Summer is here, which means it’s time for your kids to head off to camp. Sleep-away camp is a great way for kids to explore their interests and make lifelong friends with children from all over the county. However, you want to make sure that you send your kids to the very best camp so that you know they will be safe and have a ton of fun. So we’ve put together a list of the best sleep-away camps to consider this summer.
If You Live In The Northeast
Tripp Lake Camp In Poland, Maine
Founded in 1911, Tripp Lake Camp is situated on a stunning 260 acres along the shore of Tripp Lake. Tripp Lake Camp is a girls-only camp that offers programs for children ages 7-16. They offer a wide variety of sports including water sports and equine sports, crafts for kids, and theater activities. For inquiries about enrollment check out their website at: http://www.tripplakecamp.com/about-us/
Raquette Lake Boys Camp In Hamilton County, New York
Raquette Lake Boys Camp was founded in 1916, and follows a camp philosophy of engagement, fun, acceptance, teamwork, and independence. Raquette Lake Boys camp is a boys-only camp offered for boys between the ages of 6-15. Each boy is paired with a camp brother who helps them adapt to camp life.
The activities offered range from canoeing and water sports, to hands-on crafts like woodworking, to unique experiences like building a catapult. Raquette Lake also offers a comparable program for girls. To learn more about enrollment check out their website at: http://www.raquettelake.com/
Camp 17 In Torrington, Connecticut
Camp 17 is a great camp for creative kids. The camp is available for both boys and girls between the ages of 10-17. The camp is hosted by YouTube stars Bethany Mota and Tyler Oakley, so your tech savvy kids will really get a kick out of it. Some of the fun activities Camp 17 offers include dancing, theater and circus performance instruction, sports, and swimming. Camp 17 is the perfect camp for any kid interested in performing arts. For more information check out their website at: http://gocamp17.com/bestcampever/
If You Live In The Southeast
Thrill Coaster Tours In Orlando, Florida
For something a little different, check out Thrill Coaster Tours in Orlando, Florida. Thrill Coaster Tours is a two week sleep-away camp for teenagers. Thrill Coasters take teens to all the major theme parks in Orlando to ride the most thrilling roller coaster rides in the country. The tour is given by bus and each camper stays in a theme park hotel. The price of theme park admission, hotel stays, transportation, and food are all included in the camp tuition. This camp is not for the faint of heart however, so before signing up check out more information on their website at: http://www.thrillcoastertours.com/tours/185-southern-studios-tour-july-3-july-10#!DSC_0008
SeaCamp In Big Pine Key Florida
SeaCamp is a marine biology camp offered for children ages 12-17. SeaCamp offers courses in scuba diving and marine science, as well as a variety of water sports and aquatic activities.
Children will have access to a fleet of research boats, a laboratory, and a staff of scientists ranging from oceanographers to geologists to biologists to help them explore all areas of marine science. The camp also offers some traditional camp activities like arts and crafts and team sports. This camp is great for the burgeoning scientist. Find out more information from their website at: http://www.seacamp.org/about.htm
Space Camp In Huntsville, Alabama
Space Camp is probably one of the most famous sleep-away camps in the United States. Founded in 1982, Space Camp was designed to help kids train to become astronauts. Space Camp is available for kids between the ages of 9 and 18 and include activities like robotics programs, simulated space flight, and of course, the famous astronaut training. Space Camp is a one of a kind experience for children that will help them develop their scientific curiosity. Jealous you never got to go to Space Camp? Don’t worry, they also offer programs for adults. To learn more about Space Camp check out the website at: http://www.spacecamp.com/space
If You Live In The Midwest
Teton Valley Ranch Camp In Kelly, Wyoming
Founded in 1939, Teton Valley Ranch Camp is situated in one of the most beautiful locations in our country. Teton Valley Ranch Camp is offered for both boys and girls ages 11 and up. The activities are all very nature-focused and include horseback riding, hiking, fly fishing, and other outdoors crafts and educational programs. This camp is great for your outdoor explorer or any kid that’s interesting in learning about how to protect nature. To learn more check out Teton Valley Ranch Camp’s website at: http://www.tvrcamp.org/2016Registration
Camp Timberlake In Woodruff, Wisconsin
Camp Timberlake in Woodruff is a boys-only camp that focuses on building self esteem, teamwork, and inclusivity. They offer everything from sailing and water skiing, to rock climbing and hiking, to every team sport you can imagine. Camp Timberlake also offers a unique radio program where your child can learn to become a disc jockey. The camp has several sessions throughout the summer, so check out their website to learn more: http://www.camptimberlane.com/default.aspx
Camp Marimeta In Eagle River, Wisconsin
Founded in 1947, Camp Marimeta is an all girls camp situated on the shore of Meta Lake. The camp prides itself on its staff to camper ratio of 3:1, so campers get focused, individualized attention so they can really flourish. The camp offers a range of fun activities from a ton of water sports and team sports, to arts, crafts, and drama, to even archery and horseback riding, so there is something of interest for every child. To learn more about Camp Marimeta, check out their website at: http://www.marimeta.com
If YOU Live In The Northwest
Camp Unalayee In Callahan, California
Camp Unalayee is located at the base of California’s Trinity Alps on 400 acres. Camp Unalayee offers nature-focused programs for boys and girls. Activities including hiking and camping, swimming, and fishing. They also offer wilderness trail programs where campers will learn the basics of survivalist camping like shelter building, fire building, and foraging for food.
