A Look at Our Session Schedules
Our two-week session is filled with excitement, the opportunity to try more than 40 activities, the chance to make many new friendships with kids from around the U.S. and the world, and learn from committed role models. Each day is carefully planned so that campers receive the maximum benefit in just two weeks. Besides the fun activities and evening programs, every camper will have significant outdoor experiences like whitewater rafting, rock climbing, summiting a 6,000-foot mountain, mountain biking, and camping out overnight. Some people look at two weeks as a stepping stone to our three-week program or Adventure Treks, while others see two weeks as the perfect amount of time to have a formative camp experience where community living, outdoor skills, and prosocial skills uniquely developed at camp can be reinforced every summer.
The first day is designed to help campers feel comfortable in their new setting and build friendships. When children feel welcome and supported, we find they are eager to challenge themselves and are receptive to all that camp has to offer. Campers spend days two through six primarily in their cabin groups as they participate in a daily schedule that lets them sample all of our activities. This builds a strong cabin community, helps new campers feel at home with camp logistics, and assures that every camper gets to try every activity. More often than not, campers will find that an activity they have never done before has quickly become a new favorite, like archery, kayaking, or arts and crafts. Campers have one “free choice” period each day, where they attend and improve their skill in any activity they like.
Throughout the two weeks, every cabin, regardless of age, will partake in Off-Camp Adventures, which are a true highlight of the Camp Pinnacle experience. These activities include day hiking and summiting 6,100-foot Black Balsam, climbing Gilbert’s Rock, and backpacking through Pisgah National Forest for our older campers, or doing an overnight camping trip at one of our four campsites in “Never Never Land,” our very own forest, for younger campers.
On the weekend, campers have one morning to sleep late and can choose how they’d like to spend the day with their friends. We offer additional activities like improv and theater, fishing, stand up paddleboard yoga, and backcountry cooking for variety. We also introduce our Pinnacle Cup Challenge, which includes some of our favorite all-camp games. Clearly, nothing slows down on the weekend!
After cabins have evolved into close communities of friends, we challenge their communication and collaboration skills further by letting them create their own cabin schedule as a group, choosing the activities that interest them most. All campers will go whitewater rafting on the Nantahala or Pigeon rivers, and our older campers (grades 6–9) may choose to sign up for an additional off-camp trip. These options include a backpack in scenic “Panthertown Valley,” an overnight canoe trip down the French Broad River, a special climbing trip in Pisgah National Forest, or a mountain bike ride on the more advanced trails in DuPont State Forest. Meanwhile, evening activities reach a crescendo. Campers’ beloved nighttime activities include rainbow tag, gold rush, and counselor hunt.
Shortly after breakfast, the cannon sounds for the start of the Pinnacle cup finale, the color relay, where every camper and counselor participates. At the conclusion of the race, cabins come back together for one final activity followed by the last individual free period. The evening wraps up with a final campfire and evening circle.
This is a sad day, as friends who have become close over the past two weeks head home filled with great memories of outdoor adventure, an inclusive, supported community, larger-than-life role models, and an unforgettable two-week experience. Parents typically see noticeable growth in confidence and other Great 8 Outcomes during our closing ceremony.
Our three-week session is for campers who want the extend the fun, friendships, adventure, and personal growth inherent through immersion in a longer session. Simply put, campers get to experience significantly more. A relaxed pace allows for more substantive friendships to be created and for outdoor and activity skills to be honed, building greater self-confidence as a by-product. Three weeks also offers a wider variety and higher level of outdoor trips. The extra week amplifies the opportunity for role models to make a more powerful impact and campers to maximize personal growth. The added benefit of being tech-free for three years is priceless, too!
Days 1–12 follow the same outline as our two week session above.
The third week at camp kicks off with a bang! Campers will get excited about special events, trips, and activities unavailable to our two-week campers. Immediately after the session 3b campers depart, the three-weekers get to play an incredible and unique all-camp game that brings enthusiasm to a fever pitch. Our camper-to-counselor ratio is even lower for this special week, allowing even more individual attention and instruction. In three weeks, campers significantly improve their activity skills and get to focus on the activities that most interest them. Every cabin group will go on an additional camping trip to further strengthen their bonds and cabin community. We’ll offer more Off-Camp Adventure trips like mountain biking, climbing, river tubing, canoeing, or hiking to broaden each camper’s outdoor adventure experience. At the end, we’ll have a special carnival and all-camp game to bring this special session to a close. Even more important than an extra week of fun and friendship, the enhanced personal growth and close community experience is what makes three weeks at Pinnacle the highlight of our campers’ year.