Playing Outside and Growing Inside

A co-ed program for campers finishing 6th, 7th, & 8th grades.
After finishing 6th, 7th, or 8th grade, Mountainside is a good option for many young people to continue their Gwynn Valley experience, or to attend Gwynn Valley for the first time.

Mountainside has two 10-day sessions and two 3-week sessions and gives campers the opportunity to become an essential part of a community of 40 campers and 10 staff. In Mountainside, campers are asked to take on more responsibility for themselves and the community. With this responsibility however, comes more freedom, spontaneity, and involvement in the program.

3-Week Session

During the three week session of Mountainside, campers participate in daily activities in addition to a 4 day wilderness adventure during the last week of the session.
Throughout the session activities are centered on positive peer interaction, community building, learning skills, and preparing for the adventures.  Activities leading up to the adventures encompass rock/wall climbing, hiking, orienteering, pioneer skills, mountain biking, lake and river canoeing, teamwork and initiatives, service projects, and low ropes course. Many of the activities during the Mountainside program are similar to our Main Camp program. These might include arts and crafts, waterfront, creek hiking, tubing, group games, campouts, sports, international days, and many others.

Mountainside eats in the dining room with Main Camp. The evening campfire programs are designed for the Mountainside age group and are typically held separately in the Mountainside Lodge. Learning to understand and respect people as individuals who contribute to the community is a key component. Those who are willing to challenge themselves through independent outdoor living skills, successful group living, and who show responsibility and initiative will have a great experience on Mountainside.


In the first week, all campers will spend four separate days on “mini adventures” which gives them the opportunity to try each of the adventures offered. The second week, campers choose an adventure and then spend two days learning and practicing the skills needed to participate in it. During the third week, campers head out for their 4 day adventure. Possible adventures for each session could be: flat and whitewater canoeing, rock climbing, mountain biking, backpacking and pioneering skills. Most activities that leave camp will take place in Pisgah National Forest, Nantahala National Forest  or DuPont State Forest.  Pisgah and Nantahala National Forest activities are authorized by US Forest Service special permits.

10 Day Session

A Taste of Mountainside.
The shorter 10 day Mountainside experience is a great way to be introduced to what Mountainside has to offer on a smaller scale. The same core philosophy of the 3 week sessions holds true in our shorter program: learning successful group living, respect for the environment and the outdoors, and developing new outdoor skills.


The possible adventures for the 10 day sessions are similar to those offered during the 3 week sessions. Campers will spend two days trying out each of the four adventures on half day “mini adventures”. Next they choose the adventure in which they want to participate and spend one day training in this particular activity. They will then be ready for their overnight adventure which consists of two days and two nights out of camp in Pisgah National Forest or Dupont State Forest.

Living Arrangements

Mountainsiders live in four cabins (2 male & 2 female), upstream of Main Camp just off Carson Creek.
There are 10 campers in each cabin along with 2 counselors, plus a Head Counselor and Program Coordinator. Cabins are spacious and screened, have battery powered lighting, and are located near a central bathhouse.

We hope you decide to join us up in the Mountainside Cove!


301 Gwynn Valley Trail, Brevard, NC 28712 | (828) 885-2900