Activities & Trips

Strong friendships are born of shared moments, activities, and accomplishments. Daily activities and trips provide our boys opportunities to learn and grow together. Each boy chooses eight activities and is scheduled according to his skill level and age. They then attend four activities on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and the other four on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. We also spend a lot of time on our nearby trails, rivers, rocks and lakes because the only thing as fun as a day in camp is a day in the mountains.

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Operating in much the same way as our paintball program, Airsoft has become a camp favorite over the past few years. This sport provides even our youngest campers, who are not quite ready for paintball, the opportunity to learn the same skills and experience the same adrenaline rush of moving from bunker to bunker in a speed-ball course or attempting a daring raid in the woods-ball course.

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The “sport of the ancients” has long been one of our most popular activities. Using traditional recurve bows, our boys begin shooting at 15 yards, but often find on their first day that it is a little more difficult than expected. However, after some one on one instruction, campers quickly find themselves moving through the American Archery Association badges as they progress to 20, 30, 40 and finally 50 yards.

As a whole, target sports teach something that is difficult to learn anywhere else. Quiet concentration and calculated adjustments are interrupted by the thrill of hearing the arrow slap the target. Boys see the immediate result of their focused attention to detail and are often struck by how quickly well-heeded instruction can produce results.

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Wake up on a mountain top, watch the mist rise from the valley below, sit by a quiet evening campfire and listen to the babble of a mountain spring and the night sounds under a canopy of trees. See where the deer come for water, and possibly even the deer himself. Our North Carolina Mountains have some of the most beautiful trails in the world. Come and explore them with us.

Timberlake’s backpacking program begins in camp as we teach how to safely have fun in the woods, and then quickly moves out to overnight trips on the camp property and surrounding trails.

Basic to all this is the ability to keep yourself safe and comfortable in the backcountry. Toward this end our campcraft program teaches basic skills necessary for any woodsman. Setting up a fly, wilderness first aid, campsite selection, basic orienteering, stove use and group skills are all fundamental to our program.

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Most activities at Timberlake are things that campers will never get the opportunity to try at home. Basketball is the rare exception.

Experienced players will have the chance to hone and refine their skills and greatly increase their team strategy while newcomers will build a strong foundation in the game.

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Beach Volleyball

The hottest new activity at Timberlake, Beach Volleyball is a blast for all ages. New players through advanced competitive campers will be able to learn and improve all while have a ton of fun on the sand.

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Everyone loves swamp wars and canoe water polo! Just as importantly, these sort of games are great ways to put basic strokes to the test while giving campers a familiarity with their boat and balance on the water. Perhaps this is the reason that canoeing is among our most popular activities.

After mastering the basics under the supervision of certified instructors, our best paddlers and swimmers enjoy carefully planned days on the French Broad, Tuckaseegee, and Green Rivers. Here they quickly learn that cooperation and partnership are fundamental for successful navigation.

For generations our North Carolina whitewater has forged memories to last a lifetime. Come join us on the river.

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Boys begin on one of our four climbing walls, learning the basics of movement and balance. From here those who are ready can move out to some of the finest granite in the Southeast. We ordinarily begin top-roping at Rumbling Bald or Linville Gorge. For those ready for longer routes we head to Pisgah for a day at Snake’s Den or Looking Glass Rock, or perhaps to Grandfather for some steeper routes. Along the way campers learn basic skills such as knot tying, basic safety, belay and rappel techniques so that by the time they progress through the Bronze, Silver and Gold Bars they have logged thousands of feet and years of experience on North Carolina granite.

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Disc Golf

One of the fastest growing sports in the country. Disc golf continues to grow in popularity here at Timberlake as well. Campers enjoy 18 beautiful holes that traverse our campus, working on skills and techniques along the way.

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The Timberlake diving Program is designed to first introduce young swimmers to the sport as well as allow competitive divers to continue their workouts.


Diving teaches gross motor and fine motor coordination and at the same time helps boys develop a kinesthetic sense. As these skills are learned our boys gain athletic ability that will easily transfer to many other sports. Additionally, our boys learn the commitment of trying a new dive, and trying it again, and trying it again, until they learn the trick. Of course, as in every activity, the key is to have an instructor who loves the sport and whose enthusiasm is contagious to all.

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Fencing has been described as physical chess. It is a blend of physical coordination and strategic thinking that can take years to master. Our boys learn the basic stances, grips, and moves and are soon fencing under the watchful eye of our fencing staff.

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Field Sports

Featuring soccer, ultimate frisbee and flag football, the Field sports program is designed to allow our boys to grow in both specific skills and techniques as well as in cooperation, healthy competition and teamwork.

Boys who play on teams can dramatically improve their skills while beginners develop a strong foundation in the basics.

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Fitness is a place where boys can learn and practice safe and healthy techniques for improving their aerobic and anaerobic fitness. The class focuses on both cardiovascular and strength training. Campers enjoy a variety of camp trails for running and also build strength and flexibility through our body weight focused circuit style classes.

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Fly Fishing

We are so blessed to be here in the western North Carolina mountains. Our rivers are filled with Rainbow, Appalachian Brook, and Brown trout. Developing the delicate skill required to catch these fish can lead to a lifelong hobby and we love introducing this marvelous aspect of our region to the boys here at Timberlake. We hire professional guides to take campers out for day trips two to three times per session.

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Music is an important part of summer camp and that includes our popular guitar class. Whether you are an experienced guitar player or a true beginner, you can hone your skills under the guidance of an experienced guitar player.

The Blue Ridge mountains are home to many talented musicians and our boys are no exception. There is always someone picking a tune somewhere in camp, and our love of good music extends to our guitar classes.

