As youth outdoor education professionals, many of our Directors and Instructors have grown up in different scouting organizations. With all the experience shared among our staff team, we have been able to create some amazing programs for Girl Scout Encampments, Boy Scout Troops, and a variety of other scouting organizations.
Facilities and Activities
With a full equestrian center, archery programs, climbing tower, a lake and farm & garden classes, we are able to offer a variety of badge related activities. And with the ability to choose rustic platform tents or our cozy cabins, you can pick the accommodations that fit your needs.
For Girl Scouts specifically, we have gone a step farther to become a program partner with The Nation’s Capital Area Girl Scouts, The Black Diamond Area Girl Scouts, and The Skyline Area Girl Scouts. We frequently host encampments and are ready to support you through the planning process with schedule templates and activity descriptions. We even host our own “Girl Scout Weekend” each season where individual troops can come out and join us for activities, community, and evening programs.Activities Facilities & Lodging
Outdoor Adventure & Offsite Trips
(additional cost) Camp Horizons Only
Ring Ride & Horse Care
(min age: 5 years old) Learn how to steer and stop your horse as you ride around the ring. In this group style lesson, participants will be assigned a horse to ride as an experienced instructor teaches them the fundamentals of horseback riding. Younger participants will have their horses led by and instructor. This activity time also includes a 45-minute horse care lesson where you learn how to brush and feed, as well as basic anatomy of the horse.
(min age: 10 years old) During this group trail ride, participants will first learn to stop and steer their horse before heading out on a leisurely ride around camp
Off-Site Day Trips
(min age: 4th grade) Head underground during this off-site trip and experience a whole new world. Participants will learn how to use a map and compass, the basics of caving safety, and how caves are formed as they walk and crawl through the cave.
(min age: 4th grade) Head off site with a pack lunch for an age-appropriate day hike in the Shenandoah National Park or George Washington National Forest. Both full day and half day hikes are available.
(min age: 3rd grade) Explore one of the areas most iconic and exciting caverns tours and bring science lessons to life in this awesome underground labyrinth of ancient formations. For more info go to the following link: https://www.luraycaverns.com
NROCKS Canopy Tour
(min age: 7th grade) Spend a day in the trees with this extensive canopy tour course of 12 connected zip lines, 3 sky bridges, and a multitude of tree platforms. Your group will love zipping from tree to tree as they control their own approach, and even get to rappel back to the ground at the end. For more info go to the following link: https://www.nrocks.com/activities/north-fork-valley-canopy-tour
NROCKS Via Ferrata
(min age: 8th grade) Take your team on a one of a kind climbing adventure. The Via is a combination of fixed anchor professionally guided rock-climbing that takes between 3-5 hours. It is a great way for folks to experience the heights of multi-pitch rock climbing without the technical side of knots and ropes involved. For more info go to the following link: https://www.nrocks.com/activities/via-ferrata/
(min age: 5th grade) ½ day or full day, canoeing on the river will be a trip every participant remembers. The Shenandoah River provides opportunities for viewing wildlife including Bald Eagles, Great Blue Herons, and maybe the occasional cow. PFD’s are always worn when on the water.
(min age: 4th grade) Equipped with a harness, helmet, and climbing shoes, each participant will learn safe climbing techniques as they climb up the cliff faces in the George Washington National Forest. With varying levels of climbing routes, everyone will enjoy this activity as they challenge themselves.
Off-Site Overnight Trips
(min age: 7th grade) We do custom outdoor adventure travel trips! If you are interested in going rafting in West Virginia, kayaking in Virginia Beach, or anywhere in between; We can handle food, cover transportation, provide tents and camping equipment, and coordinate all the logistics to make it an enjoyable trip for both students and chaperones.
(min age: 6th grade) Pack up everything you need and spend the day hiking in Shenandoah National Park or George Washington National Forest. As the afternoon ends, set up camp, cook dinner on the camp stove, and enjoy an evening together in nature before heading to your tents for a great night’s sleep! Choose a backpacking trip length appropriate for your group’s needs. We will provide backpacks, tents, cooking supplies, and experienced staff.
(min age: 6th grade) Already experienced a ½ day or full day canoe trip and would like to expand your outdoor skills? On this overnight trip participants will spend the day paddling down the Shenandoah River and then pull off the river for an evening of cooking on the camp stove, games, camp fire stories, and sleeping in tents.
