The North Carolina Discovery Program is an extraordinary and immersive experience meticulously designed to provide campers with a comprehensive and unforgettable adventure. It offers a perfect blend of exploration, education, and fun, allowing campers to discover the very best that our area has to offer while simultaneously pushing their boundaries.
Throughout the program, campers have the opportunity to forge new friendships, create cherished memories, and delve into the rich tapestry of native cultures, geology, ecosystems, and heritage of Western North Carolina and the magnificent Smoky Mountain National Park.
One of the highlights of the program is the wide array of thrilling activities available. Campers can test their mettle with exhilarating rock climbing, conquer their fears on the high ropes course, and engage in an exciting game of archery tag.
The natural and environmental science-based portion of the program commences at the Appalachian Highlands Science and Learning Center, where students delve into the intricacies of ecosystems, geological formations, and the unique climate of the Smoky Mountain National Park. Campers then have the privilege of studying salamanders and river ecosystems, gaining invaluable insights into these fascinating organisms and their habitats. Additionally, they embark on an awe-inspiring hike to Purchase Knob, a location renowned for its breathtaking panoramic views that stretch as far as the eye can see.
Following the exploration of the Pisgah Ranger District, campers are treated to an extraordinary astronomical experience at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute. They have the rare opportunity to observe celestial wonders, expanding their understanding of the universe and igniting their passion for the cosmos.
The adventure continues as campers embark on a captivating ascent of the famous Looking Glass Rock, followed by invigorating hikes to mesmerizing waterfalls, serene swimming holes, and the enchanting Cradle of Forestry. Every moment of the itinerary is thoughtfully designed to be both educational and thrilling, ensuring campers have a truly transformative experience.
As the journey progresses, campers bid farewell to the wilderness and venture into downtown Asheville, NC. Here, they explore the fascinating Asheville Museum of Science, immersing themselves in interactive exhibits and engaging with the wonders of scientific discovery.
The excitement reaches new depths as the trip takes campers underground to experience the mystique of Worley’s Cave, a unique cave system nestled in Tennessee. This underground exploration is followed by a visit to the captivating Hands-On Science Museum in Johnson City, where campers engage in stimulating and hands-on scientific experiments and demonstrations.
Upon returning to North Carolina, the team embraces the thrill of navigating the rapids of the Tuckasegee River. Campers are provided with the exhilarating opportunity to kayak down the river in inflatable boats, taking control of their own adventure while developing valuable teamwork and leadership skills.
The journey then leads campers to the awe-inspiring Smoky Mountain National Park, where they immerse themselves in the vibrant history and culture of the Oconaluftee Indian Village. Here, they step back in time, gaining profound insights into the lives and traditions of the indigenous people who inhabited the region long before the mountains of NC were settled.
The grand finale of the trip culminates with a day of white water rafting on the Nantahala River. Campers navigate the exhilarating rapids, working together as a team and reveling in the adrenaline rush of conquering the untamed waters.
The North Carolina Discovery Program is a transformative journey that combines education, adventure, and personal growth. It allows campers to immerse themselves in the wonders of nature, develop a deep appreciation for the environment, and cultivate lifelong memories and friendships that will endure for years to come.