Residential Camp

General Residential Camp Information


Since its beginning in 1999, we have served more than 200 young people each summer using a staff of 10 to 12 college aged counselors. In many ways the developmental experiences have as profound an impact on the staff as they do on the campers. We seek to make the camp available to all young people without regard to their ability to pay. Our camp fee for 2021 is $240 per camper. This includes six days and five nights of a residential camp, all meals, program supplies, and activity fees. The cost to the Center is approximately $450 per camper. We rely on contributions from individuals, churches, businesses, civic organizations, and grants from foundations to fund the difference between the fee charged and the actual cost. We also offer scholarships to approximately 40% of those who come to camp.

Our camp has been tremendously successful over the years because of the commitment of the staff and the unique skills and talents they bring. For the past 22 summers, we have had one or more international staff members. They have come from England, Wales, Slovenia, Poland, Scotland, Sweden, Germany, Ireland, Australia, France, Jamaica, Mexico, and New Zealand. They have added a great deal and broadened the perspective of our camp program. In addition to the very competitive salaries we offer, we spend approximately $500 per staff member for training. Each member of the staff receives two weeks of training on basic camp counseling, certification in first aid and CPR, high and low ropes course facilitation, and rock climbing and rappelling certification.

If you attended summer camp when you were growing up, you probably have fond memories of counselors, activities, challenges, and fun adventures that made it a great experience at the time. However, looking back after years later, you have likely realized just how formative those summers at camp really were.

The Camp Program

Our Residential Camp programs are for rising fifth through twelfth graders. We operate nine camp sessions during the summer. In addition to our basic camp activities, such as hiking, arts and crafts, swimming, and having campfires, we also have special camps that are focused on nature and the environment, rock climbing and rappelling, community service, backpacking, camping, caving, and climbing. All of these programs offer real challenges in an environment that is safe.

Residential Camp Descriptions


Middler Camp

June 12th – June 18th for Rising 7th – 8th Graders

Whether you are making new friends or getting reacquainted with old ones, this week is LOTS of fun. We sing, work on crafts, play games, swim, worship, enjoy an evening movie and hangout. There are many activities that will challenge you in body, mind and spirit – we will rock climb and rappel, build community and teamwork on the high and low ropes courses, and test endurance on the climbing wall. This is a great week of camp with lots of fun and excitement!

Senior Camp

June 19th – June 25th for Rising 9th -12th Graders

What a GREAT opportunity to challenge yourself this summer, and have a fantastic time. We will play some group games, try the low and high ropes courses, go rappelling and rock climbing, swim, watch some movies, pray, and have plenty of time for making new friends.

Outdoor Expedition Camp

June 26th – July 1st Minimum age 13

We will spend two days hiking and caving, two days backpacking, one day rock climbing and rappelling, and five nights camping out. We will explore parts of southwestern Virginia under the ground and up on mountains. Come learn what lives in the caves of Virginia or on the cliffs of the Blue Ridge Mountains. If you’re looking for a new adventure to liven up your summer, sign up today!!!

First Year Camp

June 26th – July 1st for Rising 5th – 6th Graders

We have designed a camp for rising 5th and 6th Graders. It’s not only great fun, but a great way to meet new friends! For many of the children, this is their first experience at a residential camp. Some bring a friend or two, others come and make friends as they go. The week is very busy with arts, crafts, music,
swimming, hiking, games, adventure, worship and LOTS of fun!

Rock Climbing Camp

July 3rd – July 9th Minimum age 13

This week will focus primarily on learning how to safely rock climb and rappel, or for the more experienced, to polish those skills. This week will include hiking, camping, outdoor cooking, climbing, and rappelling. ALL climbing and safety equipment is provided. If you have climbing shoes, you are welcome to bring them, but please do not bring any other equipment. This year we will be camping outdoors for three nights. Join us for a great week of FUN in the outdoors!

Art Camp

July 10th – July 16th Minimum Age 11

The week will be filled with workshops in photography, drawing, pottery,
calligraphy, music, painting, and much more… All of this is in addition to games, swimming, worship, free time, movies, hikes in the woods, and spending time with a great staff! Eat, play, create!

Nature Camp

July 10th – July 16th Minimum Age 11

This week will focus on many outdoor and environmental activities including learning how to identify trees, wildflowers, fungi, animal tracks, birds, reptiles, amphibians and more. We will hike at night, explore around ponds, learn about recycling and watch the sky light up with stars. We’ll also do arts and crafts, play games, swim, and more!

