6 Summer Camps We Wish Existed When We Were 10
Lanyards and canoeing? Snooze. Today’s summer camps have evolved way beyond splashing in a lake and singing kumbaya around a campfire. Nowadays, kids can learn to code, care for animals on a farm and even swim with sharks if that’s their thing. Here, the six coolest in the US of A.
Me to We Take Action Camp
Age range: 9 to 18
Duration: One week
Based in Ontario and Arizona, this leadership-focused sleepaway camp teaches kids how to build up their confidence, follow their passions and be a positive influence for other future leaders as well. There are service activities aimed to help the surrounding communities (like maintaining a public garden and distributing meals with a local food bank) and guided discussions on social issues around the world.
Rain City Rock Camp for Girls
Age range: 8 to 17
Duration: One week
Give your aspiring musician a chance to further hone her skills with this Portland-based crash course in songwriting, playing an instrument and general empowerment. Musicians of all skill levels (even those who have never played before) are welcome to choose either guitar, bass, drums or vocals and then form bands for the final performance.
Age range: 8 to 15
Duration: Sessions range from one to four weeks
Give your kids a taste of the simple life at this working farm camp located just north of San Francisco. Here, they’ll learn the benefits of farm-to-table sourcing, what it’s like to manage food and livestock for a living and agricultural basics like milking cows and tending horses. Of course it’s not all work—there’s also horseback riding, archery and square dancing. Bonus: The camp offers a sibling discount so the whole brood can get in on the fun.
Age range: 6 to 18
Duration: Sessions range from two-day weekends to one week
Foster your mini Steve Jobs’s tech savvy with a stay at coding camp. iD Tech runs programs at more than 150 college campuses across the country, meaning there is bound to be one near your hometown. Here, your little one can develop base-level tech skills (like how to program with Python and Java) or take more advanced courses like video game design, animation and 3-D printing. She can even build her very own Wall-E-inspired robot to take home at the end of the summer.
Age range: 5 to 18
Duration: Sessions range from one day to two weeks
Give your kids free rein to try acrobatic flips at this camp in Vermont where professional circus performers run the show. Days are spent on tightropes, doing aerial flips and honing the art of slapstick comedy. Evenings consist of camp-wide scavenger hunts and pies in the face.
Broadreach Shark Studies Camp
Age range: 15 and up
Duration: 24 days
Calling all Jaws fans. At Camp Broadreach, kids travel to Fiji to work alongside researchers and conservationists to learn all about sharks and their vital role in maintaining a healthy ecosystem. They’ll even get to participate in a (controlled) shark dive. Hey, to each his own.