Enrichment Opportunities for Advanced Learners

Please note that this list of enrichment opportunities has been gathered by advocates of gifted education but is not endorsed by Buncombe County Schools nor its educators. Parents are strongly encouraged to thoroughly research and evaluate any program into which they wish to enroll a student participant. This list is intended to supply parents with ideas of what opportunities are available in our area that may meet the needs of their high achievers.

Summer Camps and Programs

Asheville Summer Camps


Zaniac Summer Camp Programs

Zaniac Summer Camps are ideal for your curious child. Go on a Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math Adventure with us! Each camp is tailored to your child’s needs and grouped for your child’s age and grade.


Catawba Science Center

Variety of science-based enrichment programs


The Engineering Place

NC State University’s K–20 education and resource headquarters for exploring engineering.


University of North Carolina, Greensboro Summer Music Camps

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro is pleased to announce plans for Summer Music Camp, the largest university music camp in America! They offer two one-week camps, serving over 2,040 musicians, with programs in band, mixed chorus, orchestra, and piano. (grades 5-12)


Cedar Mountain In Western North Carolina (grades 4 To 9)


NC Summer Programs and Camps


Summer Programs at NC State University (elementary and middle)


Appalachian Institute for Creative Learning at Warren Wilson College

AICL creates an environment in which it’s safe to laugh and learn, to risk and fail, to experiment with something outside of one’s competence. We celebrate the life of the mind, but we’ve seen too many bright, interesting campers who don’t necessarily fit well in a traditional school model to limit ourselves to those who’ve been classified as “gifted.” Instead, we call our campers “motivated learners,” figuring anyone who shows up to take biology, math, or art in July is motivated. (grades 3-12)


Summer Programs at Montreat College (high school students)


The "Rocket to Creativity" week-long day camp at WCU


True Ink is a community-based resource to support creative young writers,

for rising 2nd through 9th graders


University of North Carolina at Greensboro

The All-Arts, Sciences & Technology Camp, sponsored by SERVE Inc. in association with UNCG's Division of Online Learning, is a weeklong summer camp for children ages 7–15. Designed to give in-depth, hands-on instruction in the arts, sciences, and technology, the camp also includes recreation, citizenship, and multi-cultural entertainment. During camp, each camper attends a morning class and an afternoon class, chosen from a wide variety of course offerings that suit individual tastes and preferences. Campers are divided into two grade levels (2nd–5th, and 6th and up) for groups, activities, and academic course work. Content offered for the 2nd–5th graders is different from that of the older group. Our class size is small, and the curriculum encourages problem solving and critical thinking. In addition to the academic course work, the campers experience dorm life on a college campus. They get to participate in a range of activities that fosters personal and social development, encourages physical activity, and offers a chance to have fun—lots and lots of fun. http://allarts.uncg.edu/

The Asheville Museum of Science

The Asheville Museum of Science (AMOS) is Western North Carolina’s home for experiential science learning, discovery, and exploration. AMOS strives to spark the imagination and foster lifelong curiosity.


Asheville School app development camp

Asheville School offers a unique app camp experience for teenagers across the U.S. and abroad who are interested in learning how to make new apps for the iPhone and iPad.


Roots and Wings art organization

Roots + Wings School of Art and Design nurtures and encourages the natural creativity within people of all ages through innovative art and design education, community collaboration, and a focus on both local and global impact.


Summer Reading Program offered through the Asheville-Buncombe library system.

Different events at each branch, and usually a summer reading log to complete for a free book or other prize.


Interesting Local Activities for Families

Source: Asheville Citizen Times newspaper

1. Botanical Gardens of Asheville: Free admission to view the over 600 native species of plants, or a guide can be arranged for $3 per person for non-members. The gardens are at 151 W.T. Weaver Blvd. in North Asheville. Visit www.ashevillebotanicalgardens.org.

2. N.C. Arboretum: Free admission to the 434-acres of beautiful gardens and 10 miles of hiking and biking trails in Bent Creek, with parking at $12 per vehicle. Guests who walk in can do so for free. Visit www.ncarboretum.org.

3. Friday Night Drum Circle: People of all ages bring something to drum on, or just dance and watch at Pritchard Park in downtown Asheville on Friday nights throughout the summer starting around 6 p.m.

4. Shindig on the Green: For nearly 50 years, Shindig on the Green has taken place at Pack Square Park on most Saturdays through the summer. The first Shindig is June 27. A stage show and informal jam sessions take place with musicians of all ages and instruments gathering to perform during this outdoor concert. Visit www.folkheritage.org/shindigonthegreen.htm for more information and dates.

5. Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center: The center just east of Asheville at Milepost 384 features interactive exhibits showcasing the parkway’s long history. Visit www.blueridgeparkway.org.

6. Estes-Winn Antique Automobile Museum: Vintage cars, horse-drawn carriages and a fire engine are all on display here, including a 1913 Ford Model T. At 111 Grovewood Road, North Asheville. www.grovewood.com/about-us/estes-winn-antique-car-museum/

7. Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Enjoy wildlife viewing, hiking, historic buildings, waterfalls and more at one of the few free national parks in America, thanks to a decree when ownership was granted to Tennessee in the 1930s. One-third of the park rests in North Carolina. Visit www.nps.gov/grsm.

8. Mount Mitchell State Park: Come see the highest mountain east of the Mississippi River for free and explore the nearly 2,000 acres that make up Mount Mitchell.www.ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/momi/main.php

9. Benjamin Long Frescoes: Go on an expedition to view the nine frescoes that dot six locations along the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area and see some beautiful churches and views, too. www.blueridgeheritage.com/attractions-destinations/blue-ridge-frescoes

10. Mad Batter Food & Film Sylva: Located in downtown Sylva, the Mad Batter Food & Film is a dining theater that shows free movies most Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Visit www.madbatterfoodandfilm.com/

11. Museum of North Carolina Minerals: Precious and semi-precious gems of practically every shape and color are housed here, and of course plenty of information about their formation and classification. It’s at Milepost 331 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, at the junction with N.C. 226 near Spruce Pine. Visit http://bit.ly/1LhbiFT

12. Judaculla Rock: Visit a boulder covered in ancient writings and images that is thought to be more than 2,000 years old. For more information and directions, visit www.judacullarock.com.

13. Western North Carolina Air Museum: This free museum showcases the history of aviation in North Carolina, known as the “First in Flight” state. Dozens of plans are on-site dating back to 1917. It’s at 1340 E. Gilbert St., Hendersonville. Visit www.westernnorthcarolinaairmuseum.com.

14. Andrews Geyser: This man-made fountain is part of a public park in Old Fort and the water shoots 80 feet in the air. Visit www.mcdowellnc.org/links/1/169

15. Model Railroad at the Historic Depot: This to scale railroad display contains over 2,000 feet of track alongside historic artifacts and a caboose you can tour.


16. Cradle of Forestry: Free admission on Tuesdays for everyone for access to trails, exhibits about forestry, and more. It’s on U.S. 276 near Brevard, in Pisgah National Forest. For information, visit www.cradleofforestry.com.

17. Montford Park Players: This nonprofit is responsible for the longest running Shakespeare Festival in North Carolina and performs free shows to the public at the Hazel Robinson Amphitheater in Asheville on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from June through September. www.montfordparkplayers.org/

Online Learning:

Offering online tech courses for kids ages 8 - 14


This is Michael Clay Thompson's online learning site.


Khan Academy - learn anything for free


They’re offerings of online tech courses for kids ages 8 - 14.


Free online storehouse of fun science experiments for kids!