let the countdown begin!
To help you and your daughter prepare for camp, we’ve created this page with much of the information you’ll need. Click through the sections below and if you don’t find what you’re looking for, please contact our office at (828) 883-2181 or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you!
The first step toward having a fun, stress-free summer at Illahee is sitting down with your daughter and helping to put her in an enthusiastic frame of mind as she sets out to spend a summer at camp. (It’s usually not hard!)
- Heighten your daughter’s interest by pointing out some of the exciting things about a summer at Illahee. These may include activities, special events and new friends.
- Introduce your daughter to other children in your community who will be attending camp. The camp representative in your hometown can help facilitate this.
- Familiarize yourself and your daughter with the camp environment and daily routine.
- Though we’re apt to paint a bright, promising picture of an ideal camp experience, it’s important not to gloss over the not-so glamorous realities of rustic living. There will be bugs in the shower house, frogs making noise at night, cool nights, rainy days and the occasional splinter or bug bite. These incidents should not surprise a first-time camper.
- Prepare your child to take care of herself. Have her spend a weekend with a friend or a relative. Encourage her to make her bed and set the table.
- Speak openly about homesickness before camp. Once your daughter understands that homesickness is normal and natural, she may accept it with less anxiety. Let her know that if she does experience homesickness, she won’t be alone. In fact, she’ll soon discover that camp is filled with experts on the subject! Occasionally, in an effort to ease pre-camp “butterflies,” a family member will suggest that if a child is not happy at camp, a call home or early pick-up will be arranged. Please do not make this mistake! Although expressed with the best intentions, it is not helpful to the camper, and makes adjusting to camp more difficult. Positive family support gives your daughter the tools she needs to make the camp transition a successful and valuable growth experience. In the end, you can assure her that she will make a speedy and complete recovery from the homesick blues and have a great experience.
WHAT TO BRING
Electronic items are not welcome at camp. The rustic setting is specifically designed to allow campers to come into close contact with nature. Activities, evening programs, and socializing with friends provide ample entertainment. Lap-tops, ipods, go pros and other electronic toys should be left at home. All wireless devices, including cell phones, apple watches, fitbits and wireless-capable cameras, are prohibited.
FIREARMS AND FLAMMABLES
In keeping with the standards set by the American Camping Association and following commonsense practices for the safety of the community, campers, counselors and parents may not have private firearms, knives or other flammables on camp property or stored in vehicles on the property. Likewise please do not bring flammable items such as fireworks, sparklers, incense or candles to camp.
The “Ship’s Store” is a camp store where campers may purchase necessary items such as soap, flashlights, and stationery. Campers may also purchase Camp Illahee items such as pens, clothing, and water bottles or snacks (granola bars or crackers). We recommend that each camper have the $100.00 deposited into her “Ship’s Store” account before camp starts. For the Junior session there is no deposit needed since the store is only open during the opening and closing days of the session. The week after closing day, you will receive either a refund or notice of the amount due for any amount over the sum of $5.00. Campers do not need to bring cash to camp; anything needed or purchased will be charged to their Ship’s Store account. Valuable jewelry, CD collections and electronic toys should be left at home. Camp Illahee cannot be held responsible for lost items.
Please limit your daughter’s baggage to one standard size trunk (approximately 32″ wide and 15″ high). Trunks this size fit under our bunks, allowing more space in the cabin. Trunks may be brought to camp in your car or shipped via your preferred courier service to:
500 Illahee Road
Brevard, NC 28712
Place a vintage Camp Illahee trunk sticker, which can be downloaded and printed here, on your child’s trunk to help us identify it.
Please Note: Though representative of the classic summer camp experience, a heavy footlocker is not always the best option for summer camp. Illahee girls are provided plenty of storage space for their things. As such, we encourage parents to consider packing lighter, more manageable plastic containers and soft-sided trunks. This is a good one.
Required forms for each camper
Activity Sign-Up Form – Each camper enrolled in a two, three or four-week session needs to complete an activity sign-up form. Junior campers do not need to submit this form. If you want to find out more about the activities offered visit our website activity page or download this pdf for future reference: Activity Descriptions
Camper Information Form – Please submit one camper information form for each camper enrolled in camp, all sessions.
Ship Store Pre-Order Form – Please submit one ship store form for each camper enrolled in camp, all sessions. It is helpful on our end if you submit a form even if you are not ordering any items.
Health Information Form – To complete this form, please use the personalized link that was sent to you in the late February email.
Physician’s Form 2019 – Download and print this form which must be completed by a doctor and signed by the parent. Once complete, please mail or fax to camp.
Illahee Swim Levels – Have a certified instructor complete this checklist in order for your camper to pass out of swimming before coming to camp!
Parent Handbook (online only – print for reference, revised 2019)
Head Lice Prevention (you know about this from school, but here’s some good information about looking for these rascals) Please note that we engage professional nit-pickers (really) to check every camper’s head upon arrival. If a case is found, these good folks will charge you directly for removal. PLEASE check your camper before camp!
Health Center Information – Helpful especially to those bringing medication to camp.
Camp Illahee Songbook Practice those camp songs before you get to camp!
Opening Day at camp is an exciting time as campers meet their counselors and cabinmates. In order for the day to go as smoothly as possible, please arrange for your daughter to arrive on Sunday between 10:00 a.m. and noon.
- Check the handbook for last minute packing ideas (stamps and pre-addressed envelopes, etc.).
- Inform family and friends of the no package policy.
- Please write or call directors with any issues or concerns. On opening day, please share any recent developments or special instructions with cabin counselors, nurses, and/or directors.
