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Horizons at Hemlock Overlook is ready to create a powerful, transformational experience for your group. We specialize in high quality outdoor education and team learning programs that can be tailored to accommodate different ages and group sizes. Whether you are a school group seeking a day or two of impactful educational activities, or a professional group looking for a team development program to kick off a business retreat, we have something for you.

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Field Initiatives 

(min age: 1st grade/12 participants) Using games and team building activities, groups will learn communication, planning, and teamwork while completing challenges and solving problems. This is a great team building choice for younger participants, shorter activity times, and inclement weather. Activities can be held in a variety of spaces, indoors or outdoors.


Team Development Course

(min age: 4th grade/12 participants) Using prebuilt elements, such as the Birthday Beam, Whale Watch, and Spider’s Web, our highly trained instructors challenge participants to complete a group task. Some tasks have physical challenges, while others require great planning and cooperation. Instructors lead your group through challenges that fit your group and meet your needs.



Cardboard Build Co-op Challenge

(min age: 5th grade) Students will start with $20 Horizons dollars. At the Horizons cardboard shop, they buy materials such as cardboard, scissors, duct tape, trash bags, balloons, and canoe paddles. Instructors then assign an object for groups to build out of the materials, with the goal that the object must properly perform its given function. Maybe they need to build a nice chair that can hold their chaperone! Whatever the object, students must plan, budget, build, and test their way to a final product.


Survivor Co-op Challenge

(min age: 5th grade/12 participants per group) Students will work together to complete a survival scenario. With limited time and limited supplies, the teams must create a shelter, build a fire, and throw a bear bag. It is an exciting challenge that works well for students who have previously done a few of our Wilderness Survival classes.


Horizons Games Team Challenge

(min age: 6th grade/24 participants) Students break into teams tasked with creating a team name and a team cheer. At the blow of the whistle, they compete in a series of 15-minute challenges either against other teams or against the clock. The games and challenges change based on the time of year and the age of the group but are always fun and exciting.




(min age: 5th grade/12 participants) Participants push their personal boundaries as they traverse cables toward the zip platform. Once at the platform, participants slide off and zoom down the 300ft zipline!


Flying Squirrel

(recommended age: 2nd grade or younger/12 participants) Attached to the end of a rope, the participant sets off running at the same moment their teammates start pulling the other end of the rope. The team lifts the flier off the ground up to 20 ft as they launch upwards, just like Peter Pan. This is a great element for young participants and helps them build confidence to try other high adventure activities.

Wilderness Skills


Fire Building

(min age: 3rd grade/12 participants) Heat, oxygen, and fuel: participants learn the components needed to build a fire and learn fire safety. Split into small groups of two to four, they will then put what they have learned into practice.


Shelter Building

(no age limit/12 participants) Shelter is the greatest need in outdoor survival! Working in small groups, participants will use sticks and leaves to create shelters that could protect them from the elements. On rainy days, the option of using tarps will be available. *This can be a full or ½ activity block with the addition of another ½ activity.

Navigation & Orienting

(min age 4th grade/12 participants) In this introduction to basic navigation skills, participants will learn how to use a compass. Students will learn the parts of a compass, how they work, and why we use them. When everyone understands how to use a compass, groups will split off and use their compasses to find letters to spell out a secret word!


Outdoor Cooking

(min age: 5th grade/12 participants) Students will prepare a snack over the fire, on camp stoves, or even in a brick oven as if they were camping out. Students apply their fire-building skills to make a cooking fire with the bonus of a snack built in!



Animal Adaptations

(min 1st grade/ 12 participants) Students will discuss and act out different physical adaptations of common animals. Students will compete in games to camouflage themselves, hide their nests from predators and even use different beaks for “eating food.” This is a great activity for students who love animals and enjoy learning in a hands-on environment.

Nature Exploration

(min age: 1st grade/12 participants) A walk in the woods provides insight for all ages. Students will explore our forests along with our knowledgeable instructors to see what they discover. Our younger classes often play a nature-based bingo scavenger hunt while our older groups engage in inquiry-based learning with some breakout periods for sketching and quiet observation.

