We offer experiential, adventure-based, wilderness and therapeutic activities for children, individuals and families navigating Neurobiological Disorders, Aspergers Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Learning Disabilities and other special needs.
Our programs are intended to contribute a unique experience to the overall treatment plan for each client. This contribution is accomplished by directly working with parents, practitioners and educators that provide ongoing service. Aerie coordinates closely with staff of the practices, both in preparing clients for the wilderness journey and in providing follow up on client reactions to the experience.
All camps have a 2:1 camper to staff ratio.
10% discount for those who register before March 15th
Coastal Expedition: Our Coastal Expedition includes beach camping on Sapelo Island, where campers will explore the forested uplands, the vast salt marshes and the complex beach and dunes systems – as well as play a lot of camp games and learn to surf cast. Campers will experience a two-day paddle down the Satilla River, where they can fish for bass and sun fish, and explore the possibilities of self within the possibilities of the wild. A one-day protected inlet and tidal marsh paddle will provide opportunities for finding treasures like ancient shark teeth and shells. Our coastal expedition is a beautiful and fun setting for exploration and development of friendship, self-awareness and social emotional growth under the guidance of Aerie’s experienced and professional staff.
Dates: June 18 - June 24
Ages 10 - 14, limit 8 campers
Horse Ranch Adventure: Our Horse Ranch Adventure happens on Cedar Creek Cattle Ranch, a working horse and cattle ranch on more than 300 acres of land on the Cumberland Plateau. On the ranch, campers will live the life of a ranch hand, residing in yurts and developing a relationship with their own individual horse. Campers will feed, brush, ride and care for the horse they will ride on the trail. Campers will also develop a sense of community through group living, adventure based counseling activities, day hikes and group games. While on the ranch, campers will visit the natural bridges and rock formations of the Cumberland Plateau. Throughout the week, campers will become the heroes of their own stories while learning new skills like primitive fire building, camp craft and outdoor cooking. No equine experience needed.
Dates - Week1: July 1 - July 7
Week 2: July 9 - July 15
Week 3: July 17 - July 23
Ages 8-14, limit 12 campers
Llama Expedition: Our Llama Trek Expedition is a lot like our Llama Adventure Base Camp, but on the go. The journey takes place in Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina under special use permits in partnership with Challenge Adventures. Campers will hike with their llamas to new camp locations throughout the week, exploring Pisgah National Forest with a new best friend by their side - their own personal llama. Campers lead, feed and care for their own llama, and the llamas, in turn, carry equipment and food, provide unconditional acceptance, and demonstrate, along with the herd, how to be part of a cooperative team/community. The llamas form a protective relationship toward their human partners, which gives participants a sense of security and invites campers to be part of the team. This expedition also includes opportunities for adventure based counseling, group games, camp craft and primitive skills for those who want to learn.
Ages 13- 17, limit 7 campers
Financial Assistance Available
Scholarships are available.
We accommodate most diets including GFCF.
More About Camp
Our summer camps are designed to offer wilderness and outdoor camp experiences to the “nontraditional” camper. Campers will spend eight days and seven nights exploring the south east’s scenic wilderness and their own infinite potentials. Ideal candidates for this program are children, ages 8-17, navigating:
•High Functioning Autism
• Neurobiological Disorders
• Pervasive Developmental Delays
• Nonverbal Learning Disabilities
Socially and emotionally, children who come to Aerie programs are developing at a different pace than their peers. While they are smart and interesting, they may be a little quirky. They may not get invited to the neighborhood sleepovers or will often get picked last for group games and activities. Through adventure-based counseling activities, close cohort living and interdependence, our campers have the opportunity to:
•Discover individual strengths
•Identify and practice effective communication habits
•Improve ability to function within a group
• Enhance group trust levels
A 2:1 student-to-staff ratio ensures the safety, individual attention and accommodation needed to provide for a meaningful and memorable experience. Our strength-based, prescriptive program is designed and sequenced to build confidence and competence through challenge and accomplishment. Our goal is to ready participants for life’s transitions and challenges such as schooling and preparing for college, as well as help them manage everyday stressors such as socializing and networking. This course is intended to:
•Instill a sense of responsibility
•Solidify and expand identity development
•Provide opportunity for role testing