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Honoring our 2017 Five Year Alumni

We celebrate all of our campers and their accomplishments. One of the biggest accomplishment is becoming a 5 Year Alumni SOAR, and this summer we celebrated 9 campers who have been with us for 5 years! Becoming a 5 year alumni is a big deal at SOAR. On the first day of camp we acknowledge their accomplishments by adding their name to our SOAR totem pole. They are also recognized within their group at the first camp fire where they receive a special 5 year pendant. We have enjoyed each summer  spent with these campers and have loved watching them grow with every program they do!

These campers are:

Dylan Eaves

Ashley Johnson

Ashley Johnson

Mia Mann

Mia Man

Zhenia Michaux

Zhenia Michaux

Axel Orzano

Axel Orzano Plaque

Lucas Overstreet

Lucas Overstreet Plaque

Maguire Phegley

Maguire Phelgley

Aaron Simon

Aaron Simon

William Upchurch

William Upchurch


We want to say a big congratulations to all of our 5 year alumni; we cannot wait to have many more summers full of adventures with you!

We hope to have many more campers join our group of 5 year alumni next summer! Consider participating in one of our amazing specialty courses, designed with alumni in mind, to offer new and exciting adventures!

Specialty Courses

Florida SCUBA Openwater
California Surfing Adventure
Adirondack Adventure
NC Whitewater Intensive
Peru Spanish Immersion

Next Generation of Campers

For 41 years SOAR has kept the tradition of serving youth and young adults with ADHD and other learning disabilities, giving them a summer experience that will last a lifetime. This summer we had the privilege of having a second generation come to camp, whose father attended 15 years ago.


Alex Jones attended NC Academic Discovery in 2002, the summer between his junior and senior year of high school. He enjoyed his experience so much he wanted his son, Bryson, to experience SOAR as well.

“I wanted Bryson to realize at a young age what he was capable of and I knew from my experience that he would have a great time.”

Alex’s mom was a strong advocate for him as a child and wanted to give him in an opportunity where he could learn strategies as well as life skills at an early age. That is when she found SOAR. After Alex attended camp, he discovered he had leadership abilities, and was able to build on these leadership skills throughout his time here. He was also able to step outside of his comfort zone and wanted his son to have the same opportunities.

“Looking out over a valley after climbing 120 feet was a seminal moment for me and I wanted my son to have that same opportunity.”


Bryson joined us this summer in our Llama Trek Adventure which is for 8-10 year old campers. The highlight of this trip is the 3 day, 2 night Llama Trek Expedition where the campers learn responsibility, perseverance, and are able to set goals as well as problem solve. Bryson enjoyed his camp experience and stated, “I did things I did not know I could do, like rock climbing and going down a class 3 rapid.” Alex was also happy with the experience and stated, “12 days for him to be unplugged was a blessing, to find a world beyond the screen.”

We are grateful for the opportunity to continue passing down our traditions at SOAR and look forward to inspiring the next generation of campers!


Keeping Up with Friends From Camp

One of the most memorable parts of camp are the friendships formed between campers. Many campers arrive at SOAR feeling anxious about not knowing anyone but leave with a bittersweet sadness as friends go their separate ways and return home. For some campers, social skills come easy. They are outgoing, make friends in any group, and have a high level of social intelligence. More often than not, this is not the case, which is why camp is such a precious time when it comes to friendships.

For campers who typically struggle to make friends, two weeks at camp is like a whole school year back at home! Campers are immersed into a new environment, with new people, and WITHOUT distractions, especially electronic devices. They are also surrounded by counselors who understand and who can help guide them through social interactions and how to form positive relationships. They are working together as a team, experiencing new adventures, conquering fears, and reaching goals! To put it simply, making friends at camp is usually easier for most kids. Our goal for each camper is that the friends they’ve made at camp will be a part of their life long after camp is over.

Here are a few things you can do to help your child keep up with friends they made at camp.

Encourage Your Camper to Reach Out

Your camper’s End of Course Packet includes contact information for all of the campers in their course. Hopefully your child has introduced you or told you about some of the friends they’ve made. If not, take some time to go over the contact sheet with them. This will likely spark memories of camp and help your child initiate reaching out to some of their friends.

Plan To Meet Up

You might be surprised to find that some of your child’s camp friends live within driving distance! Contact their parents and set up a time to meet. This is one of the best ways to maintain relationships during the school year and helps to keep campers looking forward to coming back to camp, this time with their friend!

Join Our Parent Group

Our Summer Camp Parent Group on Facebook consists of current and former parents of SOAR campers! While most campers have their own social accounts and will likely find one another after camp, parents can also connect to help initiate meet ups or to simply encourage their campers to reach out. If you haven’t already joined, you can do so here. It is a private group.