Residential / Overnight Nature Camps for Kids

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Voted the #1 Residential Camp in Charlottesville!

Imagine a place where the modern fast-paced world is left behind…

A journey back into the natural world… Slow down, swim in a mountain stream, build things with your hands, all within a new circle of friends.

The campfire Welcomes You!

At Living Earth Camps, we give each camper the attention they need to follow their passions, to connect with nature and each other. We have some of the best staff on the planet. The campers come first because they should. We serve mostly organic kid-friendly food, that the kids rave about. We buy from our local farms when ever we can. At our mountain camp, we try to keep life simple, natural, full of learning and laughter.


Our residential / overnight camps include:

  • Tracking Wild Animals
  • Making Fire By Friction
  • Awareness Skills / Games
  • Learning Edible & Medicinal Plants
  • Safe Water Gathering
  • Spoon & Bowl Making
  • Adventuring / Exploring
  • Building Natural Shelters
  • Wilderness Philosophy
  • Discovering the Language of the Forest
  • Natural History
  • Learning Earth Based Crafts
  • Stories / Songs / Community Building / Campfire Cooking
  • Swimming
  • Team building / Communication
  • and so much more!

Living Earth Camps are in the shadows of Shenandoah National Park, nestled in the mountains amongst forest, field, and river.  A natural paradise with a lifetime worth of learning and exploration.  The Living Earth Summer Camps are conveniently located in Sugar Hollow, just 20 minutes outside of Charlottesville, VA.  The overnight camps begin at 2PM and end at noon the final day.

We offer several different overnight camps for boys and girls, ages 8-17 years old. Earth Roots is our foundation overnight camp, emphasizing connection with nature thru earth skills, like shelter building, making fire by rubbing sticks and harvesting wild edible plants.

Earth Roots is a prerequisite for the other overnight camps. Fire Tenders requires one year of Earth Roots, and Way of the Scout requires two years. Teen River Expedition requires one year.

2017 Residential / Overnight Camps:

Jun
18
Sun
2017
Earth Roots
Jun 18 – Aug 18 all-day

Earth Roots is our foundation overnight camp, designed for both new and returning campers.  Get back to your roots and learn the philosophy of living close to nature, wilderness survival, and nurture your connection to the earth.  We will explore the surrounding forests, swim in mountain streams, as we discover more about the magical world of nature through building natural shelters, making fires without matches, and preparing wild plants for food.  Campers gain self-esteem, work cooperatively and make new friends, as they gain confidence in both living and feeling at home in the natural world.

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bowmaking_footThis is a camp where campers are truly looked after and cared about.  It is a safe place where kids can try new things and discover more about who they are.  Evenings are spent circled around the campfire telling stories, star gazing, laughing a lot, making native crafts, including coal-burned spoons and bowls.  Once the returning campers have completed the core foundation their day consists of several fun adventures and advanced skills of their choice.

We are sure that the Earth Roots Summer camp will be an adventure your kids will never forget!

earthroots_fire_startEarth Roots program includes:

  • Tracking Animals
  • Primitive Fire making
  • Awareness Skills / Games
  • Wild Food Gathering
  • Safe Water Gathering
  • Spoon & Bowl Making
  • Adventuring / Exploring
  • Building Shelters
  • Wilderness Philosophy
  • Natural History
  • Native Crafts
  • Campfire Cooking
  • Swimming
  • Team building / Communication

Details & Registration – Earth Roots Camp

  • Earth Roots 1 June 18 – 23, 2017  fapersonAges 8 – 13 
  • Earth Roots 2 June 25 – 30, 2017 FULL fapersonAges 10+
  • Earth Roots 3 July 30 – August 4, 2017 FULL fapersonAges 8 – 13
  • Earth Roots 4 August 7 – 12, 2017 fapersonAges 8 – 13 
  • Earth Roots 1, 2, and 3: Sunday 2pm arrival and pick up on Friday at noon.
    Earth Roots 4: Monday 2pm arrival and pick up on Saturday at noon
  • Sugar Hollow Camp (Click here for directions)
  • $637
  • All supplies will be included, other than the basic camping and clothing gear. We will send a what-to-bring list and details upon your registrations.
  • Free T-shirt included
Register Now
Jun
25
Sun
2017
The Archers Craft: Making a wooden long bow, quiver, and arrow
Jun 25 – Jun 30 all-day
The Archers Craft: Making a wooden long bow, quiver, and arrow @ Ages 11+

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Have you dreamed of making and shooting your own handmade bow and arrow? This is for real and this is your chance to do it! 1 year of Earth Roots is a prerequisite for this overnight camp.

