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.
Review A Healthy Camp Begins at Home for more suggestions around preparing your daughter for camp.
WHAT TO BRING
All medications are required to arrive at camp in blister packaging. Blister Packs are a specific type of unit-dose containers based on the time of administration. We use weekly packs with four different times (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Bedtime) for medication administration. Please note that we prefer to administer any medication after Breakfast when possible. ALL medication, prescription or over-the counter, vitamins and supplements, taken by the camper on a daily basis, and not in a liquid, cream, or inhaled form needs to be brought to camp in blister packaging. Any medication taken on an as-needed (PRN) basis does not need to arrive in blister packaging. Blister packs must be filled by a pharmacy and have a prescription label. All medications, whether prescription or over-the-counter, must have a prescription (prescription label) or a note from a licensed provider with the name, dose, and dosing instructions. There is a space to do this on the Physician Exam form for your convenience. Blister packaging can be done through our local Brevard pharmacy, Gordon’s Family Pharmacy, or at home through your local pharmacy (It has been our experience that large chains such as CVS or Walgreens do not offer this service, so please plan accordingly). Please allow time before camp to plan and prepare your daughter’s medications so she has what she needs on opening day. If you choose to use Gordon’s Family Pharmacy, please submit the required paper work 4-weeks before your session.
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. Laptops, iPod, 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.
My Illahee Dashboard
Please find and submit the required forms for your camper in her My Illahee Dashboard
PLEASE REVIEW THE FOLLOWING RESOURCES
Five-Day-Health-Monitor-Form – Print this form and complete for the 5 days prior to your daughter’s arrival to camp. Have the form ready to hand to a director at drop off!
Activity Descriptions – Read about activities offered during your daughter’s session. Activity sign ups should be submitted through the dashboard. Junior campers enjoy a unique schedule of activities with their cabin group, and do not submit an activity sign-up form.
Illahee Swim Levels – *Note* – ALL campers take swimming until they pass level six. On opening day we will determine which level is correct for your daughter. If your daughter is a proficient swimmer and would like to test out of swimming, have a certified instructor test her and then complete and sign this form before coming to camp!
Physician’s Form 2023 – This required form is to be completed by your daughter’s physician and signed by a parent. Submit the completed form in your camper’s dashboard.
Gordon’s Family Pharmacy Form–* Blister Packs Required!* If your daughter will be taking medications at camp and you choose to use our local pharmacy, print, complete and fax all four pages of this form directly to Gordon’s Family Pharmacy, well ahead of your daughter’s arrival to camp!
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!
Camp Illahee Songbook Practice those camp songs before you get to camp!
Opening day is an exciting day at camp filled with anticipation for meeting campers and counselors and for greeting families. We have found that staggering arrivals by assigning drop off windows between 9:30 and 11:30 has not only helped with starting camp in a “safe bubble” but has also helped make opening day smooth for campers and counselors alike. Arrival times will be emailed prior to the session.
Camp families will be directed through camp’s gates and greeted by directors. Any required health screening forms are turned in along with medications or special instructions for the nurses. A director will give your daughter her cabin assignment and luggage tags. Afterwards, your car will be directed to the unloading zone.
- Check the handbook for last minute packing ideas (stamps and pre-addressed envelopes, etc.).
- Inform family and friends of the no package policy.
- Please email or call directors prior to camp with any issues or concerns. Any recent developments or special instructions for the cabin counselor can also be emailed to a director to be shared with the cabin counselor or camp nurse as needed.
- Have the health monitor form ready to hand in when you first pull into camp.
- Bring prescription medication in the prefilled blister packs to be turned in at the medication station; PRN medication should be in a Ziplock bag and clearly labeled with the camper’s name.
- Please review head lice information. Please note that we engage a professional service to screen campers for lice upon arrival. Parents will be billed for any treatment delivered.
- If flying, please be sure unaccompanied minor forms have been filled out and prepaid and that the flight information has been communicated to the office.
- Please leave your daughter’s cell phone and any valuables at home. We prefer not to store a camper’s phone at camp unless she needs it to fly home..
- 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.
Closing Day pick up is between 9 and 11 a.m. Parents will be assigned a more specific time within that window for their daughter’s pick up from camp and more detailed instructions prior to their daughter’s camp session. Closing Day will look different in 2023!
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.
We will give you more specific checkout procedures and an assigned pick up time prior to the session. On closing day, plan to stay with your car so that we can load your daughter’s trunk and duffle while her counselor brings her with her personal belongings out to greet you at that spot. Any medications will be returned to her at breakfast and ship store accounts are settled after the session closes. If you wish to walk around camp or have your daughter give you a tour, there will be a designated area so that you can park your car after loading and visit her favorite parts of camp.
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, browse through the Chamber’s brand-new, Illahee specific, Camper Parent Guide, 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, explore the Camper Parent Guide or 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.