Mountain Wisdom is committed to fostering healthy teens and families by providing fun filled transformational experiences and challenging outdoor adventures focusing on nature awareness and responsibility

 Find Your Sense Of Purpose

And Have Fun Achieving Your Full Potential 


What We Do

Young people today struggle with feelings of frustration and anxiety as they try to find their place in life.  Our modern culture of technology often disconnects them from the world, resulting in feelings of isolation, lethargy and depression. Unfortunately, more and more teens are turning to drugs and alcohol to relieve these feelings.


Many young people are living lives of complete nature deprivation. We believe that the benefits of connecting to the natural world include stress reduction, a sense of belonging, improved self-confidence and self-discipline, a broader sense of community, and possibly a sense of spirituality - an appreciation for powers larger than oneself. 


We believe that the wilderness is a fun and inspirational classroom. Operating in a setting without electronics enables campers to slow down and develop concentration and focus, bringing them closer in touch with the natural world while having a wonderful time.


Since 2003, we have been privileged to provide teens with a safe and enjoyable experience in an environment where they learn a greater respect for themselves, their peers and the world of nature.  And we have been honored to be part of countless treasured memories.

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To learn more about Mountain Wisdom Camp, listen to the radio interview above.


Mountain Wisdom Camp is an electronic-free zone where campers discover the beauty of nature, a true sense of community, and recognition of their own gifts and the abilities that will build confidence and help shape leaders for tomorrow.

Become A Man Of Integrity And Honor

Young Men's Ultimate Adventure

June 8th -13th 2020 | For Boys Ages 12 - 17

Activities: Hiking, creek hikes, drumming, archery cooperative, and competitive games and ropes course. The young men will learn wilderness survival and bushcraft skills such as fire-making, tracking, plant and tree identification, knots and primitive shelter building. Campers will experience team building and leadership training through interactive, cooperative activities and trust development exercises. Environmental conservation and nature awareness are essential and will help young men to connect to themselves and others

Cost - $550 Per Child

We offer partial scholarships for those that qualify.

Discover You, Young Women’s Empowerment Journey

June 23rd - 28th 2020 | For Ages 12 - 17

Cost - $550 Per Child

We offer partial scholarships for those that qualify.


A journey created to support young women as they move into adulthood.  With the companionship of the natural world and one another, we will challenge limiting beliefs and fears, develop skills to live a purposeful life and create an inviting space to explore authentic self-expression and discovery.  Empowered to lead with their unique gifts, these young women can make a difference in our world.


The young women are encouraged to explore their unique gifts through crafts, dance, music, writing, nature connection and the healing arts.  Through cooperative games, they learn team-building, leadership, responsibility, and environmental awareness.  We will co-create beautiful ceremonies and celebrations to support them in bringing more of themselves into the world.

There will be well-balanced healthy meals cooked at the campsite.  We provide for individual dietary needs as well.

All staff are CPR/First Aid certified and must pass criminal background checks



Young Men

My home is in the mountains of North Georgia, and I've been married for over 30 years.  I have a love for the outdoors and have a lifelong passion for mentoring teens to live their full potential.  These values are the foundation for Mountain Wisdom.  I have extensive experience working with teens from wildlife camps to Boys and Girls Club of America.  My goal is to inspire all people to feel a sense of purpose and know that they make a difference in the world.





Jay Zipperman

I am a Project Facilitator for an Atlanta residential and commercial painting company, as well as an artist.  I grew up the youngest of 3 boys in the suburbs of Georgia. I've always enjoyed the solitude of the woods and camping. I do a lot of volunteer work in my spare time.  I have been a Staff member of this camp since its inception in 2003, and appreciate the positive impact it makes on the young men and the impact it makes on the staff who participate as well.

Dan Rodenberger




Camden Vancil




Camden Vancil is a Graduate Student of 25 years old at the University of West Georgia. Here, he is in pursuit of a Masters degree in Psychology. Camden shares a deep interest in community building along with the development of healthy relationships. On his free time he enjoys contemplative practices and spending time outdoors. Camden has volunteered for Hospice and facilitates a weekly meditation group on campus at the University. He looks forward to the camp with great excitement and humility for the opportunity to share space in such a beautiful environment. 

