You are looking at a photo of my teenage daughter when she was starring as Dorothy in the local theater production of The Wizard of Oz. She is hugging one of her many admirers backstage following a performance.
For the past nine years, my daughter has been heavily involved with theater. She’s been in so many productions, the list belongs on a tattered scroll you might find in a theater prop department.
Musicals are her thing, and for most of her childhood she has enhanced her theater experience with summer classes and camp, with course names such as Fundamentals of Acting, and Broadway Repertoire. This year will be no exception as she’s just been accepted into a four-week dormitory-style Theater Camp located in the middle of a big city.
In my own childhood I rebuffed the idea of camp in favor of summer holidays spent with my family. To me, summer camps represented sad letters written home, macaroni art, and poison ivy.
These days summer camps for teenage kids are very inspired, and are represented by a wide range of activities across many different conventions.
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Take a Bike Tour 2 of 8There are many cycling tours available in and out of the United States. The majority of them are suitable for teens of varying skill level -- and many include nightly camping along the route.
Attend Language Camp 3 of 8There are many camps which focus on complete foreign language immersion. This can include a sleep-away camp experience in the particular foreign country, but can also be a classroom camp located in your local University.
Explore a Hobby Camp 4 of 8There is an endless list of camps that match the interest of your teen. Everything from Theater Camp to Archeology Camp, in sleep away or day camp options.
Sports Camp 5 of 8Gain an advantage in your favorite high school sport! Many programs are directed by professional athletes.
Adventure Camp 6 of 8These camps are all over the world and include a variety of things, but the one commonality is the desire to push outside of your physical comfort zone. It's typically a combination of character-building and strength and endurance building adventures.
Pick a Vocation Camp 7 of 8There are many available camps that focus on the advancement of skills across many professions, such as Interior Design or the many Science fields. These camps often serve an internship function and offer practical experience in many trades.
Ye Olde Summer Camp 8 of 8There is an abundance of camps that offer a range of available activities, from horseback riding to canoe building and marshmallow roasting.
All of these camps — and more — are an internet search away. In addition, most colleges and Universities offer programs for teens not yet college attendees. Happy summer!