Check our blog regulary for the latest posts about Eagle’s Nest Camp life, our garden, culture, community and much more. Subscribe to our blog’s RSS feed and get our news sent directly to you as we post it.

OCT. 24, 2016

One Hundred and Forty Three Acres Protected #ForeverOurNest #ENF4evergreen

Bookmark and Share

After six years of planning, grant writing, surveying, baseline indexing and countless hours reviewing documents, Eagle’s Nest is very proud to announce that 143 of our 182 acres are now officially under a conservation easement.   For generations to come our students and campers will enjoy the same woods, streams and pastures that we do today.  Our forest friends will forever roam their Eagle’s Nest habitat. Our streams will always run fresh and clear into our very own Little River and on to the French Broad.  The plant species that grace our lands will be forever protected, rooted in their little corner of the Southern Appalachians.

Deep gratitude goes out to our friends at the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy and the NC Clean Water Management Trust Fund for providing the funding and the expertise to bring this all to fruition.  Their vision and guidance in protecting spaces throughout North Carolina is exemplary.

I can’t think of a better way to honor our Nest as we enter into our 90th year.  Please look for our Fall Eagle coming in November for more detail about this exciting project!

Noni Waite-Kucera, Executive Director

OCT. 13, 2016

How Can I Pay for a Session of Camp at Eagle’s Nest?

Bookmark and Share

Some folks are lucky enough to be live in places where we are surrounded by natural beauty, but for most of us, endless mountain views, stars that shine unobstructed by street lights, and cool mountain breezes are priceless. At Eagle’s Nest we have all those things and more, but like many quality experiences available in life, camp isn’t cheap. After all, our tuition fees cover the cost of hiring exceptional educators and counselors, purchasing quality ingredients for our delicious whole foods kitchen, and providing campers with access to activities and programs that are different from ones that you might find at other summer camps. Eagle’s Nest is also a non profit foundation, so our tuition also supports scholarship for many of our campers. Last year we were able to award over $110,000 in camperships for our camper families. So even though camp isn’t cheap, we do try to make it affordable. If you are concerned about the cost of tuition for Eagle’s Nest, here are some things that you can do to help make a session at Eagle’s Nest a reality:


Eagle’s Nest offers discounts for siblings, etc. A complete list of discounts is available on our website in the financial section.

Recruitment Discounts:

Families can earn discounts for hosting camp and Hante presentation parties and for recruiting friends to attend camp. For more information about becoming a camp representative please contact our Assistant Director, Liz Snyder, at


We know that it’s very difficult to make plans nearly a year in advance when you may be concerned about finances; however, we want to work with you to make it easier. When you apply for a campership, your discounted deposit of $150 is fully refundable if we are unable to award you the financial aid your child needs to attend camp. The deadline for the first round of financial aid is December 1st and the second round is February 25th. Apply now so you have plenty of time to complete the application.

Payment Plans: 

In addition to offering financial aid, Eagle’s Nest can set up a payment plan for you allowing you to pay your tuition incrementally throughout the year. Spacing out payments has proven to be very helpful for many of our camp families. If you are interested in a payment plan, you can contact Molly at to find out more.

We hope that we’ll be able to help make Eagle’s Nest as reality for your family this year.

SEP. 16, 2016

Alumni, Alumnae, Alumnus, Alum…Friend

Bookmark and Share

This year has been full of wonderful connections in our alumni community. Groups of old and new friends are coming together all over the country to share their stories of Camp, Hante and Outdoor Academy experiences. Here at Eagle’s Nest, we are making a consorted effort to improve our Alumni Relations, deepen the connections our alumni have with each other, and creating a network of people who have walked similar paths and share memories of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

The Outdoor Academy celebrated its 20th year in 2016 with an all-day festive reunion in Pisgah Forest. Since April we have been ramping up our alumni involvement, and bringing folks back into the circle of the Nest.  In the spring we asked for updated contact information from everyone in the ENF family and had a great response, but we still have many alumni connected to their parent’s home, email and phone numbers… We want your updated contact information: Update your Contact Info

Just last week an Alumni Survey was launched to deepen the connections within our community. Over 100 alums responded with feedback and comments. The purpose of this survey is to focus our efforts on the areas our alumni care about, get them involved in mentoring, recruitment and engagement with our board and staff.  74% of survey participants reported that Eagle’s Nest and The Outdoor Academy have significantly affected their life choices, proof that the experiences gained at 43 Hart Road are transformative and powerful…We want your input and ideas: Alumni Survey

Semester 42 Reunion

Semester 42 Reunion

Eagle’s Nest has also been traveling to cities far and wide to host official Regional Alumni Gatherings. These casual events are intended to connect alums with others in their geographical area. We usually meet and greet at a restaurant, have drinks and appetizers and much merriment ensues!

