Asheville Summer Camps

Phased Registrations Now Open

Kids goofing around in group photo for Forest Ninjas camp striking funny poses in natural camouflage

Summer Camp 2023
Blazing New Trails at Forest Floor

Not just new camps… totally new experiences added to our familiar lineup.

Photo of forest at night at summer overnight camp with moonbeams slanting between dark tree trunks

Teen Overnight Camp

An overnight program where teens can push their edges in a real way.

Shadow Scouts: Advanced Forest Ninja will be six days and five nights of epic adventure.

We will dive into tracking, teamwork, survival, trail craft, tool creation, stealth, sneaking, stalking, and epic night games, all with a healthy dose of FUN!!!!

More detail below in Ages 12-17.

Children playing gaga ball at a youth sports summer day camp

Sports in the Field & Forest

A new camp series that “Reimagines What Sports Can Be” for Ages 8-12.

Run Wild! is an inclusive and gender/age neutral camp that brings the best elements of Forest Floor to a new space – The Game Field!

No skills needed, just an attitude of gratitude and a healthy appreciation for being outside.

More detail below in Ages 7-8 & 9-12,

Campers holding forth a variety of herbs and natural plant remedies at Asheville nature camp

More 2023 News

Of course, we’re also back with 40 sessions of our popular nature & craft camps.

Based on best practices, we’re putting in place phases for a calmer registration experience that balances gratitude to returning families with open arms for new families.

We’ve also shifted our age brackets, with camps for Ages 6-7, 7-8, 9-12, and 12-17.

Read more on these changes below.

Now Offering a Downloadable Schedule

One page summary with all programs and phased registration dates.
Print, discuss, and plan in advance before registration opens.
Full camp listings follow below as usual.

Important Note on Drop-Off / Pick-up Location

Due to a limited number of seats available in our passenger vans, many of our camps no longer have the option of choosing to drop-off/pick-up at Haw Creek Commons(which would include shuttle service to our forested camp location at Shope Creek and back at the end of the day). Therefore with some camps you’ll only be presented with option of choosing to drop-off/pickup directly at Shope Creek.

As spaces become available in our passenger vans we will be contacting those families who could only choose Shope Creek to find out if they would like to switch to Haw Creek Commons. We will contact families based on their time of enrollment(first-come first-served).

Phased Registration Is Now Open

We’re doing our best to keep up with the growing demand for our camps, and also revamping our registration process for a less frenzied experience. Please read about our new 2023 Phased Registration including key dates below if you have not already.

Remember, payment  plans (all Phases) and waitlists (Phase 3) are available for all camps.

Phase 1 is winding down with Phase 2 starting Saturday February 4 at 12pm Eastern.

Download a printable schedule with key dates.

2023 New Phased Registration Process

2023 Phased Registration Explanation

Forest Floor has continued to see strong support from the community for our homeschool programs and summer camps. Last year's summer camp launch was a mad dash that resulted in some disappointment and anxiety for families that have supported our programs for years and were used to a slower pace for registrations.

We're grateful both for our returning families and for the larger growing interest in connecting children to nature. Our team continues to blaze trails, working hard year-round to line up appropriate venues, and expand & develop our staff to provide ever more authentic and exceptional nature connection experiences.

A big part of our mission is the long term mentoring relationship that comes from continuing participation across a decade+ of a child's development. We aim to help these kids grow into the next generation of nature-connection leaders.

In an effort to balance the needs of the existing Forest Floor families and nurture those critical long term mentoring relationships, but also welcome new families into our community, we're introducing a Phased Registration system for summer camps.

We've been networking with other leading nature connection mentoring groups nationwide. Our new Phased Registration policy is based on best practices learned from our respected peers. Our intent is to provide a calmer registration experience, that honors and builds long term relationships, but is also inclusive and welcomes new families.

Download a printable schedule with key dates.

2023 Phased Registration Key Dates

How does the Phased Registration work? And when will registrations open?

