10 Educational Summer Camps to Feed Your Kid's Passion

If your child is passionate about something that traditional schooling just doesn’t cover, summer camp can fill in the gap. Whether your child has the next best business idea; a burning interest in the culinary, performing, or visual arts; or a desire to learn more about the natural world, there are some incredible summer camps that truly make us want to be a kid again.

Camp BizSmart: Santa Clara, CA

Are you ready to be the next big CEO? Camp BizSmart is an intensive summer camp for young entrepreneurs looking to gain business smarts, product design skills, and tech insights. The camp offers a two-week Product Design & Business Plan Entrepreneurship program for kids aged 11 – 15. Older teens (16-19 years old) can sign up for a 6-day product design, invention, and crowdfunding workshop. Kids choose their own teams and assume the roles of C-level executives, learning the skills to start a new business venture in a competitive global marketplace along the way. Campers work directly with the program’s strategic partners and pitch their ideas to Silicon Valley angel investors and VC’s at Microsoft’s headquarters.

Camp MasterChef: Kent, CT & Rabun Gap, GA

Addicted to MasterChef Junior on TV? Camp MasterChef is your child’s opportunity to test their mettle in their own culinary challenges, learn advanced cooking techniques, and even meet former contestants. The camp’s mission is to inspire young home cooks, help them develop strong cooking capabilities, teach healthy lifestyle habits, and give little foodies a place to share their passion for cooking. Children ages 8-16 can participate in a one-week session focused either on Fundamentals or International Cuisine… or they can sign up for both! In the spirit of the show, programs include a variety of cooking challenges including the highly anticipated Mystery Box. When kids aren’t busy in the kitchen, sports, arts and crafts, and evening fun and games are on offer. Facilities include comfy dorms, fully equipped kitchens, organic gardens, and wide-open fields to blow off some steam.

Concordia Language Villages: Minnesota, USA

Entering the Concordia Language Village feels like traveling to a new country. You’ll get your Village passport stamped at customs, receive your cabin assignment, and figure out your language immersion itinerary. You’ll even exchange your dollars for local currency to make purchases at the gift shop. Villagers ages 4-19 will have a fully immersive experience at this camp where there are 15 different languages available. From the moment your program begins, not only do counselors (who are Ph.D. level instructors) only speak in the language of choice, but villagers also live the language – whether they’re participating in an authentic Japanese tea ceremony, learning what fútbol is like on the other side of the world, or paddling the route of the French-Canadian fur traders from hundreds of years ago. Best of all, there are no language proficiency requirements to join.

Hawthorne Valley Farm Camp: Ghent, NY

If you’re looking for a camp that will put your kids in touch with nature and get some of that slow, rural living in, Hawthorne Valley Farm Camp is it. Campers experience farm life in one, two, or four week sessions where they discover the importance of the earth and work directly with crops and animals. Children 8-12 spend their nights in a real farmhouse while older children (ages 12-16) share a campsite on a shady glen. When not working the fields or tending to the creatures, kids will enjoy a cool dip in the pond and dine on farm-to-table meals using fresh, organic ingredients. They will also learn how to make healthy use of the land with activities like making butter and cheese, pressing apple cider, tapping maple syrup and enjoy their delicious edibles.

Interlochen Arts Camp: Interlochen, MI

Every summer roughly 2,500 talented students from all over the world meet up at Interlochen Center for the Arts. This camp offers intensive programs for children in grades 3-12 in music, theatre, visual arts, creative writing, motion picture arts, and dance. Campers have the opportunity to train with world-class instructors and meet peers who share their passion while furthering their arts education. Between classes and rehearsals, there are plenty of opportunities for adventure on the 1,200 acre campus that includes two freshwater lakes and over a dozen performance venues. Field trips to Sleeping Bear Dunes and Peterson Beach on Lake Michigan also favorites.

 

RISD Pre-College Design Camp,: Providence, RI

For teens that are all about art and design, RISD Pre-College offers high school juniors and seniors the unique opportunity to experience the RISD life for a full six weeks. Participants will live the college life, sleeping in residence halls, and follow a college-level studio curriculum. Award-winning faculty of more than 50 artists, designers, and educators are on hand daily to help kids master a range of tools, techniques, and materials all while building their portfolio. Off hours, students have the additional opportunity to explore Rhode Island’s museums, art galleries, beaches, and other cultural attractions.

Stagedoor Manor: Loch Sheldrake, NY

Expect total theater immersion at Stagedoor Manor where kid performers of all levels (ages 10-18) learn from expert directors, choreographers, and vocal coaches. If your child dreams of standing in the spotlight or appearing on the big screen, there isn’t a more prestigious place to be. They’ll have the opportunity to work on their craft and meet casting agents, directors, and producers all while forging life-long friendships with kids who share their love for the performing arts. Each session, campers are enrolled in six different classes, ranging from acting, musical theatre, vocal training, movement, dance, film acting, stage combat and more. The camp is located in the beautiful Catskill Mountains, just two hours from New York City, with facilities that are far more comfortable than the conventional summer camp. Alumni include: Ansel Elgort, Zach Braff, Natalie Portman, Robert Downey Jr., Lea Michelle, and Mandy Moore.

Space Camp: Huntsville, AL

For children ages 9 -18 who have an interest in space, aviation, and robotics, Space Camp helps bridge the gap between childhood dreams and future careers. In the space program, campers train like a real-life astronaut and learn what it’s like to live onboard the International Space Station. Children will work as a team to problem solve mission-critical scenarios and learn the history of space exploration. The Aviation program has kids experiencing flight simulators and learning military style survival skills. Robotics campers design and engineer robots for land, air, and underwater. All programs have kids focused on acquiring teamwork and leadership skills while exploring fascinating STEM topics.

Walking Mountains Science Center: Avon, CO

Summer camp at Walking Mountains Science Center is all about exploring the natural world while learning a variety of scientific concepts. Children, from kindergarteners to 8th graders, sign up for day or overnight camps based on their age. Campers will hike the mountain trails of Colorado’s Eagle Valley while investigating geology, ecology, astronomy, biology, and entomology hands on. The natural surroundings, diverse wildlife, alpine lakes and streams, and a variety of plants offer plenty of opportunity for discovery. Rain or shine, kids will be out exploring, ending the week by putting on a performance to show off all that they have learned.

Whale Camp: Bay of Fundy, ME

If ocean life fascinates your child, Whale Camp is an amazing opportunity to get face-to-face with whales, porpoises, seals, puffins and other marine creatures in their own natural habitat. Children ages 10 – 17 will engage in hand-on learning in the Bay of Fundy’s outdoor classroom. Choose between one, two, and three week sessions that include whale watching expeditions, bird watching, kayak tours, and even squid dissection. Campers will explore a variety of marine topics from tidal forces and oceanography to plankton and coastal wildlife.

Which of these summer camps would your kids enjoy the most? Let us know!

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