Ultimate Guide to Summer 2023

Page 1

ultimate guide to summer

87+ Summer Camps

Hot Topics at Summer Camp
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AMY L. FOREMAN

FOREMAN Associate Publisher

BUSINESS OPERATIONS

LAURIE ACOSTA Director of Operations

SARAH MILLER Client Relations Coordinator

EDITORIAL AMANDA MILLER Managing Editor

AUSTRIA COHN

EMILY DREZ Assistant Editors

SARAH BATROUS Editorial Assistant

ANTHONY BUI Web Editor

GILLIAN SCARBRO Editorial Intern

ART/PRODUCTION

GRACE KNOX

Senior Graphic Designer

MADISON GRAHAM

ALEX HERRING Graphic Designers

ADVERTISING

CRYSTAL BARRETT

CAMILLE CAVIN

JENNIFER HOFFMANN

JEANNE JACOBS

RYN WHITESIDE

Account Executives

JADE GRAY

Business Development Representative

MARKETING

EMILY MANCUSO Director of Marketing

MADISON MICHELLI

Social Media Coordinator

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

TERI HODGES Director of Community Partnerships

ROXANE VOORHIES

4 COLORADO PARENT THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO SUMMER 2023 The Ultimate Guide to Summer is published by Geaux Publish, Inc and distributed free of charge. Subscriptions accepted. Only authorized distributors may deliver and pick up the magazine. We reserve the right to edit, reject, or comment editorially on all materials contributed. We cannot be responsible for the return of any unsolicited material. The Ultimate Guide to Summer Copyright © 2023. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited. MEET OUR TEAM
Publisher BRANDON
Outreach contents 6 From the Publisher 10 The Case for Camp 12 What in it for Teens? 15 Day Camp Listings 26 Overnight Camp Listings 32 Hot Topics at Summer Camp 34 A Therapeutic Summer Camp Alternative for Troubled Teens
Community
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Summer is Coming

Spring has finally arrived, which means pollen, allergies, and sinus infections in my household. It also means that summer is creeping up around the corner. As a mom of three very active kids, I was finally able to enjoy a summer last year with very few camps because my daughter was legally old enough to stay home and watch her brothers. She quit on me a few times because they can be brats, but we fixed the problem, and she was back working for free. I remember being so happy to save that babysitter money. That gets so expensive!

This summer is going to be a little different. I have already signed up the boys for a couple of camps, and my daughter has dance classes during the entire month of June to prepare for Nationals. I think I might leave my July open and not overbook the kids. I want them to be active and not sitting on their Switches, iPads, or even the TV all summer. Have you noticed the behavior changes that can occur when children have too much screen time? Mine become little monsters that come from an evil place when they stare at a screen all day. I am not the parent who usually monitors this. As long as their grades are good, school work is getting done, and chores are completed, I could care less what they watch. Well, I care what they watch, but not how much.

So, now is the time to gather the information and talk to your children to see what they want to do for the summer. Is it a local day camp or a sleepaway camp? Do they need to improve some school skills over the summer? We have compiled an extensive listing of all the local day camps, including overnight camps, to help you make your summer camp decisions. Don’t forget to throw a vacation in there somewhere.

Happy planning for your eventful summer!

amylynn@familyresourcegroup.com

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The Case for Camp

Change is a part of life. It is often directly related to survival and can enrich one’s life in ways unexpected. Childhood is, in essence, a time of profound change and development. It is exciting and disquieting at the same time. When it comes to our children, we need to be sure that change is made for the better.

We’ve been so concentrated on the brain that we often forget about the rest of our bodies. This change in focus has led to an increase in obesity. Our children are not as healthy as the generation before. Children are inside a lot more than before. Add to that the fact that our children stand to inherit all the economic, social, and environmental challenges we’ve created, and the legacy we have left our children and youth begins to look bleak.