We know our alums are meeting up on their own too, and love to hear the happenings from these get-togethers! Recently, the students of Semester 42 (Spring 2016) gathered for a Labor Day Reunion in the Mountains. They laughed and played and made a commitment to future OA students. This group of fresh, young Alumni banded together and collected a donation for the Alumni Scholarship Fund in honor of Semester 42.

Our Alumni Community has the opportunity to both celebrate Eagle’s Nest history and guide our future. Whether you’re hosting a promotions party, recommending a friend, fundraising for scholarships, or serving as a resource to an interested family, your involvement will create opportunities for more young adventurers to experience Eagle’s Nest Camp, Hante and The Outdoor Academy.

Upcoming Alumni Events:

  • Nest of the West! Colorado Alumni Hike at Chautauqua Park, Boulder CO Saturday October 15th @ 8:30am Nest of the West Event Details
  • Atlanta Alumni Gathering at Smokebelly BBQ Friday November 18th @ 6:00pm (event details coming soon!)
  • Asheville Alumni Gathering date TBD, sometime in December!

Cara VarneyAnnual Fund & Alumni Manager

MAY. 5, 2016

Sense of Place

Bookmark and Share
Liz Snyder, Assistant Director

The sun shone brightly at 8:30am, making a bold reappearance after nearly 24 hours of soaking rain. Clouds sat just beneath the summits of mountains on the horizon, stretched out like wispy cotton balls lazily drifting from peak to peak. Trees stood tall against a deep blue sky, showing off their first greens after months of bare existence. I lowered my sunglasses to take it all in, smiled, and kept running.

The third and final leg of the Smoky Mountain Relay took me through a sleepy valley surrounded by Nantahala National Forest. My team of 11 other runners and I had been on the move since 10:15am the previous day, making our way across 208 miles of western North Carolina’s trails and roads. When it was time for my final run I was sleep-deprived, sore, and expecting a seven-mile-sufferfest.

Telico Gap

But something wholly unexpected happened when I started running. Yes, my hamstrings and calves wailed in protest, and yes, it hurt, but I quickly entered a state of mental euphoria. The “runner’s high” is a well-known phenomenon brought on by the circulation of “happy” chemicals throughout an active person’s body and brain. I’m lucky to feel that high often, but this time was different. I was transported into a meditative state not by the movement of my body, but by the space I ran through.

I was overwhelmed with joy. The sunshine, the mountains, the sky, the river rushing by next to me, the cows’ confused stares as I moved past them, the country road called “Happy Lane”. All of it swirled around me and ignited my sense of place. I didn’t think about the finish line or check my watch to see how fast I was running. I felt each step. I lived each moment. I was present.


I don’t remember seeing North Carolina’s mountains until I was 10 years old. My family loves the ocean, so we traveled east from Raleigh to the coast for our vacations. I found my place in the mountains independently when I went to camp the summer after 4th grade. I recall looking out across the Blue Ridge for the first time and feeling my heart swell. My feet were rooted in the soft ground, and it seemed as if the earth’s electrical pulse ran up my legs and through my body. I felt small and humble, curious and calm. Those mountains lit a fire in my soul that has yet to be extinguished.

In fact, my infatuation with the Blue Ridge Mountains has intensified over the past two decades. I’ve come to know them intimately, and I’ve come to know myself intimately through the time spent in their grasp. I’ve experienced joy, heartache, failure, and growth while they stood witness on the horizon. In a life full of transition, they are constant. I know that I can run to the mountains when my perspective gets fuzzy.

