Skip to main content


Welcome to GAP where participants experience real-life responsibilities in a real-life setting—interacting with peers, cooking meals, doing laundry, organizing their space, and planning for their next trip.

All About GAP

During the Base Phase of the program, GAP participants will be offered internship or volunteership opportunities with local businesses and programs such as: Cataloochee Ranch, Cataloochee Ski Area, or The Swag of the Smokies. This experience will provide an opportunity to practice applying and interviewing for jobs as well as interpersonal skills. Soar partners with Southwestern Community College to offer college coursework in Outdoor Leadership to the GAP participants. GAP also offers certifications such as Lifeguarding and Wilderness First Aid.

Build Life Skills

During the GAP, participants develop and practice skills under the experienced supervision of the Soar Mentors. Each participant will work towards their own individual goals revolving around personal, professional, and holistic categories. While the staff provide guidance, these young adults are empowered to live as young adults making decisions for themselves. Soar Mentors will help facilitate their growth as they work toward becoming autonomous humans by the end of the GAP experience. The final expedition of each semester will be planned and facilitated in totality by the GAP participants with the Soar Mentors driving the van and providing supervision.

  • Menu Planning, purchasing and preparation
  • Budgeting / Fiscal Responsibility
  • Organization / Responsibility of personal items
  • Expedition Planning / Travel Expertise
  • Laundry / Personal Hygiene
  • Social Skills
  • Community Involvement
  • Goal Setting and Orientation
  • Time Management

Gap Facilities & Campus

North Carolina Awaits!

GAP operates out of The Stables, a lodge built of antique barn logsAt an elevation of about 4,900 feet, the wraparound porch looks out over Smoky Mountain National Park; specifically, the Cataloochee Divide Trail.
The property features rustic cabins, tent platforms, a rock climbing wall, and some low ropes elements. There are trails leading to beautiful views that overlook the Balsam Mountain Range.

Enjoy Bunk Style Housing

The Stables has 3 floors: the recreation room basement, the main floor with a kitchen, tables, and bathrooms, and the upstairs bunk rooms. There are 2 bunk rooms with many bunk beds.

Next to The Stables, there is a commercial kitchen and office space. Meals are mostly eaten on the wraparound porch where there are many tables.

Weekly Expeditions

Plan weekly expeditions with fellow Gappers! From white water rafting to backpacking, gappers are guided by staff how to plan and prepare well for each expedition.

Close to Asheville

Gap East neighbors Cataloochee Ski Resort and Cataloochee Ranch.

How to Apply

Complete the online application here.


  • $100 Application Fee
  • Academic Transcript & Current Grades
  • IEP or 504 Plan (if available)
  • Psychological Evaluation (if available)
  • 2-3 References

Once your application is received, we will review it and contact you to schedule a visit or phone interview with you, your student, and our Admissions Team.

GAP space is limited. Early application is advised.

Applications will not be reviewed until all documents are submitted.

Deposit is due upon acceptance.

GAP Application
For ages 8-25

Explore Camps

View Camps
Resources For All


Explore the Blog