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Nestled in the pristine mountains of western Virginia, in a small town called Rural Retreat, is a special place for children and adults of all ages. Come experience a different type of vacation in the lush Blue Ridge valley paradise of A.R.E. Camp!

Spend your days eating home-cooked meals straight out of our organic garden, have meaningful conversations with like-minded individuals, take a hike up to White Rock Mountain, swim in the peaceful pond, meditate in a shady oak grove, listen to the sound of children’s laughter, and live the ideals put forth by Edgar Cayce of a balance between mind, body, and spirit.

View details about our summer sessions on our A.R.E. Camp Events Page. You can also download a copy of a Typical Day at Camp.

Register for Sessions

Camp Contact Information

Camps and Retreats are located in Rural Retreat, Va., and Campers can be sent packages at this address during their camp session:

A.R.E. Camp,
283 White Rock Furnace Rd
Rural Retreat, VA 24368

Telephone (276) 686-4031, from June 1 to Sept 1, the Camp director's office phone. 

Telephone (800) 333-4499, before and during the season to make inquiries about Camp or do register for a session.

Details and Policies


A detailed list of needed items is included in the "Camper Handbook", which will be emailed with your registration materials after you register. Basic necessities include sleeping bag or sheets and blankets, clothing for warm and cool weather, towels, bathing suit, personal articles, and a flashlight.

A.R.E. Camp is accessible by car, bus, or plane. Please indicate your travel plans on the arrival/departure form that will be sent to you later with your registration materials.

By bus: The nearest bus stations are in Marion, Virginia or Wytheville, Virginia (pronounced "with-ville"). Campers will be picked up at the bus station free of charge. Please arrange for arrivals to be after 2:00 p.m. on Sunday and departures before noon on Saturday unless otherwise noted.

By plane: Flight reservations should be made to and from Roanoke Regional Airport. Please arrange for arrival and departure times as close to noon as possible. The airport is a two-hour drive from Camp. There is a $90.00 per family fee for airport pick-ups and deliveries ($50.00 one way).

By car: See map below. A map will also be included in your registration materials. Arrivals should be planned for after 2:00 p.m. on Sunday and departures before noon on Saturday unless otherwise noted.

A non-refundable deposit of 25% of your total Camp tuition is required at the time of registration to reserve space. These deposits are applicable to the total Camp fee. Please Note: Payment in full must be received at least two weeks prior to the beginning of the session. Since some sessions have waiting lists, failure to pay the balance due on time may result in cancellation.

Cancellations and Refunds: If you must cancel your registration, please let the Camp Manager know ASAP! If cancellations are made more than two weeks before the start of the session, all prepaid tuition will be refunded minus the 25% deposit. If cancellations are made less than two weeks prior to the session 50% of your tuition will be refunded. If cancellations are made within 2 days of the start of the session no tuition will be refunded.

A limited number of scholarships are available for those attending Children's or Family sessions, and for adults who are full-time students attending any Family Camp, Adult Retreat or Cayce Fellows. If you have need of a scholarship or know of someone in need, please email or call the A.R.E. Camp Manager to request a Scholarship Application form as soon as possible, and preferably before May 15. Scholarship requests received after May 15 will still be considered if funds are still available. Scholarship requests must be in writing, and may be emailed to or mailed with your registration form. Once we have received your registration form along with your scholarship application and 25% deposit, space will be reserved in the session of your choice while we consider your scholarship amount, and you will be notified of your award as soon after May 15th as possible.

Most sessions end with Saturday breakfast; Camp is then closed until 2:00 p.m. on Sunday. This short break between sessions is necessary for cleanup and program planning, and as well as some much-needed time-off for staff. Counselors cannot be responsible for children during this time.

For special "stayover" circumstances (campers who must stay over Saturday night when attending back-to-back sessions), staff members will be hired to provide supervision. Stayovers include children who attend a Children's session, then stay over for the following Family Camp; or children who attend a Family Camp, then stay over for the following Children's Session; or campers who attend two Children's Sessions and a hike, and must stay over after the hike to the next Children's session. The charge for the care of "Stayover" children is $75.00 per camper per night. The Camp is not able to accommodate early arrivals or late departures as stayovers. Please arrange for pick-up and delivery of campers on beginning and ending days of the session.

NOTE: Each Wilderness Hike is an extension of the previous Children's session, so no stay-over fee will be required for those attending a Children's session and the Wilderness Hike following.


Early full payment: receive $25 off if full balance due is paid by April 15.

Multiple Child Discount: families sending more than one child to the same Children's session receive a 10% tuition discount for each additional child.

Bring a Friend Discount: returning campers bring a friend to a Children's session who has never attended before, and you BOTH receive a reduction in tuition. To receive this discount, campers cannot be siblings. Registration Forms must be sent in together.

Bring a New Family Discount: returning families encourage a family who has never been to Camp before to attend a Family/Adult Session, and both families will receive a reduction in tuition (off of the total price). Registration Forms must be sent in together.

Visitors are gently discouraged from arriving during Camp sessions. If you would like to tour the Camp between sessions or make a short visit during free time, you must contact the Camp Director before arriving. There are no overnight facilities for visitors at Camp; however, there are motels and campgrounds in the area.

We strive to keep fees at Camp as low as possible while maintaining high program standards. To do this, we rely on the loving support and contributions of A.R.E. members and friends to help underwrite Camp expenses. All contributions to Camp are gratefully accepted. Donate to Camp.



"I would say that it (Camp) is the one place on Earth where you can truly be yourself and be loved and accepted by others. It is home for my heart." K.W. Salem, WV

“Camp isn't just a part of my life, it was the start of my life. Because of it, I came out of my shell. I connected with other people, and ultimately, myself.” G.J.

“A.R.E. Camp isn't just a camp, it's a community, a family. It's my community. It's my family. And I am one of the luckiest people EVER to be able to experience it. Camp is my happy place and I have no idea where I would be without it.” – L.C.

“A.R.E. Camp will change you. It glows like a light inside your heart. Come to camp, see the light, let it shine in you.” – S.Y.


Register for Sessions