“But Mommmmm!” How many times have you heard this from your children when talking to them about going to a summer camp? Are you tired of summer camps that promise the moon yet only deliver moon dust? Do your children think summer camps are uncool? This article can help you and your children find a summer camp that satisfies your children’s need for fun and adventure and your need to receive value for your money.
Academic camps are for your young intellectuals who want to immerse themselves in their academic interests. This kind of camp can entertain children fascinated with subjects like Astronomy, Business, Computers, Creative Writing, Marine Science, Mathematics, Robotics and even Video Game Design!
Academic Camps at Gettysburg College, located in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, caters to 9th – 12th grade young men and women. Two-week camps for eight different academic interests include Creative Writing, Spanish, Performing Arts, College Prep, Psychology, Astronomy, Service & Leadership and the US Civil War. Interested students can be recommended by a teacher or signed-up by parents. Activities such as swimming, tennis and even a water balloon toss take place after the classes end each day. Program-wide events, such as talent shows, dances, film screenings and karaoke, are also offered each evening. Each session includes a field trip to Washington DC, which is tailored to each program’s theme. All non-academic field trips are optional; camp attendees can opt to remain on campus and visit the computer room or eat pizza and hang out with friends instead. Enroll your child before February 15 and take advantage of their early bird discount of $200 off standard tuition. Summer camp Session 1 runs June 24 – July 6 and Session 2 runs July 8 – July 20. “Online applications will be accepted up until the program is sold out or one week before your desired session start day. As space is limited, it is highly recommended that all students complete their application (Step 1) as early as possible to reserve their seat”. Basic Tuition is $2,395. Field Trip Spending is $100 and is included in that amount; $50 is issued to each student before each of the two fieldtrips for meals and shopping. A $500 deposit is required when applying to ACGC and will be applied to the tuition. Final payment and Student Profile are required by June 1. If applying after the June 1 deadline, full tuition is due upon completion of application.
FivePoints at Union College, located in Schenectady, New York, caters to 8th – 12th grade young men and women. Two-week camps for eight different academic interests include Economics, Entrepreneurship and Business, Psychology, Comics and Graphic Novels, Improv Comedy, Digital Creative Arts (Digital Video and Animation), Forensic Science, Mass Media (Communications and Journalism) and Toy and Entertainment Engineering. The only requirements are “a positiveattitude and a willingness to try“. Students are introduced to hobbies and sports by a staff of resident advisors. Students can take part in and help plan events like dances, talent shows, salsa lessons and movie screenings. Each session includes a field trip to Lake George and is full of fun activities such as sitting by the lake and enjoying a concert, being entertained by local magicians and clowns, going for carriage rides and watching fireworks. The Academic Field Trip to New York City is tailored to relate to each course of study as well as to allow each student to “experience the wonder of New York City“. Enroll your child before February 15 and take advantage of their early bird discount of $200 off standard tuition. There are two Summer Sessions, Session 1 runs July 1 – 13 and Session 2 runs July 15 – July 27. . “Online applications will be accepted up until the program is sold out or one week before your desired session start day. As space is limited, it is highly recommended that all students complete their application (Step 1) as early as possible to reserve their seat”. Basic Tuition is $2,395. Field Trip Spending is $100; $50 is issued to each student before each of two fieldtrips for meals and shopping. A $500 deposit is required when applying to FivePoints and will be applied to the tuition. Students applying after June 1 will incur a $100 late registration fee and must complete their student profile at least one week before their session begins.
Adventure camps are for your young adventurers who want to experience adventure after adventure this summer. This kind of camp can entertain children interested in Horseback Riding, Mountain Biking, Wilderness Exploration, Camping, Kayaking, Rock Climbing, Space and Surfing!
Camp Illahaw in Forever Florida, located in St. Cloud, Florida, caters to young men and women ages 10-15. Each session is seven days and six nights, starting in June and ending in August, and is packed full of “fun and adventure with horses, hours with other animals and nature adventures, creative time, time for games and sports, and plenty of good food“. Register by March 1 and save $100. Sign up for two weeks and save $50 off the second week’s registration. Save $100 when registering more than one child. Returning campers save $125 on registration. Registration is $625 per session. Sessions are June 3-9, June 10-16, June 17-23, June 24-30, July 1-7, July 8-14, July 15-21, July 22-28, July 29- Aug and Aug 5-11. Activities include Wildlife Encounters with exotic animals, Horse Activities such as trail riding and arena games, Games such as paintball, archery and outdoor survival and Nature Adventures such as swamp walks and a Coach Safari.
