Holston Camp welcomes you and your camper! We look forward to our association with you this summer and will do our best to make your child’s stay a happy and rewarding experience. This handbook is intended to provide you with general information and make you feel at ease. Please also visit our Frequently Asked Questions page. We welcome phone calls and emails if you have further questions or concerns.

Jim Austin, Camp Director
& Lisa Jones, Office Manager

(844) 465-7866
info@holstoncenter.org

Before Camp

A general health form is required for each camper, which includes the doctor’s contact information. A health form is available on our website.

Spending Money

You may choose to allow your camper to bring money with them to camp. This may be spent at their discretion in the camp store where we sell Holston Camp apparel, drinks, snacks,  toiletries, and sundry items such as  flashlights, batteries, etc. or when they go on outings such as to Grandfather Mountain or gem mining. Parents may visit the camp store on registration (drop-off) day and leave money (or credit) for their camper under our supervision.

Cabin Buddies

Your camper may request a cabin mate. The cabin mate should also list your camper’s name on their registration form. Please keep in mind that campers will be house by age and gender.

Camper Address/Mail

Mail can be an exciting highlight to a camper’s day. Please write cheerful letters expressing your interest in what is happening at camp. Short happy thoughts are best. Mail can be sent prior to camp or can be provided on registration day. Please do not send food!

Address

Camper Name & Week
Holston Camp
PO Box 428
Banner Elk, NC 28604

Camp Phone Calls

Campers will not be able to make or receive phone calls. PLEASE DO NOT SEND CELL PHONES OR ELECTRONIC DEVICES SUCH AS TABLETS WITH YOUR CAMPER! If there is a problem concerning your camper, the Camp Director will contact you. In the event of an emergency at home, be prepared to leave a message for the Director or Office Manager and your call will be returned as soon as possible. If you have questions about camp, please contact us during our normal business hours: 8AM-5PM, Mon-Fri. Emergency: (844) 465-7866 OR call the Director, Jim Austin at (423) 202-1655.

Birthdays

Birthdays are special occasions at camp! To assure a celebration please alert the Camp Director and counselors on registration date.

Camp Behavior

Campers are expected to behave in a socially acceptable manner. Disruptive behavior that continues to occur and impairs the ability of other campers to enjoy themselves will not be tolerated. The Director may send disruptive campers home. Please review this information with your camper so camp is enjoyable experience for everyone present.

Food

Meals at camp are nutritionally balanced and prepared by qualified, experienced staff. Snacks are also provided! Please do not send snacks with your camper – food is not allowed in the cabins. Any dietary restrictions (allergies or otherwise) should be noted on the registration form. We can accommodate most food allergies (gluten free, lactose intolerance, nut free). If your camper has a dietary restriction, please indicate this when registering for camp so that we can anticipate the need.

Homesickness

Homesickness is a natural feeling that many campers experience. Usually the feeling passes in a couple of days and the camper enjoys the rest of their session. If a camper becomes homesick, the staff is supportive and helpful in overcoming these feelings, and encourages the other campers to be as well. Parents and friends can write cheerful letter of support and encouragement to help them enjoy their stay at camp. Extra special letters with comics, jokes, puzzles, etc. can be sent. Avoid writing about stressful events at home; concentrate instead on questions about camp activities, buddies, food and weather. We encourage you to send mail before a camper arrives or bring it on registration day. Since talking with parents directly via phone increases a camper’s homesickness, we do not allow a phone call between you and camper. If homesickness continues for an extended period of time, the Camp Director will notify you by phone.

Camp Life

Campers should expect that camp will be different than home–different beds, bathrooms, food, etc. Campers will also be meeting new people. If your camper has never been here before, it may seem a strange place but we will make every effort to make your camper feel safe and secure. Campers will be able to choose some activities and expected to participate with the group in other activities. Campers will be grouped based on age and gender. The activities, meals and rest time provide the framework for each group’s daily routine. We want all campers to have a great experience at camp.

Laundry

No laundry facilities are available to the campers. Emergencies such as bedwetting will be handled by the counselor in a discreet manner.   If your camper has a bedwetting problem, please send extra sheets.

Lost & Found

All lost and found items will be kept at the camp for one week after the close of the season. When you pick up your camper, please check to make sure they have all their belongings. Call the camp immediately if you determine that something is missing. If the missing item is found, we can mail it for a fee that includes postage plus $5.00 for handling. The best prevention is to label all items with your camper’s name.

Visitors

It is not possible for campers to have visitors during the camp session. Because of the short time your camper is here, most visitation has a negative effect and promotes homesickness.   You are welcome to tour camp on registration or attend Family Camp.

