Camp Jeep®, one of the nation's vehicle ownership gatherings, returns to Charlottesville, Va. for the ninth year of the program. Camp Jeep 2003 will be held at the Oak Ridge Estate in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Nelson County, Va., Thursday, June 26 -- Saturday, June 28. This year, nearly 10,000 participants are expected to attend Camp Jeep. "Camp Jeep is arguably one of the world's greatest owner celebrations," said Jeff Bell, vice president, Jeep. "It's something that only Jeep would do. Families come from all over the world to celebrate the Jeep spirit and what it stands for." Of the more than 150 activities available at Camp Jeep, the company says one of the highlights of the event is the Jeep 101 courses, designed to teach attendees basic off-highway driving and safety skills, and to demonstrate capabilities of the Jeep Liberty, Grand Cherokee and Wrangler. Participants are paired with experienced guides as they negotiate steep downhill grades and encounter large rocks, log-crossings, sand and other off-highway obstacles. Once they have experienced the Jeep vehicle's capabilities, they can navigate various levels of 4x4 trails in their own Jeep vehicles. The company says another highlight of Camp Jeep is the Rubicon Challenge Course. This course lets attendees handle the most capable off-road Jeep vehicle yet produced: the 2003 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. Participants can get behind the wheel and experience the extreme on the Tomb Raider-themed Rubicon Challenge Course, complete with moguls, logs and a challenging rock hill. After completing the course, attendees can step inside the Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life mobile cave for a sneak peek at the custom-built Jeep Wrangler Rubicon as well as costumes, props and exclusive footage from the movie. Jeep owners also can visit the Engineering Village and participate in roundtable discussions with Jeep engineers and other guests to learn more about what distinguishes a Jeep brand vehicle from any other four-wheel drive vehicle in the world. Other activities include hiking, kayaking, scuba diving, a climbing wall, outdoor survival skills training, fly casting, children's activities, photography classes, outdoor grilling school and numerous arts and crafts projects for the entire family. Additionally, the Thrills and Spills Zone features extreme sports activities including skateboarding, biking, BMX and a snowboarding trampoline. Professional, Olympic-caliber athletes, such as Brian Patch, Jen O'Brien, Chris Gentry, Mike King and Sergie Ventura, will be on hand for live demonstrations. Accoridng to the company, each day Camp Jeep will commence with special opening ceremonies featuring local individuals and organizations from Nelson County, Va. The three-day extravaganza will also feature two live outdoor concerts. To kick-off the event, Thursday evening's kick-off activities will include performances from Alice Peacock, Justincase and The Rising. On Saturday, Smash Mouth will headline the grand finale "Jeep Jubilee" concert with a fireworks finale. Camp Jeep is one of several owner-loyalty programs created by the Jeep division. Jeep Jamborees, which began in the 1950s, are the original off-highway vacation. From the Maine Mountains to the famed Rubicon Trail, approximately 7,000 owners participate in the more than 30 Jamborees held each year. The excellent response to Camp Jeep led to the spin-off of Jeep 101, says the company. Jeep 101 driving courses are offered in cities across the nation to provide owners and prospective owners basic skills of safe, yet adventurous off-road driving. From 1995 to 1998, Camp Jeep was held in Camp Hale, Colo. From 1999 to 2001, Camp Jeep was located at Oak Ridge Estate in Nelson County, Va. In 2002, Camp Jeep was held at the White's Bar W Ranch near Branson, Mo. To date, approximately 55,000 people from 48 states have attended Camp Jeep. The event has sold out each year, according to the company. People can visit the Jeep website to find more information about Camp Jeep on the web at (enter keyword campjeep) or call 1-800-789-JEEP. Registration fees are $325 per Jeep vehicle for participation in all Camp Jeep activities.