I am a degreed Chemist from West Georgia University, and I have been working in the chemical field for over 20 years.  I have been happily married for 11 years, and my wife and I believe in eating healthy, sustaining healthy practices and teaching others to do the same.  I love being outdoors.  I also believe in giving back to our youth.  Volunteering for Mountain Wisdom provides me the opportunity to connect with nature, foster self-esteem and most importantly mentor our youth to have a more wholesome, deeper connection to what matters.

Steve Crossley

Michael Isaacs

I have been afliated with the YMUA Camp for a number of years but for the last 4 years has been on staff as a camp counselor.  I love getting to know the young men and hearing the stories of their various backgrounds their hopes and dreams for the future.  I am amazed by their intelligence, perspectives and energy.  Spending time with these young men in the wilderness is a great experience that I hope to continue. I live in Midtown Atlanta with my wife and my daughter also lives in Atlanta.  I retired from Federal Civil Service as a Supervisory Investigator for the Employee Benefits Security Administration where we enforced the law to keep employee's retirment funds safe and the empoyers properly following the law.  


Susan Miller McGowan, PhD, LMT

Young WOMen

Susan is the coordinator for Discover You: Young Women's Empowerment Journey.

She serves on the Mountain Wisdom Board as the liaison to the girls' camp and has been volunteering with Mountain Wisdom since 2008.


Susan has a PhD in East-West Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, CA.  She worked many years in child and adolescent psych and most enjoyed the time working in the Outdoor Therapeutic Program, a residential treatment center for adolescents in Georgia.  During that time, she witnessed the transformational power of nature in these teen girl's lives.  As a mother of a teen girl (and an aunt to many others) she saw the need to provide a safe place for young girls to connect to nature with the support of adult mentors or wise women.  So, in 2008, she began gathering women and created a camp for the girls.  

The rest of the year, Susan has a private practice where she combines many forms of healing that she has studied from around the world.  She is a mother to an awesome daughter and has a supportive husband.  They share a small farm in West GA where she also facilitates equine therapy sessions for developmentally delayed children.  Her family is active in their local Church as well as a Native American ceremonial group.  Susan brings a wealth of experience from years of research around the world and over 20 years of work as a healer. 

Rachel Shopper is a naturalist, outdoor educator, and poet.  She is a passionate explorer of the many pathways that help us weave a web of regenerative human culture, wherein each of us can bring our gifts to the world in the truest embodiment of ourselves.


Rachel has studied nature connection, mentorship, and primitive skills at the Wilderness Awareness School in Duvall, WA. She is a Kripalu certified yoga instructor, and has also studied permaculture design, shamanic journeywork, nonviolent communication, and various other tools to that lead us back to ourselves and mama earth.  


Rachel currently lives in Asheville, NC, where she teaches for Muddy Sneakers and Forest Floor Wilderness Programs. She is excited to be co-creating a magical experience with so many talented and big-hearted women and giving it as a gift to future generations of powerful women!

Rachel Shopper

Mary Jahntz

Mary Jahntz is fantastic at creating safe and sacred spaces for healing, transformation, and joyful exploration. She is a certified Qi Gong instructor, Chakradance™ facilitator, Reiki master teacher, writer, mindfulness coach, Sacred Childbirth with Reiki™ practitioner, mom, artist, marmalade-maker, and beekeeper. She has been a staff member since 2014 and is overjoyed to have the opportunity to celebrate and support the gathered young women again this year. 

Pascha Solomon has been with Mountain Wisdom since 2016. Pascha is a multi-generational healer, storyteller and teacher whose practice incorporates intuitive healing with traditional wisdom, nature, story and song.  As a strong member of her community, Pascha creates programs, workshops and activities that seek to strengthen relationships and inspire tolerant, mindful communication.  She has worked as a mentor and educational director in San Francisco, Los Angeles and North Carolina. Her programs inspire social responsibility, self-confidence, spiritual growth, team-building, compassionate communication and creativity for students of all ages.  In addition to her private practice, she is currently the after school Theater Arts Director for Woodson Branch Nature School in Marshall, NC and lives in Hot Springs, NC. 

