Aerie Experiences

Play with a Purpose

Primary Contacts and Staffing

Matthew D. Weneta, M.Ed.
Owner, Director Aerie Experiences

Maggie Shay, BS

Program Director

George Appenzeller LCSW, LAPSW, LPC

Llama Guide

Mission Statement and History


Help children, individuals and families develop the skills needed to meet developmental milestones and life’s transitions.

Cultivate non-traditional learners through the prescriptive use of play, therapeutic wilderness, adventure based counseling and educational programming

Provide strength-based approaches to coping with specific learning differences, emotional or behavioral challenges.

Support an integrated, multi-module, multi-disciplinary approach to individual, family and group development and growth through partnering with relevant practitioners and organizations.

Possess an unwavering commitment to developing relationships and incorporating best practices.


Aerie Experiences was founded in 2011 by Matthew Weneta. He teamed up with leaders in disability service from the psychology, therapy, and teaching fields to create exciting experiential learning programs in the outdoors. He thought that youth summer camp brought out the best in him, so he wanted to bring the experiences of growth and confidence to his clients. He also wanted year-round opportunities to get kids outside to play, grow, and learn about nature. He believes that non-traditional learners make great progress in non-traditional settings.


Developmental wilderness & outdoor programs for children, teens and families with special needs. Programs include summer camps, experiential social skills, custom school groups for special needs & traditional schools (and more).

Summer Expedition Camps
Prescriptive developmental wilderness and camp programming

Experiential Social Skills
Children’s group comprised of: Adventure Based Counseling, Expressive Arts, Therapeutic Recreation, and social integration with peer group

Experiential Family Weekends
Programming focused on identifying and applying family strengths and roles, defining family goals and values, assessing family communication habits

Wilderness/ Camp Based Respite Weekends
Child focused respite weekend experiences

Customized Family Experiences
Prescriptive wilderness, adventure, camp and equine programming

Experiential School and Organizational Groups
Partnership programs delivering: Adventure Based Counseling, Ropes Courses, Experiential Education, Equine Assisted Learning, Expressive Arts, Wilderness Therapy

Property and Resources

Aerie Experiences is based just north of Atlanta, and serves children and families from across the Southeastern United States. Summer camp expeditions take place in Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee. Teen Respite Weekends and Family Weekends take place in Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee.

Horse Ranch Adventure Camp

The Horse Ranch Adventure Camp is held on Cedar Creek Cattle Ranch in Tennessee. Horses and cattle live on the ranch. It's over 300 acres of land that features natural bridges and rock formations located on the Cumberland Plateau.

Llama Adventure Base Camp

The Llama Adventure Base Camp is located in Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina. This area is available through a grant from Challenge Adventures and requires special use permits.

Coastal Expedition and Camp

The Coastal Expedition and Camp is located on Sapelo Island in Georgia. There are forested uplands and salt marshes, along with beach and dunes systems. There is also a tidal marsh and protected inlet area nearby.

Paddle Trek Expedition

The Paddle Trek Expedition is located in lakes in Georgia and South Carolina. The trip begins on a flat water river and moves into white water rapids. The finalized course is determined by group skill, physical ability and river flows and conditions at the time of the expedition.

High Adventure Expedition

The High Adventure Expedition is located in North Georgia. Specifically in the mountains and lakes or rivers. The finalized route is determined by group skill, physical ability and river flows and conditions at the time of the expedition.