Deer Hill Expeditions, located in Mancos, Colorado, has four camp locations that cater to 7th – 12th grade young men and women as well as families and adults. Deer Hill Expeditions offers adventures of a lifetime! 2007 Expeditions include River and Mountain, Colorado River Plateau, Colorado Mountain Country, Alpine Mountaineering, Mountain Biking and Backpacking, Rocky Mountain Canoeing, Canyon Country, Southwest Adventure, Service Leadership, Wilderness Leadership, Costa Rica Exploradores, SW Colorado Family Blend and Alumni and Friends Expedition. Activities can include rock climbing, backpacking, mountain backing, kayaking, rafting, canoeing, camping, surfing, snorkeling, Spanish language immersion, leadership training, service projects, Conservation service, rappelling, organic gardening and even interaction with the Hopi, Navajo, Zuni or Ute People. It is recommended that children and adults interested in participating in an Expedition be in good physical shape. All required adventuring equipment, except hiking boots, can be rented directly from Deer Hill Expeditions. Community service, a part of all Expeditions, offers a chance for participants to gain self-confidence and learn how to give back to their world. Costs range from $1495 to $5095 and can run from 8 days to 34 days depending on the Expedition chosen. All programs conclude with a unique sweat lodge ceremony to celebrate the importance of the previous Expedition to one’s life. Another major plus for this adventure camp is that most schools accept Deer Hill service hours as hours needed to meet graduation requirements. A $700 deposit is required when submitting an application. Final payment, if applicant is accepted, must be paid by May 1. Space is limited, so be sure to apply as soon as possible.
Arts Camps are for young men and women interested in fine arts and performing arts. This kind of camp can entertain children interested in Acting, Dance, Film, Music, Fine Arts and Performing Arts!
Camp Jam, with locations in Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, DC Area, Chicago, Cleveland, St. Louis, Orlando, Philadelphia, Detroit, Denver, Phoenix, Orange County and Los Angeles, has day camp programs for ages 7-10, 11-17 as well as adults over 18. Camp Jam is the “ultimate rock n roll camp” and focuses on songwriting, recording, rock n roll history, performing and ways to keep “rocking” after leaving Camp Jam. Attendees get a chance to work with music professionals and other music industry experts. Camp Jam KidZ (7-10), no musical experience necessary, teaches younger children the finer points of working with others in a band environment while also getting them ready to play on stage with a real rock band in just one week. Camp Jam (11-17), at least 6 months experience required, gives individualized instruction “in guitar, bass, drums, keyboards or vocals from professional instructors“. Attendees are also put into bands and taught how to work together and capture an audience. Camp Jam’s Rock Star Fantasy Camp, for experienced adults over the age of 18, is a rock n roll fantasy weekend where musicians of all talent levels get together and jam. If you register for summer 2007 before February 28, 2007, you only pay $475 per week for Camp Jam (regular price is $525) or $349 per week for Camp Jam KidZ (regular price is $399). Full payment is due on February 28. For a limited time, you can reserve your space with a deposit of $200 and get a $50 discount on each session after your first.
ACTeen, located in New York, New York, offers intensive film acting programs for young adults aged 13-20 years old. The June Academy, June 18 – June 28, focuses on movement, speech and voice, improvisation, film technique and scene study, character development, script analysis, auditioning and a special elective choice of musical theater, monologue or commercials. The July Academy, July 2 – July 26, has four different programs you can choose from ranging from a staff-recommended curriculum to a self-created curriculum. Courses include Audition Technique, Commercials, Directing, Film Acting Technique I and II, Film Scene Study, Improvisation, Modern Drama, Monologues, Movement, Musical Theater, Scriptwriting, Shakespeare, Singing Voice, Speech & Voice, Theater and Private Coaching. The August Academy, July 30 – August 15, consists of two-, three-, and five-day programs with class choices of Speech & Voice, Film Acting Technique, Commercial Audition Technique, Improvisation, Musical Theater, Movement, Film Scene Study, Auditions and Private Coaching. To begin the application process, students should submit an application (November through early June), their photo and a non-refundable application fee of $25.00. After the application is received, students will be scheduled for an audition and an interview. Students are encouraged to submit applications no later than April 15 for best housing opportunities. Students will be notified of acceptance within two weeks of their audition date. Students are required to pay 50% of tuition within two weeks of receiving their acceptance letter; the remaining tuition is due by the program deadline (website has deadline information for each program). There are multiple course discounts (see website for more information) and an early registration discount (for registering before April 15) available. Tuition ranges from $250 for individual courses to around $2325 for full programs.
Sports camps are for young men and women interested in learning about several sports or training in a specific sport. This kind of camp covers a wide range of sports including Ice Hockey, Soccer, Basketball, Baseball, Swimming, Fencing, Gymnastics and more!