Outreach Camp

July 17th – July 23rd for Rising 7th – 12th Graders

Have you ever hammered a nail to build a deck? What about used a mitre saw to cut a 2X4? During this week, we will divide into small groups to work with neighbors to remodel the houses of the elderly and those in need in our community. You will have a chance to try your hand at basic carpentry, painting or landscaping. Imagine building a wheelchair ramp for someone in need, or replacing the porch on a house of someone who is not able to do the work themselves. What about painting an entire house in a week? This service learning program is all about working together with people in the community to accomplish a task none of us could do by ourselves.


Residential Camp Schedule

Middler Camp June 12th – 18th Rising 7th – 8th Graders
Senior Camp June 19th – 25th Rising 9th – 12th Graders
Outdoor Expedition Camp June 26th – July 1st Minimum Age 13
First Year Camp June 26th – July 1st Rising 5th – 6th Graders
Rock Climbing Camp July 3th – 9th Minimum Age 13
Art Camp July 10th – 16th Minimum Age 11
Nature Camp July 10th – 16th Minimum Age 11
Outreach Camp July 17th – 23rd Rising 7th – 12th Graders


All programs and dates are subject to change due to COVID-19

Residential Camp Pricing & Discounts



Do you need help paying for summer camp tuition?

Apply for the Alaina Mentkow Summer Camp Scholarship

The average amount of scholarship awarded is $80 dollars for Residential Camp programs. Each family is asked to contribute 1/3 of the camp tuition and to find another source (e.g., church, relative civic organization, or friend) to provide an additional 1/3 of the camp fee. This amount fluctuates based on need in case by case bases. It is possible to receive discounts and a scholarship.

What does camp look like? Check it out!
Still unsure if you should send your child to summer camp? Check out this article: Benefits of Camp: Skill Development

Frequently Asked Questions

What time should I drop off and pick up my camper for a week of Residential Camp?

Campers can be dropped off between 3:00 p.m. & 4:00 p.m. on the Sunday beginning the camp week. They may be picked up at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday at the end of their camp week. HOWEVER, those attending First Year Camp, Outdoor Expedition Camp, will be picked up at 5:00 p.m. on Friday.

Will family members count towards the Bring a Friend to Camp Discount?

No. Family members do not count.

If I have been to Day Camp, but this is my first time at Residential Camp, do I qualify as a friend that has never been to camp at Phoebe Needles?

Yes. As a former Day Camper, you have never been to Residential Camp at Phoebe Needles, so this will count towards the Bring a Friend to Camp Discount.

How much scholarship will my child get for camp tuition?

The average amount of scholarship awarded is $80 for Residential Camp. Each family is asked to contribute a minimum of 1/3 of the camp fee and to find another source (e.g. church, relative, civic organization, or friend) to provide an additional 1/3 of the camp fee. Various amounts are awarded on a case by case basis in regard to the amount of need. Call our office at (540)-483-1518 for more information regarding how much aid you may receive. Anyone may apply for and may receive a scholarship.

What should I do if I want another parent/guardian to pick up my child from camp?

Per our policy, you will have to sign a permission slip listing the name of the parent/guardian that will pick up your camper on a particular date. This should be done in advance unless extenuating circumstances occur.

If I apply for a summer camp scholarship, can I still receive the summer camp discounts that are offered?

Yes, you can receive both a scholarship and summer camp discount(s).

I need to pick up my camper early. Is that possible?

Please provide notice in advance via emailing or calling the office (540)-483-1518.

I have paid a deposit for my camper, but now my youth is unable to attend. May I receive a refund?

Deposits are nonrefundable.

Do you offer military discounts on camp tuition?

Phoebe Needles Center, Inc. offers a free week of camp to children that have a parent(s) that is actively deployed in the military.

Do you offer discounts for campers that have a parent in the corrections system?

Phoebe Needles Center, Inc. offers a free week of camp to children that have a parent(s) that is currently incarcerated.

When is the deadline for camp registration?

Although there is no firmly set deadline, we prefer to have all registration materials two weeks prior to the start date of the camp for which you are registering.

May I call my camper during camp week?

Campers are not accessible by phone unless an emergency occurs or if the camper has been homesick for more than 24 hours. However, you may write a letter to your camper.

My camper has specific needs, and I am unsure if he or she may fair well during a week of camp. What should I do?

List any information we should know about your camper on the medical form during the registration process. Please discuss your concerns with our Office Manager, the Director of Programs, or the Executive Director at (540)-483-1518 or