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Environmental Education

Our environmental education curriculum helps students to understand the natural world and its complex relationships. Our classes are intended to offer students opportunities for experiential learning. We stress hands-on learning and use the surrounding environment whenever possible. Most of our classes are structured in 1 1/2 hour increments, which allows four classes in a day. We also offer 3 hour classes for activities that need more time such as the Challenge Course, Hiking, or High Ropes.  

To book your school call 865-448-2246 or email office@campwesleywoods.com

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Animal Antics
Come learn about the animal antics that go down at Camp Wesley Woods! Explore the dynamics at play in predator-prey relationships. We’ll also discuss symbiotic relationships—some animal pairings live in mutual harmony, while others are a little more parasitic…
Common Core Standards: Science GLE 0507.2.1, 0507.2.2
Learn the fundamentals of archery in a safe environment.  Students will learn about the types of archery equipment and be exposed to modern shooting techniques.
Common Core Standards: Social Studies 4.1, 4.2, 4.10, 5.18, 6.2, 6.6, 7.74
Boating Safety
A main form of transit before the invention of steam-powered and fossil-fuel-powered machines, the canoe helped Native Americans and adventurous pioneers like Lewis and Clark travel the country. Students will learn basic canoeing skills and navigate their way around the Lagoon (1.5 hours). This class is only available during warmer weather.
Choose from the following options:
  • Candle Making: Dipping and molding candles as the pioneers did.  Common Core Standards: Social Studies 4.53, 6.2
  • God’s Eyes: Listen to the story of this Native American symbol and make your own to take home.
  • Tie Dye: Design and dye T-shirts, handkerchiefs, pillow cases, or any other item you’d like to bring from home.  T-shirts are available for $5.00, but must be ordered at least three weeks before your visit. Common Core Standards: Social Studies 4.5, 4.53, 5.7, 7.74
Waterfall Hike
Explore the amazing biodiversity of the Great Smoky Mountains with our instructors on this easy roundtrip hike. Join us in discussing and identifying the native flora and fauna of the area as we explore the forest ecosystem. The hike culminates at the base of a 70-foot waterfall where students get time to explore and reflect.
Low Orienteering
An introductory course in map-reading that focuses on identifying patterns, using legends, interpreting scales, and understanding contour lines; low orienteering provides a practical application for students’ geography skills. Students will work together to locate markers around camp on a scavenger hunt.  Common Core Standards: Science GLE 0407.Inq.2, 0407.T/E.1, 0407.T/E.3, 0507.Inq.2, 0507.T/E.1, 0507.T/E.3, 0607.Inq.2, 0607.Inq.4, 0707.Inq.2, 0707.Inq.4
Service Project
Groups can choose to "give back” with a service project that benefits Camp Wesley Woods.  Possible tasks include trail maintenance, erosion control, river clean up, recycling, helping out in our garden, and small construction projects – projects will be chosen based on camp needs and funding.
Stream Ecology
Students become scientists exploring water quality and the interrelationships within a stream ecosystem while following the scientific method to answer the important question: "Is the water in Capshaw Branch healthy?” Shoes are required, water shoes are acceptable but must have a heel strap.  Common Core Standards: Science GLE 0407.Inq.1, 0407.Inq.2, 0407.2.1, 0407.4.2, 0407.5.1, 0507.Inq.1, 0507.Inq.2, 0507.2.3, 0507.5.1

3 Hour Classes 

Challenge Course 

This is a team-building adventure class facilitated by trained staff members. Students are faced with obstacles which they must challenge themselves to overcome. The challenge course focuses on cooperation, communication, building trust and support, patience, planning, and leadership. Students will learn to put the group's needs before their own.
Climbing Tower and Wall (4th grade and up)
Stressing the importance of goal-making and achievement, the climbing tower presents a unique opportunity for students to challenge themselves both mentally and physically. Instructors, knowledgeable in proper belaying techniques, provide a supportive and encouraging atmosphere for all involved.
High Orienteering 
The first half of this class teaches students basic map reading skills (see Low Orienteering in the 1.5 hr classes) while participating in a scavenger hunt. In the second half of the class, students will use these skills while hiking along our ridgelines using a topographical map and compass. Common Core Standards: Science GLE 0407.Inq.2, 0407.T/E.1, 0407.T/E.3, 0507.Inq.2, 0507.T/E.1, 0507.T/E.3, 0607.Inq.2, 0607.Inq.4, 0707.Inq.2, 0707.Inq.4
Wilderness Survival 
Students will learn the do’s and don'ts of entering the wilderness. Methods of acquiring food, water, shelter, and heat from the woods will be discussed.  Basic first aid and map reading will also be taught.
Long Hike 
Choose from the Bob Hayes' Trail or Sunset Trail
. Both trails have lookout points with breathtaking views of the area mountains. Along the way, students will learn about local flora and fauna as well as hiking safety.

​Evening Programs


Our mountains are rich in songs and tales! Enjoy listening to campfire stories, participating in songs, and snacking on s'mores!
Night Hike
Groups can choose to have either a destination night hike or a sensory night hike. In the destination night hike, a staff member will lead students on trails around camps to experience the night, with a few activities interspersed. The sensory night hike focuses on games and activities that test the nighttime senses, while teaches about nocturnal animals and their adaptations.  No flash lights are allowed during the hike.
The Beast 
This team building activity will challenge students in observational skills, communication, and construction by working in groups to build an accurate duplicate of a hidden beast.