On-Site Water Activities
(Mid-March to Mid-October) Camp Horizons Only
(min age: 3rd grade) Lake Philippa is the perfect setting to learn and practice basic canoeing skills. Participants will learn about canoe safety, paddling techniques, and a lot about teamwork as they paddle around the lake with their partners and play games.
Lake Free Swim
Put a life jacket on and enjoy swimming in Lake Philippa. Hold on tight as you fly down the zip line or see how fast you can slide down the water slide.
Pool Free Swim
Relax in the reclining pool chairs or jump off the diving board! Everyone loves swim time in the pool. With a depth ranging from a few feet to 9 feet, every participant will feel comfortable.
(min age: 3rd grade) Participants will have fun on the water while learning to paddle a kayak or paddle board and will get to put their new moves into practice while playing games.
(min age: 3rd grade) Bullseye! Participants will learn how to safely use a bow and arrow and get to practice their shooting skills at stationary targets.
(min age: 3rd grade) Tinder, kindling and fuel; participants learn the components needed to build a fire and learn fire safety. Split into small groups of 2-4, they will then get to put what they have learned into practice. *This can be a full or ½ activity block with the addition of another ½ activity.
(min age: 4th grade) Fishing pole and bait in hand, participants will spend time fishing in our own lake.
L.N.T Ethics & Backpacking Prep
(min age: 6th grade) This class is designed to prepare students for our offsite backpacking trips. It is a great opportunity to learn about packing techniques, review campsite setup, and learn about “Leave No Trace” best practices before hitting the trail.
Navigation & Orienteering
(min age: 4th grade) Introduction to basic navigation skills using a compass. Participants will learn the parts of a compass as well as an understanding for how they work and why we use them. When everyone has an understanding of how to use a compass, groups will use their compass to find letters to spell out a secret word!
(additional cost) (min age: 5th grade) In today’s day and age not everyone has had the chance to cook over a fire. We make that happen in this tasty class. Students will gather around the fire and take turns making three of our favorite campfire meals with a couple different techniques with each. And of course, no campfire cooking class would be complete with out a marshmallow roast at the end.
Shelter is the greatest need in outdoor survival! Working in small groups, participants will use sticks and leaves to create shelters that could protect them from the elements. On rainy days the option of using tarps will be available.
Science & Environmental Education
Arts & Crafts
(additional cost) (min age: 3rd grade) This classic art form is always a favorite. Each student gets a beginner basketry kit and our instructors work with students to braid and weave a product that the students can take home with them. This activity costs an additional $1 per child to offset the cost of the basketry kits.
(min age: 1st grade) Natures not just for hiking in! In this nature based art class we will make art using nature materials we find around us. Sculpture, weaving, and painting! This class takes many forms and lets students go where their creativity takes them.
(min age: 1st grade) Spiral, stripes, and technicolor! Each participant will get to fold and dye their own shirt to take home with them. We provide the dye and instruction. Participants must bring their own white clothing item to dye for this activity.
Adaptations & Camouflage
(min age: 1st grade) During this creative class, students will take a closer look at some of their favorite animals and begin to realize what makes them unique are actually behavioral or physical adaptations. The students will then get to demonstrate different adaptations and mimic animals camouflage in the woods.
Instincts of Survival
(min age: 3rd grade) During this strategic and energetic run-around game, participants play the role of a carnivore, omnivore, or herbivore. Participants must collect “food” and “water” to survive and win the game. Depending on which type of animal they are, they must ether capture others or avoid being captured!
Nature Hike & Bingo
(min age: 1st grade) Whether you are 50 or 5, bingo is fun or all ages. Students will have to explore our forests to complete a natural scavenger hunt to try and be the first student to complete bingo on our nature bingo cards!
(min age: 1st grade) With a net, bucket, and identification sheet in hand, participants explore one of the many ponds or creeks around camp. During this activity participants will likely find tadpoles, fish, salamanders, and many macro-invertebrates. This activity can also involve a deeper lesson on water quality.
Skull, Pelt & Track ID Hike
(min age: 1st grade) We will hit the trail or explore the nature center to find clues along the way to identify what animals have been buy the area. Just like nature shows and documentaries, we will find foot prints, bones, fur, and other clues that will start us off on a conversation about the animals that are native to the area.
