Kids & Parenting

Unusual summer camp ideas for kids

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Cartoon and Comic Book Creation is just one unique summer programs
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Unusal, Unique and Innovative Summer Camp Programs for Children

Summer camp can be a wonderful experience for children. Millions of American children attend camps every summer and develop new social skills, physical skills, make new friends, and learn new activities such as swimming, archery, tennis, or even sailing, fashion design and cartooning.  While the decision to send a child away to camp is never an easy one, the adventure is usually quite rewarding for the child.

Many parents, however, are challenged by finding a summer camp that will be the right fit for their child. If your child has a particular set of interests, skills, desires or needs, you may be searching for unusual summer camp ideas for kids. Fortunately, there are thousands of unique, unusual and fantastic summer camps across the country.

Below is a list of some of the most unique and unusual summer camp ideas for kids. However, it is wise to begin a search for summer camps by directly asking a child about the types of activities, programs and themes that would best suit their own personal interests.  

Search the Internet, inquire about summer camp listings at local libraries and youth centers. Don't be afraid to discuss your research with your children. More often than not, children have a clear concept of the environments they would find most rewarding and stimulating.

Unusual Summer Camp Ideas for Kids:

Space Camp is one of the most unique but also one of the most widely recognized summer camps for children. Various aviation and space flight summer programs are offered at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, at the Space Education Center in Pleasant Grove, Utah, and at the Space Voyage Academy in Littleton, Colorado. The officially recognized Space Camp is located at the NASA Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. At space camp, children get the opportunity to use real spacecraft equipment, astronaut simulators, build rockets, and learn the history, science and technology of spaceflight and aviation.  

Culinary programs have become a major trend, with the success of television cooking shows such as Rachel Ray, Iron Chef and Hell's Kitchen, and movies such as Ratatouille. As a result, many children have gained interest in cooking and culinary pursuits. A variety of culinary summer camps have emerged across the United States. For example, the Kids Cook summer camp program in Baltimore, Maryland, the Kids Culinary Summer camp of Vermont, which specializes in baking and pastry arts, and the Young Chefs Academy, with branches in a variety of states and regions nationwide.

Kids who really dig history and science will love archeology summer camp. In fact, your child may be waiting for an exciting opportunity to feel just like Indiana Jones discovering the lost ark. Crow Canyon summer camp, located in Cortez, Colorado, on tribal ground of the early Anasazi Indians is one of the most celebrated archeology summer camps for kids. The Center for American Archeology, located in Kampville, Illinois is a more reasonably priced educational archeology camp for older children, ranging from 12-17 years old. At The Center for American Archeology Summer Camp, students will assist with excavations and study the prehistoric inhabitants of the Illinois River Valley.

Creative arts summer camps may be just the right environment for children who enjoy music, theater, visual arts, dance, film, or even creative writing. One prominent creative arts summer camp in Connecticut, called The Young People's Institute, (YPI) offers innovative programs in Fashion Design, Cartoon and Comic Book Creation, Photographic Illustration, Poetry, Instrumental Composition, Screenwriting and Video Composition and Dance, to name a few. However, many high caliber museums, arts centers and theaters nationwide offer excellent summer creative arts programs for children.

If you are seeking unusual summer camp ideas for kids, begin by initiating a dialogue with your child about how he or she might like to spend their summer. 

Ask friends, teachers, classmates, or neighbors to share their recommendations or experiences regarding summer camps. Search online for camps with themes that best suit your child's interests. If you are seeking local day camps rather than sleep away camps, begin by inquiring at local organizations such as the YMCA, library, town recreation department or even your local hall.

American Camp Association

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