This is a camp that has been requested over the years.  There is a limited amount of space in this program.  All materials needed to complete the project are provided.   In this program, the campers will make a wooden long bow from a piece of wood, carving it down, shaping it, and tillering the bow so it works optimally.  Campers will make their own string for the bow.   They will also make a quiver to store arrows in out of leather.  They will learn how to make arrows, fletching, shaping, etc.   They will leave with a few arrows to put in their quiver.

This is a great opportunity for campers to make their very own archery kit, that if cared for can last a lifetime.   To take a project from raw materials to completion teaches competence and builds confidence.   This is an awesome opportunity, and not one that could be found anywhere else.  The teacher of this program has helped hundreds in this process, and is a very supportive teacher.  We are lucky to have him on board.  Peter will also go over the instinctive shooting method so that students leave knowing how to shoot their new bow.

Building and shooting longbows has been practiced for thousands of years all over world.  Bows have been used in many ways including: survival (both food gathering and protection), sport and meditation, and spiritual practice (Zen meditation). This class is a continuation of these ancient practices.

During this class, you will learn the skills to build a long bow, how to choose the wood, the tools needed and their use, how to finish the wood, and make strings. You will be taught the “instinctive” shooting method (this is the same method used by people who relied on the bow in their daily lives).

Details & Registration – The Archers Craft Advanced Camp

  • Ages 11+
  • June 25 – 30, 2017
  • Sunday – Friday
  • Sugar Hollow Camp (Click here for directions)
  • $725
  • Prerequisite: minimum 1 year Earth Roots Camp.

    This camp will run alongside an Earth Roots program.   We will eat meals with the other camp, and be involved in some evening activities. During the day, bow makers will be focused on their crafts. This program is a fun workshop, but does require focus and the want to make something.  With that said, there is something about bow making that people love, so they get into it naturally and focus.

  • Free T-shirt included
Register Now
Jul
23
Sun
2017
Way of the Scout
Jul 23 – Jul 28 all-day

This camp is for campers who have been to Earth Roots for 2 years.

Way of the Scout is a super exciting adventure that challenges campers to grow and push their limits in healthy ways. Scout camp is never the same and each year offers new adventures for campers year after year.

The Way of the Scout Camp is the essence of what kids love to do – sneak, hide, stretch their awareness, and challenge themselves.  The ancient native scout roamed Turtle Island reading the landscape as they went, using all their senses to gather information  to find food and, of utmost importance, to protect their people.  They were highly trained and took their awareness to a deep level.

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We will learn from the animals how to move silently, and to blend in thus becoming invisible.   We will learn how to tell from bird communication whether there is danger or safety.  Martial arts will be explored. Of course, camp will include the favorites like swimming, games,  stories by the fire and the awesome staff that make it all so fun. This camp is a full mind-body-heart experience.  Space is limited!

scout_running_torch

scout_staffs

Details & Registration – Way of the Scout

  • Ages 11+
  • July 23-28, 2017 FULL
  • Sunday 2pm arrival and pick up on Friday at noon
  • Sugar Hollow Camp (Click here for directions)
  • $637
  • Prerequisite: minimum 2 years Earth Roots Overnight Camp.

    All supplies will be included, other than the basic camping and clothing gear. We will send a what-to-bring list and details upon your registrations.

  • Free T-shirt included
Register Now
Way of the Scout – Advanced
Jul 23 – Jul 28 all-day
mud_woman_in_treeCampers must have completed 1 year of Way of the Scout previously. This camp will take a small group of advanced campers to the next edge, adventuring and bonding as a team-unit.  The word is out, can you “Shadow Scout”, or would you rather just blend in to your surroundings and be unseen?  All kinds of advanced, fun, edge pushing challenges will be thrown into the mix in an adventurous, supported way.   Are you ready for the challenge and the fun!?!   

Way of the Scout is a super exciting adventure that challenges campers to grow and push their limits in healthy ways. Scout camp is never the same and each year offers new adventures for campers year after year.

 

Register Now

waterfall_2kidsThe Way of the Scout Camp is the essence of what kids love to do – sneak, hide, stretch their awareness, and challenge themselves.  The ancient native scout roamed Turtle Island reading the landscape as they went, using all their senses to gather information  to find food and, of utmost importance, to protect their people.  They were highly trained and took their awareness to a deep level.

