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Program Details


Activities Offered
  • Adventure Programs
  • Camp
Staff Training and Certification
  • Staff Training: The staff at SOAR are selected for those qualities of maturity, sensitivity and caring which enable them to relate well to young people and enhance the adventure program. All are highly trained professionals in such fields as special and secondary education, recreation therapy, counseling, outdoor and experiential education.

Participants Served
  • Age range of participants: Preteens to Adults

Membership Fees
  • Fee to participate in the Program : A registration fee of $250 for each summer session should accompany the student application for guaranteed enrollment. The total fee balance, for all courses, is due two months prior to the start of each session for which a student is enrolled. SOAR reserves the right to cancel a course due to insufficient enrollment. Refund of the Registration Fee will be made only if the applicant is not accepted. Limited scholarships for summer courses are available to students based on financial need. Applicants are encouraged to contact SOAR early for necessary forms.

  • Accessible by Public Transportation: No

  • Transportation Provided by the Program: Yes

    Transportation between the Asheville airport or local bus station and Balsam Base is available upon request


About SOAR:
Success Oriented Achievement Realized features success-oriented, high adventure programs for LD and ADD preteens, teens and adults. Emphasis is placed on developing self-confidence, social skills, problem-solving techniques, a willingness to attempt new challenges and the motivation that comes through successful goal orientation.
Mission Statement:
SOAR is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to:

  • LD and AD/HD Services (National)
    • Providing adventure based wilderness programs and experiential education services to individuals and families dealing with Learning Disabilities and/or Attention Deficit Disorders.
  • Community Based Services (North Carolina):
    • Providing adventure based wilderness programs and experiential education services to school-aged youth in the local community.
  • Professional Service:
    • SOAR embraces a commitment to service, which is evident in the professional and community involvement of its staff.

SOAR believes all individuals identified with learning disabilities (LD) and attention deficit disorder (AD/HD) possess inherent talents and gifts. These abilities can mean incredible success in adulthood, once these students negotiate the challenging obstacles of childhood, adolescence, and a traditional education system which is usually unable to respond to individual learning styles.

Therefore, the SOAR model is based on two fundamental principles. First, youth with LD and AD/HD flourish when they are encouraged to focus on their strengths in an experiential setting. The second principle acknowledges that success can be generalized by encouraging our students to develop and utilize strategies which enable them to compensate for those challenging characteristics of LD and AD/HD. To this end, SOAR staff strive to ensure success for each student across a wide range of experiences. Such success, in turn, builds essential self-esteem and self-confidence.

Based on these two foundations, SOAR participants develop problem-solving skills, effective communication strategies, increased self-awareness, and social skills. Program activities include a broad base of wilderness adventure experiences which empower the student to make healthy choices, learn more about themselves, overcome challenges, and establish relevance from these experiences to other aspects of their life.