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!
  • Before
  • After

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.

2020 Residential / Overnight Camps:

Jun 14 – Aug 14 all-day Ages: 8+
June camps are Cancelled due to COVID-19 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[...]
Jun 29 – Jul 4 all-day Ages: 11-16
Make your own knife and sheath and leather backpack or shoes! 1 year of Earth Roots is a prerequisite for this overnight camp. Join this camp week of crafting your own handmade gear. You can make your own stainless steel knife with sheath, and a pair of leather shoes or leather backpack of choice.  Yes, you can[...]
Aug 2 – Aug 7 all-day Ages: 13-16
Advanced Ancient Ways is for ages 13+. Campers must have completed 1 year of Ancient Ways previously. This camp will take a small group of advanced campers to the next edge, living off the land and living as their own tribe.  It is sure to push ones skills in a fun and supportive way.  Are[...]
Aug 2 – Aug 7 all-day Ages: 12-16
There’s an incredible aliveness we see when young people come together to make beautiful and useful things with their own hands! Creating a medicine that can soothe a cut, going down to the river to make a stone-age hatchet, or the trial and error of weaving a basket. And there’s something even more powerful about[...]
Aug 9 – Aug 14 all-day Ages: 11-16
Learn the essential skills of hunting! 1 year of Earth Roots is a prerequisite for this overnight camp. A great next-level option for campers who have already done a Keepers of the Arrow or Peter’s Archery Camp! (Neither of these is a pre-requisite.) This is an overnight camp for students to learn the skills associated with small game hunting.[...]

2020 Teen Expedition Programs:

Jun 20 – Jun 26 all-day Ages: 13+
“The inner and outer journey.”  This camp is for campers who have attended at least one year of Earth Roots.  Come alive with adventure and discover the beauties of nature accessible only by foot. We will leave behind the modern world and use only what we carry on our backs, our own resourcefulness and gifts[...]
Jul 5 – Jul 11 all-day Ages: 13+
Come spend a magical week on a wild river in Virginia! 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[...]
Jul 26 – Jul 31 all-day Ages: 13+
This camp is open to all teenagers.  There is no prerequisite requirement. One thing that shaped Kate and Hub (and many LES staff) into being lovers of life was all the adventures they did in their teens and early 20’s. It was climbing mountains; paddling rivers; rock climbing, and being deep in the wilds. This[...]