
Emory & Henry College has been ranked the Top Adventure School/College/University by Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine

Be a part of the adventure!

What’s Included:

Tuition covers the cost of all meals and transportation to excursion locations, along with expert guidance and instruction from highly-qualified instructors—with a focus on safety.


Equipment We’ll Provide:

  •   Backpacks
  •   Bikes
  •   Bouldering Shoes
  •   Climbing Rope & Harness
  •   Kayaks
  •   Rafts
  •   Sleeping Bags
  •   Stand-Up Paddle Boards
  •   Tents

Gear You’ll Need to Bring:

  •   Hiking Shoes
  •   Toothbrush
  •   An Open Mind
  •   A Willingness to Learn
  •   Appetite for Adventure

  You’re welcome to bring your own backpack and sleeping bag if you prefer.

  Download our recommended packing list PDF  


Basecamp Emory

— a fun learning environment —


The action doesn’t stop when we return to Basecamp Emory:

  • Climbing on the 50ft. climbing tower and indoor bouldering crag.
  • Forming new friendships with like-minded peers.
  • Swimming in the campus pool and local bodies of water.
  • Learning how to plan and prepare tasty meals for the backcountry.
  • Participating in evening activities such as ultimate frisbee, disc golf, movies, and games night in our student lounge.
  • Setup basecamp in the Emory & Henry dorms
  • Enjoy delicious food in our dining hall — including organic produce grown right here in the campus organic garden.

Acquire a Skill-Set for Life

Only $750/per week

— for a priceless experience —

Begin Your Adventure

Life Skills
You’ll Learn:

Outdoor Skills
You’ll Learn::


Interested? Got Questions?

Use the form below to email us and let us know if you’re interested or have any questions about any of our camps offered during the Summer Adventure Program. Or contact Jim Harrison with the E&H Outdoor Program at   276-698-7121 or email 6%wV$|L!vpBD\[Z]#[ycjIjp3@\Y|MB@P.

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Your Adventure Awaits!