Cancellations/Refund Policy

If, for some reason, your camper is unable to attend camp as planned, please notify us by call 844-HOLSTON. Refunds will be considered under the following circumstances:

1. Registration fee of $50 is non-refundable.

2. Balance of fee is refundable only if a physician states in writing before the camp session that it would be medically inadvisable for the camper to attend.

3. If a camper is sent home by the Director, refunds will be issued on a pro-rated basis.

Check-in Procedures

  • Registration is at 3:00 PM on Sunday at the Dining Hall. PLEASE BE ON TIME!
  • Have available signed rafting/tubing/caving/horseback riding waiver if your camper is participating in any of these activities. Additional waivers will be available at check-in.
  • Be prepared to pay any outstanding balance on your account. Check, credit card or cash are accepted on registration day.
  • Mail for your camper should be left with registrar.
  • Complete the form for early pick up of camper or if someone other the guardian listed on the registration form will be picking up the camper on departure day.
  • Discuss with Summer Program Director any medications your child is currently taking, health issues and general health questions.

Luggage

After you have registered your camper, please place luggage in their cabin. Staff will be available to direct you to the cabin assigned to your camper.

Special Medical Needs/Medications

All medications or allergies must be noted on the Medical Release Waiver. All medications that are brought to camp are stored and dispensed by the Summer Program Director. If prescription medications are sent to camp it must be in the original pharmacy container listing camper’s name, medication and dosage prescribed. If non-prescription medications are needed, the Summer Program Director will give these medications per the recommended dosage.

Check-out Procedures

  • Camp ends at 3:00 on Friday. We have a brief closing program in the dining hall for campers and parents at 3:00 on Friday. You may choose to sign-out your camper and leave immediately, or stay for the program.
  • Be sure to collect any medications or other items that are being held by the Summer Program Director for your camper after signing-out.
  • After you have checked out you may pick up your camper’s luggage at their cabin. Please pay careful attention to your camper’s luggage and ensure that it is all collected (including laundry).

Typical Schedule

8:00 – Breakfast

8:45 – Morning Worship

10:00 – Activity 1

12:00 – Lunch

12:45 – FOB (Flat on Back)

1:00 – Activity 2

3:30 – Activity 3

5:30 – Dinner

6:15 – Vespers/Campfire

7:00 – Evening Activity

9:30 – Free-time

10:00 – Lights out

What to Bring to Camp

 What to Bring PDF

Bedding: Campers who will be located in Main Camp cabins may choose sheets or sleeping bag. Explorer campers will need a sleeping bag for a campout during the week. Wilderness and Wildcat campers should bring a sleeping bag. For trail hikers, a lightweight sleeping bag and sleeping pad is advisable. 

___Twin size sheets or sleeping bag by preference

___ Blanket

___ Pillow

___ Lightweight sleeping bag for adventure campers

Note: Even if your camper is housed in one of our main camp cabins for the week, they will need a sleeping bag for overnight camp-outs.

Swimming: 

___ Modest swimsuit (one-piece preferred for females)

___ Sunscreen

___ Towel

Footwear: For campers doing longer trail hikes on the AT, a good pair of hiking shoes and socks are strongly endorsed.

___ 1 pair for water activity-old tennis shoes are great. Tevas and Chacos are good choices. Shoes will get wet and muddy during creek explorations and waterfront activities.

___ 1 pair for hiking. Prefer lightweight hiking shoes with good support.

___ 1 pair shower shoes (flip flops)

Clothing (don’t send clothes that you don’t want to get stained)

___ Short and long pants

___ T-shirts (no halters, tube tops, cutoff tops or midriffs)

___ Long sleeved shirt (Temperatures can drop into the 50’s in June & July at this elevation of 4,000 feet)

___ Underwear

___ Bandana

___ Socks REQUIRED FOR AT HIKERS

___ Light jacket, sweatshirt, sweater, hoodie (it gets cool at night)

___ Rain poncho or jacket REQUIRED FOR AT HIKERS

___ Sleepwear

THESE ARE RECOMMENDATIONS ONLY. PLEASE DON’T BRING MORE THAN YOUR CAMPER WILL ACTUALLY WEAR OR UTILIZE. 

