The hustle and bustle of Charleston—West Virginia’s capital city—stands in contrast to other more rural towns nestled in the Appalachian Mountains. Charleston is the main corporate center of WV, but many people are also connected to the coal mines and are still greatly influenced by the coal culture of rural West Virginia. The city of Charleston is relatively diverse compared to the rest of West Virginia making it a unique place within the state to experience the challenges and joys of bringing together people from different backgrounds. While the city itself has a more urban feel, the kindness and hospitality of the “locals” remind visitors that the true beauty of the community is in the rich natural resources and relaxed pace of life that characterizes all of West Virginia. In many of the areas you will be working, 1 in every 4 houses is vacant. We are teaming up with several local churches and non-profit organizations to restore these homes to provide affordable housing to low-income families, police officers, firefighters, and school teachers.
During a week in Charleston, you and your youth will have the opportunity to learn firsthand about the people, history, and culture of this city, the state of West Virginia, and the long and storied coal mining industry that marks this area. Serve and build relationships with a variety of people in Charleston through the Orchard Manor Housing Complex, Union Mission, Covenant House, and local food banks. Over the years many of the larger chemical plants have left and the coal business is at an all time low. This is has left the Charleston area in great need. Many of the communities you will work in have families in need of home repair. There is a large Sr. Adults population that can really use our help on the Westside and East End of Charleston. Handicap Ramps, Painting, Bathroom and Kitchen Remodeling, Windows Winterized and just some plan old yard work and sprucing up around their homes. The public housing area is wide open for VBS and Sports Camps. Come and join us in a great week end service in this awesome city.
At the conclusion of your mission project you may choose to add a white water rafting trip on your free day. Only 50 miles away are some of the best white water trips in America. See the fantastic recreation options to make some additional memories on your trip. Prices listed with activities are an addition to the per-person trip price, quoted above.
You’ll soar from tree to tree over rugged terrain through a 300-year old hemlock and hardwoods forest via 8 zip lines and five sky bridges, giving you a bird’s eye view of the native wildlife and natural flora in Mill Creek Canyons. This is a 2.5 to 3 hour activity. Must be between 90 – 260 pounds.
This nearly 1.5-mile tour zigzags across the ridgeline of a mountain bowl at dizzying heights of up to 190 feet and speeds reaching 60mph! If you’re ready to go further, higher and faster, then Gravity Zip Lines is calling your name. This is a 2.5 to 3 hour activity. Must be between 100 – 260 pounds.
Miles of steel cable and countless board feet of lumber comprise five courses of varying difficulty which are up to 50 feet in the air and rated like ski slopes. You’ll get 2-3 hours to conquer the toughest courses or to master your favorites. This adventure is self-guided, but our two-clip system keeps you secured to the guide cable at all times. This is a 2 – 2.5 hour activity and you must be under 260 pounds.
Our Rapid Run is the classic Lower New River trip, but with no lunch and no frills. We’ll get you on for this 1/2-day express trip and back to Adventures On the Gorge with plenty of daylight left for your drive. This is a 3 – 3.5 hour trip.
The Lower New River trip’s intensity depends on the season, with this classic run hitting its stride around mid-June. You’ll find big water in summer and fall with intermittent long, calm pools for swimming and floating. Fall brings explosive color to the New River Gorge, and Bridge Day adds one more odd element: base jumpers flipping into the blue sky above as you float under the 876′ tall New River Gorge Bridge. Lunch is served on this trip. This is a 4 – 6 hour trip.
Charleston is home for Mike and Kelly, and it has a special place in our hearts. Mission Academy has been serving in Charleston since 2002, and we have partnered with many of our service partners consistently since then. They eagerly await the arrival of Mission Academy staff and participants each summer and eagerly want to share everything that is Charleston with them.