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Agapé Center for Environmental
"Awareness is becoming acquainted with environment,
no matter where one happens to be."
Sigurd Olson


ACE Education is the Agapé Center for Environmental Education, a carefully developed and integrated program designed to meet the goals for science set forth by the NC Department of Public Instruction. ACE Education is a creative way to meet NC Standard Course of Study Requirements.

ACE Education experiences make use of experiential learning -- proven to be the most effective method of education. Activities include those developed by our Environmental Educator, as well as others from Project WILD, Project WET, Project Learning Tree, OBIS, NC Catch, and other nationally known environmental education curricula.

Contact Information:
ACE Ed Director
Mir Youngquist-Thurow

  • Grades

  • Home School & Track Outs
  • Adults and Educator Workshops
  • Curriculum


Field Trips ladybug

A field trip means a full day of engaging hands-on activities at beautiful Camp Agapé for your students based on the NC Standard Course of Study. 

Prior to arrival:

  • Make your reservation. Call or e-mail early to get your
    preferred dates.
  • Plan your day according to your classroom needs by choosing
    from the myriad of topics listed in the curriculum. You choose
    the topics, we’ll build your schedule. We make it easy for YOU! 
  • How long?  We work around your bus schedule. The rate per
    student is for programs of up to five hours duration. Longer
    programming is available at an additional fee.

  • Have your students divided into their activity groups and
    provide them with nametags prior to arrival at Agape, and
    then we’ll do the rest!  

  • We require a minimum of one adult from your school to
    accompany each activity group (maximum of three is
    recommended). Activity groups are 12-17 students. Your
    adult chaperones and teachers help by keeping the children
    focused while we teach the lessons.

  • We can handle 90-100 students per day.  

Arriving at Agape: 

  • When you arrive, you’ll be greeted at the bus loop in front
    of the spacious open-air picnic shelter area of the
    Woodlands Center. After a brief introduction, we’ll get busy
    with our day!  

  • Enjoy your picnic lunch or arrange for our food service to
    provide your meal.    

What about rain? We try to stay outdoors as much as possible,
even in the rain, as long as it is safe and the children are prepared.  After all, rain is part of nature and we can learn some interesting things in the rain, too!  

Take advantage of this quality experience at a nearby location, thus reducing travel costs. 

You DON’T want to miss out on this great educational opportunity!      Call soon to avoid disappointment.

ACE At Your Place ladybug

The Agapé Center for Environmental Education is pleased to
provide “ACE at Your Place,” an outreach of the popular ACE Education program at Camp Agapé near Fuquay-Varina.

ACE at Your Place is designed to bring safe and interactive
activities to the K-5 classroom. The K-2 program includes two of
three topics: “Snakes Alive!,” “Nature Mystery Bag,” and “Who’s Home?” The 3-5 program explores “Who’s Home?” at a more in
depth level.

Snakes Alive!
Meet Ashley and Waldo of Agapé, our resident corn snakes. Ashley has been an official spokes-snake since 1997. Their mission is to promote knowledge and dispel myths about legless reptiles. After learning all about North Carolina snakes (and other reptiles),
anyone who would like to touch or hold one of the snakes will have an opportunity to do so. Photographs are allowed, but no autographs will be given (for obvious reasons).

Nature Mystery Bag
WHAT is that? Using special tools brought by each child (senses of touch and sight) we’ll explore many items from nature hidden in the “Nature Mystery Bag.” We’ll discover some interesting facts about each mystery item.

Who’s Home?
Everybody needs a home; especially animals. Students will explore the needs of habitat through hands-on discovery. Younger grades will participate in a simulated activity where they search, as an animal, for their essential habitat needs in order to survive. Older grades will focus more on animal and habitat interrelationships.

Overnights ladybug

Spend a night (or two) at beautiful Camp Agapé!

Bring your K-8 students out to explore our 624 acres of rolling woods, hills, streams, pond, flora and fauna. Choose from an extensive list of topics based on NC Standard Course of Study and watch your students soak in the information as they enjoy learning
in a beautiful outdoor setting. Hike trails, play games, sing-a-long
at a campfire! Agapé environmental education staff provides programming from your arrival until dinner time, and again in the morning until the next day’s dinner or departure. Overnight accommodations are in our spacious Lodge and include carpeted suites with AC/heat, showers, and semi-private rooms. All meals
are prepared by our on-site chef. Call now to reserve your space! Available dates on weekdays February through mid-May, and
August through November.

Spaces are limited!

Saturday Safaris ladybug

Bring your youth group or a group of friends and family (minimum of 10 participants) out on a selected Saturday for a fun-filled day exploring part of God's creation up close and personal. Dress appropriately for current weather conditions and outdoor activity. Cost is $8.00 per person and pre-registration is required; so hurry and reserve your space! Schedule of safaris are listed below.

Safari schedule!

