Activities Done at Children's Summer Camps

By Christina Schnell
Some camp activities incorporate art projects with nature.
Some camp activities incorporate art projects with nature.

Several decades ago, summer camp activities centered around traditional low-tech camping experiences. While these traditional activities remain popular, day and overnight summer camps exist now for virtually every interest and passion, from computer programing and cartoon animation to camps devoted exclusively to yoga and meditation. When finding the right camp for your child, matching the available activities with your child's interests can help ensure a positive camp experience.

Traditional Camp Activities

These are time-honored classic activities many people associate with summer camp, such as archery, swimming, hiking and canoeing. Many traditional summer camps also include artistic activities like beading and nature drawing, as well as more adventuresome endeavors for older kids like windsurfing, water skiing and rock climbing. Sports like tennis, soccer, horseback riding and gymnastics are also available at many traditional day and overnight summer camps. Always read the fine print below activities, as some camps charge an additional fee for activities requiring particularly close personal instruction, like horseback riding and water skiing.

Art Camp Activities

Summer camps that focus exclusively on the arts are available for children of every age. And, while children attending these camps may never hold a canoe paddle, they'll have the opportunity to participate in everything from water color painting and print making, to crushing berries found on a nature hike and making their own dyes. Dramatic instruction and jewelry making are hands-on activities appropriate for every age group. Activities involving expensive equipment, such as photography or film making, may be available to older children.

Academic Based Camp Activities

Academic camp activities bridge the gap between material taught outside or in a classroom and real-world applications. Children may create lipstick and hair gel in a chemistry lab by using chemical equations and physics. Attending a camp devoted to the study of marine life may involve collecting and categorizing seaweed and shells found on the beach and in tidal pools. A camp focused on history may have kids reenact a particular battle or coup over the course of several days.

Sports Camp Activities

Camps focused entirely on a single sport such as swimming or soccer offer activities designed to improve the campers performance and understanding of that particular sport or athletics in general. Activities for a specific sport camp, like swimming, might include strengthening sessions devoted entirely on strengthening the core muscles, filming and analyzing a child's technical form or attending discussions/lectures about nutrition and stretching. Campers at a general sports camp might spend the entire day rotating through several very different sports such as basketball, tennis, swimming and lacrosse.

About the Author

Christina Bednarz Schnell began writing full-time in 2010. Her areas of expertise include child development and behavior, medical conditions and pet health. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international relations.