FAQs

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General & Registration Questions

Snowbird Wilderness Outfitters is a full-service ministry, providing biblical teaching, small group leaders, practical breakout sessions, meals and a plethora of recreational options. From giant swings, zip lines and paintball to mountain biking, whitewater rafting, and hiking, our passion is to share the life-changing message of Jesus Christ. At the core of every ministry endeavor is the expository preaching of Scripture. This is what sets Snowbird apart from other student camps. Our passion is to share the truths of God’s Word and allow the Gospel message to impact lives. Whether our staff is teaching breakout sessions, leading recreation or hanging out in student cabins, our goal is to share the Gospel of Jesus continually and to serve as ministers of the reconciliation He offers us through His life, death, and resurrection.

Snowbird’s Summer Camp and all other student conferences are open to middle and high school students. SWO also offers several adult conferences, including the Be Strong men’s conference, Respond women’s retreat, The Marriage Retreat, etc. Our SMO Missions Camps are for middle and high school students, and the OLD School semester is designed for college-age students from 18-25 years of age.

The required forms for your retreat are listed in your reservation agreement. Each person must have a medical history and liability form filled out completely to be on our property. Forms are also located on the registration page of the SWO website.

Deposits are due upon registration. Please see your reservation agreement for more details.

Individuals are able to attend SWO camps, conferences, and retreats. Please contact the SWO Registration Director with any questions. SWO office phone is (828) 321-2210.

  • If you are attending Snowbird with a group, follow the group itinerary link given to you by your group administrator. If you did not receive the link, please contact your group administrator.
  • If you are attending Snowbird as an individual, please click on the registration tab on the Snowbird website and follow the steps to register for the desired event. If you do not see the event you would like to register for during this process, please contact the Snowbird office at 828-321-2210 to check availability.
  • If you are registering with a group, you must sign out after registering each child/family member and begin by following the itinerary link again. This will ensure they are not registered outside of your group.
  • If you are registering individually, you can choose to register another person after completing each registration.

Call the Snowbird office at 828-321-2210 to add or drop additional spots.

View the “What to Bring” lists

Snowbird Wilderness Outfitters is located in the corner of Western North Carolina, just west of the Smoky Mountains. We are approximately two hours from Chattanooga, TN; Asheville, NC; Knoxville, TN; and Atlanta, GA. Get directions to Snowbird.

The SWO staff will be pursuing relational interaction with your students while they are here, until bedtime. Your chaperones are then responsible for your students. So, group leaders and chaperones will lodge in the same cabin as your students, but the SWO staff utilize separate housing.

There are several area hotels and Bed & Breakfasts in the greater Andrews area. You’ll find a list here of available options and contact information.

Local Hotels

Quality Inn – Andrews, NC – 3.3 miles from SWO
Stonebrook Lodge – Murphy, NC – 15 miles from SWO
Best Western – Murphy, NC – 16 miles from SWO
Hampton Inn – Murphy, NC- 16 miles from SWO
Holiday Inn Express – Murphy, NC – 20 miles from SWO

Cabin Rentals

Fernwood Cottage Suites – Andrews, NC – 3 miles from SWO
Collett Creek Cabins – Andrews, NC – 3 miles from SWO
Mountain Riders Campground – Andrews, NC – 2.5 miles from SWO –
Wicklow Woods Cottage – Andrews, NC – 7 miles from SWO
Cherokee Mountain Cabins – Topton, NC – 18 miles from SWO
VRBO.com
Airbnb.com

Each recreation activity is managed by trained staffers. There is no prior experience needed, as staff will teach your students and facilitate the activities.

The SWO kitchen serves three hot meals a day, with a soup & salad bar offered as an additional option. If there is a specific need, we will do our best to accommodate your needs but might be limited by a large number of attendees. Please contact the SWO office for more detailed information.

Most Snowbird camps and retreats are all-inclusive. There is an extra cost if you wish to purchase additional rounds for shooting recs (paintballs and shotgun/AR-15) that are allotted. Horseback riding (except during summer) and rafting on the Ocoee River are also additional costs to recreation. You may also want to bring money to buy T-shirts, snacks, etc. at the Snack Shack.

Students spend an average of $50 at the Snack Shack during their trip to SWO. None of the products are required, but there are plenty of shirts, hats, water bottles, and snacks available. Check out the Pricing List for more info.

Due to the number of campers we have each week, SWO cannot be responsible for items left at Snowbird, Cataloochee or any other off-campus location. Skateboards, helmets, skis/snowboards, paintball guns, sleeping bags, jewelry, cell phones, cameras and the like will be thrown away or given to the local thrift store. Please read below and inform your group/individual of this policy. It will be strictly enforced.

  • Snowbird is not responsible for any items lost, damaged or stolen while at Snowbird.
  • Do not keep things in black trash bags, they are “at risk” for being considered trash
  • If a participant chooses to bring any of their personal recreation equipment (skateboards, paintball markers, etc), Snowbird is not responsible if they are lost, stolen, or damaged.

You may bring your own paintball guns/materials; they will be checked in upon your arrival. You can not use your paint in Snowbird guns, but you can use personal paint in your own guns, or purchase more while you’re here.

Each participant begins with a full hopper of paint (200 rounds). The cost afterward is $40 for a box of 4 bags (2,000 rounds), $20 for 1 bag (250 rounds), $10 to fill a hopper (200 rounds).

Each participant will receive 8 free rounds on the shotgun.  If they want to continue shooting, the cost afterward is $5 per box.  To shoot the AR-15, there is a required additional cost of $5/10 rounds.