Chicken, Eggs & Chicks
(min age: 3rd grade) We aren’t just talking chickens and turkeys here! In this hands on lesson, students will not only get to meet the chickens and turkeys that we have here. They will also meet all the rare birds that we rotate in and out of the farm each week. Rolling pigeons, Indian runner ducks, and the majestic peacock are just a few of the birds that come to visit. We even have a small hatchery on site so you can see what goes into the egg laying process!
History of Grains
(min age: 3rd grade) Do you know how important grains are? Could you tell the difference barley, brown rice and buckwheat? Grains have played an important role in human civilization and we use this class to learn about how they have grown alongside humans, what they are used for, and how to tell them apart.
Intro to Farm Animals
(min age: 1st grade) Students love our farm program, and this is the best place to start for our first-time visitors. In this class we will introduce students to all the farm animals we have on-site. They will get the chance to get up close and personal with our cows, chickens and pigs as they help with basic farm chorus and learn what it takes to raise animals on a farm.
Milk, Cheese & Wool
(min age: 3rd grade) Come meet the big mammals that call our small farm home! With bottle feeding calves, acrobatic goats, and curious sheep… we’ve got it all. In this hands-on lesson, students will learn about the anatomy and care of our major farm mammals, along with the farm products that they are associated with like milk, cheese, wool and soap.
Apples, Seeds & Cider
(min age: 1st grade) Apples are a great entry point into the wonderful world of farming and gardening. We use this class to jump into farm life by introducing apples from a bushel of different angles. We will read a Native American story about the little apple tree, learn about how they have grown and changed into many different varieties, make an apple themed art project, and even press our own apple juice. This class is sweet!
Good Bugs & Bad Bugs
(min age: 1st grade) Not all bugs are bad, and we are here to prove it. In this lesson, students will get the opportunity to look at the many different types of bugs that can be found in a common garden and just what to think about them. They will learn about symbiotic and parasitic relationships as they make an organic and safe bug repellent out of some common kitchen ingredients. And they will get a chance to meet some good bugs up close as we release a batch in to our local garden plot.
Herbs and Their Many Uses
(min age: 3rd grade) In this class we will use all 5 of our senses to investigate the many uses of herbs in the garden. We will learn about their uses in cooking and medicine, and we will even make our own lip balm out of some of the ingredients on hand. And no class on herbs would be complete without a little homemade tea to try as we work through the diverse history and use of these amazing plants.
Native Tree ID
(min age: 5th grade) During this hike, students will gain a better understanding of the trees and forest around them. They will learn about the different parts of a tree and what you can learn by examining a dead tree. How old it was, the history it has seen, any accidents or natural disasters that the tree survived; just to name a few. Students will also learn to identify several common trees that they might see at home.
Pollinators & The Importance of Bees
(min age: 3rd grade) Do you know how important insect pollinators are in producing the food we eat? We will take the time to learn about which insects aid the pollination process and how they make it work. Not only will we help act as pollinators ourselves, but also we will go in depth about one of the most important pollinators on the planet… BEES! We will learn how they communicate, live, grow, and work. We will even get a chance to try locally made honey!
The Life of a Seed
(min age: 1st grade) With magnifying glasses in hand we will explore the garden looking at different types of seeds, there immense variety, and how they start the growing process. After exploring we will sit down and read a short story or article related to the life of a seed (relevant to age group) before we plant our own seed to grow in the garden.
Owl Pellet Exploration
(additional cost) (min age: 4th grade) Students will explore the adaptations and unique traits that make owls one of the most effective nighttime predators. Students will examine the hunting habits of owls and get to dissect owl pellets to further examine these unique creatures. Students will learn about predator/prey relationships and how humans interact with owls. This activity cost an additional $1 per child for the owl pellets.
Reptiles & Amphibians
(min age: 1st grade) Students will get to meet a few of our resident reptiles and amphibians as we learn about these native animals. We will talk through their roll in the surrounding habitat, the unique adaptations that they have developed, and where they are likely to be found.
Team Building & Personal Challenge
Cardboard Build Cooperative Team Challenge
(min age: 5th grade) Students will start with a huge mound of cardboard, scissors and a roll of duct tape. Then they will be given an object to build out of the materials that must properly preform its given function. Maybe they need to build a boat out of cardboard that will transport one of their class mates across our lake! Or maybe they need to build a nice chair that can hold their chaperone! Whatever the object, students have to plan, build, and test their way to a final product.