Top Dog Hockey Camps & Clinics, located in Minnesota (Minneapolis, Prior Lake, Breezy Point and Blain), offers three-day weekend clinics and week-long programs starting in June and running through December. The Developmental Hockey Camp is for Mites, Squirts and Pee Wees. The Accelerated Hockey Camp is for Squirts, Pee Wees, Bantams, Midgets, and HS. Three-day programs are $90 and week-long programs range from $204 for half-day, non-resident programs to $599 for resident, accelerated programs. Discounts are offered for families, groups and multiple weeks. The Developmental Hockey Camp consists of morning ice sessions, classroom sessions, fun & fitness sessions, videotape sessions and afternoon ice sessions. The Accelerated Hockey Camp consists of morning ice sessions, classroom sessions, dryland training, afternoon ice sessions, instructional games, videotape analysis and stickhandling circuits. Resident programs include a dorm room, choice of roommate, adult supervision and three all-you-can-eat meals a day. Parents can set up special adult supervision for children arriving the weekend before their program or staying over for another week of a program. Top Dog Hockey Camps & Clinics also offers free transportation from the Minneapolis International Airport to the dorms if notified in advance.
US Sports Camps offers over 650 camps for 21 different sports as well as multi-sports camps for those interested in a wider variety of sports activities. Camps are located all over the United States and Canada and include the Nike Sports Camps; some camps are also located outside of the United States. USSC offers sports camps for tennis, golf, volleyball, lacrosse, girls basketball, girls softball, baseball, rowing, running, field hockey, swimming, water polo, soccer, squash, Vogelsinger soccer, contact football, boys basketball, Superskills boy basketball, Snow Valley basketball, surfing and ice hockey. USSC has camps available for children ages 6-18 and adults. Because there are so many different sports camps offered by USSC, I recommend visiting their site for more information specific to your interests.
Special Needs Camps
Special Needs camps are designed specifically for special needs young men and women. This kind of camp offers non-competitive and supportive atmospheres for children with special needs ranging from ADHD, Autism, Diabetes, HIV/Aids, developmental disabilities, learning disabilities to psychologically disabilities.
The Learning Camp, located in Vail, Colorado, is “developed specifically for kids with learning disabilities such as ADD, ADHD, dyslexia and other challenges“. Children ages 7-14 are provided with a supportive and entertaining summer camp adventure. Activities include horseback riding, swimming, rock climbing, river rafting, canoeing, archery, backpacking, camping, caving, fishing, arts & crafts, campfires & camp skits, board games, softball, soccer, tetherball and basketball. Academic programs are designed for children with average or above average IQs who also have learning disabilities such as “dyslexia, dyscalculia, processing disorders, NLD and ADHD or ADD” and do not include any assignments outside of the academic portion of the day. The Sample Camp Day, provided by the website, shows academic pursuits taking place for approximately two hours and split up with snack breaks and lunch. The rest of the day is packed full of exciting camp activities. Session 1 runs June 4 – June 14 and costs $2,900. Session 2 runs June 18 – June 29 and costs $2,900. Session 3 runs July 9 – July 27 and costs $4,500. Session 4 run July 30 – August 10 and costs $2,900. Session 5 runs August 13 – August 24 and costs $2,900. Tuition includes daily tutoring, all meals, small group instruction, all camp activities, all materials, camp store items and laundry fees. The ratio of professional adult caregivers to camp goers is 3:1. A deposit of $1250 is required with the application. The balance of the tuition is due 30 days prior to the attendance date. Financial assistance, through the form of a scholarship, is available to a limited amount of eligible children through The Learning Foundation, Inc. “All scholarship applications must be received in our [The Learning Foundation] office no later than April 30, 2007 to be considered for summer 2007.”
Camp Easter Seals Virginia, located in New Castle, Virginia, provides “quality camping programs for people with physical & cognitive disabilities“. Special sessions are offered to children ages 5-18 and adults 19 and older. “From campfire sing-a-longs and late night ghost stories to canoeing, nature walks, swimming, and arts and crafts, the Easter Seals Virginia camping program provides the excitement and activity of a traditional summer camp program in a beautiful, accessible setting.” There are a limited number of spaces available for each camp session and type, so campers are urged to submit applications as early as possible. Camp applications become available in January of each year and acceptance letters start to be sent out in March. A Sponsor Letter and a list of Sponsors are provided on the website to help parents seeking help with camping fees. The 2007 Summer Schedule begins June 10 and runs through August 25. 6-day and 12-day sessions along with Specialty camps are available in the summer of 2007. Refer a friend that has never been to Camp Easter Seals and if they are accepted, you get $50 off your registration. Limit three.
These are just a sampling of summer camps available in 2007 based on value, specialty offerings and fun factor; they are just the tip of the iceberg. For more camp ideas and information, I urge you to visit the camp resources listed at the end of this article. Choosing a camp doesn’t have to be a painful experience. Take advantage of special websites created specifically to help make this process easier and more rewarding. Though I have focused on specialized summer camps in this article, I also recommend traditional summer camps for your children’s summer enjoyment. Include your child in the process of choosing a camp and make sure to tailor your choice to fit your child’s interests and abilities. This thoughtful approach to picking a camp will guarantee that you get your money’s worth and your child gets an experience of a lifetime.