First off, we want to share with you the summer camp schedule in advance (see below) so you can plan, discuss and prioritize choices in advance. Several days after the 2023 camp schedule is published, registration will open as noted below.

Download a printable schedule with key dates.

Phase 1 - Wednesday Feburary 1st - 12PM Eastern
Forest Floor families that have participated in our camps and programs during the past few years will be able to Pre-Register with a limit of two camps per child. Camp capacities will be limited to hold space for new families, with no wait-list capability yet. This is to honor our intent to provide long term mentoring and ensure currently engaged families and children don't miss out. We'll send an email to these families on Wednesday February 1 with information on how to Pre-Register.

Phase 2 - Saturday February 4th - 12PM Eastern
Registration will open to the larger community on Saturday February 4 and the limit of two camps per child will remain. Camp capacities will expand to full limits. This will give everyone a chance to get involved with Forest Floor and enable families to experience our nature connection offerings. We'll send an email to our entire mailing list when Phase 2 registration is open.

Phase 3 - Tuesday February 7th - 12PM Eastern
Registration will continue starting Tuesday February 7th for all camps with no limits on the number of camps per child for the remaining spots. Waitlists will open up for any camps that are full. Again, we'll send an email to our entire mailing list announcing this.

Download a printable schedule with key dates.

Enroll by Age

Please choose camps based on the age your child will be this summer.

Use these links to skip to ages 6-7, 7-8, 9-12, or 12-17.

    Program Change: 5 Year Olds

    Based on feedback from our instructors and a lot of careful consideration we’ve decided to no longer accept 5 year olds into our camps and programs beginning with Fall 2022.

    We realize this is a significant change and likely disappointing to some families, and we want you to know that we didn’t make this decision lightly.

    What we’ve realized over the last couple years of including 5 years olds is that generally they are in quite a different place developmentally than the 6 & 7 year olds and this can have a significant impact on both their experience of the programs as well as the instructors ability to best meet the needs of all the students.

    We believe that this change will result in a program that provides a deeper, more fulfilling experience for our younger students.

    The Growing Wild Forest School is an excellent option for families with children ages 3-6.  We encourage any families seeking a nature program for their young children to check them out.

    Why Choose Forest Floor?

    We mentor children  to have fun, be healthy, and achieve their fullest potential by connecting with nature.

     

    • Health benefits of nature connection
    • Learn wilderness skills & traditional crafts
    • Meet new friends and reunite with old ones
    • Unforgettable adventures every day
    • Skilled and caring mentors
    • Exciting wilderness experiences
    • Convenient in-town drop-off & pickup
    • Flexible hours for drop-off & pickup

    Nature Connection Camps

    Our weeklong camps run all summer with multiple camps happening each week for various age groups. Crafts, role playing, archery, stealth, blacksmithing, foraging and more.

    Camp sizes are generally capped at 14 or lower, and run by two skilled nature-connection mentors. You won’t find better camper to counselor ratios.

    There’s something to get any kid excited about some healthy outdoor time. Your kids are going to LOVE IT.

    Waitlist Available

    Previously full camps often have additional spots open up due to cancellations. So please sign-up for the waitlist by going through the standard registration process. No payment is required.

    2023 Summer Camp Schedule

    Phase 1 Registration is now open for recent Forest Floor participating families by email invitation.

    Ages 6-7

    Girls at summer camp in forest created a tiny model village for faeries to reside in

    Ages 6-7

    Flight of the Faeries

    June 19 – 23
    July 17 – 21

    Wander the mountainside making whimsical crafts and brewing flower tea.

    Group of children dressed as forest gnomes at day camp hearing story told by actor

    Ages 6-7

    Legend of the Gnomes

    July 3 – 7
    August 7 – 11

    Create a gnome village in the woods as a base to learn crafts and go exploring.

