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AICL Logo!Appalachian Institute for Creative Learning’s Summer Enrichment Camp:

An Arts & Academic Camp for Thinkers & Dreamers, Making Learning Fun Since 1982!

Week 1: July 17-23 & Week 2: July 24-30, 2016

& Introducing Week 0: July 10-15

A Summer Camp near Asheville, NC.

Our Program

We offer both residential and day camping programs: in our residential program, we serve campers ages 8 to 17 (or rising 3rd graders to rising 12th graders). Our day camp program accepts rising 3rd to 7th graders. Campers need not be certified as gifted, but instead are merely encouraged to decide for themselves if they’d like to attend. Campers stay in a college dormitory, generally sharing a room with a roommate; a counselor stays in another room on the same hall.

Week 0: An Intensive Academic Program

We are excited to announce an additional week of camp, dubbed Week Zero, which will be July 10-15 and will be held at Mars Hill campus, just north of Asheville, NC. Our new program, Week 0, is an intensive academic program with AICL’s traditional focus on hands-on projects and fun lessons, and will be limited to students entering grades 8-12.  As always, we encourage students to explore areas outside their usual academic strengths if they wish, but with the understanding that the classes in this program are a bit more intensive and demanding then during our Summer Enrichment Camp at Warren Wilson. Campers at Week Zero will have some loosely structured time in the evenings to explore the concepts and skills they learn in class and campers will take a more active part in the planning and execution of camp activities.

2016 Tuition

  • $500 Day Camper per week
  • $750 Residential per week
  • There is a special discount for Residential campers who are coming for more than a week:
    $1415 for two weeks Residential
    $2125 for all three weeks Residential

2016 Curriculum

It is finally here!  Come check out our 2016 Curriculum: Class Descriptions – Weeks 1 & 2 and Class Descriptions – Week 0

Our Campers

AICL creates an environment in which it’s safe to laugh and learn, to risk and fail, to experiment with something outside of one’s competence.  We celebrate the life of the mind, but we’ve seen too many bright, interesting campers who don’t necessarily fit well in a traditional school model to limit ourselves to those who’ve been classified as gifted.  Instead, we call our campers motivated learners, figuring anyone who shows up to take biology, math, or art in July is motivated. Campers make lifelong friends at AICL.  They experience breakthroughs in their thinking and understanding.  They experience acceptance and new confidence in their social skills.  But most of all, they receive a lesson that we hope will stay with them their whole lives, and that, through all of our changes, we’ve known all along: Learning is fun.

Our Camp Schedule

For each week-long session, campers choose four classes (9:00, 10:30, 1:00 and 2:30).  All classes are open to all grade levels.  Our classes offer specialization and individualized instruction unavailable outside of private lessons and college courses. The smaller classes, innovative teachers, and longer meeting times allow the same course to be a comfortable introduction for the novice and a new challenge for the advanced student. Classes fill the mornings and early afternoons. Later afternoons are reserved for swimming, volleyball, and ultimate Frisbee. After dinner, there are special events ranging from a talent show or Zombie Hunt, to a disco or group games. During evening dorm time, campers hang out with friends, play games, or watch movies, and then sleep. Campers are supervised at all times and counselors live on the same halls as their groups.

Our Philosophy

Summer Enrichment Camp is a co-ed residential program for gifted and talented children entering grades 3-12. SEC began in 1982 as the Summer Institute for Gifted Children, founded by Dr. Larry Coleman and Gayle Bush. In 2001, the SIGC staff formed the Appalachian Institute for Creative Learning as a non-profit, with new programs and scholarships to expand the reach of the educational philosophy that was the foundation of SIGC. The challenges and support campers find at SEC develop self assurance and foster initiative, enabling students to thrive in their environments. Many campers go on to attend top colleges and universities around the country. The camp was founded with the belief that being around equally bright and involved peers is one of the best motivators for the gifted child. Friendships started at SEC continue across school years and keep campers and staff returning summer after summer.

Our Staff & Location

The staff include talented elementary and secondary teachers as well as university faculty and other professionals, including musicians, actors, writers, and scientists. We maintain a one-to-five staff-to-camper ratio. Weeks 1 and 2 will be held at Warren Wilson College, which rests among the mountains of Western North Carolina near Asheville and was chosen because it provides a beautiful, safe, fully equipped, self-contained environment for the program.  Our newest program, Week 0, will be held at Mars Hill University, just north of Asheville and we are very excited to experience this new campus.


An arts and academic camp for thinkers and dreamers, making learning fun since 1982!