Archaeology Summer Camps Are Back!

Kids dig in with archaeologists and get their hands dirty at Archaeology Adventurers Summer Camps!

Summer Campers

Camp Staff

Dr. Theresa McReynolds Shebalin directs the Archaeology Adventurers camps.  She is a middle school science teacher in Durham, North Carolina.  Dr. Shebalin has a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of North Carolina. Additional camp staff includes archaeologists affiliated with the Exploring Joara Foundation. The camper to staff ratio is approximately 5:1.  


2-Day, 3-Day, and 5-Day Overnight and Day Camps

for rising 3rd-9th graders

Elementary and middle-school campers work with professional archaeologists to uncover the buried remains of the 16th-century Native American village of Joara and the Spanish Fort San Juan, established in 1567 and destroyed by native peoples in 1568. They also explore the ancient history of North Carolina’s native cultures through hands-on activities, excavation, artifact analysis, experiments, and more.

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.

2022 Dates

Rising 3rd-5th Graders (2-day session): July 28-29

Rising 4th-6th Graders (3-day session): July 25-27 (overnight campers check in July 24)

Rising 4th-6th Graders (5-day session): July 25-29 (overnight campers check in July 24)

Rising 6th-9th Graders (5-day session): July 11-15 (overnight campers check in July 10)


6-Day Camp for rising 9th-12th graders

July 17-23, 2022

High-school campers work alongside professional archaeologists to explore the mysteries of the Berry site and the ill-fated Spanish colony that persisted there for 18 months. Towards the end of the week, archaeologists from Western Carolina University will lead campers on a 2-day excursion to Cherokee, NC and other nearby archaeological attractions.

With the exception of the night spent in Cherokee, 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. During the Cherokee trip, campers stay in a hotel and eat at restaurants (all costs of the trip are included in the camp fee).

Airport Service

For an additional fee, we can provide transportation to/from Charlotte Douglas International Airport and Raleigh-Durham International Airport for campers traveling from out of state. Before booking flights, please contact the Camp Director to ensure that our staff can accommodate the proposed itinerary. The minimum fee for airport transportation service is $100 each way, although the fee may increase if the camper is officially traveling as an “unaccompanied minor” or if additional overnight stays are involved. Campers are also responsible for any baggage fees imposed by the airline. For additional information, please contact Theresa Shebalin (919-749-5212).


We offer a 10% discount for siblings, regardless of whether they choose the same session or not.

Enrollment Information and Forms

To enroll in one of our camps, download the appropriate forms below. We recommend that you return your application quickly to secure your enrollment.

*Please note that for the 2022 camp season, all campers and staff are required to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

Please email or call 919-749-5212 if you have any questions. We hope to see you this summer!

2022 Application for 2-, 3-, and 5-day camps for rising 3rd-9th graders

2022 Application for 6-day camp for rising 9th-12th graders

2022 Emergency Contact Form (all campers)

Mail Applications and Emergency Contact and Medical Forms to:

The Exploring Joara Foundation

C/O Dr. Theresa Shebalin

PO Box 296 Morganton, NC 28680


Contact or 919-749-5212

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