    Young summer camper discovering interesting salamander in the forest

    Ages 6-7

    Mysterious Animals of the Forest

    June 26 – 30
    July 31 – August 4

    Campers uncover tracks, role play a hunting fox, craft animal personas and learn about their wild neighbors.

    Hand holding a small bird during nature camp experience

    Ages 6-7

    Feathered Friends

    June 5 – 9
    July 10 – 14

    Learn to identify birds by sight and sound, with a variety of stories, educational games, observation, and even some craft projects.

    Children examining bones found exploring the forest during nature connection program

    Ages 6-7

    Ancient Stones & Dinosaur Bones

    June 12 – 16
    July 24 – 28

    Take a journey back in time as Young Paleontologies, searching the forest for ancient remnants and learning with a fun range of activities as we go.

    Newsletter Signup

    Get updated when camp seasons open for registration, grab early bird discounts and gifts, and receive nature-connection info useful for parents.

    Ages 7-8

    Campers at foraging skill summer camp with baskets full of wild edible plants

    Ages 7-8

    Nature’s Kitchen: Fire Craft & Cooking

    June 12 – 16
    July 10 – 14

    Hunt down wild edibles and learn which are safe to eat.

    Asheville summer day camp Archery Range with kids learning archery arrows drawn

    Ages 7-8

    Archery Range

    June 5 – 9
    August 7 – 11

    Practice a variety of different projectiles and become a more skilled archer.

    Child hiding in the forest learning stealth and natural camouflage at summer camp

    Ages 7-8

    Stealth Rangers

    June 26 – 30
    July 24 – 28

    Begin your training and develop the skills needed to become a Forest Ninja.

    Crafty Critters camper weaving a basket in the forest at summer camp in Asheville

    Ages 7-8

    Crafty Critters

    July 3 – 7
    July 31 – August 4

    Create a variety of fun and useful items using materials found on the land.

    Summer camp role playing at Journey of the Green Man, an Asheville summer camp

    Ages 7-8

    Journey of the Green Man

    June 19 – 23
    July 17 – 21

    Join the fabled Green Man on his magical quest to save the realm.

    Children playing gaga ball at a youth sports summer day camp

    Ages 8-12

    Run Wild!

    July 17 – 21
    July 24 – 28
    July 31 – August 4
    August 7 – 11

    Re-imagining what sports can be! An active, sports-based camp that’s a departure from our typical wilderness camps.

    Ages 9-12

    Child hiding in camouflage during bushcraft lessons at nature summer day camp

    Ages 9-12

    Archer’s Arena

    June 26 – 30
    July 31 – August 4

    Become the target and play Capture-the-Flag with safe foam-tipped arrows.

    Group photo at nature camp of camoflauged and face painted kids at summer camp for stealth in forest

    Ages 9-12

    Forest Ninja

    June 5 – 9
    July 24 – 28

    Move silently through the landscape as a team and learn the art of camouflage.

    Child climbing a tree at Asheville day camp in the forest

    Ages 9-12

    Bramblehurst School of Bushcraft & Wizardry

    June 19 – 23
    July 3 – 7
    July 17 – 21

    Head out into our wooded campus for a MOST interesting week of learning new skills alongside your freshly sorted House-mates.

    Summer camper learns Jedi skills at Asheville area nature camp

    Ages 9-12

    Secrets of the Jedi

    June 12 – 16
    August 7 – 11

    Deepen connection to nature and grow attuned to its life force, while honing the physical skills of survival.

    Boy holding pendant and necklace made at nature camp

    Ages 9-12

    Wild Crafters

    July 10 – 14

    Answer the ancient call to create with a series of nature-based crafts in community with fellow creatives.

    Children playing gaga ball at a youth sports summer day camp

    Ages 8-12

    Run Wild!

    July 17 – 21
    July 24 – 28
    July 31 – August 4
    August 7 – 11

    Re-imagining what sports can be! An active, sports-based camp that’s a departure from our typical wilderness camps.

