We know you do your homework when choosing a camp for your children to attend. Below, we hope you’ll find some helpful answers to some commonly asked questions.
Every company has a different focus, and it’s important to find the camp that matches your family’s goals. At Camp Pinnacle, we partner with parents to help raise caring, independent, and capable young people equipped with skills for 21st-century success. Our goals include:
- Personal growth, confidence, & independence
- A kind and inclusive community
- Age-appropriate activities & outdoor skills
- An electronics-free connection with nature
- And FUN!
At Camp Pinnacle, director Ben Lea and assistant director Fayssoux Evans are actively involved in all aspects of camp. Executive directors John and Jane Dockendorf know every camper and are directly involved with the selection and guidance of camp staff and campers. All of our directors spend their summer participating in activities, eating lunch with campers, leading evening programs and Off-Camp Adventures, and more!
Through our partnership with Adventure Treks, we have an intensive leadership program that trains advanced students (who have demonstrated excellent potential and proven leadership skills) to become outdoor professionals. Almost 80 percent of our counselors are graduates from our Adventure Treks program. Our directors personally interview all new counselors, who complete a rigorous application process:
- 3 interviews
- 4 reference checks
- Complete background check
The maturity needed to be an outstanding role model for children is best handled by counselors who are at minimum 18 years old, have attended at least one year of college, and have significant knowledge of outdoor activities and youth development.
Safety and injury prevention are our first priority. Camp Pinnacle requires all counselors to have Wilderness First Aid and CPR certifications, and our directors and many senior staff have an additional Wilderness First Responder certification (an intensive 80-hour course).
Our 24-hour registered nurse lives on the property, and our doctor lives locally and makes rounds at camp as needed. Our facility is located 10 minutes from Pardee Hospital.
At Camp Pinnacle, orientation is so important that it takes a full two weeks! It begins with an emphasis on building a close, inclusive, and caring community; after that, we dive into workshops on safety, camp policies, cabin dynamics, and child development. A child psychologist visits to talk about youth development, and we host a parent panel, where local parents share their hopes, objectives, and anxieties with our counselors. In between, we teach activity skills and also become certified in Lifeguard Training and Anaphylaxis.
Camp Pinnacle is a coed camp—we have the best of both worlds. Most of our activities are done in single-gender cabin groups, giving campers the ability to learn and play differently. However, all of our campers come together for meal times and special events. Campers are able to enjoy the benefit of a single-gender cabin experience, while learning to interact and respect the opposite gender under the guidance of our outstanding role models.
At Camp Pinnacle, we are proud of our 4:1 camper-to-counselor ratio. This allows us to break into smaller activity groups and keep safety as our number-one priority. When you consider directors, counselors, and activity staff, the camper ratio is better than one adult for every three children.
At Camp Pinnacle, all campers will try different activities, learn new skills, and have a lot of fun! As a cabin group, campers will participate in both in-camp activities and in our Off-Camp Adventures program in the western North Carolina mountains. To optimize the experience, some days feature scheduled activities with cabin groups, while some days allow campers the flexibility to choose their own activities and build the specific skills they’re interested in. Our schedule ensures that every camper gets to participate in all we have to offer.
Camp Pinnacle is permitted in all the places we visit (Pisgah National Forest, Nantahala National Forest, DuPont State Forest, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park). We exceed every relevant American Camp Association standard and also use standards from the Association of Experiential Educators, North Carolina Youth Camp Association, America Outdoors Association, and the Wilderness Risk Management Conference to provide the highest-caliber and most professional experience for our campers. Executive director Steve Baskin has served as executive board member and national treasurer for the American Camp Association. We also maintain a Grade A health rating.
Camp Pinnacle is a non-denominational camp that promotes common values that parents from a host of religious traditions can get excited about.