12 Summer Camps We Wish We Could Have Gone to as Kids
It may not feel like it (especially if you live in the Northeast), but summer will be here before you know it. As we all know, summertime means warm weather, epic backyard BBQs and of course summer camp for the kiddos. Try as we might to recreate the summer camp experience as adults, nothing we conjure up in our minds can even compare to the wide variety of cool camp options available to kids today. There are summer camps for literally every kind of kid. Whether your child is a budding Picasso or a tech titan, we’ve found camps to keep their inquisitive minds racing this summer. Slots at these camps fill up fast, so while you’re coordinating your summer travel plans and pinning one-bite appetizers, don’t forget to register your little one for summer camp. Your future self will thank you.
Cost: $1,895 for two weeks
If your kid is obsessed with Shark Tank, then you may want to check this out. Camp BizSmart provides a fun environment for kids ages 11 — 15 to learn entrepreneurship skills, product design and business plan essentials. Since business is all about collaboration, kids get to work in groups to solve actual business problems from real innovative companies. Mark Cuban would be proud!
Location(s): MICA’s main campus in Baltimore, MD and St. Paul’s Schools in Brooklandville, MD
Cost: $80 — $300 for 10 days (depending on the program)
Let the kid in your life tap into their artistic side at MICA, one of the premier art schools in the United States. MICA’s Young People’s Studios allow kids to develop their talents in a wide variety of art forms, including fashion design, graphic design, drawing and painting.
Location(s): Boston, Chicago, and Washington, DC
SHINE is not your average dance camp. What sets the program apart from other camps is that it integrates dance training with math instruction. SHINE’s mission is to empower 6th, 7th and 8th grade girls to understand and embrace math, so they can begin to see themselves as next-generation leaders in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) fields.
Location(s): Redmond, WA
Cost: $1250 for two weeks
Your kid may spend a lot of time playing video games, but if they go to ProjectFUN they could spend their summer developing them. In addition to game development, ProjectFUN will reinforce your kid’s knowledge of core subjects like math, physics, art and writing.
Location(s): Locations nationwide
Camp Invention is a maker kid’s dream. The camp, created by the National Inventors Hall of Fame, is designed for kids entering grades one through six. Camp Invention partners with host schools and organizations nationwide — including the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the Collegiate Investors Competition — to inspire campers to develop a new appreciation for discovery and invention.
Location(s): 8 US locations including Albuquerque, NM and St. Louis, MO, in addition to 4 international locations including Esenada, Mexico and Johannesburg, South Africa
DigiGirlz High Tech Camp aims to crush tech industry stereotypes by providing high school-aged girls an opportunity to learn what it’s like to develop cutting-edge technologies. If this camp has any say in it, in the future women like Sheryl Sandberg and Marissa Mayer won’t be “exceptions” to the rule, but part of the new rule. Who run the world? Girls!
Location(s): Howard County, MD
Cost: $174 — $215 per week (depending on the program)
Kids on Campus, located on the campus of the Howard County Community College, is the perfect camp for kids ages 7 to 17 who are interested in anything and everything. With program offerings like “Minecraft for Makers,” “Digital Storytellers” and “Fun with Fondant,” Kids on Campus really is for kids who believe that variety is the spice of life.
Location(s): Highgate, VT
Cost: $1275 — $4900 for one to four weeks
Do the kids in your life know their way around a kitchen? If so, you should help them find their way to the Kids Culinary Camp of Vermont. In addition to getting to stay in beautiful rural Vermont, campers get to learn new cooking skills and enjoy fun culinary-themed activities around the area like visiting the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream plant. Sounds like a delicious way to spend the summer.
Location(s): Chicago, IL and Hollywood, CA
Cost: $88 – -$800 (depending on program choice and length)
Where better for them to hone their comedy skills than the famous Second City? Hey, if it was good enough for Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, then it’s certainly legit in our book. Second City offers kids from all over the country a fun environment to learn new skills such as comedy writing and improvisation. At the end of each camp session, students get to present a show for their family and friends on one of the Second City stages.
10. Gorman Farm Camp
Location(s): Cincinnati, OH
Cost: $70 — $240
Sign your kiddies up for farm camp this summer. Yep, you read right — farm camp. Activities at this half-day camp include gardening, hiking, cooking and, of course, interacting with barnyard animals. Wait, sign us up too! This sounds super fun.
Location(s): New York, NY
Cost: Contact Program for Cost
If you know a middle- or high-school student that always dresses to impress, the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Precollege Program will definitely impress them. The program offers a wide variety of credit and non-credit courses that allow students to explore their interests in art, design, business and technology to develop art and design portfolios. With courses taught by FIT faculty in fashion history, jewelry design and red carpet fashions to name a few, we’d certainly be impressed too.
12. Buck’s Rock Camp
Location(s): New Milford, CT
Cost: $1890 for a two-week session to $10,390 for a full six-week session
Disney’s Camp Rock has nothing on Buck’s Rock Camp. This sleep-away camp, nestled in the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains in Central Connecticut, is unlike any other summer arts camp. In addition to music programs, Buck’s Rock Camp also offers programs in glassblowing, sculpture, dance, puppetry and more for artists ages 9 to 16, all in a low-key and non-competitive environment. How’s that for summer fun? Go forth and rock on!
Which of these camps made you wish you were a kid again? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.