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Eagle’s Nest Coronavirus COVID-19 Response


1-22-21 COVID-19 Update from Executive Director


At my last update in August we were just opening our doors to Semester 51 of The Outdoor Academy.  Twenty-nine masked teens arrived on campus, received COVID-19 tests, and were quickly whisked into the field for 11 days of socially distanced backpacking.  After seven days we tested again and, then once again, before coming together with loud cheering and hugging as one group of very happy young people.  Over the course of the semester we were able to remain a “bubble” of living and learning on Hart Rd. until mid-December when students returned home to their families.  

This weekend we will build a new bubble with 30 teens hailing from all corners of the country.  Again, we will split into three groups and head into the field for a period of social distanced backpacking and community building on the trails of our beautiful Southern Appalachians.  After 10 days we will test again and if all goes well, bring our groups together to form our spring semester cohort.  By the end of the first week of February our goal is to be off and running with classes out and about on our campus as spring comes to North Carolina.  Enrollment season is open for next school year and the initial enrollment period ends February 15th with rolling admissions thereafter.  Want to apply?  Click here.

As our school semester runs we are also busy preparing for summer camp season. With the help of resources from North Carolina Department of Health, American Camp Association, Centers for Disease Control, and other organizations we are adapting our programming to build smaller communities within the larger camp population, and develop activity structures that allow for smaller groups to move together as units.  We are rethinking our dining and food service, field trips, and all areas of operation.   Over the course of the spring you will be hearing more about these adaptations that will allow us to run and uphold the stringent health and safety standards we hold for ourselves and we know you expect of us.  Enrollment is ongoing for this summer though we have limited capacity remaining in some of our sessions. I encourage you to enroll today in a Camp session or a Hante if you haven’t already.  Summer is calling! 

Finally, I would like to thank our families and alumni for the incredible support you have been since this pandemic began.  We could not have done what we are doing without your generosity.  And, my deep gratitude goes out to the Eagle’s Nest staff and faculty who have poured their minds and hearts into creating and recreating safe and healthy learning environments.  You have been doing, and continue to do, tremendous work.


With Gratitude,

Noni Waite-Kucera