YMCA Camp Cherokee offers several Environmental Education classes. Each class is designed to meet and correlate with North and South Carolina state standards as well as the Next Generation Science Standards.

Classes Offered


Let our talented staff teach you the parts of a bow and arrow, range safety, and how to hit a bullseye! Take learning a step further and explore how archery relates to Newton’s Laws of Motion. This class is fun and can be tailored for all ages.

Goals and Objectives


This is a favorite class for elementary students, though it is fun and educational for all! YMCA Camp Cherokee is lucky enough to have the biggest dam in South Carolina right here on our property.  We will hike to see the beavers’ hard work, learning about them as we go.

Goals and Objectives


Students and teachers will get the opportunity to see the forest from another perspective. Enjoy eight zip lines and two sky bridges as you experience a bird’s-eye view of the canopy. Weight Restrictions apply, +$25/ student. (Team building; grades 6-12)


Take a trip around the lake in a canoe! Instructors will take students through a lesson on why boats float and water safety lesson to allow for each student to understand the importance of water safety. Then, embark on a voyage requiring leadership and teamwork to get to our final destination!

Goals and Objectives


This is a middle school FAVORITE! Students will learn about the natural processes involving fire in an ecosystem and the ecological effects, as well as the interactions between fire and the abiotic and biotic factors.  Each group will create their own forest fire experiment and see if their hypothesis is supported by the data collected.

Goals and Objectives


Students will learn all about fresh water fish! The parts of the fish, favorite habitats, and water temperature. After going over safety, students will branch out and try their luck catching a fish in Lake York. They will have the opportunity to bait a line, identify fish, and hopefully even catch a few themselves!

Goals and Objectives


Students will use their senses to examine the relationship between plants and animals, as well as learn more about the hardwood forest within YMCA Camp Cherokee. Students will discover explanations for the structural adaptations that allow the plants at camp to thrive. Students will use an increment borer to core a living tree in order to determine age and health. Each student will have the opportunity to hold a tree core and see if they can count the rings!

Goals and Objectives


Students will classify, compare, and evaluate the different types of fossils and how they are made. Students will distinguish between inferences and observations when discussing what might have happened to the fossils. Students will dig for fossils in sand samples from the ocean floor, then they will be given the opportunity to classify said fossils using a special guide.

Goals and Objectives


This class is a ton of fun, with lots of science thrown in. In this class, students will construct explanations for how structures help animals to survive. Students will distinguish between learned and innate behaviors while learning about the Kings Mountain environment and the habitats within. Students will use their senses to examine the habitats around them and help them succeed in our specially tailored adaptation activities.

Goals and Objectives


This class really allows students to let loose and get creative while interacting with the natural world around them.  Students will be inspired through learning about the famous nature artist, Andy Goldsworthy, and then be challenged to create their own masterpiece out of found objects.

Goals and Objectives


We encourage teachers and chaperones to participate in this class as you are guaranteed to get your heart rate up and feel like a kid again.  Students will learn about the relationship between predator animals and their prey. Key vocabulary will be covered, and each student will get to be either an herbivore, carnivore or omnivore for an activity that will have them running, laughing, learning, and hoping for survival!

Goals and Objectives


Students get their hands dirty in this class! Students  observe, measure, and classify textures of soil. Students investigate the horizons and study the interactions between the biotic and abiotic aspects of soil.  Students have the opportunity to test soil moisture and temperature in different locations using a Vernier LabQuest 2.

Goals and Objectives


Potential life-saving tips will be taught in this class.  Do you know what to do if you get lost in the woods while on a hike? Take this course to find out!  You will see your students rally together to build a shelter, learn about fire safety, and how to find water.


Students will be challenged to work together to reach their goals in teambuilding on our low-ropes course and mobile initiatives.  The skills learned in this course carry over to all aspects of student’s lives and are valuable tools.


In water ecology students will explore what indicates that a lake is healthy or unhealthy. Using a Vernier LabQuest 2, students will measure the water quality to determine the health of the lake. Taking their exploration a step further, students will dig in mud samples taken from the lake to find macro invertebrates. Through classification and discussion students will determine the water quality history of Lake York.

Goals and Objectives


This class is best suited for an overnight Environmental Education program, or as a two class block. This is an opportunity for students to drive the direction of their very own research project from start to finish.  We will have all of our exciting science tools available for them to collect data. At the end of the program the groups will present their findings to one another.

For more information contact Will Gilmore.