School Counselor Experience

July 14–17, 2020

Calling all high school and independent counselors! Come visit Lees-McRae College in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains for a four-day educational program and getaway for 20 select counselors.

Explore our mountain home located in beautiful Banner Elk, North Carolina. Learn about innovative academic offerings including Wildlife Biology, Outdoor Recreation Management, Ski Industry Business and Instruction, and Nursing. Tour our 465-acre campus and visit the May Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, Elk Valley Preserve and Field Station, Brigham Classroom at Beech Mountain Resort, and May School of Nursing and Health Sciences.

The fun doesn’t stop there. While you’re in town, see a performance of America’s Artist: The Norman Rockwell Story by our Summer Theatre company, conquer the Mile High Swinging Bridge at nearby Grandfather Mountain, participate in a whitewater rafting experience, take in the sights while enjoying lunch at the Beech Mountain Club, and enjoy dinner and a reception at a local winery.


Details of this itinerary are subject to change. Information about what to bring/wear will be shared upon registration for the program. Please note that some activities will involve walking, hiking, and climbing. Be prepared!


Tuesday, July 14

11:30 a.m.
Arrive to Lees-McRae College
Check-in at Shelton Learning Commons

1:00 p.m.
Overview and Information Session
Learn about our academic programs, campus life, experiential education, admission process, financial aid and scholarship opportunities, career services, and student success

1:45 p.m.
Meet our Academic Deans and Faculty

2:30 p.m.
Campus Tour

3:45 p.m.
Visit the May Wildlife Rehabilitation Center and Elk Valley Preserve and Field Station

6:30 p.m.
Dinner and Reception at Grandfather Winery

Wednesday, July 15

8:00 a.m.
Breakfast on your own in Banner Elk
Vouchers will be provided

9:30 a.m.
Trip to Grandfather Mountain
Experience amazing views, walk the famous Mile High Swinging Bridge, and visit the Nature Museum and wildlife habitats

12:30 p.m.
Lunch at the Beech Mountain Club

1:45 p.m.
Visit the Brigham Classroom at Beech Mountain Resort
Meet Dr. Katie Wall, program coordinator of the Outdoor Recreation Management and Ski Industry Business and Instruction programs

2:45 p.m.
Ride the lifts up to 5506' Skybar
Capture panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains

6:00 p.m.
Dinner and Riverside Nightcap
Elk River Club

Thursday, July 16

8:00 a.m.
Breakfast on your own in Banner Elk
Vouchers will be provided

9:30 a.m.
Tour of the May School of Nursing and Health Sciences

11:00 a.m.
Whitewater Rafting Trip
Excursion with Edge of the World to Elizabethton, TN (lunch included)

5:30 p.m.
Return to Campus and Dinner

7:00 p.m.
Lees-McRae Summer Theatre Performance of America’s Artist: The Norman Rockwell Story 

Friday, July 17

9:00 a.m.
Breakfast with President Lee King

10:30 a.m.
Overview of Division II Athletics
Meet Craig McPhail, athletic director and vice president for athletics and club sports

11:00 a.m.
Tour of Dickerson Athletic Complex

Farewell and Check-out 

Included in the program:

  • Transportation to/from the Charlotte airport for participants flying in. Pick-ups will occur at certain times on Monday, July 13 and Tuesday, July 14 only.
  • Accommodations on campus (double occupancy) or at the Best Western Mountain Lodge  
  • Three breakfasts, two lunches, and three dinners/receptions (additional meals or snacks will be on your own)
  • All transportation during the program
  • Entrance fees for Grandfather Mountain, Beech Mountain Resort, and the whitewater rafting excursion
  • Presentations to include an overview of the college and information on admissions, financial aid, academic programs, experiential education, student success and advising, and NCAA Division II athletics.

Not included:

  • Transportation to Lees-McRae College via car and any airfare to and from Charlotte, Asheville, or Tri-Cities airports
  • Any personal expenses

About Lees-McRae

Best Regional Colleges South

Best Regional Colleges South

Lees-McRae ranked among top colleges and universities in the Southeast by U.S. News and World Report and recognized for our efforts to increase social mobility. 

College of Distinction

College of Distinction

Recognized nationally and statewide as a College of Distinction, with special nods to our academic programs in business, education, and nursing.

Top Adventure College

Top Adventure College

The college took historic gold in the Top Adventure College competition hosted by Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine by becoming the first smaller school to win the overall title.


With 26 majors and 21 minors housed within four distinct schools, there's something for everyone.

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Our tuition is 15 percent less than other private institutions in North Carolina, and we don’t charge more if you come from out of state.

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Life extends beyond the classroom at Lees-McRae. From clubs and organizations to leadership opportunities, there are countless ways to get involved.

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Banner Elk: Our Mountain Home
Click and drag to look around.

Located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, we’re inspired every day by all that surrounds us. There are breathtaking vistas, shady valleys, and clear, gentle streams in every direction.

We have countless trails in the area—in fact segments of the Appalachian Trail and Mountains-to-Sea Trail wind through Avery County. If you’re looking to climb even higher, visit one of the local peaks including Grandfather Mountain, Sugar Mountain, or Beech Mountain.

If driving is more your speed, you can take a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway just miles from campus. Or head over to one of our neighboring towns, such as Boone, Blowing Rock, and Linville, for a day of window-shopping or dining in style. Our hometown of Banner Elk hosts concerts, markets, and community events throughout the year, including the famous Woolly Worm Festival.

There is so much to do in the High Country, you’ll want to extend your visit for more adventures!


We're happy to help! You can reach us at 828.898.5241 or