Campus & Facilities - SOAR NC
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SOAR's first expedition through the Great Smoky Mountains was in 1981. We found our home here, and soon after purchased Balsam Base.


Our Campus & Facilities vary by location:

Balsam Base, Balsam, NC

Our Balsam Base is located in Balsam, NC, approximately 45 minutes west of Asheville.  We are situated on ~10 acres of wooded, mountainous land that houses:Sign

  • The Lodge – this is our primary administrative area of camp with business offices, gear/food rooms, a group meeting and recreation space, and a dining area.
  • The Bathhouse – this building is adjacent to the Lodge with private bath and shower facilities, a group meeting room, and a twenty-four foot climbing wall.
  • Cabins – throughout our campus are 10 rustic cabins (named for various explorers) that serve as staff and student housing while they are on base.  The cabins contain wooded bunks and are electricity free!
  • ROPES Course – Balsam Base also offers both a low and high ropes course as well as an open field area for games, initiatives, archery, and hatchet throwing.

Campers are surrounded by nature! Our grounds are home to various native wildflowers (including trillium & mayapple), blackberry bushes, and a wide variety of tree species. Many bird species, including woodpeckers, goldfinch, cardinals, and more can be seen and heard in the trees above base.


Eagle View Ranch, Dubois, WY

Eagle View Ranch is located four miles west of Dubois WY, situated on ~22 acres of ranch and woodland.  Its facilities include:

  • The Dining Pavilion – constructed of lodgepole pine, this area houses the kitchen, bath and shower facilities, and a covered dining area with fireplace.
  • The Riding Area – with horseback riding as the focus of Eagle View Ranch, this area provide students with a wonderful venue for honing their equestrian skills.
  • The Eagle View Lodge – this facility houses administrative offices and classrooms.  A second kitchen complex is adjacent to the Lodge, as are the horse corrals and tack buildings.
  • Student & Staff housing – for their time on base, students and staff stay in outfitter-style shelters and tipis that are electricity free.

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Set in the Wind River Range, Eagle View Ranch boasts incredible scenic views overlooking Dunoir Valley. One favorite view is the Ramshorn range seen from base, as it is covered in snow ever during the summer months!

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Florida Keys, FL

Our Florida Standard and Florida SCUBA programs are facilitated in the Middle Keys. We utilize Camp Wesumkee, an 11 acre oceanfront camp owned by the Girl Scout Council. The property overlooks both the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, and is surrounded by tidal pools and mangroves perfect for swimming, snorkeling and exploration.  All staff and campers stay in tents throughout the summer, and will have access to bathroom facilities. Campers will make use of the nearby picnic tables and fire circles.



The California programs utilize various camping facilities in local State Parks and National Parks. Each campsite is equipped with water and bathroom facilities. Campers and staff will stay in tents for the duration of the program.
Our California Standard program begins at McGrath State Park south of the Big Sur region of California.  The students will travel to the Channel Islands NP, and stay at Montana de Oro SP.
The California Expedition begins in Monterey Bay, and then travels to Yosemite NP and the Lake Tahoe region.


Specialty Courses

Accommodations on specialty courses will vary. International courses typically combine lodging at hostels, private hotels, and campground facilities.