These 9 Outrageous Summer Camps Actually Exist
Would you send your kid to one?
Farm camp: Because farm-to-table is the future
It might be tough to get your child to help out around the house, but at Farm Camp in Plantation, CA, that's the main activity. Here, campers choose their own chores, ranging from helping to raise the farm animals to cooking the camp meals. There are plenty of other, more typical, camp activities as well, like canoeing, arts and crafts, and campfires. They'll come home ready to take charge around the house (and they'll probably want to buy some chickens).
Etiquette camp: Beyond handshaking
It is true, manners are important. But a camp for good manners doesn’t sound nearly as fun as, say, Explosives Summer Camp! Activities at Civil Savvy Camp, in Palms, South Carolina, include learning why a fork isn’t a shovel, extending and accepting invitations, the proper form for handshaking, and how to talk on a phone like Emily Post. Since camps can get expensive (no matter where you're sending your child), check out our round-up of ways to save on summer camp.
Sea camp: Testing the waters
At Catalina Sea Camp in San Juan Capistrano, CA, campers will learn the ins-and-outs of marine biology and the ocean ecosystem. They'll get to try their hand at kayaking, sailing, snorkeling, and basic scuba diving. And when their sea legs get tired, there are plenty of on-shore activities (like cooking and playing gaga ball) to keep them busy. No matter what camp you send your child to, there will likely be a few things that go down without your knowledge. Read the 13 things your kid's summer camp counselor won't tell you (sometimes it's for the best).
'Game of Thrones' camp: Protect the realm
Well, you won’t exactly be fighting for the honor of Daenerys Targaryen, but Camp Arcātheos is close. Its website reads: “Beyond the natural reach of mortals, there exists an ancient realm known as Lumenorus. The realm is divided into several Kingdoms, unified through a strong sense of brotherhood. The most sought after of these is the Kingdom of Arcātheos…” And the camper’s job is to protect Arcātheos from evil by drawing a sword, guarding a castle, firing water balloons by catapult, shooting arrows, or jousting. Grab your trusty steed and suit of armor and get thee to Calgary, Canada anon!
Camp Rock: Bring out your inner rockstar
Two movies, School of Rock and Disney's Camp Rock, reimagined the typical curriculum for kids, and it's about time that someone created a real rockin' summer camp. At School of Rock, kids ages 6 and up can embrace their inner rockstar. The day camp has programs from Beginner to Performance Boot Camp and Songwriting & Recording Camp to Famous Rock Band Camps, so there's something for every skill level. Rock on!
Ninja Warrior camp: From camouflage to mind control
It’s every Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan’s dream come true! In learning how to become a real ninja, you’ll be taught stealth; camouflage; hand-to-hand combat; sword, staff, and blow gun skills; mind control, and how to throw a Shuriken—or star. Ninja Camp USA is located in Otisville, New York. Worried about sending your child off to their first sleep away camp? Read these tips for a smooth summer camp send-off.
Coding Camp: Creating future STEM leaders
If your child is already showing signs of tech greatness, this is the camp for them. At iD Tech Camps, kids ages 7-17 spend a week of day camp or overnight camp immersing themselves into the world of STEM. Activities include building a mobile app, creating viral videos, designing your own video game, and learning engineering skills. Dozens of courses are available, so you're sure to find one that fits your child's interests. Chances are, they'll come home smarter than you (but that's okay). Locations are available across the country. If you're wary of the concept of overnight camp, be sure to read this author's explanation of why sleep away camp was alway the best week of the summer.
'Learn All About North Korea' camp: Hope for peace
The Unification Leaders Camp is a South Korean-sponsored getaway dedicated to schooling South Korean youngsters about their neighbors to the north and keeping hope alive that the two Koreas can eventually unite. NPR notes that the camp is located near a beach, but kids don’t get much fun in the sun. Instead, they go to lectures by North Korean defectors, make “unification bracelets of hope,” and create a music video based on the government-sponsored unification song, “One World One Korea.”
Circus camp: Master the art of trapeze
If you have a fledgling performer in your house, check out French Woods Camp in Hancock, NY. One of their sleep-away programs is focused on the performing arts; it has a 12,000 facility to practice all of the circus arts you can imagine. And when the campers aren't trying out tightrope walking or flying trapeze, they can pick new "minor" activities each day. Just remember to circus-proof the house by the time they get back, because chandeliers should not be swung from. Check out these 12 hilarious summer camp letters from kids to their parents...just so you know what to expect.