Remember long days of summer camp-playing outdoors, swimming, fishing and making crafts? Traditional spring and summer camps are tons of fun, but don’t overlook camps that also offer a unique spin. Read on to get a taste of the camp variety available in San Diego. Then book an adventure your child won’t forget!
Got a natural performer in your house? Channel that talent into something awesome.
- Camps include: Acting, dancing. singing, instrumental music, juggling, circus arts, clown artistry.
- Learn and experience: Teamwork, improvisation, choreography, growth mindset, creativity, performance skills. body language.
- Perfect for: Kids and young starlets who want to hone a natural talent, need a confidence boost, are imaginative or love storytelling.
According to Carla Corder of San Diego Junior Theatre, “Summer camps foster a community of artistic achievement, learning, teamwork, empathy, communication and confidence.”
Whether your animal lover is into house pets, farm or exotic animals, or saving endangered species, educational camps that encourage hands-on animal encounters abound in San Diego.
- Camps include: Exotic critter connections, animal-related vocations horseback riding, and camps at animal shelters, the zoo, and local aquariums.
- Learn and experience: Animal interactions such as petting, holding, grooming, walking and feeding; animal education, responsibility, compassion.
- Perfect for: Animal-loving children and teens interested in marine biology, zoology or veterinary science.
Kelly Rumsey at Helen Woodward Animal Center states, “We not only teach kids amazing animal facts, but we emphasize the importance of the animal-human bond. Campers get to discover how they can help animals and the world we all share through animal adoption, preservation, fundraising, recycling and so much more!”
Whether your beach bum wants to perfect surfing skills or take on a new challenge, you’ll find a camp for that.
- Camps include: Surfing, paddle boarding, kayaking, sailing, snorkeling, ocean science, lifeguard training.
- Learn and experience: Water safety, proper use of equipment, environmentalism, swimming skills, ocean science and more.
- Perfect for: Active kids who enjoy the water.
Birch Aquarium’s Surfing Into Science program offers ocean adventures and marine science for kids ages 12-15, according to Marketing Coordinator Caitlyn Scully.They surf, snorkel, meet with scientists and more. Visit www.aquarium.ucsd.edu/experiences/programs/summer-camps for details.
With the popular TV show American Ninja Warrior, you may need an outlet for your little ninja leaping off the sofa.
- Camps include: BMX, aerial/circus arts, rock climbing, parkour, skateboarding, martial arts and gymnastics.
- Learn and experience: Safety, sport fundamentals, proper technique, self-control, strength, flexibility, coordination, confidence and goal-setting.
- Perfect for: High-energy kids, thrill-seekers and sports enthusiasts.
- Good to know: You’ll likely sign a waiver and need appropriate clothing; special gear or equipment may be required; camps may have a minimum age requirement for safety reasons.
Is your child a gentle, free spirit who loves nature and thrives in the outdoors?
- Camps include: Yoga, low-risk sports, mindfulness connection, nature exploration, For example, check out the camps at Wild Willow Farm in South Bay.
- Learn and experience: Techniques to build mindfulness, goal setting, indoor and outdoor activities, self-awareness, connections to the Earth and to each other.
- Perfect for: Non-competitive kids, nature lovers, calm children or those who could benefit from self-calming strategies.
There are many camps designed specifically for kids with special needs, which give them an opportunity to hang out in a safe environment with peers who get them just as they are. Discover specialty camps for kids who have: developmental disabilities, physical challenges, cognitive delay and trauma.
- Learn and experience: Socialization, communication, activities that build strength, motor skills and confidence.
Tired of coaxing your child away from video games? Cash in on his natural talent-send him to camp to learn new skills and practice teamwork.
- Camps include: Robotics, game design, coding, engineering, building (even with Legos!).
- Learn and experience: Creativity, problem solving, basic engineering, construction, programming and teamwork.
- Perfect for: Boys AND girls, gamers, math and science enthusiasts, Lego fanatics.
- Good to know: Depending on the camp, kids may need to provide their own laptop or device.
Tired of cleaning up all that glitter? Send your artist to camp where skills are honed and childhood masterpieces are made.
- Camps include: Filmmaking, photography, comic art, sewing, painting, drawing, sculpting and candle making.
- Learn and experience: Focus, fine motor skills, various techniques and mediums, artistic styles, movements and themes.
- Perfect for: Art enthusiasts, creative children or children who want to explore the arts.
- Good to know: Ask if materials are included in the cost. Some camps may require equipment (such as a camera for photography). Most art programs focus on the process, not a perfect final piece.