Western North Carolina, and the Blue Ridge especially, is my heart place. This is the place where I feel physically, emotionally, and mentally connected to the landscape. Sometimes the logistics of life act as blinders and I forget how fortunate I am to have made a home here. My painfully beautiful run through the Nantahala valley reminded me of the magic that lives in these hills and in my soul. It brought me back to the feeling I had as a kid, to that spark of electricity running through me. Calm and curious, humble and small. It helped me remember that I can leave, but this place will always be home.

In just over a month, children from all over the world will come to Eagle’s Nest. They’ll walk through frigid mountain streams, sleep on the soft ground, and watch as embers from an evening fire disappear into a sky full of stars. They’ll laugh and learn and grow, and the mountains will stand watch on the horizon. Campers will discover their heart place here, and it will live with them forever. I can’t wait to see their faces light up when they witness a sweeping vista or hike through the forest. I can’t wait to see them connect to this landscape. And, more than anything, I can’t wait to share this place with them.

By Liz Snyder, Assistant Director


APR. 27, 2016

We want YOU to stay in our circle!

Bookmark and Share

Update Your Information with Eagle’s Nest and the Outdoor Academy TODAY!

Not getting our mailings, messages or communications? Do you want to stay posted on the happenings at Camp, Hante and OA? Are we sending information to an old address or an email account you no longer use? Help us reach you by updating your contact information online!

Perhaps you are a former camper or OA Alum and have moved out of your parent’s home, or have a different email address, Eagle’s Nest is near and dear to your heart and you haven’t seen any newsletters or emails.

Parents? We haven’t forgotten about you either! Update your information with Eagle’s Nest too!

Great news for you “chatter” loving people out there! In an effort to improve our communications we have recently transitioned to a new contact management system and want your current phone, email and address.  Follow the link below to update your information in a few quick steps, and we will make sure to keep you in the loop!



The more people we can get to update the better! So please forward this appeal to anyone you know who is a friend of Eagle’s Nest and The Outdoor Academy.

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram too! We are having fun every day, and want to share it with our Alumni, Parents and Friends!

NOV. 25, 2015


Bookmark and Share
Cara Varney, Development Assistant


  1. the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

It’s that time of year, the time when we start to reflect on all the events of the past eleven months. A time when we look forward to spending cool days with family and friends, eating comfort foods and telling stories.  It is a time when we give thanks and share with the people we love.

The history of the first Thanksgiving is one with conflicting stories, but one thing most agree on it that it is a time to thank others for the blessings of the year. At Eagle’s Nest and The Outdoor Academy giving thanks and expressing gratitude are strong themes that grow into a common thread in the lives of the people here. We give thanks at meals, we offer love and gratitude to others daily, and this practice continues to build a meaningful and intentional community year after year.  This thread weaves a tapestry that goes back years and generations, and will continue on with the cultivation of supporting and caring for others.

This season of Thanksgiving falls under a category of festivals that spans cultures, continents and millennia. December 1st is #GivingTuesday. Now in its fourth year, this day is fueled by the power of collaboration, and the desire to help non-profits worldwide. Together with social media and individual donors, organizations have been able to raise vital funds to support their causes and programs.

It is not just that we feel grateful or express our thanks to others, but that we feel the sincere, intrinsic desire to give something back. For sometimes, when we express gratitude through words and deeds it enhances our own experiences of feeling grateful.

You just spent the weekend with your friends and family, perhaps braved the crowds and caught some Black Friday deals, now think about your family at the Nest, and what they mean to you. Join Eagle’s Nest and thousands of others on this day and make #GivingTuesday a part of your holiday tradition!  Express your gratitude, for the community that is cultivated here, for the time we spend in nature, for simple living, and to become your best self.

We invite you to get involved in two ways.

Get busy on your social media pages:

Giving Tuesday Graphic_blog

  • Make a few posts to your personal social media account(s)…email, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. about #GivingTuesday
  • Use our #hashtags (#GivingTuesday, #togetherENF) and @accounts (@eaglesnest_hanteadv, @outdooracademy)
  • Make a donation! (on December 1st)
  • TELL YOUR STORY OF SUPPORT, and encourage others to visit our giving page online

OR Give us your testimonial, photo, #UNselfie, and donation, and we will post it on our pages in your honor!

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

John F. Kennedy

Cara Varney, Development Assistant