Home > Summer programs > Appalachian Institute summer camp in N.C. mountains

Appalachian Institute summer camp in N.C. mountains

I almost never post anything here that’s not located in the metro Atlanta area, but I’m making an exception because this camp just sounds so lovely — and it’s only a few hours’ drive away.

The Appalachian Institute for Creative Learning has posted its program details and registration for 2014. Held each summer at Warren Wilson College in western North Carolina, this enrichment camp offers children ages 8-17 (rising 3rd – 12th graders) the chance to learn about topics that interest them. This summer’s choices include creative writing, performance art, chemistry, computer logic, Greek mythology and more than I can possibly list here.

What I adore about the AICL curriculum is that — unlike in many programs for gifted kids — it’s not so STEM heavy. Sure, this program offers physics-related classes, but it also has a class in jug bands and another in creating costumes from newspapers. And even the physics classes are taught in a fun context (e.g., trebuchets). I just can’t think of any other summer program I’ve seen that does more to honor the many varieties of gifted children.

There’s a day camp option, as well as a residential camp.

Students need not be gifted identified by their school to attend. As the camp’s web site puts it, “[W]e call our campers motivated learners, figuring anyone who shows up to take biology, math, or art in July is motivated.”

Appalachian Institute

Categories: Summer programs
  1. Jacque Sandiford
    March 13, 2014 at 7:56 am

    My daughter and I are so interested in AICL for her this summer, but I can’t seem to find any reviews on it from anyone who has gone in the past! She thinks the program sounds so interesting, but we are both a bit hesitant to send her for a week to a place we found solely through a google search. LOL! Have you heard from anyone who has been, or found any reviews anywhere? Thanks!

    • rlee21
      February 11, 2015 at 5:37 pm

      Hi Jacque,
      I know this comes a year late, but if you chose not to send your daughter to AICL last year, perhaps I can convince you that you should this year. I attended AICL during the summers of 1999-2004 and still remember it fondly. Even though I am currently finishing a STEM PhD program, what I valued most about AICL was the chance to explore a diverse array of topics such as chemistry, poetry, political philosophy, and painting in an entirely approachable and enjoyable way. AICL really emphasized creativity and critical thinking rather than simply the knowing of facts, skills that continue to incredibly valuable. Many of the staff and teachers from my time at AICL are still involved, and even many of the former campers return to teach. Indeed, I still keep in touch with several of the friends and mentors I made during those summers. Even though I am not directly involved in the organization, I still attend reunions and fundraisers when I can. AICL is an excellent program that I do not hesitate to recommend with the utmost enthusiasm!

  2. Jacqueline English
    February 11, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    This program is a life changer. The programs offered are creative and eclectic. I highly recommend AICL. I was a camper there for 4 years and it was challenging, eye-opening, and incredibly fun!

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