Pascha Solomon


Young Men Photo Gallery

Young Women Photo Gallery

Dr. David Busch, PhD

As a Licensed Psychologist, I have heard nothing but positive responses from the young men whom I have referred to the Mountain Wisdom Camps.  The parents report numerous benefits gleaned from their sons participation.  They are more reflective and considerate of others, willing to help around the house, and have a greater sense of direction in life. 


In my private practice, I serve very few young ladies who see themselves as strong independent young women.  The Girls Camp provides a maturational jump where they come away from the experience with a leap in self-confidence and connectedness with others beyond physical appearances and popularity.  They are more centered and calm from having found themselves, as evolving young women. 


The research into nature-based therapy is substantial and uniformly positive, and  these programs are inexpensive, time-limited, well-organized, and have an excellent, well-trained, staff.  You will not find a better, more professional and caring camp, with so many benefits offered than the Mountain Wisdom Camps.

Jeff Gars, DC, LMSW

The Mountain Wisdom Camp is a “win, win, win” for the adolescent, his or her parents, and the therapist who referred them. The camp is of great benefit to the adolescent who is going through the individuation process of becoming a young adult.  The camp provides an opportunity for the adolescent to be in natural surroundings with the other campers and with adult staff of their gender.


In the camp's nature setting, the campers are not as influenced by peer pressure and have the opportunity to discover their selves in both a leadership and an assisting role. The camp provides for them a chance to spend quality time with their selves and others, to assess their current behaviors, and to ultimately self-evaluate who they are and the direction they seek to go in their immediate future.


I recommend this camp to any adolescent family who seeks to help their child learn respect, grow up, and take on the responsibility of becoming a young adult.

Young man, age 14

“This experience gave me time to think about my life and gave me skills I will remember for the rest of my life.”

Young man, age 13

“I had so much fun and I did not even miss electronics and I want to come back next year.”

Young woman, age 14

“This was an amazing and rare experience where young women came together in friendship and learn to grow from each other, make new friends and blossom into better people.”

Young woman, age 13

“This was the best self-exploratory camp I have ever been to. I loved the experience and can’t wait to go back.” 


Please Help Support

Together we will put a sense of purpose, self-worth and respect back into the hearts and minds of our youth.

Donate Today

Donate today by click the link here


You may also send a check to:

Mountain Wisdom, Inc.

131 Wind Wing Way

Ellijay, GA 30356


Who staffs your camp?

Our staff are volunteers who bring passion, their gifts and life experiences.

All staff are CPR/First-aid certified and must have a criminal back ground check.

All staff participate in our MWI staff mentor training.

Maximum ratio of camper to staff?



What is the cost?

6 days, 5 nights $550


Do you have scholarships?

We offer partial scholarships to those who need financial assistance.  Scholarships are awarded through an application process and are based on availability and on the family’s need.  

We ask for a minimum of $150 per camper.

Can I pay online?

Yes, through our secure Paypal link on our website.

What do they need to bring?

We have a What to bring and not bring list on the website or they can be mailed to you if necessary.

Do they have to bring a tent?

If they have a tent bring it, but it is not necessary.

Do you provide transportation to camp?

Not generally, but we will do our best to help if needed.

Do they have to be experienced in the woods?


Is this a religous camp?

Our camps are not religious, but they are spiritual. We do not promote any specific religious path, but embrace teachings from many paths.

What if my child does not want to participate in an activity?

All our activities and participation are by choice, although we do encourage campers to participate so they have the best possible experience.

Can I talk to my child during the week?

There is no communication between parent and camper during the week, except in an emergency.

An emergency phone number is provided for you to call, and a staff member will deliver the message for you.


Does my child need money during the week?

No.  We prefer that they have no money or any valuables.

Can they bring snacks?

No. Snacks in tent area may attract animals. All snacks and food will be provided.


How do you handle medications?

Camp staff hold and dispense meds. All meds taken by the camper are charted.

How do you handle a medical or weather related emergency?

Minor medical needs will be handled by our trained camp staff. For serious injuries we call 911 or take them to the nearest hospital which we will know where it is before each camp.  We keep up with the weather each day using our cell phones and hand held radios. We have an emergency plan we will follow in case of severe weather.

What is the graduation ceremony?

This is an important part of the campers experience. All family and friends are invited. The young men and women are honored and welcomed back into their family and community as young adults.

You don’t want to miss this.