We will learn from the animals how to move silently, and to blend in thus becoming invisible.   We will learn how to tell from bird communication whether there is danger or safety.  Martial arts will be explored. Of course, camp will include the favorites like swimming, games,  stories by the fire and the awesome staff that make it all so fun. This camp is a full mind-body-heart experience.

This small camp of advanced campers fills at only 12 campers.  Make sure to register early.   See you out in the woods!!!

Details & Registration – Advanced Way of the Scout 

  • Ages 13+
  • July 23-28, 2017
  • Sunday 2pm arrival and pick up on Friday at noon
  • Sugar Hollow Camp (Click here for directions)
  • $637
  • Prerequisite: minimum 1 year Way of Scout.

    All supplies will be included, other than the basic camping and clothing gear. We will send a what-to-bring list and details upon your registrations.

  • Free T-shirt included
Register Now
Jul
28
Fri
2017
Family Archery: Making a wooden long bow or quiver and arrows
Jul 28 – Jul 30 all-day
Family Archery: Making a wooden long bow or quiver and arrows @ Ages 8+ with accompanying adult
Register Now
This Weekend Camp is designed for families.  Have you dreamed of making and shooting your own handmade bow and arrow, let alone making one with your child? What a gift to be able to do this together and to cultivate this shared skill as a family.  This is for real and this is your chance to do it!

This is a camp that has been requested over the years.  There is a limited amount of space in this program.  All materials needed to complete the project are provided and each participant will go home with their own hand made bow and one arrow, or a quiver with several arrows.   In this program, the camper and parent/adult a will make a wooden long bow from a piece of wood, carving it down, shaping it, and tillering the bow so it works optimally.  Each participant will make their own string for the bow.   Or they can choose to make a quiver to store arrows in out of leather.  They will learn how to make arrows, fletching, shaping, etc.   They will leave with a few arrows to put in their quiver.

This is a great opportunity for families to make their very own archery kit, that if cared for can last a lifetime.   To take a project from raw materials to completion teaches competence and builds confidence.   This is an awesome opportunity, and not one that could be found anywhere else.  The teacher of this program has helped hundreds in this process, and is a very supportive teacher.  We are lucky to have him on board.  Peter will also go over the instinctive shooting method so that students leave knowing how to shoot their new bow.

Building and shooting longbows has been practiced for thousands of years all over world.  Bows have been used in many ways including: survival (both food gathering and protection), sport and meditation, and spiritual practice (Zen meditation). This class is a continuation of these ancient practices.

During this class, you will learn the skills to build a long bow, how to choose the wood, the tools needed and their use, how to finish the wood, and make strings. You will be taught the “instinctive” shooting method (this is the same method used by people who relied on the bow in their daily lives).

 

Details & Registration – Family Archery Camp

  • Ages 8+ with accompanying adult
  • July 28 – 30, 2017 FULL
  • The workshop begins on Friday at 6pm (please come having eaten dinner) and ends on Sunday at 3pm.
  • Sugar Hollow Camp (Click here for directions)
  • $380 (for 1 child and 1 adult), each additional person is $220
  • Basic tent camping is included, with options to sleep in our tent cabins or to bring your own tent.  Participants will bring and cook their own food and are welcome to use our primitive camp kitchen with supplies.
Register Now
Jul
30
Sun
2017
Fire Tenders
Jul 30 – Aug 4 all-day

This camp is for campers who have attended at least one year of Earth RootsIn this week-long camp.  We will explore fire in depth.  We will learn to make fire with many different methods including bow-drill, hand-drill, flint and steel, fire plow and more.

Fire has been a friend to many.  It is at the center of our galaxy, solar system, and the center of the Earth; it is the community center of all earth-bound cultures, and we have a fire that burns within each of us. All humans have an innate attraction to fire.  We are the only species that utilizes fire in such life giving ways.  Though we have become ‘modernized’, fire still fuels our culture and keeps us running.  Fire gives life to so much.  Working with fire can even teach us how to be a better person. Through tending fire, we learn how to tend to the light that burns within ourselves.

  • primitive pottery–firing pottery being one of the oldest alchemical transformations associated with fire
  • making tools such as burnt bowls/spoons, fire hardened digging sticks, bending wood over heat, firing chert (again one of the oldest alchemies associated with      fire!
  • fire challenges such as carrying fire long distance, making torches, blind folded friction fire, etc
  • we will cook most of our meals over the open fire, from stone age techniques to dutch ovens.

