School Counselor Experience

July 15–19, 2024

Calling all high school and independent counselors! Come visit Lees-McRae College in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains for a week-long educational program and getaway for 16 select counselors.

Explore our mountain home located in beautiful Banner Elk, North Carolina. Learn about some of our innovative academic offerings including Wildlife Biology, Wildlife Rehabilitation, Outdoor Recreation Management, Ski Industry Business and Instruction, and Wilderness Medicine and Rescue. Tour our 1,000-acre campus and visit the May Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, Elk Valley Preserve and Field Station, Brigham Classroom at Beech Mountain Resort, Esports Gaming Room, and May School of Natural and Health Sciences.

The fun doesn’t stop there. While you’re in town conquer the Mile High Swinging Bridge at nearby Grandfather Mountain, visit downtown Boone and the historic Mast General Store, attend a Lees-McRae Summer Theatre performance, enjoy a barbecue dinner at Wildcat Lake, and a reception at a local winery.

Space is limited. For more information, contact Senior Vice President for Enrollment Management Kevin Phillips at 828.898.8944 or


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!


Monday, July 15

3–5 p.m.
Arrive at Lees-McRae College
Check-in at Shelton Learning Commons and move-in to Hemlock Villages

6 p.m.
Welcome Reception at Banner Elk Winery


Tuesday, July 16

8 a.m.
Breakfast at Banner Elk Cafe and Lodge

9 a.m.
Overview and Information Session
Meet President Lee King and Senior Vice President for Enrollment Management Kevin Phillips. Learn about our 50+ academic programs, campus life, experiential education, admission process, financial aid and scholarship opportunities, career and life planning, and student success

10:15 a.m.
Campus Tour

11:30 a.m.
Visit the Whitesell Art Building
Learn about the Communication Arts and Design program

12:30 p.m.
Lunch at The Summit

1:30 p.m.
Tour the Dickerson Athletic Complex
Learn more about our NCAA Division II athletics program

2:30 p.m.
Tour of South Campus at Grandfather Home and Wildcat Lake

3:30 p.m.
Visit the May Wildlife Rehabilitation Center

4:30 p.m.

6:15 p.m.
Dinner and Reception in Miller Commons

7 p.m.
Lees-McRae Summer Theatre Performance of From the Mountaintop: The Edgar Tufts Story
Hayes Auditorium


Wednesday, July 17

8 a.m.
Breakfast at The Summit Dining Hall

9:15 a.m.
Trip to Grandfather Mountain
Experience amazing views, walk the famous Mile High Swinging Bridge, and visit the Nature Museum and wildlife habitats

Lunch at Grandfather Mountain

2 p.m.
Explore downtown Boone

4 p.m.
Visit the Lees-McRae Elk Valley Preserve and Field Station

7 p.m.
Dinner at Sorrento's Italian Bistro


Thursday, July 18

8 a.m.
Breakfast at Bella's Breakfast

9 a.m.
Student Affairs Information Session

10 a.m.
Learn about the Criminal Justice and Forensic Psycology programs

11 a.m.
Historic Commons Ribbon-cutting Ceremony

1 p.m.
Lunch at Beech Mountain Resort

2 p.m.
Tour the Brigham Classroom at Beech Mountain Resort
Meet Katie Wall, professor and program coordinator of the Outdoor Recreation Management, Wilderness Medicine and Rescue, and Ski Industry Business and Instruction programs

3 p.m.
Ride the lifts at Beech Mountain to 5506' Skybar
Capture panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains

7 p.m.
Dinner and Farewell Reception


Friday, July 19

8 a.m.
Breakfast at The Summit Dining Hall (or on your own)

9–11 a.m.

Included in the program:

  • Accommodations on campus (single occupancy bedrooms) in the Hemlock Village
  • Four breakfasts, three lunches, and three dinners/receptions (additional meals or snacks will be on your own)
  • All transportation during the program
  • Entrance fees for Grandfather Mountain and Beech Mountain Resort
  • 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

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.

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. 

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