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Environmental Education

There’s no better place to learn than outside! At YMCA Camp Cherokee, we make the great outdoors our classroom, where we provide a variety of opportunities for students to learn. Our mission is to make learning exciting and relevant. Camp Cherokee invites local schools to bring classes and teams, to see exactly what a camp is all about.

Since every child learns differently, we cater to every learning style by providing first-hand experiences for each student. The program will reinforce the topics, vocabulary and subject matter students learn throughout the school year. From classes like water ecology where students will dig through mud to find the organisms such as the caddisfly larvae, to a compass scavenger hunt, where students get to learn how to use and navigate through Camp.

Program Details

The program was designed to meet the South Carolina state standards to ensure teachers also benefit from the trip. With this design, teachers are able to take advantage of any new ideas and ways to incorporate topics that may be difficult to teach within the classroom’s four walls.

*Day program: catered to teachers! Customize the day to meet the needs of any class.

Listed below are just a few options of what Camp Cherokee offers outside the classroom:

  • Canoe: Through teamwork, students get to learn the parts of this water vessel and explore Lake York.
  • Soil Ecology: Students will have the opportunity to get their hands dirty while digging a soil profile pit, testing soil moisture, pH and temperature with state of the art LabQuest Vernier’s. Students will learn the different types of soil and discuss how soil effects ecosystems.
  • Teambuilding + low ropes: Communication is essential for a successful team. Bring your class to test their communication and build their leadership skills.
  • Fire Ecology: Learn about fire dependent ecosystems, and perform a hands on experiment with real fire!
  • Beavers & Their Habitat: Camp Cherokee is nestled in the Kings Mountain State Park, home to the largest beaver dam in the state. During this excursion, instructors get to show students different ways organisms adapt to their habitats. Students will experience the outdoors from a new perspective.
  • Water Ecology: Students get the opportunity to use state of the art LabQuest Vernier’s to test water temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, and much more! They will also search for, and identify, aquatic macro invertebrates.
  • And many more!

Register your class today! Contact the Director of Environmental Education Nell Davis at

Add-On Option (canopy tour, extended day)

Grant Opportunities