On 1,000 family-owned acres of mountain woodland, nestled high in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina, Camp High Rocks for boys is truly a special place.
Since 1958, Camp High Rocks has been a place for fun and learning, challenge and adventure. It’s a place where the environment is geared to a camper’s specific needs and interests—where a caring, well-trained and experienced staff seek to teach and inspire lasting values.
But most—and probably best—of all, High Rocks is a place where campers can be themselves. Free from the often inhibiting competitive pressures of their schools and social lives back home, here they find ongoing opportunities for success at a variety of activities. Daily instruction rapidly increases a camper’s skills, and it’s through this framework that campers gain self-esteem and develop an enduring sense of community.
For many boys, coming to High Rocks can be like finally landing on the right planet. Says one camp mom, “One of the great things about Camp High Rocks is that boys escape the social pressures of school, and they feel they can be themselves. When we were packing, I asked Frank if it mattered whether I sent underwear or boxers to camp (this was an issue in P.E. class), and he said, ‘No one cares what you wear at High Rocks. High Rocks is about being yourself.’”
A great camp is only as strong as the people who work there, and at High Rocks, staff members are not only experienced and talented outdoorsmen and women: they absolutely love working with kids. The camper to counselor ratio is an impressive 3:1. Counselors must be rising sophomores in college, and many were campers themselves who return to work at High Rocks because of the impact it had on their lives. When looking for the perfect staff member, says Director Elizabeth Gentle, “We look for caring and compassionate young leaders who love working with children. Our staff are highly trained in their activity areas, offering an opportunity for skill development through a planned progression, in addition to fun.”
Says one camp parent, “The number one reason Grayson loved camp so much was because of his counselor, Tyler. He helped [Grayson] every time he was homesick by throwing a football and chatting with him. Grayson’s highest compliment was when he said, ‘If I had an older brother, I wish he was Tyler!’” Because every counselor is also an accomplished outdoorsperson in addition to being a mentor to campers, they positively affect campers in a myriad of ways.
Says the same camp parent, “Tyler also helped [Grayson] conquer climbing, which boosted his confidence and allowed him to move past his feelings of homesickness. So clearly Tyler made all the difference with Grayson’s positive outlook and memories of camp!”
The hallmark of High Rocks’s program is the camper’s ability to select five activities which he will attend regularly, unless a trip or extended activity occurs, such as a three-day hike, a canoe trip, or a morning spent rock climbing. There’s something sure to appeal to every kid, including rock climbing, horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, archery, riflery, ropes course, sailing, soccer, tennis, crafts, pottery, fishing, swimming, and more. The emphasis in each activity is on safety awareness, skills development, and fun. Competition is de-emphasized, because at High Rocks, success stems from individual effort, not being better than someone else.
Says one camp parent, “I was hopeful that Jonathan would enjoy camp, make friends, experience the responsibility and pride that comes from making his own decisions about some limited things, and come to enjoy the activities. These expectations were met with flying colors! Jonathan loved camp, and had a tremendous amount of pride in his advancement in the activities. He couldn’t be more excited about going again.”
High Rocks believes that the sense of accomplishment instilled in campers, whether fostered by improvement in activities or from being away from home for the first time, is something that can be life-changing.
- Location: 1000 Camp High Rock Road, Brevard, NC 28712
- Type: Residential Adventure
- Focus: High Adventure
- Activities: rock climbing, horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, archery, riflery, ropes course, sailing, soccer, tennis, crafts, pottery, fishing, swimming, and more.
- Age Range: 7-16
- Gender: Boys
- Camp Capacity: 160
- Accreditation: American Camp Association
- Directors: Don and Zoob Gentle
- Nearest Large City: Asheville, NC
- Website: highrocks.com
- Phone: (828) 885-2153