10 of This 2016’s Best Themed Camps for Kids and Adults
Posted by Elizabeth Alton on Thursday, June 9th, 2016
With summer getting underway, the kids are out of school and adults are planning how best to recapture a bit of that summer magic. One trend that’s alive and well – despite our digitally-driven world – is the summer camp. Many of these creative getaways follow engaging themes and feature interactive play. Here are ten of our favorite themed camps for kids and adults in no particular order.
Just like the magical world of Harry Potter or Dungeon and Dragons, Swords Camp hosts a “Wizards and Warriors” program for kids and teens ages 7-15. The motto of the camp is “We unplug heroes,” and the program strives to teach children STEM-based lessons through engaging activities based in fantasy. Kids can create armor, take weapons training, and go on treasure hunts – all in a live action role-playing atmosphere.
Camp Lohikan in Pennsylvania a unique kid summer camp where guests assume the role of a spy. “Agents” receive training in martial arts, surveillance techniques, and code breaking. Under close supervision at all times, kids get to train on ATV 4-wheelers, jet skis, and a ropes course. The day camp features a variety of role-play adventures that teach real life skills, teamwork, and critical thinking. At the end of this James Bond style experience, each child receives a “Secret Agent Certification.”
Every kid’s dream, this summer camp is America’s only roller coaster tour for teens. Headquartered in New Jersey, the camp is designed for kids ages 12-16. The program offers three types of tours across the country, visiting various theme parks, and riding the country’s most amazing roller coasters. Every day the camp brings them to a different park. During their visit to each park, kids share pictures so parents can check out how much fun their kids are having without them.
Future entrepreneurs, unite! Camp BizSmart is hosted at Stanford University by the School of Engineering. Camp BizSmart is considered the premier entrepreneur academy for ages 11 to 19, and allows kids to experiment with business methods, design tools, and product invention. Campers work closely with company founders and CEOs to gain insight and valuable real-world skills. They can conduct marketing analysis, assess the competition, and learn team collaboration. This type of camp is great for children who are imaginative, focused and always thinking about how to monetize their next big idea.
There are no tents and mosquitoes during this “camp” experience. Held in a comedy club in Manhattan, this kid’s summer program features improv, sketch comedy workshops, and stage performances. Open to ages 10-18, the day camp runs for two weeks. As the camp directors state, if you’re tired of kayaking, sick of mosquitoes, and allergic to everything, this may be the camp for you! Kids tap into their ability to be funny, get over fears of being onstage and wrap up each session with a stand up grand finale.
Think cooking, not spying. This adult day camp is hosted by the Culinary Institute of America, and is held throughout the summer in New York, California, and Texas. The classes teach fundamental cooking skills, while creating confidence in the kitchen. Attendees range from doctors, to moms, and chefs brushing up on skills. Classes can vary by interest, including cooking, baking, and food pairing. This year, they are offering in depth classes on certain skills, called the Deep Dives Boot Camp.
Most adults don’t realize they never had to give up their childhood dream of going to space camp. The U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL hosts an adventurous 2-night experience that allows trainees to assume a hands-on role during interactive space missions and real-life astronaut training. The weekend program includes model rocket construction and launch, training on astronaut simulators (like the infamous Gravity Chair), and virtual spaceflight education. Sessions for Adult Space Academy are very limited, so register early to start your adventure in the cosmos this summer.
Anyone who is interested in mindful living, and a holistic and relaxing vacation, should consider one of the Wanderlust festivals. Unique for a summer camp, the program features 5 elements:
- Practice: Daily yoga and meditation programs on all levels and styles, taught by the world’s best.
- Listen: Headliners and new artists perform during acoustic meditations and live stage shows.
- Explore: Hike trails, mountain bike, paddleboard, etc….they provide tools to discover nature.
- Learn: The camp offers various speakeasy talks in a range of subjects, like personal empowerment and community betterment.
- Taste: Every get-together features local and sustainable foods, with family-style, farm-to-table methods.
Their motto is “find your true north,” and Wanderlust festivals are a perfect adult summer camp to relax and decompress.
One of the most ideal adult summer camps has to feature alcohol, and what classier way to do it than to attend wine camp? Courtwood Wine Tours, in Murphy, CA teaches campers about vineyards, varietals, and vintages, in a fun and educational atmosphere. Attendees will learn how to taste wine like an expert, blend their own concoction, and get out in the vineyards for some hands-on experience with grapes and productions. Everyone leaves with parting gifts and tools to host their very own wine tasting parties at home. The camp features lodging, transportation, classes, tastings, and a full menu everyday.
Ace camps are carefully designed summer camp experiences that let you take a deep dive into the different traditions of cultures globally. Ace Camps features a variety of inclusive trips around the world, to meet new people and experience different cultures. Whether it is learning how to block paint textiles in India, or creative food styling in Sweden, every trip is conducted in a group setting with other travelers in the “camp.” The programs focus on creativity and sustainable production, so campers should be prepared to get their hands dirty, and have an open mind about exploring the non-touristy aspects of a culture.
What are your favorite themed summer camps? Let us know in the comments below!