Academic Summer Camp

Apple Ridge Farm Summer Camp WAS BACK AND IN ACTION THIS SUMMER!  In order to accommodate the new social distancing guidelines, Apple Ridge Farm offered our summer camp slightly differently than in years past.
This year instead of registering directly with Apple Ridge, we partnered with other local youth-serving organizations to bring their youth to Apple Ridge for individual camp weeks from June 21 through July 30. Some organizations that we were able to serve this summer were Boys & Girls Club of SWVA, Kid’s Soar, Imagine Me Mentoring, Presbyterian Community Center, Straight Street, The West End Center for Youth, YES Southwest Virginia, and Youth HQ at Goodwill. We were able to serve well over 300 students this summer absolutely free of charge to the student family and the partner organizations through your generous donations!

With camp over for the year we are gearing up for summer 2022 already and would love for your organization to participate in our Academic Summer Camp for a week next year! We are also hoping that restrictions on transportation will be lifted and we will be able to host some of our own students again next summer alongside our wonderful partners!

Contact our Executive Director, Josh Thoemke, at to find out how to get your organization involved.

Get Outside 

The Get Outside program provides outdoor adventure activities that promote wellness and team-building skills! Activities include the 60 ft climbing wall and observation tower, High and Low ropes courses such as the Zipline and Leap of Faith, hiking trails, games on the multi-purpose field, and various team-building activities like the Elephant Skis and All Aboard!

Local nonprofit youth-serving organizations may contact Josh Thoemke, Executive Director ( to schedule a date for their group/students. This program is FREE OF CHARGE to local nonprofit youth-serving organizations. 

Example Itinerary:

9:00 a.m. – Arrival and Orientation, pre-event survey
9:15 a.m. – Teambuilding (Group 1), Climbing Tower & Observation Deck (Group 2)
10:15 a.m. – Hike (Groups 1 & 2)
11:00 a.m. – Climbing Tower & Observation Deck (Group 1), Teambuilding (Group 2)
12:30 p.m. – Debrief & post-event survey

Environmental Education

The Environmental Education Program affords children the opportunity to learn about biology, ecology, and conservation through field identification of terrestrial and aquatic species inhabiting the Apple Ridge ecosystem, and hands-on learning about life cycles, adaptation, and conservation of each species.  Our Environmental Education programs focus on developing a direct appreciation and understanding of our natural world while correlating with the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs). In addition to its inclusion in Academic Summer Camp, our Environmental Education program is marketed to school systems and organizations throughout the Roanoke Valley and five surrounding counties.  

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A+STEM Academy is an after school program that allows students to apply knowledge gained from school in a context that is STEM focused which promotes a deeper learning and reinforcement of the skills in a fun and creative way while supporting the growth and development of the whole child.

Apple Ridge Farm currently works with the 21st Century Program at Hurt Park Elementary School and Garden City Elementary School to grow and nurture their school garden. During these learning sessions, students learn about gardening, the food system, and have an opportunity to taste what they grow! 


EBase USA is a 40ft long by 10ft wide, off-grid classroom, powered by 18 solar panels, and a wind turbine. The solar and wind power is stored in 24 batteries which provide enough energy to power equipment and activities. EBase USA is part of a global EBase movement started in 2008 by Sir Robert Swan, polar explorer and environmentalist.  Our EBase (Educational Base) is an off-grid classroom designed to teach young people about sustainability and climate change.  ARF designed its EBase curriculum to teach young people about sustainability and climate change. For a lesson in sustainability and climate change, please contact Inge Terrill, Director of Facilities ( 

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