Summer Camps

The phrase “classrooms without walls” is more than a metaphor at High Rocks. It is the literal experience of a High Rocks summer education.

It is a learning culture where young people study patterns and probabilities in the dappled light of a hickory grove, where they explore business concepts of entrepreneurship while listening to the negotiations of nearby chickadees, where they contemplate world religions and philosophies while lying in the grass of an open meadow. It is in this setting that participants become aware of their true potential.

High Rocks began in 1996 as a residential summer camp on a mountainside to help participants prepare for high school with a positive outlook about themselves and their abilities. For over 20 years, participants have realized their potential by overcoming insecurities and fears of horses, math, writing, public speaking, and making new friends. They have shared ideas in a supportive community of adults and peers. By the end of the summer, they are ready to start a new school year full of confidence and hope for the future. In short, summer camps are the heart of High Rocks. They matter because they work.

This program is presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.

NEW BEGINNINGS CAMP – June 16 - 29, 2024

Summer2New Beginning Camp remains the doorway for most participants to enter the High Rocks Academy Program. Admission is open to those that are in the middle of, or completing, their 7th or 8th grade year. It also includes leadership roles for young adults and college interns and welcomes staff from a network of professional men and women from around the country.

For more information on upcoming camp dates, please see our calendar.


“I went from being clueless about who I am to knowing myself better than I ever will.” – New Beginnings Camp Participant

"Everyone is super supportive and respectful. You will makes lots of friends, even if you don't think you will.” – New Beginnings Camp Participant

CAMP STEELE – July 13 - 28, 2024

12072560_784506841659280_1865952827208217536_nCamp Steele is High Rocks’ camp for older students and has different tracks in a variety of interest areas including art, media, social movements, construction, food culture, and robotics from which participants can choose from. Tracks are like mini college seminars providing more in-depth learning experiences. Admission is open to those that are in the middle of, or completing, their 8th-12th grade year.

For more information on upcoming camp dates, please see our calendar.


“I want to do something other than sit around and take up space. I want to learn, instead of sitting around on electronics. I want to make a difference in the world, to make it a better place. A change is like a ripple in water, it starts out small, but then it grows. I want to be that first small ripple of change.” – Camp Steele Participant


All first time applicants must have an adult submit a Recommendation Form before the application is complete. The adult should not be related to the applicant and can include a guidance counselor, teacher, coach, or another adult who knows the applicant well.

You can also use the form to recommend a young person before they apply. If you know someone that would be interested in High Rocks, fill out the form with their information so we can contact them.


JUNIOR COUNSELORS – June 13 - 29, 2024

Our junior counselor program is a camp within a camp. The junior counselor experience is our ultimate leadership experience for older participants. Junior counselors attend college-level classes, work intensively as a team with staff, help run camp and mentor younger participants. Junior counselors think more, work harder, and have a greater sense of pride than they thought they could ever have.

Participants with previous High Rocks experience, attending New Beginnings or other programs, for a prolonged period of time may apply to be a junior counselor.

For more information on upcoming camp dates, please see our calendar.