Archaeology Summer Camps

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Check back in November for information about our 2015 camp season!

Ready to get your hands dirty?
Participate in one of our summer camps in Morganton, NC!

“It’s been really exciting because you’re finding things that no one has ever seen before… it’s like a little piece of the past.” Samantha Baker, Camper in 2011, 2012, and 2013

“We experienced hands-on activities and worked as though we were actual archaeologists. I just loved getting my hands dirty and working with others discovering historical treasures. It was an opportunity that I will always remember. I am looking forward to attending the camp every summer throughout high school!”
 Katherine Matthews, Camper in 2012 and 2013


Archaeology Explorers Summer Camps

(Rising 3rd-8th Graders)

Archaeology Explorers campers work with professional archaeologists to uncover the buried remains of a 16th-century Spanish colony that mysteriously disappeared more than 400 years ago.  They explore the ancient history of North Carolina’s native cultures through hands-on activities, excavation, artifact analysis, ancient technology demonstrations, experiments, and more.  There will also be plenty of time for fun and friends!

Overnight campers stay in our air-conditioned field house with bunk beds and bathrooms. Most meals are prepared on the premises; dietary restrictions can typically be accommodated. For a suggested packing list, see our Explorers Packing List


Mini Camp (rising 3rd-5th graders)

Date and Time: Saturday, June 28, 2014 from 9:30 am-2:30 pm

Camp Fees: $40 per child; $10 per accompanying adult


Three-Day Camp (rising 4th-6th graders)

Dates: June 30- July 2, 2014 (overnight campers check in the evening of June 29)

Camp Fees: $340 for overnight campers; $250 for day campers


Five-Day Camp (rising 6th-8th graders)

Dates: July 7-11, 2014 (overnight campers check in the evening of July 6)

Camp Fees: $575 for overnight campers; $400 for day campers


Archaeology Adventurers Summer Camps

(Rising 8th-12th Graders)

Archaeology Adventurers campers work alongside professional archaeologists in the field and lab to unlock the mysteries of the Berry site and the ill-fated Spanish colony that persisted there for 18 months. Evening lectures expose campers to some of the specialized subdisciplines within archaeology. For our 6-day camp, Dr. Jane Eastman of Western Carolina University will join us for a two-day excursion to Cherokee and other nearby sites. Dr. Eastman is an expert on Cherokee archaeology.

Campers stay in the Exploring Joara Foundation’s air-conditioned field house with bunk beds and bathrooms. Most meals are prepared on the premises; dietary restrictions can typically be accommodated.


Five-Day Camp (rising 8th-12th graders)

Dates: July 14-18, 2014 (overnight campers check in the evening of July 13)

Camp Fees: $600 for overnight campers; $425 for day campers


Six-Day Camp (rising 8th-12th graders)

Includes an overnight trip to Cherokee, Judaculla Rock, and other nearby archaeological attractions.

Dates: July 21-26, 2014 (overnight campers check in the evening of July 20)

Camp Fees: $725 for overnight campers; $575 for day campers



We offer a 15% discount for campers attending multiple camps. We also offer a 10% discount for siblings, regardless of whether they choose the same session or not.


Enrollment Information and Forms

To enroll in Archaeology Explorers or Archaeology Adventurers camps, download the appropriate camp application below. We recommend that you return your application quickly to secure your enrollment. Please email ( or call (919-749-5212) if you have any questions. We hope to see you this summer!

2014 Mini Camp Application (Rising 3rd-5th graders)

2014 Archaeology Explorers Application (Rising 4th-8th graders)

2014 Archaeology Adventurers Application (Rising 8th-12th graders)

2014 Emergency Contact and Medical Form (all 3-, 5-, and 6-day campers)

Mail Applications and Emergency Contact and Medical Forms to:

Dr. Theresa Shebalin
P.O. Box 676
Mebane, NC 27302 

Questions? Contact or 919-749-5212


Camp Staff

Dr. Theresa McReynolds Shebalin directs the Archaeology Explorers and Archaeology Adventurers camps.  She is a middle school science teacher in Durham, North Carolina.  Dr. Shebalin has a PhD in anthropology from the University of North Carolina.

John Krebs is the Staff Archaeologist for the Exploring Joara Foundation.  He is currently completing his M.A. in Anthropology, focusing on Historical Archaeology through the University of West Florida where he received his B.A. in Anthropology.

Additional camp staff includes archaeologists affiliated with the Exploring Joara Foundation. The camper to staff ratio is approximately 5:1.


The Berry Site

To learn more about the significance of the Berry site and the archaeological work being done, check out the following recent articles:

New York Times, July 23, 2013: Fort Tells of Spain’s Early Ambitions

Our State: A City, Beneath