According to the American Camp Association, more than 12,000 day and overnight camps are in the U.S., and more than 11 million campers head to these summer programs each year. A dizzying array of general, themed and special-focus camps are available for kids of all ages. If you live in Delaware and are looking for a camp for your child, you have a variety of options across the state.
Although your child isn’t quite ready to move on to the University of Delaware’s campus for good, she can check out one of the college’s many summer camps. The university features 4-H, academic, health, music and sports camps for kids. The school’s academic camps offer learning-focused themes such as robotics for children in grade one through four, aerospace for middle-schoolers and a general study summer camp for children in kindergarten through third grade. Kids who enjoy nature and agriculture might want to try out one of the school’s 4-H camps that are specially designed for kids ages 5 through 18. Most of the camps – unless the program notes otherwise -- are on the university’s campus in Newark.
State Park Camps
Outdoorsy kids can spend the summer in nature at one of Delaware State Park’s summer camps. The State Parks Department runs these kids’ camps in outdoors spaces across Delaware. State Park camps include a half-day program for 4- to 6-year-olds and a full-day option for children who are 6 through 17. Some of the camps also offer pre- or post-program options to help working parents with child care needs. Camps differ by state park site, but often include themes and topics such as nature explorers, rock climbing, wildlife investigators and wilderness survival.
Overnight, also known as residential, camps give kids the opportunity to enjoy an away from home program for a few days or a week or more. Delaware’s Camp Arrowhead offers programs for children entering second grade and higher. The Taste of Camp option provides kids entering second and third grades the opportunity to try out an overnight experience for four days and three nights. Older kids, through grade six, might opt for the Homestead overnight option; teens in seventh through ninth grades can try the Pioneer camp. If your child has special needs, but wants to attend a residential camp with other children, the Children’s Beach House offers a program on the Delaware Bay. This camp includes swimming, sailing, drama, crafts and athletics.
Young athletes can extend their extracurricular experiences into summer through a Delaware area sports camp. The Delaware Sportsplex has basketball and volleyball options for children in the Newark area. These camps feature conditioning, fundamentals and drills. If you are looking for a more general athletic option, community programs such as New Castle County’s summer sports camps have combination programs that include athletics such as soccer, baseball, basketball and flag football in one full-day session.