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Keep Your Teen Busy This Summer: The Top 6 Youth Summer Camps in the US

Are you worried about your teenage son or daughter wasting away the summer, sleeping in until 11 and eating snow cones and popsicles for every meal? Many parents try to get their kids to have a productive summer by reading, getting a summer job or internship, or by helping out around the house. Summer is a time when teenagers want to be free and have fun, so if you want to reach a compromise with your son or daughter, you might consider summer camp. Summer camps provide the youth with an opportunity to develop critical life skills, but it’s usually disguised as fun, so you both win. These six U.S. camps are the best in their categories in cultivating teamwork and a true sense of self worth. Their programs have been tailored to provide a real world experience under the most proficient guidance.

Keep Your Teen Busy This Summer: The Top 6 Youth Summer Camps in the US Camp Laurel

Maine is considered the mecca of outdoor summer camps. Camp Laurel’s two locations have access to a rich woodland landscape and the well run infrastructure to make use of it. Campers take part in almost every imaginable outdoor activity and an unrivaled curriculum of art courses and group activities. Laurel’s high tuition is balanced by a commitment to maintaining immaculate facilities and expert personnel.

Fundy Marine Science Institute’s Whale Camp

The Bay of Fundy in Maine is home to a unique and diverse marine ecosystem. Campers cast off from Grand Manan Island for exploration at sea and an up close study of whales, seals, penguins and other rare animals. Field work is combined with team activities, art projects and tutorials. If your teenager is enthralled by sea creatures and science, this is the perfect camp for them. Not only will they get the thrill of exploring, they will also get hands on experience that could come in handy if they ever choose to pursue marine biology as a career. Day camp packages are available for one to three weeks with overnight activities on the weekends.

Cheley Colorado Camp

Set in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, Cheley Camp provides a spirited western adventure executed with a code of living that instills a sense of appreciation and fellowship in its campers. Four weeks of horseback riding, river rafting, archery, woodworking and dozens of other activities fill the healthy schedule. Over 1600 acres of property and traditional lodgings have been dutifully maintained since the camp’s inception in 1921.

Calvin Center Summer Camp

If you’re looking to give your teenager a little guidance and structure this summer while offering them the outdoor adventures and amenities of any typical summer camp, you should look into summer camp at the Calvin Center, a church retreat near Atlanta. While campers make meaningful memories when they form a tight-knit group, they will also have opportunities for enlightenment during Bible study and worship. For parents who worry that their teen is not the type to sit still and study the Bible all summer, be assured that your child will have access to multiple activities that will ensure a summer full of adventure. Canoeing, rock climbing, archery, hiking, and horseback riding are only a few of the activities your teenager will have the chance to enjoy.

Walking Mountains Science Center

A first hand natural science and survival education is well earned in this Colorado Vail Valley camp. Graduate science students guide campers through a week long curriculum in nature studies. With maps and compasses in hand, campers must make their way through a landscape of volcanoes, rivers, and mines. The brevity of the program is balanced by the completeness of the experience provided. Courses are available for youth and adults in both day and overnight packages.

EAA’s Air Academy

The Air Academy’s week long program is set in the center of the aviation universe, Oshkosh, W.I. It’s a singular experience in effective interaction with an important part of science that offers fun courses in aviation engineering, flight simulation, outdoor competitions and time in the sky to put it all in perspective. If your teenage son or daughter is interested in being in the Air Force in the future, or they’ve always dreamed of a pilot, this would be the perfect camp for them. It might seem educational to you, but they will be so intrigued by their “pilot in training” experience, they won’t even realize how much they are learning.

These organizations represent the very best camps in the US for a rewarding and formative summer camp experience. These camps have taken a dutiful and considerate approach to presenting the real world skills they offer in a comprehensive and engaging manner. Giving your teen a chance to engage with other kids their age while doing something they are interested in will ensure they have a meaningful, productive summer. Oftentimes, the lessons they learn and the friends they make at summer camp will stick with them for years to come.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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