Enjoy stand up paddling down the Holston River. Teens start your summer adventure!Enjoy stand up paddling down the Holston River. Teens start your summer adventure!

Summer Camps

Summer Adventure Program — Hike, paddle and climb your way through the adventure of a lifetime.  Apply today!

High School Students — attend a summer camp that goes beyond most summer schools. Featuring week-long wilderness camps covering hiking, bouldering and kayaking. The E&H Summer Adventure Program extends its popular outdoor experiences to high school students, running camps in June and July. 

Three weeks of summer to choose from only $750/week 

  • Week 1: Whitewater Kayaking, Stand Up Paddling (SUP), Rafting–June 10th-16, 2018

    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 2: Hiking & Backpacking—June 17–23, 2018

    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 3: Bouldering & Rock Climbing—June 24–30, 2018

    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


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 Southwest Virginia 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.