Pond/Stream Exploration

(min age: 1st grade/12 participants) With a net, bucket, and identification sheet in hand, participants explore one of the many ponds or creeks around camp. During this activity, participants will likely find tadpoles, fish, salamanders, and many macro-invertebrates. Much like our Nature Exploration class, our younger students often play a pond critter themed bingo scavenger hunt while our older participants engage in formal sampling of the available species and use their findings to assess water quality.

Native Animal ID Hike

(min age: 1st grade/12 participants) In this native animal investigation, students hit the trail on a preset hiking path to find clues that identify what animals have been by the area. Just like nature shows and documentaries, we will find prints and scat that will start conversations about animals native to the area. Once we complete our hike, we finish the class looking over skulls of some of the animals we tracked. With these artifacts in front of us, we will discuss the unique behavioral and physical adaptations.

Native Birds ID Hike

(min age: Kindergarten /max 12 participants) Virginia is home to an amazing array of bird species. We will learn how to identify them through the songs they sing, plumage, and common behaviors. Then, depending on group age and wants, we will end the class by making bird feeders to hang up outside or go on a hike to ID birds in the wild!


Native Plant & Tree ID 

(min age: 4th grade/12 participants) Tree and plant identification is an awesome skill and engages students to really appreciate the natural world. As we hike through camp, we will stop to identify several different native species using ID books. Our knowledgeable instructors will add to the learning by highlighting what the different plants are commonly used for, who uses them as shelter, and who may use them for food. At the end of the hike, we test students on their knowledge, empowering them to identify different plants during the rest of their time on camp.

Owl Pellet Exploration

(min age: 4th grade/12 participants) Students explore the adaptations and unique traits that make owls one of the most effective nighttime predators. Students examine the hunting habits of owls and dissect owl pellets to further investigate these unique creatures. Students will learn about predator/prey relationships and how humans interact with owls.


Instincts of Survival

(min age: 3rd grade/12 participants) A strategic and energetic run-around game meant to teach participants about carrying capacity in an ecosystem. Playing as herbivores, omnivores, and carnivores, players will travel around our instincts course looking for food and water to survive and ultimately balance the ecosystem they are a part of.



Nature Art

(min age: 1st grade/12 participants) Nature is not just for hiking in! In this nature-based art class we will make art using natural materials we find around us. Sculpting, weaving, and painting! This class takes many forms and lets students go where their creativity takes them.

Tie Dye

(min age: 1st grade/12 participants) Spiral, stripes, and technicolor! Participants fold and dye their own shirt to take home with them. We provide the dye and instruction. Participants must bring their own white clothing item to dye for this activity.



Campfire Program

During this traditional evening program, participants will enjoy a s’more, join in with call and response style camp songs, and laugh along to funny camp skits.


Field Games

Anything from buddy tag and capture the flag, to gaga and kick ball, participants will enjoy a mix of active games during this activity. Games will be chosen to best fit the group and their interests.


Night Hike

(min age: 3rd grade/12 participants) With only the moon and the stars lighting the way, participants use their night vision to set off on a hike around camp. During this hike, participants will learn about rods and cones, night creatures, and triboluminescence.

Color Wars

(min age: 7th grade/ 36 participants) Get into the competitive spirit with this evening of competitive team play! Starting with powders in many colors, teams will attempt to cover the opposing teams in as much powder as possible. Group leaders will then break the teams up to compete in a series of high-spirited, intense games. White shirts recommended

Dutch Auction

(min age: 3rd grade/no participant limit) Group leaders act as judges as groups of participants use their creativity, acting skills, and items they have on hand to create anything from a funky hat to a skit about their favorite book.


Minute to Win it

(no age limit/no participant limit) Participants will race against each other and the clock to complete challenges and gain points for their team!


Lights, Camera, Action Skit Night

(age limit: 5th grade) Do you revel at being the star of the show? We start the evening with s’mores by the campfire, then split participants into small groups and, either with our skits or prompts for them to create their own, they take turns taking the stage.

Movie Night

(no age limit/no participant limit) Sit back, relax, and kick off your shoes after a busy day of activities. We will set up a projector and pass out the popcorn. All you need to supply is your favorite movie.