At http://www.camppage.com/ , for example, you can find a multitude of camping options (which you can then search by regional locations) according to "camp type" or by "camp activities":
- Camp Type
- day camps
- residential camps - coed
- residential boys' camps
- residential girls' camps
- adventure travel camps
- organization camps (such as 4H, Boy or Girl Scouts, JCC, YMCA)
- religious camps (such as Bible study, Catholic, Christian, or Jewish)
- special interest camps (such as military, weight loss, or wilderness therapeutic camps)
- special needs camps (for cancer, asthma, diabetes, learning disabled, ADD, or physically disabled campers)
- summer retreat camps
- Camp Activities
- academic and summer enrichment programs (for academic credit, animal interaction, college and SAT preparation, computers, ESL, general academics, gifted, language immersion, leadership, marine sciences, math, nature, computer programming, science, and space and aviation programs)
- adventure camps (specializing in travel, canoeing, kayaking, caving, challenge courses, hiking and backpacking, mountain biking, "primitive skills", rock climbing, sailing, scuba, snows skiing and snowboarding, whitewater activities, or wilderness experiences)
- arts summer camps (music, acting, crafts, ceramics, creative writing, dance, drawing and painting, film making, magic, performing arts, photography, pottery, sculpture, theater, or woodworking)
- computers and technology
- video game design
- horseback riding
- sports camps
Here is a video from ID Game Academy. At first when seeing this I was saddened to see rows of kids sitting indoors at computer stations working independently for the summer. I think summer should be fun. But I realize that "fun" comes in all shapes and sizes ant that this is AWESOME experience for certain teens:
Today, summering requires attention, research, dialogue, and planning. Parents need to consider economics along with your kids' needs, affinities, strengths and weaknesses while also evaluating the staff, philosophy and physical aspects of various summering options. Do you use the summer to get a 'leg up' for school, or is this the time to let your kids relax, breathe, and have fun in (hopefully) stress-free environments? Is there proper supervision and safety concerns? Who is running the camp? Who do they hire? Who will be working and supporting your child?
For our kids, my husband and I believed summer was the time to regroup, have fun and chill, so we initially sent our (nerdy) kids to a traditional summer camp. The thing is, they didn't love it. As a kid, my husband loved camp, while I did not. So, I understood my kids when they were unhappy. We were at a loss what to do the following summer. Then the kids' school contacted me to tell me they were recommending our kids for Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth Program - CTY.
What they meant (after a closer look) was that my fifth grader qualified to take the SAT's and if she scored above the 70th percentile she could attend their summer programs (kids below firth grade take a national high school entrance exam and must meet similar criteria). Our kids met the CTY criteria and ended up spending many happy summers there, and not only did they love learning some really cool things (cryptology, learning about and creating inventions, history of disease, international study and model UN to name a few of the courses they took), but they made friends they have kept through high school, college and beyond.
Aside from being a place for bright, motivated learners to chose one from a list of dazzling courses to study - CTY offered my kids the opportunity to interact with kids just like them. For the first time, they felt they belonged. The classes were small and aside from classes there were afternoon activities (choice of sports, crafts, nerdy games, movies) and weekend dances. CTY is not for every bright, motivated kid, but it was for my kids. The point is that sometimes you have think out of the box and use the summer to fill all sorts of social, academic, and /or emotional gaps left open throughout the school year.
I suppose there are so many types of camps because kids are different. They have different skills, needs and affinities. Too bad school isn't like this...yet. Schools and educators have to better accommodate kids with different skill sets, strengths, weaknesses, affinities and learning styles. But, at least kids have the summers to recoup, rediscover and recover from the stresses and challenges of school.
Here are some websites you may want to check out for summer planning:
- http://www.camppage.com a resource for all types of camps by type, activity and location
- www.summercamps.com/ another resource that helps find a variety of camps at various locations
- http://www.kidscamps.com/ yet another resource for a variety of camps and locations
- Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth - CTY
- Why sleep away camp? Are you and your kids ready? How to select a camp:
Please feel free to leave additional summering opinions/ options/ opportunities/ or suggestions in the comments. In closing, I hope you enjoy this one last video about summer camp from Whose Line: