Retreat Frequently Asked Questions
What are the grounds like?
Set in the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains, we want you to feel at home while on our Base Camp. The elegantly rustic Main Lodge, Sly Lodge, and Sneaky Cabin are fully heated and air conditioned log-cabin style buildings for lodging with full, twin, and bunked beds. The Office & Base Camp Store are located in the same Administration building for convenient check-in and picking up forgotten travel essentials and souvenirs. The Bathhouse is centrally located for camping groups. A large open air pavilion and a gazebo on the pond provide great shelter while still enjoying the natural beauty of our Base Camp. Beyond the facilities on Main Base Camp the rest of our property features 2 ponds, hiking trails surrounded by acres of wilderness, the Bluff Overlook, scenic mountain views, large open fields, and access to Craig's Creek. Our on-site adventures include our 900' Zip Line, 50' Climbing Wall and Rappel Tower, Dangling Duo, High Ropes Adventure Course, and two separate Low Element Challenge Courses.
For photos of our lodges, natural surroundings as well as challenge course facilities, please see our photo galleries.
What are the meeting spaces like?
Our Main Lodge's Main Dining Room can accommodate about 75 people for a large meeting-space outside of meal times. The Main Lodge also has three smaller rooms that can be used for small-group meeting spaces (10-20 people). The Sly Lodge has a large common room that can be setup for meetings for a group of about 15 people.
Don't be afraid to meet outdoors either! Our Large Open Air Pavilion can accommodate approximately 100, the Gazebo on the pond can hold about 15 and our numerous fields can be used for groups of all sizes. We also rent large outdoor tents for groups needing separate spaces for large meetings and meals.
A variety of meeting equipment is provided with your reservation, upon request: easels, projector, PA system, poster paper & markers. If you have a specific equipment request, please check with our staff in advance to ensure we are able to accommodate.
What is your food service like?
For groups of 8 people or more, our kitchen staff takes great pride in providing our guests with high-quality, healthy, freshly prepared meals. We aren't able to provide a set menu to you, however, to give you an idea of what our home-style buffets may offer:
Breakfasts will have a main dish with protein, and sides. Options can include items like Eggs, Bacon, Pancakes, or French Toast with fruit, yogurt, cereal, and often fresh baked bread or muffins.
Lunches will have a main dish, vegetarian option if necessary, a tossed salad, and sides. Options can include items like hamburgers and hot dogs, lasagna, tacos, chicken nuggets, with baked beans, vegetable medleys, potato or pasta salads and often a selection of two or more salad dressings.
Dinners will have a main dish, vegetarian option if necessary, a tossed salad, two side dishes and dessert. Options can include items like spaghetti and meatballs, grilled chicken, meatloaf, with steamed broccoli, mashed potatoes, dinner rolls, and brownies, cookies, or cake.
For corporate groups and events looking for a more sophisticated menu, ask about our gourmet offerings.
As far as mealtimes are concerned, we will work with you during your reservation process to set a schedule that both suits your goals and our kitchen staff's needs.
Are you able to accommodate dietary restrictions & food allergies?
We are experienced with an array of dietary restrictions and food allergies. We do require notification of any allergies/dietary restrictions 2 weeks prior to your visit in order to ensure our kitchen's ability to provide alternatives. Unfortunately, if we do not have that information in advance, we cannot guarantee our ability to provide alternative meals. If you have any questions or concern about a particular specification, please feel free to contact us.
What is there to do in down-time?
Our main base camp is home to large fields, sand volleyball, horseshoes, and a Frisbee golf course! We have Corn Hole, Lumberjack Jenga, and equipment for field games (balls, soccer goals, etc.). Our pond is open for free swimming and canoeing (chaperones for minors and PFDs required), as well as fishing (bring your own poles). Our 500 acre property also offers miles of hiking trails and beautiful views of the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains. We also have a sauna for use upon request for adult groups.
Will we have a host?
Yes! Any group (8+) will have a Head Leader or Host to assist them throughout their stay. We also have 1 staff member on-duty each day (and overnight) to be available in case of emergency. Your Head Leader will make sure your schedule is running smoothly and that all activity groups are adequately prepared. Your Head Leader will also take release forms & final payment for your group retreat upon arrival.
How does the reservation process work & how do I secure a date?