January 28, 2012 - Choose your Topic 
Bring your youth group or gather several families!  With a minimum
of 10 participants, YOU can choose the topic for this Safari from the following list:

History Trail
Nature by Night  
Outdoor Survival Skills 
Winter Tree ID

Time: 9:30 a.m. - Noon  
EXCEPT “Night” which is 6:30 p.m.- 8:30 or 9:00 p.m

Registration deadline: January 25

February 18, 2012 - Choose your Topic 
Bring your youth group or gather several families!  With a minimum
of 10 participants, YOU can choose the topic for this Safari from the following list:

History Trail
Nature by Night  
Outdoor Survival Skills 
Parker’s Creek
Amphibian Adventure  
Spring Surprises
Winter Tree ID

Time: 9:30 a.m. - Noon  
EXCEPT “Night” which is 6:30 p.m.- 8:30 or 9:00 p.m

Registration deadline: February 15

March 24, Frog Festival FULL
It’s time for the annual amphibian concert series. Spring peepers! Chorus frogs! American toads! And more! Learn to identify the ”instruments” in the amphibian orchestra, and then make some frog instruments of your own to take home.

Time: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. with the option to stay later.
Registration deadline: March 21

Cost: $8.00/person
Pre-registration is required – Limited to 24

For a complete list of Saturday Safari topics click here.

For even more information please call Mir at 919.552.9421
or e-mail her at:


Hike-a-thon & Basket Raffle! ladybug


On November 10, hikers of all ages will gather bright and early for a fun day of hiking at Camp Agapé.

Agape pond

The fall foliage is spectacular at that time of year! With 15 trail loops totaling 20 miles, there will be plenty of it to see!


Don't worry about getting hungry. There will be coffee, hot apple cider, juice, bagels and donuts to get you started. There will also be bottled water and snacks on the trails, and a delicious lunch served after your morning walk.

basket raffle

As if that weren't enough . . . you'll want to check out the Agapé basket raffle. For $1 a ticket you will have a chance to win a theme basket of your choice. There's something for everyone! Go to
our facebook page to preview a few of the basket items!

To participate in this great event, contact the Agapé main office at 919.552.9421 or download a registration form here. Raise just $25 in donations and receive a free T-shirt! For group leaders, check
out the Hike-a-thon packet for even more helpful information!

Be a Trail Sponsor!
Individuals and/or businesses donating $50.00 or more are considered “trail sponsors.” Trail sponsors receive a free T-shirt,
and have their name listed in the program and also on a trail sign.

All info must be received by 10/28/2011 for name to be printed on signs and in program.

All money raised at this event will be used for the ACE Ed program - Agapé's Environmental Education program.



ACE Ed-Ventures

ACE Education is excited to offer “ACE Ed-Ventures,” a special opportunity for home school groups, track outs, and families featuring special topics for children K-12.

It’s a whole new way to go! All activities are aligned with the NC Standard Course of Study. Grades 6-12 may choose to focus on topics set forth by the Science Olympiad or Envirothon. We are in a position to customize your experience according to your curriculum needs.

The Agapé Center for Environmental Education (ACE Education), located about 10 miles SW of Fuquay-Varina in Harnett County on the Cape Fear River.

When are the “ACE Ed-Ventures” events?
ACE Ed-Venture excursions may be scheduled February-May, September-November.

We work around your schedule. The typical timeframe is 9:00-1:00 or 10:00-2:00. Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy during your visit.

How much does it cost?
•For groups of 10 or more, $8.75/student/event (adult required – no charge). $25.00 family maximum.
For groups less than 10, $11.00/student/event (adult required – no charge). $32.00 family maximum.
•Balance due at or before event.

How do we sign up?
Call 919-552-9421 or e-mail:

Is there a minimum number of participants?
Yes. In order to offer any program, the minimum is 10 paying participants. Join with other home schoolers for a fun day at Agapé!

Is there a place for younger or non-participating siblings?
Yes – adult supervision is required and must be provided by the home school group.

Choose from the list of topics below as a planning springboard:
Endangered and Threatened Species
Environmental Values
Food Chain/Web
Geology/Land Forms
Local History
Native Americans
Nature Center
Pond Life
Pond Microlife
Seasonal Changes
Stream Life
Survival Skills (grades 2 & up)
Swamp (grades 4 & up)
Water Quality
Weather (grades K-2)
World Population (grades 4 & up)

Under construction


Curriculum ladybug

Teachers and students may choose the prepared ACE Education program, or use the list below as a planning springboard:

Adaptation Birds Constellations
Ecosystems Environmental Values Food Web/
Food Chain
Forests Geology Habitat
Insects/Invertebrates Marsh/Swamp Native Americans
Plants Pond Predator/Prey
Reptiles Seasons Sensory
Settlers/Pioneers Soil Stream
Survival Skills Trees Water Quality
Weather Wildlife  

Click here for more detailed information on these topics  and age-appropriate activities that can be included in each program.

Staff ladybug

Teacher/Student Ratio:
Many things in the environment are best experienced in small groups. For that reason, we have activity groups ranging in size from 10-15 students per instructor.

Eager staff ready to serve:
The environmental education staff is led by our Environmental Education Director, Mir Youngquist-Thurow, who holds a B.A. in Biology, a Masters Degree in Environmental Education, and is a North Carolina Certified Environmental Educator.

Because we value your children:
Agapé adheres to the highest standards of safety and excellence in programming.

Location ladybug

Wherever you are located, contracted groups receive detailed directions to Camp Agapé with the contract materials we send out.

Reminder: please do not use Mapquest or other online mapping services to get to Agapé, as they have proven unreliable, getting people lost or adding over 1/2 hour to travel times.

Camp Agapé is owned by the North Carolina Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.