Though the image that usually comes to mind for most people at the mention of summer camp is bug repellent and s’mores, there are also dozens of unique hidden gems out there. From spying to circus training, here are 10 of the most unusual and interesting summer camps that the United States has to offer.
- Spy Camp – Catering to the Mission: Impossible set, Lake Como, Pennsylvania’s Camp Lohikan specializes in training kids in martial arts, safe and evasive 4-wheeler techniques, survival and code breaking, and that’s just scratching the surface.
- Fashion Camp – Budding fashionistas can find their summer camp niche at Sewnow! Fashion Studio in Lafayette, California. Girls and boys from novice to advanced levels will find classes “tailored” to their interests, from basic sewing and assembly to machine embroidery and computer drafting.
- Surf Camp – Surfers might be known for their laid-back attitude, but the counselors at WB Surf Camp in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina take ocean safety very seriously. In addition to honing their wave skills, kids attending Surf Camp will also learn to identify unsafe conditions.
- Acting For Film Camp – It’s fitting that Young Actors Camp is in sunny Hollywood, California. Here, aspiring film stars will learn tons of valuable tricks of the trade while having the summer of their lives. As a bonus, campers get to visit a working film set and meet the stars that come to the camp to speak.
- Cooking Camp – Fans of Food Network from ages 10 and up can start their instruction in the culinary arts at Chef Kelly Q. Dietrich’s Kids Culinary Summer of Vermont. From safe knife skills to complicated pastry arts, Kids Culinary Summer is a great way to help kids who have an interest in food learn their way around a kitchen.
- Rock and Roll Camp – Rock stars between the ages of eight and 16 flock to Camptown, Pennsylvania each summer to hone their skills. For more than two decades, The Rock Farm has offered instruction and guidance for young musicians that culminates in an end-of-summer “Band Night” where campers show off all they’ve learned.
- Archeological Camp – Young anthropologists and archeologists are sure to be wowed by Cortez, Colorado’s Canyon Crow Summer Camp. Focusing on the Pueblo Indians that once lived in the area, the program emphasizes proper sorting and identification techniques as well as Pueblo and Native American culture.
- Astronomy Camp – Kids with a penchant for staring at the stars might find themselves at home in Tucson, Arizona, where the state’s longest-running science camp, Astronomy Camp, is situated. With daytime rocket-building, mountain biking and microgravity explorations to compliment the after-dark planetary fun, kids who have an interest in science are sure to have a well-rounded and exciting summer.
- Gardening Camp – Boulder, Colorado is home to the Children’s Peace Summer Camp, where youngsters learn about sustainability, organic gardening and connecting with Mother Nature through poetry and dancing.
- Circus Camp – If you have a clown in your household, Camp Winnarainbow in Mendocino, California might be worth looking into. This circus-centric camp highlights each aspect of life under the big top, including performance techniques and animal stewardship.
These are just a few of the specialty-camp options available; a bit of research will turn up scads of unique offerings. With all of these exciting and unusual summer camp options, you’re sure to find the perfect getaway for the youngsters in your life!