Best Summer Camps for Kids: Top destinations for children 7-10Christina Couch
Sports and Fitness Camps
Surf and Video Production Camp
Where: San Diego, California
What it offers: Kids exercise their minds and bodies in this half-surfing, half-digital media camp. Designed for ages 11 through 17, students spend 3 hours per day perfecting their surfing and another three learning how to use professional video and editing software to produce killer surf videos. Both sports and video equipment are provided.
In session: Sessions run from 9 am to 5 pm, June 27-August 8
What it costs: $1,099 for day campers per week. Students ages 10 and up can opt for the residential program for an additional $499 per week.
Extreme Sports Camp
Where: Various locations in Colorado and Utah
What it offers: Designed for kids ages 7 and up “with an autism spectrum disorder, including classic autism, PDD-NOS, Asperger’s and related diagnoses,” this residential camp makes extreme sports accessible to everyone. Each week-long camp focuses on two core activities, ranging from wakeboarding to rock climbing to white water kayaking, combined with nighttime activities like movie parties and craft projects. Campers are supervised 24 hours a day by trained staff, and parents have the option of sending their own home health care aide.
In session: May through August
What it costs: 2,095-$2,995 per week
Where: Various Locations
What it offers: Future Jaggars, Hagars, and Hendrixes gather here to learn the ins and outs of band-dom. Available in both day and residential varieties, this camp provides guitarists, bassists, drummers, keyboardists, and vocalists with group and individual instruction on theory and technique as well as on sound equipment operation and maintenance. Camp ends with – what else? – the opportunity to rock out on stage. Available for ages 11 through 17. A special Kidz Camp is also available for ages 7 through 10.
In session: Week-long camps run throughout June, July, and August
What it costs: $549 per week for day campers, $1,395 per week for overnighters, and $399 per week for Kidz Campers
Academy for Game Design
Where: Various Locations in California, Illinois, Texas, Virginia, and Philadelphia
What it offers: Don’t let those hours of gaming go to waste. Kids ages 13 to 17 build their own 3-D characters and worlds while honing their programming and animation skills. Students use the same tools used to create best-selling games like Halo and Gears of War and learn about topics including object placement and manipulation, mapping techniques, character modeling, and texturizing.
In session: Throughout summer
What it costs: $1,855 per 2 weeks for day students; $2,799 per 2 weeks for residential students
Where: New York City
What it offers: Future entertainers ages 15 to 18 ham it up under the tutelage of working Broadway stars. During this week-long day camp, students receive 40 hours of singing, acting, and dance instruction as well as Q&A sessions and master classes with professionals in the biz. Of course, tickets to Broadway shows are included, and an end-of-class performance for family and friends wraps up the week.
In session: July 11-15
What it costs: $1,395 per week
Academic and Specialty Camps
Advanced Space Academy
Where: Huntsville, Alabama
What it offers: It’s hard to outdo the coolness of space camp. Designed for students in grades 10 through 12, this camp not only provides kids with the basics of astronaut training, it also offers one college-level science credit. Students spend the week training as mission specialists or pilots and get to go through elementary SCUBA training, high and low ropes courses, reduced gravity training, and take a spin in a Multi-Axis Trainer. Other programs are available for students in grades 4 through 9.
In session: April 10-December 9
What it costs: $899 per week
SeaCamp San Diego
Where: San Diego, California
What it offers: Get your feet wet in marine biology by moving into an aquatics center. This week-long day or residential camp provides students in grades 7 through 12 with supplement classroom-style lab work in areas like oceanography, plankton studies, and marine anatomy. In-the-field activities include kayaking and snorkeling. In addition to visiting San Diego hot spots, students will also have the opportunity to flit off to the Los Coronados Islands in Mexico to get a taste of international marine life.
In session: Introductory Seacamp I program runs throughout June, July, and the beginning of August.
What it costs: $815 (includes lodging)