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"Now I see the secret of the making of the best persons. It is to grow in the open air, and to eat and sleep with the earth."
-Walt Whitman

Our program at Green Cove centers around activities that take place on the water, in the woods, and on horseback. On the water side, we do a lot with swimming, canoeing, kayaking, and sailing. In the woods, we travel by foot and mountain bike — we also love to rock climb. The riding program has always been very popular. There's also a tennis program, a nature program, and of course, crafts. Age is not a requirement for any activity or trip. Each camper progresses at her own rate, participating in the activities that she finds most stimulating, and is not tied to a cabin or age group.


Since SWIMMING is basic to safety on the waterfront, we want all campers to be at least at an intermediate level; those who are not take lessons at least once a day. Since ours is a non-competitive program, the emphasis is on form and endurance - not on speed. All swimming is supervised by lifeguards.

CANOEING and KAYAKING begin on the lake, where we work on safety and basic strokes. When ready, campers take river trips, training at first on easy Class I and II rivers, then moving up in difficulty and challenge as they are able. We take easy river and lake trips for the inexperienced paddlers, and one to five day trips on Class III and IV rivers for those ready. We spend lots of time teaching how to read water, ferry, catch eddies, and play in the river's many waves and hydraulics. We especially emphasize river safety and judgment.

MOUNTAIN BIKING is a wonderful way to cover a lot of wild country quickly, and lends itself to our trail system beautifully. We have 800 acres of woodland, with many miles of easy to difficult trails. Most children bring basic skills from home and can apply them to our environment quickly. We take lots of day trips, and quite a few overnights as well. There are BMX bikes also, for those not ready for 21 speeds.

The SAILING fleet includes Y-Flyers, Lightnings, Snipes, one Thistle, five Flying Scots, and several other types. We like a variety of boats - that way, you learn to manage different rigs and different handling characteristics. Experienced sailors often take a couple of the boats to other, larger, lakes (like 9,000 acre Lake Jocassee) to sail and camp for several days.

HORSEBACK RIDING begins with a good string of school horses, good facilities and systematic instruction. We own and have trained almost all of our horses. This enables us to maintain a good balance of mounts suitable for the needs of beginning, intermediate and advanced level riders. Facilities include rings of varying sizes, fields equipped for intermediate to advanced instruction, and many trails. We teach hunter / jumper type riding.

MOUNTAINEERING, for us, includes backpacking and rock climbing - sometimes separately, sometimes hiking and climbing on the same trip. It also includes a climbing tower. We like to teach young people to be at home in the woods, rain or shine, on the trail or off. Pisgah Forest, the Great Smokies National Park and a number of other wilderness areas are nearby.

Backpacking is an activity that teaches a lot - but requires little skill to begin. Most trips go out for one to five nights. You carry everything you need with you, cook as a group, set up your own shelter, help find the trail and the campsite.

Climbing might begin at our new 50 foot Climbing Tower, with challenges for all levels... and progress to nearby areas such as Linville Gorge, Looking Glass, and many other less well known areas. There are one day trips to nearby climbing sites, as well as week-long advanced expeditions to more remote areas. The Climbing Tower is also an incredible builder of self-confidence as well as being a wonderful place to cheer on your friends.

A NATURE PROGRAM aims to teach awareness and appreciation of the environment. The program bases its activities at the Nature Lab, but spends quite a bit of time out of camp as well, observing, collecting, and learning.

TENNIS we like for its long-term value - it's a game for young and old. Lessons are offered twice daily for each skill group. They will include games and drills, plus occassional mixed doubles with our brother camp, Mondamin. We also play counselor/camper tournaments in our Main Session. There are four hard surfaced courts.

CRAFTS at Green Cove include a good weaving program, pottery, macrame, copper enameling, silk-screen printing, and drawing. There is also leatherwork, candlemaking, and woodwork. We almost always find something new to do every year.

MINOR ACTIVITIES include archery, riflery, and a variety of ball games. We are not a sports camp though — these activities are offered on a limited basis.

EVENING ACTIVITIES are varied. One night we have a campfire, another might be a cabin overnight. We have movies one night a week, and on Saturdays there's a square dance or other co-ed event with our brother camp, Mondamin. Other evenings might include games, or special events like skit night or a special interest night, when we share our hobbies and unusual interests with each other.

More advanced levels of major activities (like advanced whitewater paddling, extended rock climbing trips, etc.) are normally attainable only in the longer Main Session... and may require more than one summer to fully experience what there is to offer. However, even the shorter session packs a lot of adventure and we believe, gives kids a great opportunity to develop some skill.



At camp, we have a regular daily routine that includes about 7 hours of activity time, divided into morning, afternoon, and evening periods. We do a lot of teaching during this time, but we also have loads of fun and play games often.

Meals are eaten family style in the dinning room. There's an hour of rest time after lunch during which we return to cabins; you can read or write letters if you're not catching up on your zzzzz…

When you're not on a trip, most days look like this:

7:45 Wake-up
8:30 Breakfast
9:00 Assembly (Singing and announcements; maybe a performance by the Camp Band)
9:30 Activities
1:00 Lunch
1:45 Rest Hour
3:00 Activities
6:00 Supper
7:15 Evening Program
9:00 Junior Lights Out
9:30 - 10:00 Lights Out

As a camper, you have a lot of
choice in what you do at Green Cove.

You can choose canoeing over horseback riding, tennis over sailing, etc. We emphasize setting goals and working towards them -but you set the goals. You also set your own pace. In every activity, there are lessons as well as fun trips for even the most inexperienced young camper. (The only exceptions are canoeing, kayaking, and sailing, where we must insist that you swim well).

We think the rewards of
outdoor adventure are sweeter
when they are earned.

Your counselors will be your coaches when it comes to making choices, and then following through with your dream summer, whether that be learning to trot on a horse, reaching group IV swimming, taking your first overnight sailing expedition, climbing to the top of Table Rock (our Mt. Everest), or even kayaking the difficult narrows of the Nolichucky River. All of these goals will take some work and personal commitment, but that doesn't mean we don't have a blast on the journey to achieving them! Most campers set two or three major goals for their summer, and with a bit of determination it's quite possible to achieve them.

Fun activities and instruction
here at camp build up to overnight
trips from one to five days.

The overnight trips that we do at camp are often the most memorable part of a Green Cove experience. On the next page called "Activity Trips," we'll tell you a little about this part of our program.

previous Overview | Activity Trips next

Camp Green Cove, Established 1945. P.O. Box 38, Tuxedo, NC 28784. Toll Free: 1(800)688-5789.
Fax: 1(828)696-8895. E-mail:

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