Toiletries (in a convenient container)

___ Shampoo, brush, comb, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.

___ Soap in a soap box or baggie, (bottled liquid body wash is handy)

___ Female sanitary protection

___ Stick deodorant (please no aerosol)

___ 1 or 2 towels for bathing and swimming

___ Solution for contact lens if necessary

Additional Items:

___ Refillable water bottle

___ A lightweight backpack for carrying water bottle, repellent, sunblock, towel, etc.

___ Flashlight and extra batteries (a “headlight” is especially handy)

___ Non-aerosol insect repellant

___ Bible, notebook, pencils

Optional:

___ Disposable or digital camera (no cell phones)

___ Musical instrument (non-electric)

___ Stationery, stamps or self-addressed stamped postcards (for a letter home)

___ Laundry bag (as if…)

WITH THE DELIBERATE INTENTION TO “UNPLUG” CAMPERS, WE REQUEST THAT CAMPERS DO NOT BRING CELL PHONES, GAMING DEVICES, TABLETS, NOOKS, KINDLES, MP3 PLAYERS, HAIR DRYERS, ETC. TO CAMP. WE HOPE CAMPERS UNDERSTAND THE PURPOSE OF UNPLUGGING IS TO BE MORE CONSCIOUS AND AWARE OF THEIR CAMP COMMUNITY AND ENVIRONMENT, AS WELL AS AVAILABLE TO HEAR THE VOICE OF GOD.

Additional Checklist for Adventure Camps

AT and Cave:

Camp provides: Backpacks, safety equipment, cook stoves, water purification needs, meals.

You provide: Lightweight sleeping bag, hiking shoes (must be broken in before camp); hiking socks, suitable hiking apparel, head cover, flashlight/headlight with new batteries, pocket knife, large water bottle.

Wet and Wild:

Camp provides: Canoes, safety equipment, cook stoves, water purification needs, meals.

You provide: Sun screen, water shoes such as Tevas and Chacos (no flip flops!), quick dry apparel, head cover, flashlight/headlight with new batteries, pocket knife, large water bottle.

Biking and AT:

Camp provides: Bikes, safety equipment, cook stoves, water purification needs, meals.

You provide: Lightweight sleeping bag, hiking/biking shoes (must be broken in before camp); hiking socks, suitable hiking/biking apparel, sun screen, head cover, flashlight/headlight with new batteries, pocket knife, large water bottle.

Directions

 Directions PDF

Our physical address is: 6993 Hickory Nut Gap Road, Banner Elk, NC 28604

Get Directions from Google Maps

Directions from Asheville, NC – Estimated travel time of 2 hours or less

Take I-40 East to Hwy 221 North toward Linville. At the traffic light in Linville turn right and drive 0.5 mile to the light at the Hwy 105 intersection. Turn left and drive 4 miles to the next light at the Hwy 184 intersection. Turn left and drive 3.8 miles to Hickory Nut Gap Road on the left. Go 1 mile to the entrance of camp on the right.

Directions from Hickory, NC – Estimated travel time of 1.5 hours

Take Hwy 321 North towards Blowing Rock. Stay on 321 until you come to the Hwy 105 intersection in Boone. Turn left and travel approx. 12 miles to the intersection of 105 and Hwy 184. Turn Right and drive 3.8 miles to Hickory Nut Gap Road. Turn left across the small bridge and drive 1 mile to the camp entrance on the right.

Directions from Knoxville, TN – Estimated time of 3 hours

Take I-81 North to I-26 East towards Johnson City. Exit towards Elizabethton (exit 24-US 321 N). Drive through Elizabethton and turn right onto 19E/321 towards Roan Mountain; Stay on 19E. Travel through Hampton, Roan Mountain and Elk Park. 1 mile outside Elk Park turn left at Time Square Diner onto Hwy 194 and drive 7 miles

to the light in Banner Elk. Turn right and drive 0.5 mile and turn right onto Hickory Nut Gap Road crossing a small bridge. Drive 1 mile to the camp entrance on the right.

Directions from Spartanburg, SC – Estimated time of 2.5 hours

Take I-26 West to Columbus, NC. Exit onto Hwy 74 East . Stay on this interstate road for about 15 miles until you come to Hwy 221. Exit onto 221 North towards Rutherfordton. Stay on 221 until you get to Linville traffic light. Turn right at the light and drive 0.5 mile to the light at Hwy 105 intersection. Turn left and drive 4 miles to the traffic light at Hwy 184 intersection. Turn left and drive 3.8 miles to Hickory Nut Gap Road. Turn left across the small bridge and drive 1 mile to the entrance of the camp on the right.

Directions from Southwest VA – Estimated time of 2 – 2.5 hours

Take VA-91 to Mountain City, TN. Follow Hwy 421/321 for 22 miles to Hwy 105 Bypass/NC-1107. Stay on 105 Bypass for 2 miles. Turn right on to NC-105, following this road for approximately 11 miles. Turn right onto Tynecastle Hwy./NC-184 and drive 3.8 miles to Hickory Nut Gap Road. Turn left across the small bridge and drive 1 mile to the entrance of the camp on the right.