 

It will be a fun time in the woods, with a small group of teens, facing focused challenges, building a strong group connection, and greatly expanding our personal awareness.  We will experience how fire teaches us respect, good conduct, and grounds us.  Fire has drifted to the edge of our awareness in the last hundred years, and we will bring its lessons and use back into our group for the week.  We will see how fire has shaped humanity since the beginning of time, and connect to the eternal.  Join us for this fun-filled and exciting week!

earthroots_fire_startWe will face the challenge of carrying fire with us in an ancient way as we walk about during the day, and use it to re-light our central fire at night.  We will learn to use it to shape our tools, manipulate materials, cook our food, boil our water, and more.  We will pass on old traditions of how to tend a fire respectfully, with care and skill.  We will share stories, face challenges, and feel an increased spark in us as we learn more about the gifts of fire.  We will be in our own separate Fire Tenders camp, although we will join the rest of camp for some meals and swimming time.

Get Fired up on Life!  Sure to have your own inner fire tended along the way as well.

 

 

 

Details & Registration – Fire Tenders

  • Ages 12+
  • July 30 – August 4, 2017 FULL
  • Sunday 2pm arrival and pick up on Friday at noon
  • Sugar Hollow Camp (Click here for directions)
  • $637
  • Prerequisite: minimum 1 year Earth Roots Overnight Camp.

    All supplies will be included, other than the basic camping and clothing gear. We will send a what-to-bring list and details upon your registrations.

  • Free T-shirt included
Register Now

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Aug
7
Mon
2017
Wood, Leather and Metal Camp
Aug 7 – Aug 12 all-day

Make your own knife and sheath and leather backpack or shoes!

1 year of Earth Roots is a prerequisite for this overnight camp.
Come join in on this BRAND NEW Living Earth Camp! Soon to be a camper favorite!  Come get your hands in gear making your own stainless steel knife with sheath, and a pair of handmade leather shoes or leather backpack of choice.  Yes, you can do it all and you can wear shoes or a backpack that you’ve made your self, along with a beautiful hand crafted knife.

This is for real and this is your chance to do it!  Camp will be head along side another Earth Roots overnight camp and campers will spend days crafting their projects and also be able to join in on swimming, games, all meals and time at night around the fire hearing stories and evening games and adventures.

Please only sign up if you are ready to be focused and put quality care into your work. This is a focused week spent crafting, laughing and learning under Peter Yenkin’s careful guided mentorship.  It is sure to be a blast! Peter has been crafting with children and adults for many years and campers love his gentle, skilled ways.

Imagine waking in your handmade shoes or carving with your own handmade knife, or carrying your belongings in your own handmade backpack.  Yes, that sounds awesome! Come join us.  Spaces are limited and will fill fast.

Details & Registration – Wood, Leather & Metal Camp

  • August 7 – 12, 2017
  • Monday 2pm arrival and pick up on Saturday at noon
  • Ages 11+
  • Sugar Hollow Camp (Click here to get directions)
  • $725
  • All materials needed to complete the project are provided.
    • Free T-shirt included
    Register Now

     

    2017 Teen Expedition Programs:

    Jun
    24
    Sat
    2017
    Teen River Expedition
    Jun 24 – Jun 30 all-day
    Teen River Expedition @ Ages: 13+

    Come spend a magical week on a wild river in Virginia!

    This camp is for campers who have attended at least one year of Earth Roots. 

    Our special week will flow like a river. We will carry all our needs in our canoes, explore, swim, and more.  We will cover expedition planning, canoe stroke techniques, and water safety. We will navigate our way through rapids,  paddle amongst the mountains, cook for ourselves in small teams, practice survival skills, tell stories, play games, and laugh a whole lot. We will also explore how the river can teach us to be our best.  There are so many wonderful things we do at our Earth Roots camps, this trip will allow us to put a lot into practice.

    Register Now

    Please don’t delay in registering as spaces are very limited and fill fast.

    Details & Registration – River Expedition

    • June 24-30, 2017
    • Saturday June 24 drop off 2pm, Friday June 30 pick up 2pm
    • Ages 13+
    • Drop off and pick up is at the Sugar Hollow Camp (get directions)
    • $725
    • Prerequisite: minimum 1 year Earth Roots Overnight Camp.

      All supplies will be included, other than the basic camping and clothing gear. We will send a what-to-bring list and details upon your registrations.

    • Free T-shirt included
    Register Now