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There are few pleasures greater than guiding your own boat downriver. Add in a spray skirt, double-bladed paddle, and the ability to turn every ripple into an amusement park ride and you’ll start to see why kayaking is such a fast growing sport.

At Timberlake, paddlers learn the basics of kayaking in our lake before heading down river. Camp boats range from stable, easy-to-roll beginner boats to full-on play boats for the more experienced paddler. Several river trips of 6-8 boys go out each week to nearby rivers like the Tuckasegee, Nantahala, Pigeon and Green.

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Lego Builders

Designed specifically with our Junior campers in mind, Lego Builders allows our boys to build friendships while exploring their creative gifts. Campers can participate in building challenges or engage in free build. A fan favorite here at camp!

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Mountain Biking

Mountain biking is one of the biggest outdoor sports and the Asheville area is the premier East Coast destination. Going through the woods on a singletrack trail is one of the best experiences a camper can have. We begin our boys on our pump track and camp trails before we get them a bit further out on trips to places like Dupont National Forest and Kitzuma.

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Paintball is one of the most popular activities at Timberlake and it is easy to see why. Boys learn safe handling of our top of the line equipment and proper game etiquette before experiencing our speed-ball and woods-ball courses. Matches are run by our experienced referees and in addition to an adrenaline rush, they offer our boys the opportunity to learn to communicate under pressure, think strategically and work as a team.

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The fastest growing sport in the country is now at Timberlake. Come play on our Pickleball courts and learn the game that is sweeping the nation. Beginners will learn the basics of gameplay and technique while advanced players can hone their skills.

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Adventure looks different for each boy at Timberlake. For some it might be learning to shoot a bow for the first time. For others, learning a new creative skill like pottery can be their biggest challenge of the session. Our pottery program is designed to introduce the art to beginners as well as allow those with experience to hone their skills throwing on the wheel.

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Join Timberlake for a whitewater rafting adventure on either the French Broad or Pigeon River. Campers who sign up for this special activity before arriving to camp enjoy a full day of fun in the raft, guided by our certified and experienced raft guides. All forward!

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As opposed to the explosive action necessary in many other sports, riflery requires total relaxation and calm deliberation. Often a boy whose coordination or temperament prevents his excelling in other sports finds a great deal of satisfaction in this area.

With 8 covered firing points, Timberlake’s rifle range is outstanding for our purposes. Ordinarily shooting 22 caliber rifles from a prone position, our campers are introduced to correct breathing, site picture, trigger pull, etc. within the context of a thorough foundation of safe instruction.

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Gadgets and boys have always gone hand in hand, and model rocketry is no exception. Campers build, craft, paint, and launch their rockets under the careful eye of our staff. Along the way they learn some basic physics, a little rocketry history, and have a lot of fun!

It is not unusual for campers to put such care into their rockets that they take them home with them rather than send them up into the heavens.

Our rockets are similar to rockets you find in a good craft store, with parachutes and small solid fuel engines. They come in all shapes and sizes and are launched from a safe distance with an electric signal from a control pad.

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Special Days

Day Joe Boy Cow Happy! Every day is special at Timberlake, but here are a few of our favorites:

Cowboy Joe Day. Everything is backward on this wacky day at camp. We wear our clothes backward, go through our schedule backwards, walk backwards and even talk backwards! And starting the morning off with a hearty breakfast of nut-doughs (doughnuts) and cow juice (milk) never hurt either. Haw Yee!

Tribapalooza It’s the Super Bowl of tribal competition at Camp Timberlake. A day filled with our favorite evening activities as the Golden Eagles and Black Bears compete for the Banner makes for one day campers will never forget.

Birthdays Every family celebrates birthdays a little differently and so does every cabin. Of course there is always a cake and singing with the whole camp, but there is almost always some other special celebration as a cabin. There’s no doubt about it: we love celebrating birthdays at camp.

World Famous Fireworks John is a licensed pyrotechnic and his fireworks shows are some of the best around! Campers gather after sunset to enjoy the spectacle

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Time on the waterfront fills many happy hours at Timberlake. Certified Water Safety Instructors give safe, expert instruction from beginners to advanced. Competitive swimmers are encouraged to continue their workouts under an experienced coach. Free swim, fun-filled water games and just plain fun in the sun are also favorites.

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Two brand new beautiful all weather courts help to make tennis popular with our boys. Campers receive individual as well as group instruction from top players who are currently active in the sport. Most of our activities are things our boys would not ordinarily have the opportunity to do at home. Tennis is an exception, and like most sports it is more fun to play well than poorly. For this reason we place a strong emphasis on quality instruction. If a camper learns the basics poorly it will be difficult for them to ever play well.

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There is a sense of adventure that a boy can find high up in the Mountains that cannot be found anywhere else and so each day we offer a number of out-of-camp trips. Timberlake’s canoeing, kayaking, backpacking, mountain biking, and climbing programs each offer numerous out of camp opportunities and it is not unusual for cabins to also plan special trips to water slides and swimming holes.

In addition to this we offer several specialized day trips that families may choose before their campers arrive. Rafting the Pigeon River, a day waterskiing on Lake James or fishing North Carolina’s finest trout streams are wonderful additions to daily camp life.

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Collegiate, folk-style wrestling has been a staple at Timberlake for many years. Here, boys learn the art, not the force, of combative sport and are able to develop what for most boys is a natural inclination into a beneficial activity.

Half nelsons, sit outs, fireman’s carries, and double leg take downs are among the moves you will learn in classes and then, if you would like, you can use them during matches in the camp wide wrestling tournaments.