Egg Drop Cooperative Team Challenges
(min age: 3rd grade) Students will be broken up into small groups and will each be given an egg to protect. they will have a little over an hour to create a container for their egg that will keep it safe from a fall of 35 ft. The activity requires planning, communication, and strategic thinking to complete the task.
Survivor Cooperative Team Challenge
(min age: 5th grade) Students will work together to complete complete this survival scenario. With limited time and limited supplies, the teams must create a shelter, build a fire, and work to both purify water and cook food. It is an exciting challenge that works well for students who have previously done a few of our Wilderness Survival classes.
During this traditional evening program, participants will enjoy a s’more, join in with call and response style camp songs, and laugh along to funny camp skits.
(min age: 3rd grade) Everyone loves a good Dutch Auction. Group Leaders will be asked to act as judges as groups of participants use their creativity, acting skills, and items they have on hand to create anything from “a funky hat” to a skit about their favorite book.
Anything from buddy tag and capture the flag, to gaga and kick ball, participants will enjoy a mix of active games during this activity. Games will be chosen to best fit the group and their interests.
Minute to Win It
Participants will race against each other and the clock to complete challenges and gain points for their team!
Sit back, relax, and kick off your shoes after a busy day of activities. We will set up a projector and popcorn machine. All you need to do is bring your favorite movie.
(min age: 3rd grade) With only the moon and the stars lighting the way, participants will use their night vision to set off on a hike around camp. During this hike, a participants will learn about rods and cones, night creatures, and triboluminescence.
High Ropes Courses
Appalachian High Ropes Course
(MC) (min age: 7th grade) Head up into the sky and be challenged as two participants work together to make their way around this high ropes course.
Blue Ridge Medium Ropes
(MC) (max age: 4th grade) This is the perfect experience for younger grades as they get comfortable in a harness and with heights. This course is 8ft off the ground
Massanutten High Ropes Bornack Course
(CH) (min age: 7th grade) For participants looking for an added challenge, they can take on our classic Massanutten course with a new twist. Using our auto-locking system, students will navigate the course and work to overcome a series of obstacles on their way to the zip-line.
Massanutten High Ropes Course
(CH) (min age: 5th Grade) Try out our improved high ropes experience! From the “Postman’s Walk” to the “Pirates Crossing”, participants will get to navigate their way through several elements before flying down the zipline.
Shenandoah High Ropes Course
(CH) (min age: 5th Grade) Combining team work and individual growth, the Shenandoah course encourages trust and perseverance. Following Challenge By Choice practices, participants try out individual elements while their teammates belay them from below.
Personal Challenge Elements
(min age: 3rd grade) Reach new heights on our 40ft climbing tower. Using harnesses, ropes, and the belay system, participants may enjoy the beginner wall, the challenge of the overhang, or the fun of the cargo net and moving structures on the play pen side.
(max age: 3rd grade) Attached to the end of a rope, the participant sets off running at the same moment their team mates start pulling the other end of the rope. The participant is lifted off the ground up to 20’ as they fly upwards just like Peter Pan. This is a great element for young participants and helps them build up to other high adventure activities.
(min age: 4th grade) Harnessed in and attached to metal cables, one participant is pulled high into the air by their teammates. When ready, the participant releases them self and is sent swinging back and forth.
(min age: 5th grade) Done in pairs, the Giant’s Ladder is a powerful partner-team tool. Imagine a wide ladder with large wooden rungs. Each step gets progressively bigger, from three to six feet apart. Participants find out quickly how important it is to help each other and that their success depends on their teammate.
Leap of Faith
(min age: 5th grade) While on belay, participants will climb to the top of a telephone pole where they will be challenged to stand on top. What comes next is the “Leap of Faith”; with encouragement from their team mates they will jump off the pole and high five the ball suspended in the air.
(min age: 5th grade) Participants will push their personal boundaries as they climb up towards the zip platform. Once at the platform, participants will slide off and zoom down the 400ft zipline!
(min age: 1st grade) Using portable games and team building activities, groups will learn communication, planning, and team work while completing challenges and solving problems. With outcomes similar to the Team Building Course, this is a great choice during inclement weather or shorter activity times as they can be completed inside.
Team Building Course
(min age: 4th grade) Using prebuilt elements such as the Birthday Beam, Whale Watch, and Toxic Waste, participants will be challenged to complete a task. Some tasks have physical challenges while some require great planning and cooperation. An instructor will lead your group through challenges that fit your group and meet your needs.