Teen Expeditions

Teen River Expedition — North Carolina

Ages 13–14  |  7 days  |  Starting at $1895
Venture out via kayak this summer as you navigate North Carolina’s extensive waterways
A red kayak and a blue kayak at the shore of a river.

Adventure First

At the National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education (NCOAE), we know adventure. Immerse yourself in outdoor adventure, while learning the technical skills to travel & explore remote destinations in wild North Carolina!

Explore one of America’s oldest river – the New River. Travel along cold-mountain streams, discover hidden swimming holes, and hike to cascading waterfalls!

During this 7-day teen leadership expedition you’ll learn basic outdoor survival skills and partake in numerous adventure activities that promote teen leadership. Rated as one of our favorite North Carolina overnight trips, this summer camp adventure excursion features kayaking, hiking and camping through the beautiful North Carolina wilderness.

During your expedition, you will have the opportunity to sharpen your kayaking skills, as you travel along New River, exploring one of North Carolina’s most iconic river trails. Learn wilderness camping skills, backcountry navigation, leadership skills, Leave No Trace ethics, and more as you discover North Carolina’s backcountry.


  • Leave No Trace (LNT) Awareness certification
  • Expedition planning and logistics
  • River kayaking skills
  • Remote wilderness camp craft, including map & compass, stove use, and backcountry cooking.

Course Details

7 days
Wilmington International Airport (ILM)
Alternative drop off/pick up locations
Please contact the NCOAE office.
Register for Course
Skills Acquired
  • Develop Kayaking & Whitewater paddling skills
  • Explore the New River & Blue Ridge Mountains
  • Advance your knowledge of environmental science and outdoor leadership — while discovering in North Carolina’s wild, beautiful places
  • Acquire the skills needed to travel in remote, pristine destinations around the world!
Academic Credits

Not currently offered for this expedition.

A girl on a kayaking looking back and smiling.


  • Gain new leadership and outdoor skills
  • Make new friends and lasting memories
  • Explore wild and remote North Carolina mountains from the trail to the rivers
  • Challenge yourself like never before
  • Eat amazing backcountry meals

On the Map

  • New River
  • Appalachian Mountain Range
  • Carolina Beach, NC

Talk to Us

Have any further questions about the course location, what you'll learn, or what else to expect? Contact us, we're here to help!





Frequently Asked Questions

What is the 7-day North Carolina – Teen Kayaking Adventure?

The course is a multi-day wilderness, teen leadership expedition during which you’ll participate in kayaking, whitewater, and camping activities – while learning how to travel in the backcountry.

You’ll explore the New River and surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains as you practice the basics of camp setup, map & compass use, kayaking, whitewater paddling, backcountry cooking, and other outdoor skills.

You can also explore the Pacific Northwest and North Carolina on other multi-day teen expeditions!

How far will I be travelling?

You and your group will travel more than 20 miles down cool mountain streams and hike to cascading waterfalls, while practicing kayaking and camping skills needed to explore rugged, remote areas around the world!

Where will we be staying?

We’ll be living in tents and enjoying our evenings in different areas most nights, identifying the stars and sharing highlights of our learning.

Who should take this course?

This course is best suited to those who want to challenge themselves and learn new skills in the outdoors!

Is the 7-day course offered in other locations or on different dates?

We offer this course in a variety of locations and during different periods throughout the summer to accommodate the destination and schedule that works best for you. You can also explore North Carolina or the Pacific Northwest on other multi-day teen leadership expeditions.

What do I need to do to physically prepare for this course?

You do not need to be an “Ironman” to participate in this course. That said, you will be required to paddle your own boat, with your own gear and some group gear.

What is the average group size and instructor/student ratio?

Each group has two or three instructors and eight to 12 students. We maintain an instructor-to-student ratio of no less than one instructor for every six students.

What are the minimum and average ages of participants?

Students enrolled in this course are 13-14 years old.

What gear and equipment do I need?

NCOAE provides all necessary group gear and food, but you will want, or be required, to bring certain items for yourself. We encourage you to contact NCOAE with all of your gear questions as early as possible. Start planning now by viewing the NCOAE pack list for this course.

Beyond my tuition, what will I need to pay for in North Carolina?

Your tuition with NCOAE covers all major costs related to your room, board, and lodging, except when specified in the itinerary. Students should bring a small amount of spending money for personal items; such as souvenirs, extra snacks, and gifts.

What kind of food will I be eating?

Since we will be carrying all of our food in our boats, we’ll be eating many of the items that begin in their dehydrated forms; water weight is not something we want to carry. Expect meat, vegetables, fruits, grains, and even fresh baked bread and pizza! Of course, you’ll be making them all from scratch — learning to cook backcountry gourmet on the trail.

An instructor showing a student a map.

Participating in an NCOAE course has been one of the greatest experiences of my life!
It helped me to grow emotionally and taught me skills that I am able to transfer into my everyday life. I am truly grateful and lucky to have been a part of this program

Aaron Marshall, NC Teen Adventure Graduate