First, contact us by calling our office at 540-864-6792 or by filling out our Pricing Request Form. One of our Group Program Coordinators will provide you with a pricing proposal based on the information in your Pricing Request Form. You're given the option to change your activities, lodging, meal plans, minimum number, and dates for as many revisions of this proposal as necessary. Once all details of the proposal and pricing have been agreed upon, send us your 30% non-refundable deposit to finalize your reservation and secure your dates. We will send you our Reservation Agreement and Pre-arrival Package (all the release forms, driving directions, and packing lists). Final payment is required upon group arrival. Payment for the deposit can be made via check or credit card (additional 3% processing fee required for cards).
Are you open year-round?
Yes! We are available for group retreats all year-round, including the summer and winter. Our seasons each have a somewhat unique focus: In the Winter we host holiday parties, bed & breakfast getaways, wine & dines and craft beer tastings; in the Spring we host all kinds of school group spring break retreats as well as a French Canadian cycling program; In the Summer we run our Adventure Camp; and in the fall we host a lot of college and school programs. However, we often have availability for new groups of all types-just give us a call to find out the best dates for your group! We offer discounted group rates during our non-peak season (July & November—March).
What is there to do in the local area?
So much, we're glad you asked! Our closest big city is Roanoke. About 45 minutes away, Roanoke is an awesome up-and-coming town full of local restaurants, museums of the historic railroad and modern art, and many other festivals, events, and attractions. There are movie theaters, shopping malls, a bowling alley and an awesome climbing gym (River Rock in Wasena). The Blue Ridge Parkway runs through Roanoke, and the Roanoke River Greenway is an excellent way to see the city (bike rentals available at Roanoke Mountain Adventures!) Within several miles drive of WAEL you'll also find great single-track bike riding at Carvin's Cove, and classically beautiful hikes on the Appalachian Trail like those to Dragon's Tooth and McAfee's Knob!
Is there access to refrigeration?
All guests in our lodging will have access to refrigeration. Sly Lodge has a full fridge, Sneaky Cabin has a mini-fridge, and the Main Lodge has a mini-fridge. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide refrigeration for camping groups.
What is your alcohol policy?
For adult groups staying overnight, we may have beer & wine available for purchase during meals (upon pre-arrival request). At certain times, you're welcome to bring your own, as well. Alcohol use is not permitted during any WAEL adventure activities.
What is your pet policy?
Pets must be well-behaved and well-trained and we require a $15 pet fee be paid for any pet staying in our lodges. Pets may need to be leashed/restrained either after problematic behavior or at the request of another guest. We reserve the right to have you to remove your pet entirely if necessary.
Is there access to laundry?
While we do not have laundry facilities accessible for guests, there is a laundromat in New Castle (about 10 minutes away) and we are willing to provide assistance in an emergency situation.
Will I have access to wifi/cell service/TV, etc.
We're called Wilderness Adventure for a reason! Our facility receives extremely limited cell reception and while our lodges have WiFi capabilities, there is no high-speed service available in our area. Prepare to have limited internet usage (ie, no video streaming, photo downloading, etc.) Our Main Lodge does have satellite TV for groups wishing to use it. Sly Lodge and Sneaky Cabin have televisions and DVD players, but do not have cable/satellite access.
What should I pack?
You will be provided an appropriate packing suggestions list as part of your Registration Package. Depending on where you're staying/what you're doing and the season you'll need to adjust for the conditions, but we do suggest water-resistant layers and comfortable shoes for any of our day groups and those doing adventure activities. And of course you're going to want your camera!
Are your facilities wheelchair accessible?
The following facilities are wheelchair accessible: Sly Lodge, the Main Lodge, Bathhouse, Gazebo, and Pavilion.
Will my group be the only group there?
You will be the only group in your particular building. If you have requested exclusive use of our facilities (at an additional cost), you will be the only group here during your stay. If you have not selected this option, you may or may not be the only group on property. Please check with your Group Program Coordinator if you have concerns about this.
Do I need to make reservations?
Yes! We love having visitors, but do require reservations for all groups, large or small in order to ensure that we will have staff available to host you. All reservations are based on availability, and at least 24 hours notice is required, but the earlier you can make a reservation, the greater the likelihood of availability!