About Buffalo Cove

In 2001, a generous donation from Rob and Nancy Hector, to the CHARLEE Foundation, allowed the purchase of our 200 acre valley and the construction of the facility. Allan and Scottie Baker, friends from a family residing in the area for over a hundred years, further donated 16 adjacent acres to the facility. With hard work and help from many hands, Buffalo Cove Outdoor Education Center was built and had its first programs in the spring of 2003.

History of the Land

The Buffalo Cove valley sits in the gray area between the defined territories of the great American Indian Nations of the Cherokee and Catawba. There is evidence all around of these two great cultures. In the mid 1700s, Daniel Boone began to take long hunts over the Blue Ridge Mountains in search of deer to supply the demand from Britain’s deer hide market. At the time, Daniel’s home was in the upper Yadkin River Valley (somewhere around Wilkesboro, NC). He followed the Yadkin River upstream and through a cove where he would commonly see woodland buffalo (now extinct), and then up into modern day Boone, NC. Buffalo Cove is located in the area where Boone crossed paths with wild woodland buffalo.

Program Philosophy

ridge view“I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand!”

Buffalo Cove Programs are experiential by design, learning by doing. We get dirty, we get wet, we get scratches, we get frustrated, we get excited, and we gain so much understanding. We love our experiences, even though some are hard at times, because we realize the knowledge that they bring us.

RESPECT: Yourself, Others and the Natural World. At camp, participants become part of a community where respect is always emphasized. It is tied into every lesson and part of our daily life.

time aloneCOMMUNITY is a major focus. Campers learn what it means to be a positive and responsible member of a community. For example, campers are responsible for chores like maintaining the camp garden, helping clean up after meals and helping maintain camp grounds. Everyone pitches in to make Buffalo Cove a healthy, supportive and safe space. By taking an active role in keeping camp a beautiful place, participants come to respect their home at camp and gain a sense of prideful ownership.

BCOEC maintains a low camper-to-staff ratio to ensure safety and maximum learning potential. Part of our philosophy is that each child deserves special attention, and as a staff we are always interacting with campers at the ground level. We are all part of the same community.

Healthy minds are made through healthy living. This means eating well, physical activity and positive peer interctions. All of this is faciliated through daily camp life.

Food Philosophy

Ahh food . . . food is good ...no, GREAT! Food keeps our bodies going and growing – and our minds sharp. Food brings us together with new found friends and those dearest to us. Food can be so much more than just calories: it is medicinal, spiritual, cultural, traditional, artistic, delicious and downright fun!

These are elements we attempt to achieve as a high priority here at Buffalo Cove. It all begins with quality. We apply our cornerstones –“Respect ourselves, our community and the land around us” – directly to our menu to insure this quality. We prioritize buying “local” first, followed by organic and natural. Homemade is our trend (if at all possible) using the freshest, ripest, most fantastically delicious fruits, veggies, eggs, meats and dairy products available. In this way, we greatly limit fuel exhaustion, pollution of the planet, degradation of produce and mistreatment of animals. Most importantly, we feed our community very well!

Some menu items commonly seen in the Buffalo Cove dining hall:


  • Pancakes and eggs with 100% pure maple syrup
  • Cinnamon raisin sourdough French toast
  • Mushroom and local grass‐fed beef gravy on biscuits
  • Homemade granola and yogurt


  • Bean burritos with fresh veggies and homemade toppings (i.e. salsa, guacamole, hot sauces)
  • BBQ tempeh grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup
  • Falafel and flat bread
  • Thai p‐nut noodles


  • Pizza
  • Spaghetti and bread sticks with chicken and eggplant parmesan or meatballs
  • Chili and cornbread
  • Enchiladas
  • Shepherd’s pie
  • Ginger tamari tempeh stir fry with roasted red pepper and cream cheese wantons

Hector Hollow

We are a non-profit wilderness camp located in the foothills of the Southern Appalachians in North Carolina, dedicated to helping children discover and connect with the natural world. Get Details on Our Programs Read News and Updates