Camp Unalayee sound like a fun time? You can go too. Camp Unalayee also offers a family program, where children and their parents can go to summer camp together. If you’d like more information check out their website at: http://unalayee-summer-camp.com/summer-camp-programs/family-camp
Mountain Meadow Ranch In Susanville, California
Mountain Meadow Ranch is located on 900 acres in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, just north of Lake Tahoe. The camp offers activities for boys and girls aged 7-16. When a child arrives, they are placed in a color team.
The color teams then go on to have fun, healthy competition throughout their stay. The camp provides a variety of physical activities like fencing, climbing, and mountain biking. They also offer crafts for kids, a drama program, ceramics, and photography. This beautiful camp has something for everyone, so check out their website for more information: http://www.mountainmeadow.com
Adventure Treks In Northwest United States
Adventure Treks is a summer camp program that is unique from most camp programs. Adventure Treks do not have a centralized location, rather they are overnight guided camping tours through the amazing wilderness of the Northwestern United States. They offer adventures for teens aged 13-19 and have a variety of different programs, activities, and lengths of stay. Adventure Treks are more like a backcountry vacation for your teens than just an average sleep-away camp. So if your kid loves outdoor activities and a fun, exciting challenge, check out the variety of Adventure Treks on their website at: https://www.adventuretreks.com
If You Live In The Southwest
Palia Adventure In Pacific Palisades, California
Founded in 1999, Palia Adventures is an extreme adventure camp that offers a variety of really unique activities. The camp offers program for both boys and girls from ages 8 to 16. The camp also offers unique activities like LARPing, trapeze lessons, movie makeup, DJ-ing, Hollywood stunt acting, motorsports, gourmet cooking lessons, Zumba, and any other interest you can imagine. Palia adventures is great for kids with unique interests or who want to try or learn something new. You can check out their huge range of programs at: https://paliadventures.com
Surf Diva In La Jolla, California
Surf Diva is an all girls camp in La Jolla, California. Surf Diva offers surf instruction for kids, tweens, and teens at one of the best beaches in the world for surfing.
They also offer yoga, massage, and other outdoor activities like paddle boarding, rock climbing, and zip-lining when the surf is down. Surf Diva has programs for surfer girls at every skill level. Want to learn to surf with your daughter? Surf Diva also offers programs for adults. So if you or your child loves to surf or even just wants to try it, Surf Diva is a great camp for you. Learn more on their website at: https://www.surfdiva.com/camps/girl-s-overnight-surf-camp
Catalina Island Camp In Catalina Island, California
Established in 1922, Catalina Island Camp offers programs for boys and girls ages 6 to 17. Located along the pristine shores of Catalina Island, Catalina Island Camp has a variety of activities for children to help them develop social skills, a positive self image, and an appreciation for nature. Activities include water sports like diving and sailing, physical challenges like climbing and hiking, and courses in organic gardening and outdoor cooking. Catalina Island Camp is also home to the Jean Michel Cousteau family camp, where families can enjoy the summer camp experience together. For more information check out their website at: http://catalinaislandcamps.com
If Your Child Has Special Needs
SOAR Camp In Balsam, North Carolina
SOAR Camp is not your typical camp. Founded 35 years ago, SOAR Camp focuses on offering a sleep-away camp for kids with ADD, ADHD, and LD. The specially-trained camp counselors guide the campers through a range of activities designed specifically for their special needs.
The camp provides the same kind of fun adventures as any other summer camp like water sports, hiking, and crafts, however these activities are specifically tailored to help special needs children flourish. SOAR camp has multiple locations across the country, so check out the website today for more information: http://soarnc.org
Friendship Circle in West Bloomfield, Michigan
Founded in 1984, Friendship Circle now provides summer camp services to 3,000 special needs individuals. Parents can choose between a day camp program or an overnight program depending on the needs of their child.
Friendship Circle offers programs for life skill development, art classes, vocational training, and socialization training. Friendship Circle will also work with parents, doctors, and therapists to tailor the summer camp curriculum specifically for the needs of their child. For more information check out their website at: http://www.friendshipcircle.org/summer/
Camp Meadowood Springs In Pendleton, Oregon
Camp Meadowood Springs is a unique summer camp that offers two different programs for special needs children. The first program was designed specifically for children with Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome. The activities include courses in confidence, group sports, and arts and crafts. The second program is for children who need intensive speech therapy, which is conducted through camp activities like swimming, hiking, and adventure courses. Both programs are directed by experienced special needs professionals to build confidence, communication skills, and have fun in a safe, supportive environment. For more information about their programs, check out their website at: http://meadowoodsprings.org/programs/
So no matter where you live or what your child is interested in, there is a great summer camp that is right for them. Some of the best programs in the country also offer a chance for parents to come out and get involved too. So check out the websites of these great sleep-away camps so you can ensure your child has a safe, fun, and adventurous summer!