    Ages 12-17

    Carved wooden bowl and spoon made by hand with primitive tools

    Ages 12-16

    Woodcarving: Bowls & Spoons

    June 26 – 30
    July 31 – Aug 4

    Deepen your relationship with the trees as you learn to carve useful objects from wood.

    Blacksmithing project under way with glowing curled metal on anvil

    Ages 12-16

    Blacksmithing

    June 5 – 9
    June 19 – 23
    July 10 – 14
    August 7 – 11

    Create useful tools from red hot metal using a forge, hammer and anvil.

    Instructor pointing out something to group of older nature school students

    Ages 14-17

    Counselor In Training Camp

    June 12 – 16

    Take the first step in learning to be a nature connection mentor with our Counselor in Training program.

    Instructor showing proper handling of knife made at knife-making camp

    Ages 12-16

    Knife Making

    June 12 – 16
    July 3 – 7
    July 17 – 21

    Create a handmade knife from scratch using a variety of blacksmith & shop tools.

    Four young women standing arm in arm with blacksmithing tools at blacksmithing day camp

    Ages 12-16

    Girls Blacksmithing

    July 24 – 28

    A special session of Blacksmithing camp for young ladies led by an all-female team.

    Photo of forest at night at summer overnight camp with moonbeams slanting between dark tree trunks

    Ages 13-16

    Shadow Scouts: Advanced Forest Ninja

    July 17 – July 22

    An overnight adventure camp where teens can push their edges in a real way learning The Craft of the Scout.

    Day Camp Hours

    Our summer camps run daily, Monday through Friday.

    Camp hours:  9:00am – 3:00pm

    Flexible Drop-off:
    8:30 – 9:00am at Haw Creek Commons
    8:45 – 9:15 am at Shope Creek Wilderness

    Flexible Pick-up:
    3:00 – 3:30pm at Haw Creek Commons
    2:45 – 3:15 pm at Shope Creek Wilderness

    Our In-town Drop-Off and Pick-Up Location

    Our new location since spring 2020 is Haw Creek Commons, in East Asheville off Tunnel Road.  This is our main Drop-Off and Pick-up location for MOST summer camps.

    Haw Creek Commons is a community co-working and activity center where Forest Floor has a presence. See the location on Google Maps.

    Please note that on some weeks our reservations for van transportation fill up. If you are not interested in Drop-Off and Pick-Up in the Forest (see below), please make sure to check  the camp registration page to see if shuttle transportation from Haw Creek Commons is still available.

     

    Drop-Off and Pick-Up in the Forest

    Parents may also choose to drop-off and pick-up at Shope Creek Wilderness. The  Address is 472 Shope Creek Road.  The timing of Drop-Off and Pick-Up in the forest is slightly different than at Haw Creek Commons.

    A few teen crafting programs (Blacksmithing, Bowls & Spoons) and RunWild! take place in the woods at Haw Creek Commons, in these cases there is no transportation or forest drop-off/pick-up.

    A Day at Forest Floor

    2023 COVID Safety Policies

    Our COVID-19 safety policy is based primarily on pre-screening and monitoring. It is our current position that the single largest preventative factor at our programs is the fact that we are open-air and outdoors.

    Pre-Screening and Monitoring

    • Any child arriving in the morning with signs or symptoms of COVID-19 will not be permitted to attend programs that day. If during the program day a child displays signs or symptoms of illness they will be separated from other students and parents contacted to pick them up.

    • All staff will be self-monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19. If they develop symptoms, they will notify their supervisor and stay home. Any staff person who develops symptoms of illness during the work day will be separated from students and other staff and sent home ASAP.

    Masks & Social Distancing:

    • As of Fall 2022, we will no longer require masks to be worn on our shuttle vans transporting campers
    • Children and staff will not be required to wear masks, but will be fully supported if they choose to do so.

    We will do our best to fully support any child or staff who chooses more restrictive social distancing or mask wearing than the policies outlined above.