This blog post is a list of kids summer camps that I have bookmarked over the years, researched, tried and tested or highly recommended by friends. I want to spend as much time as possible with the children over the summer months, but I also know that camp experiences are incredibly formative.
I have fond (and less fond!) memories of all the school holidays where my mother sent me to camps, mostly in England to learn English. It must have had an impact on me since I now have a travel blog where I write in English.
Camps about technology:
The Tech Camp in the English countryside: tried and tested twice by Marcelo when he was 11 and 12. Hosted on a real school campus in the summer months. Very geeky: build a drone, 3-D printing… A good extension to the day camps organised by FunTech.
The Astro Camp focused on star gazing for 9-13 years old in Michigan, USA for any child interested in space and technology.
If your children speak French and have an interest in aviation, Jonathan Club is the summer camp where my (little but not so little!) brother developed his passion for flying. He’s now a pilot, so they must do something right.
Nesin Mathematics Village is actually about maths, as you can guess. A friend sent me the link recently because Marcelo loves maths and Ceki is Turkish but other than that, I don’t know anything about it. Worth taking a look if you have a math wizard at home.
Camps about nature:
First Hand Experience, in the pretty countryside of Kent 1h outside London. Tried and tested by Amalya last summer. Super sweet, vegan food, foraging in the nearby woods, yoga in the morning. A perfect first camp experience.
Camp Wilderness: a bit of a similar concept with more locations around the UK, more dates, and a bigger age range. Not vegan, not sugar free! (think marshmallows on the firepit).
Camps about cultural exchanges:
CISV: it originated in the UK and has a long history built on cultural exchanges all over the world, including a two-way family exchange program for 12-15 years old.
Seeds of Peace is a very reputable camp in the USA, designed to encourage teenagers to think differently in resolving conflits in the world. Thought-provoking, with a challenging application process.
The classic (North) American summer camps:
Gold Arrow in California is another one tried and tested by friends: easy, classic and keeping children busy and happy.
This article about the 19 Best institution summer camps in the US. I am not sure these are are the kind of camps I would choose, some feel a bit too ‘high end’ to my taste, but they all have an excellent reputation.
Camps about creative arts:
I’ve heard so many good things about Beam, a camp that fosters creativity in New Hampshire, USA.
I have a long list of surf camp ideas simply because Marcelo loves surfing. Most of those are in France, because if he went, he could practise his French while doing something that he likes. But none have been tried yet. These ones are sponsored by Quicksilver. This one looks so chilled and sporty near Biarritz in France. This one is more for day camps, on the shores of Devon in the UK, ranked one of the ten best surf schools in the world by The Guardian last year.
Timbertop program at Geelong in Australia is a bit off-topic but so interesting. It combines Academic and Outdoor Education and the students camp for between 50 and 55 nights during the year, with a strong focus in hiking.
The Exploration Society in the UK organises amazing programs mostly on the water (sailing, canoeing..), some for the whole family.
The British Exploring Society, which I wrote about earlier in the year. It’s geared towards 14+ years old and for the more adventurous types.
Want to share some other camp ideas in the comment box below? I’d love to add to this list xx