Virginia State Elks Association State Project

About the Virginia Elks Youth Camp

Around 1947-48, it was decided by the membership of the Virginia State Elks Association to promote a camp for deserving boys as a State Project. At that time a Board of Directors was elected and committees were appointed to purchase property and to organize and carry out the work. As a result, we have one of the finest camps in the country. Over the years girls were included in the camp. Boys and girls between the ages of 8 to 13 are now accepted at the camp.

Situated in one of the most beautiful mountain areas of Virginia, in the heart of the Alleghenies just north of Clifton Forge in Bath County, our camp location is described by the residents of the area as the “prettiest hundred or so acres on the Cowpasture River”. Nowhere is there to be found more majestic mountain ranges, more crystal clear mountain streams than those surrounding the Virginia Elks Youth Camp. In a picturesque bend of this beautiful stream, which is the beginning of our fabled James River, lies the property which is used each summer to enable approximately 500 deserving campers to enjoy a healthful, inspiring camping experience they would not otherwise have.

In addition to its beautiful natural setting, Virginia Elks Youth Camp is blessed with very good physical facilities. The large combination Dining Hall- Recreational Lodge is used for numerous activities. There are enough cabins to sleep 125 campers and 12 counselors comfortably.


The American Camping Association defines “organized camping” as a creative educational experience in cooperative group living in the out-of-doors. It utilizes the resources of the natural surroundings to contribute significantly to mental, physical, social and spiritual growth. It is a sustained experience under the supervision of trained leaders.

Program Specialization

Virginia Elks Youth Camp, Inc., serves deserving boys and girls aged 8 to 13 years old. We offer a broad program of activities in the belief that the program must be diversified enough to serve the varied needs and interests of our campers. These activities vary from team sports to individual projects.

The unique characteristics of the camp experience provide a singular opportunity to have a positive effect on all boys and girls who enjoy a one-week stay at the Virginia Elks Youth Camp. First of all, the outdoor setting sets camping apart from almost all other institutions. Located in the heart of the Alleghany Mountains, our camp offers an unparalleled outdoor environment. This natural setting, our open fields, and our admirable physical facilities provide us with a delicate balance between “roughing it” and contemporary living in modern society.

Another unique characteristic of camp life is that the camper is totally involved in community living for every waking hour of the day. Under close supervision, they associate continuously with their peers. Within this group immersion, virtually every facet of community involvement is brought into play. Most important, our boys and girls have opportunities to develop self- reliance, self-discipline, and self-respect.

Finally, our camp environment at Virginia Elks Youth Camp seeks to preserve a delicate balance between freedom and supervision. Most of all, of course, we want to provide a safe, healthy environment for our campers; however, we want an atmosphere conducive to the optimal development of the camper. In other words, we want to achieve “structured freedom”. We want structure and organization but not regimentation. We strive to mask detailed planning and management behind an air of relaxation and informality. Camp rules and regulations must be respected but at the same time, we desire an informal structure with a minimum of hard-nosed discipline. In sum, we want a safe environment, a warm and friendly atmosphere and a broad program of activities that provides opportunities for wholesome fun and recreation.

General Objectives

  • To provide each camper with the opportunity for wholesome fun and adventure in a safe supervised outdoor program.
  • To help develop a concept of safe and healthful living by stressing wholesome daily health habits; and by offering a chance for increasing strength, vitality, and endurance.
  • To contribute to the understanding and appreciation of the world of nature.
  • To encourage the development of skills and knowledge that may contribute to wholesome recreation in later years.
  • To contribute to the development of a camper’s self-confidence and independence.
  • To help the camper develop a sense of social understanding and responsibility through community living experiences.

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For more information, contact:

Bonnie Shoemaker, Secretary
168 Winward Dr.
Littleton, NC 27850
Telephone: (757) 403-6425 (c)

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