- Bring any medications with you and turn them into the nurses who will be stationed in the main office. (See list of over-the-counter medications stocked in our health center).
- Please review head lice information (link). Check your daughter’s head carefully prior to camp.
- If flying, please turn in return tickets and unaccompanied minor forms at the office. (Please prepay unaccompanied minor fee and complete forms. It is helpful to pack a small carry-on bag with a change of clothes, tennis shoes, and bathing suit).
- Plan to arrive between 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon. Counselors will randomly assign each camper a bed prior to arrival. There is no need to come early.If you must bring a pet, it MUST be kept on a leash at all times.
- Thanks for your help. This is going to be the “best summer ever”!
furry FAMILY MEMBERS
If pets are brought with families on opening day, they must be kept on a leash at all times. If you have an aggressive pet, please keep them in the car (with windows cracked) on opening day. Staff members may not bring personal pets to camp.
The Illahee program provides an extraordinary opportunity for campers to gain the self-reliance, self-confidence, and independence important to a young girl’s development. Visits from parents and relatives can interrupt the camp program and interfere with the camper’s progress. We highly recommend that parents visit camp on opening and closing days of the camp session only. At this time, parents are encouraged to meet the staff and view the camp facility. The week before camp and the day between sessions are busy planning days and are not convenient times for visits.
During the last week at Illahee, campers and staff finish up activities and participate in various closing events, culminating in our Final Night Banquet and Campfire. These ceremonies are designed to help each camper evaluate and appreciate all that she has accomplished at camp. They bring closure to the entire camp experience. We strongly discourage campers from departing before closing day.
Please make arrangements to pick your daughter up between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. on the closing Friday. When you arrive at camp, we will give you specific checkout procedures. Your most important tasks are seeing your daughter, meeting all her new friends, and helping her make it into the car with all of her belongings. Please keep ALL pets on a leash at ALL times.
Be prepared for a variety of emotions. Most likely, your child will be overjoyed to see you, yet sad about leaving her friends. For a first-time camper, these conflicting feelings can be especially confusing. It might help to remind your daughter that she can stay in touch with her friends and will see them next summer.
Camp Illahee is located just a few miles outside of downtown Brevard in the heart of Transylvania County, North Carolina. Long celebrated for its magnificent waterfalls, lush forests, and stunning mountain vistas, Transylvania County is a place of rare natural beauty with a rich musical heritage and a burgeoning arts and crafts community.
From the Atlanta area: Take I-85 North to SC state line. Take exit 1 (SC Visitor’s Center) and turn left onto Hwy 11. Follow Hwy 11 (about 32 miles) to a Marathon Station on the left. Turn left beside Marathon station onto N. Little River Road. Follow N. Little River Road until it dead-ends at Hwy 130 (Whitewater Falls Road). Turn left onto Hwy 130, which becomes Hwy 281 at the NC state line. Follow Hwy 281 to Hwy 64E and turn right. Follow Hwy 64E (about 15-18 miles) to Illahee Road (approximately 2 miles after Hwy 64 widens to four lanes). Turn right onto Illahee Road. Travel 1/2 mile to the camp entrance on the right.
From Asheville: From I-40, take I-26 S/E (Hendersonville/ Spartanburg exit). Take Exit 40 (Brevard/Asheville Regional Airport/Arden) and turn right from the I-26 Exit ramp onto Hwy 280W. Follow Hwy 280W past the airport to Brevard
(approximately 15 miles). Hwy 280 becomes Hwy 64W. Continue straight through Brevard on Hwy 64W. After you pass SavMor grocery store, turn left at the top of the hill onto Illahee Road. Travel 1/2 mile to the camp entrance on the right.
From Spartanburg: Take I-26 West to Hendersonville, NC. Exit 49B/Hwy 64W through Hendersonville. Follow Hwy 64W for about 18 miles; at the stoplight before the entrance to Pisgah Forest, follow Hwy 64W and turn left. Continue straight through Brevard on Hwy 64W. After you pass SavMore grocery store, turn left at the top of the hill onto Illahee Road. Travel 1/2 mile to the camp entrance on the right.
Camp Illahee provides free transport to and from the Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) for campers on opening day. Transportation to and from the Greenville-Spartanburg Airport (GSP) can also be provided with prior notice.
PLACES TO stay
As an increasingly popular destination for travelers, tourists, and outdoors enthusiasts, the Greater Illahee area offers a wide array of accommodations, ranging from rustic campsites to plush resort hotels.
For a complete list of places to stay around Illahee, call the Brevard Chamber of Commerce at 800-648-4523 or visit their website at visitwaterfalls.com.
things TO DO
Brevard and Transylvania County offer Illahee families far more than just a pretty address to send letters and drop off their daughters. Boasting 250 waterfalls and over 50% of its land protected as state and national forests, there is no lack of activity for explorers and nature-lovers of all skill levels. For more information, including interactive maps and details regarding activities ranging from competitive mountain biking to picnicking at a swimming hole, go to visitwaterfalls.com.
For those whose idea of adventure sounds a little more like Rachmaninoff and a little less like whitewater rapids, the Brevard Music Festival hosts seven weeks of exceptional performances by the best and brightest in classical music and jazz. The complete schedule of performances, as well as ticketing information can be found at brevardmusic.org.
Historic downtown Brevard features one-of-a-kind shops, exceptional galleries and a host of excellent places to eat, drink, and be merry.
For more information about all the myriad things to discover in Transylvania County, go to visitwaterfalls.com.