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10 Totally Awesome Summer Camps…So Cool You'll Wanna Go Too

Forget about the macaroni ashtrays, friendship bracelets and endless games of capture the flag. These days the traditional summer camp has a whole lot of competition with a slew of specialty themed camps that are taking place across the country.

It’s not just about a cabin and the great outdoors, these camps are focused. Very focused. These camps are for kids who have a specific interest, hobby or obsession. There are roller coaster camps, space camps, and secret agent camps just to name a few. Yeah, this ain’t the summer camp of my day, these camps are crazy cool.  They are camps that I myself wouldn’t just want to send my kid to but ones I’d actually want to go to myself. Too bad I’m too old.

Check out these 10 super cool camps right here – do you have a favorite that you’d want to end your kid to?

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  • New York Film Academy 1 of 10
    New York Film Academy
    Kids on both coasts can learn the tricks of the trade and start exploring the world of filmmaking at the New York Film Academy. They can focus on animation, acting or basic filmmaking at this camp for kids age 10-13. It's a pretty cool introduction, for example in the film camp kids write, direct and edit their own three minute movie using their fellow students as their crew. The camps take place in New York City and in Hollywood, the two-week camps meet every day, but sadly it's not a sleep away camp so if you don't live in one of these towns it probably wouldn't be practical.
  • Junior Vet Camp 2 of 10
    Junior Vet Camp
    Four out of five little girls I talk to say they want to become a vet. But one thing, I don't think they realize what is really involved in being a real veterinarian. A vet camp (and there are several of them), gives kids a good introduction. At the Cub Creek Science Camp kids learn to conduct exams, use a microscope to identify parasites, examine x-rays, and how to determine if a animal is sick or well. Perhaps this will help make a decision if these kids want to follow that path or if it just isn't for them. But they'll all be thrilled hanging out with animals during the summer!
  • Rock Camp 3 of 10
    Rock Camp
    All those teenage guitarists, bassists, drummers and singers can jam together at the Soundwall Music Camp . Located in Northern California in Santa Cruz, the students learn a variety of styles like blues, rock, punk and funk. They also touch upon music history, songwriting, and music theory and engage in lots of rehearsals with their "bands" all culminating in a concert for friends and family.
  • Race Car Camp 4 of 10
    Race Car Camp
    They don't have to have a drivers license to get behind the wheel at this camp. Camp Motorsport is a sports camp where kids (ages 9 to 16) will learn to drive kid sized race cars, dirt karts and racing go-karts. They even get to take their cars out on a real racetrack. But they aren't driving the whole time, they also do the traditional camp stuff like swimming, fishing and playing games at the Virginia based camp.
  • Hot Air Balloon Camp 5 of 10
    Hot Air Balloon Camp
    They could be a big fan of the movie Up or maybe they just love the idea of hot air taking them on a airborne journey. For those who are fans of the hot air balloon the BFA (Balloon Federation of America) summer camp teaches kids age 13-18 all about one the most unusual and unique modes of transportation. They learn all the basics of ballooning as well as safety, piloting and mapping. The camp takes place in Michigan and lasts for one week.
  • A Glee Camp 6 of 10
    A Glee Camp
    There are several summer camps that are embracing the popularity of the hit show Glee. In Cottleville, MO, there is a Camp Glee for kids 10-16 where they learn songs and dance routines from the show and ends in a performance of Journey's Don't Stop Believin' and Defying Gravity from the stage musical Wicked.
  • Hollywood Stunt Camp 7 of 10
    Hollywood Stunt Camp
    For a bit of action and adventure, campers at the Hollywood Stunt Camp learn some tricks of the trade from professional Hollywood stunt artists. They'll engage in swordplay, hand-to-hand combat, jumps and falls from heights, falling and landing techniques. In the second week they'll utilize all they've learned and put it together in their own "stunt show spectacular."
  • Space Camp 8 of 10
    Space Camp
    I, personally, have several pals (grown-ups) who would drop absolutely everything to go to Space Camp . But it's really great for the young set when they still have an idealist notion that they can become astronauts. The Space Camp in Huntsville, AL has a camp program for ages 9-11 where they find out what it feels like to be in outer space via their simulators plus they'll build their own rocket and let it take off along with all sorts of other activities for the space savvy. And those adults? They can still go to space camp since they have a special adult track for those who still dream of being an astronaut.
  • Fun Thrill Coaster Camp 9 of 10
    Fun Thrill Coaster Camp
    If your kid likes nay loves roller coasters, this is the camp for them. Thrill Coaster Camps takes a group of kids to visit a whole slew of roller coasters. For example their Texafornia Tour (Texas and California —‘natch) will over the course of 16 days visit 9 amusement parks and ride more than fifty, yes fifty, roller coasters. And this is for the teen set although you know your eight-year-old would LOVE to go too.
  • Cool Secret Agent Camp 10 of 10
    Cool Secret Agent Camp
    If your kid wants to learn all sorts of spy tricks to get in touch with their inner Nancy Drew or James Bond, the Secret Agent Camp could be just the thing. At the camp they'll learn "stealth tactics, undercover maneuvers and enjoy exhilarating and fun activities including spy games, rapid-fire paintball challenges, high ropes course acrobatics, and little-known martial arts techniques like hip throws, axe kicks, flying side kicks, and the mummy twist" For kids age 9-16.
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Image: Flickr

Check out more of Babble’s wide-range of camp options for kids 3-18!

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