Discovery Place Nature Exploration Weekend

An amazing weekend of outdoor exploration and adventure with nature as your classroom!

Join Discovery Place Naturalists on a journey into the Blue Ridge Mountains for a weekend of outdoor adventures. Nature lovers of all ages are welcome!

At an elevation of 3,300 feet, Wildacres is a beautiful retreat center in Little Switzerland, NC. Renowned naturalists and outdoor professionals will lead classes and workshops, hikes and explorations. A variety of activities will be available for children and adults, including returning favorites from previous Exploration Weekends, and new activities.

Please note there is no internet or WiFi on-site and that cell phone service is limited.

EXPLORATION WEEKEND AT WILDACRES 2019 SCHEDULE

Recommended Ages for Kids and Pre-K Tracks:

Kids Track Ages 6-11

Pre-K Ages 3-5 (Must be accompanied by parent or guardian)

FRIDAY, MAY 3

3:30 – 6:00 p.m. Check-in and Registration

4:00 – 5:00 p.m. Wildacres Trail Walk

5:00 – 6:30 p.m. Welcome Social + Instructor Meet and Greet

6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Dinner

7:45 – 8:30 p.m. Welcome Orientation

WORKSHOPS

8:45 p.m. – until

  • Step into The Night on Deerlick Gap with Jerry Reynolds
  • Owl Prowl with Marvin Bouknight
  • Star Gazing with Alden Picard
  • KIDS + PRE-K TRACK: Spider Sniffin' and Night Hike with Bruce Beerbower

SATURDAY, MAY 4

8:00 – 9:00 a.m. Breakfast

HALF-DAY WORKSHOPS

9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

  • Crabtree Falls Hike with Jerry Reynolds (Boxed lunches provided)
  • Mount Mitchell – High Elevation Hike with Mac Mayhew

(Boxed lunches provided)

MORNING WORKSHOPS

9:15 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

  • Identifying Local Trees and Wildflowers with Marvin Bouknight (on-site and off-site)
  • Field Sketching in Nature with David Williams

9:15 – 12:00 p.m.

  • Creating Ceramic Birdhouses with Kelly Long
  • Gem Cutting + Cabochon Jewelry with Jimmy and Becky Strickland
  • KIDS TRACK: Aquatic Critters and Creatures with Bruce Beerbower
  • PRE-K TRACK: Wonderful Wilderness with Alden Picard and Krysta Purcell

Noon – 1:00 p.m. Lunch

AFTERNOON WORKSHOPS

1:15 – 2:30 p.m.

  • Keepsake Ornaments with Kelly Long

1:15 – 3:00 p.m.

  • Wild Edibles Hike with David Williams
  • Appalachian Wildflower Photography Workshop and Hike with Marvin Bouknight
  • KIDS TRACK: Birds of Prey/Owl pellet dissection with Bruce Beerbower
  • PRE-K TRACK: Rainbow Romp with Alden Picard and Krysta Purcell

1:30 – 3:00 p.m.

  • Gem Spiders and Bugs with Jimmy and Becky Strickland

3:30 - 4:30 p.m.

  • Keepsake Ornaments with Kelly Long
  • Beekeeping as a Hobby: Visiting an Apiary with Marvin Bouknight (off-site)

3:30 – 4:30 p.m.

  • Simple drop earrings with Jimmy and Becky Strickland
  • Fire without Matches with David Williams
  • KIDS TRACK: Nature Near By with Bruce Beerbower
  • PRE-K TRACK: Up, Up, and Away with Alden Picard and Krysta Purcell

4:30 – 6:00 p.m. Social with local musicians, Typical Mountian Boys

6:00 – 7:00 p.m. Dinner

SATURDAY, MAY 4 (continued)

EVENING WORKSHOPS

8:00 p.m. – until

  • Spiders, Salamanders, and Owl Hike with Marvin Bouknight and David Williams
  • Camp Cooking: Just Desserts with Mac Mayhew
  • Campfire Time
  • Scanning the Night Sky with Alden Picard and John Austin (weather permitting)
  • NC Candid Critters Trail Camera Project Presentation with Jerry Reynolds
  • KIDS + PRE-K TRACK: Nature at Night Exploration with Bruce Beerbower

8:30 - 9:30 p.m.

  • NC Candid Critters: Trail Camera Project Presentation with Jerry Reynolds

SUNDAY, MAY 5

8:00 – 9:00 a.m. Breakfast

MORNING WORKSHOPS

9:30 a.m. – until

  • Wonderful Wildflowers Hike at Crabtree Meadows with Jerry Reynolds
  • Wilderness Survival with David Williams
  • North Carolina Wildlife Photo Presentation with Marvin Bouknight
  • Mining and Gemstone Panning at Emerald Village with Bruce Beerbower
  • PRE-K TRACK: Think Green with Alden Picard and Krysta Purcell
Explore the Wild
  • All Ages
  • May 03 - May 05
  • All Day