Go beyond the city limits with Open Air Academy! 

Leadership development though outdoor-based adventures and servant leadership. 

Open Air Academy seeks to positively impact teen's lives through fun and creative outdoor experiences. Teens ages 12-14 and 15-17 engage in daily activities that range from a wide array of outdoor recreation opportunities, interactive outdoor or environmental education initiatives, and leadership development through service learning projects. 

Campers participate in weekly outdoor skills development and personal growth initiatives with an overnight camping component on Thursday night to Friday, that builds upon the skills learned and implements a service learning project onsite. 

2019 Open Air Academy Weekly Opportunities

  • June 3-7: Ripples to Rapids
    Canoe, kayak and stand-up paddle board basics on the Tennessee River. 
  • June 10-14: One High. One Hundred Long.
    Ground cycling and hiking through greater Chattanooga's most breathtaking trails. 
  • June 17-21: Climbs and Caves
    Our hometown area is known for its climbing and spelunking and this week will get you ready to enjoy many of the cliffs and caves of Tennessee. Learn the basics of caving and climbing safety at an indoor rock climbing gym, explore some of our local climbing hotspots, and end the week with a two-day caving expedition you will never forget.
  • June 24-28: Through the Lens: Culture and Nature
    Exploer portrait photography, urban spaces and underwater photography. 
  • July 1-3: Roller Coaster Experts
    Ride every roller coaster in the area - including Dollywood and Six Flags in Atlanta! Learn the basics of how roller coasters work and even design your own. 
  • July 8-12: Outdoor Obstacles
    Courses and Adventures: A week-long physical and mental crash course in how to approach obstacles - from physical skills tests by a gymnast, to problem solving skills. 
  • July 15-19: Surviving the Apocalypse
    A fun role-playing approach to problem solving, creativity, and survival skills. Build a fire? Build a shelter? How do you communicate with people across distances without cell phones? 
  • July 22-26: The Life tha Surrounds You
    Learn about the biodiversity and wonder in our local wilderness, including a snorkeling adventure in the Consauga River. 
  • July 29-Aug. 2: No Fear of Heights
    If you have no fear of heights, a tour of the city's rooftops, rappelling, zip-lining and hang-gliding shouldn't be a problem. 

    Register NOW Online

    Download Registration & Health Form and submit via instructions below*

*Upon completion, mail to:
J.A. Henry Community YMCA
Attn: Joseph Boswell
615 Derby Street
Chattanooga, TN 37404

OR scan and email form to jboswell@ymcachattanooga.org or fax to 423-226-7328.