The SWO office is open Monday–Friday (8:30am—12pm, and 1pm—4:30pm). If you are unable to reach someone during an emergency, you can call Spencer Davis at (828) 557-1463.

We do not have a registered nurse on our property, but many SWO staff are certified in first aid and CPR. All medications must be administered by group chaperones. In the event of an emergency, the nearest hospital is located 13 miles from the property.



Missions & Outreach Camp (SMO)

SMO projects may include anything from painting, repairing a roof, cleaning projects and mowing lawns to small construction projects like building a wheelchair ramp or reinforcing a porch. We suggest each group brings one skilled laborer, but this is not a requirement. The Snowbird Missions staff is ready and equipped to run the entire work site.

Yes. We have special customized missions camp weeks that we can schedule during spring and fall breaks. Give us a call to discuss the option that best fits your group!

The cost for one week of Summer Missions camp is per person and includes a materials fee for the work project. This price includes all 5 nights of lodging, 14 meals, 3 workdays, and 1 full day of recreation (rain or shine). One price covers ALL activities and meals your group will participate in from registration on Monday to departure on Saturday.

Yes! SMO participants have the opportunity to take advantage of our on-campus recreation on Friday afternoon during the Summer. If you’re here during the Retreat Season, then please refer to the schedule for Rec time.

No, SMO Missions camp and retreats no longer require a site fee. The materials expense has been combined into the per person camp cost in order to simplify group registration and planning.

On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, your church will need to provide your own vehicles to transport students to and from work sites. We generally travel less than 20 miles from the Snowbird campus, but please contact us if you have any questions about the details.

In one week of SMO summer camp, your group will work on a project for 3 full days. On Friday, your group will go white water rafting and participate in Snowbird recreation.

Each morning you will participate in a smaller group Bible Study (led by SMO missions staff) and attend the larger Snowbird services each evening.

Individuals are able to attend Snowbird camps, conferences, and retreats. Please contact the SWO Registration Director with any questions. SWO office phone is (828) 321-2210.


Winter & Ski Conferences

No, you must provide your own transportation to and from the Cataloochee Ski Area, which is approximately 70 miles to Cataloochee.

Tuition includes everything needed for the weekend — lodging, meals, worship & teaching sessions, and on-campus recreation. As well as a lift ticket and ski/snowboard rentals if you are registered for a “Ski Spot”. Ski Bibs ($10) / Jackets ($10) & Helmets ($7) are also available to rent if needed. This will be done once arriving at Cataloochee Ski Resort. Parents will need to send cash with their students for ski bib/jacket/helmet rental.

Ski/Snowboard Lessons can be added for an additional $12 and must be added within the individual family account. (Steps: 1. Parents will log into their Snowbird Account 2. Click “View Itineraries” 3. Click on the participant’s name. 4. Click “Activities” 5. Select “Ski/Snowboard Lesson” & pay with a card.)

There is a group lodge at Cataloochee that Snowbird has full access to. Students who will not be skiing or snowboarding will be able to stay in the group lodge. They will have the opportunity to see your skiers come down the mountain & ride the ski lift back up, as well as choose between several card/ board games to play, or even watch the sports game that is on! 

If your group has several nonskiers who may wish to stay back at SWO please contact the SWO office to see if arrangements can be made!

Yes, Snowbird will provide dinner. Snacks will also be available for purchase at the resort.

Tuition includes everything needed for the weekend – lodging, meals, worship & teaching sessions, and on-campus recreation. As well as a lift ticket and ski/snowboard rentals if you are registered for a “Ski Spot”. The only additional money participants may wish to have would be to purchase apparel or snacks at our camp store the “Snack Shack”.

There is a group lodge at Cataloochee that Snowbird has full access to. Students who will not be skiing or snowboarding will be able to stay in the group lodge. They will have the opportunity to see your skiers come down the mountain & ride the ski lift back up, as well as choose between several card/ board games to play, or even watch the sports game that is on! 

If your group has several nonskiers who may wish to stay back at SWO please contact the SWO office to see if arrangements can be made!

View & Download: What to Expect on Snowbird Ski Trips to Cataloochee

Check out our What to Bring page to learn all the details for your Winter SWO student retreat.

Check out our Winter SWO page for the most recent schedule updates.

The entire drive is on paved roads. The majority of the drive is on a state-maintained highway. The last 15 minutes of the drive will be going up the mountain to the ski resort. This is a road that large buses including charter buses can go up & down.



Local Lodging

What are some good local lodging options for the Marriage & Women’s Conferences?

There are several area hotels and Bed & Breakfasts in the greater Andrews area. You’ll find a list here of available options and contact information.

Local Hotels

Quality Inn – Andrews, NC – 3.3 miles from SWO
Stonebrook Lodge – Murphy, NC – 15 miles from SWO
Best Western – Murphy, NC – 16 miles from SWO
Hampton Inn – Murphy, NC- 16 miles from SWO
Holiday Inn Express – Murphy, NC – 20 miles from SWO

Cabin Rentals

Fernwood Cottage Suites – Andrews, NC – 3 miles from SWO
Collett Creek Cabins – Andrews, NC – 3 miles from SWO
Mountain Riders Campground – Andrews, NC – 2.5 miles from SWO –
Wicklow Woods Cottage – Andrews, NC – 7 miles from SWO
Cherokee Mountain Cabins – Topton, NC – 18 miles from SWO
VRBO.com
Airbnb.com