So, how do we prepare our children with the skills and, more importantly, the competencies they will need to tackle changes in our world? We could start with a positive camp experience. A quality camp experience provides our children with the opportunity to learn powerful lessons in community, character-building, skill development, and healthy living–a meaningful, engaging, and participatory environment.

Camp creates future leaders.

The camp experience offers children a close look at compassionate leadership through the camp director, counselors, resident nutritionist, and other camp personnel. And children get loads of opportunities to practice being a leader themselves–song leader, lunch table leader, team captain, the list goes on and on.

Camp promotes community.

It creates this great space that shows children how to live together and care for one another. There are norms and negotiation of boundaries; there are rules. Camp is a place where kids can practice growing up, stretching their social, emotional, physical, and cognitive muscles outside the context of their immediate family. This is what childhood is supposed to provide.

Camp teaches critical thinking.

We need to remember how important it is to be actively involved in the learning process, and camp affords that. We’re going to need really strong

problem solvers in the next century. We need science, math, and biology, but without the ability to relate, connect, empathize, or inspire innovation, how will our children be able to make a difference in the challenges now facing us?

The camp experience embraces the natural environment.

While children have fewer and fewer opportunities to be outdoors, the camp experience advances the outdoor learning environment. As we become more concerned about saving the planet, we run out and make videos about it. The environment needs to be experienced to be appreciated. Children need to catch tadpoles in the creek, wander among the trees, and feel the sun on their faces to understand the importance of those things. What happens to a generation that may grow up not seeing stars in the dark of the night?

Camp is an equal opportunity life changer.

It addresses universal childhood needs not specific to a particular racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic group. Nobody is left out. It’s all about childhood development.

We need to recognize this is not a series of frivolous activities. We often think that if it looks like fun, it must be unimportant, but “fun” is a young person’s “work”–to learn; to grow; to be productive, creative, and happy. If they don’t do that work, they won’t turn into healthy adults. Now more than ever, children need camp.

Camp has a lasting impact.

One of the greatest gifts you can give a child is a sense of success and achievement. Camp teaches children how to be active participants, ask questions, ask for help, and try new things. They leave understanding that it’s okay to feel a little uncomfortable sometimes, because that’s generally what happens when you’re getting ready to learn something. The camp experience translates back to real-world experience in an “I can” attitude.

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What’s in it for Teens? Camp and the Big Kids

Are you crossing summer camp registration off your to-do list because you think your teenager has outgrown roasting marshmallows, singing around the campfire, and playing Marco Polo? Well, even if your teen has set their horizons on bigger and better things, like their career path, for instance, it doesn’t mean they have outgrown the camp experience. Camp is so much more than crafts and games–it’s about enrichment and the opportunity to learn a little more about yourself and the things that truly make you happy.

Career paths

Many teens need guidance when it comes to heading in the right direction on the paths that lead them to their future careers. Some teens have expansive interests, and they just can’t seem to narrow it down to what they really want to do in the professional world. Other teens are just uninformed about all the options out there. A little guidance may be all your teen needs to finally establish some career goals.

There are several options for teens to explore possible careers. At careerfocused camps, teens have a way to figure out, fairly quickly, if the profession at hand is something that would lead to contentment or if a particular profession can be eliminated from their career choices.

Life skills

According to Jeffrey Leiken, M.A., for the American Camp Association, “Camps serving teenagers have been adapting to these changes [complex pressures and advanced behaviors of teens] and offering increasingly sophisticated program choices to address the challenges teens experience growing up in the shifting world of American culture.”

Camp leaders know that teens nowadays are smart and need something more than busy work and outdated curriculum to keep teens inspired. At camp, teens learn how to be a vital part of a team, how to be independent and

even adventurous. They can develop their social skills and are encouraged to be physically active, flexible, and adaptable in any environment.

Many camps focus on the skills that teens really need to give them a push in the adult world–that will help them to become responsible and successful adults. Teens learn about being leaders, ultimately providing them with skills they can actually use in the real world.

Community service

Some camps offer the opportunity to flex campers’helping hands with a community service focus, and you can find these camps worldwide.

For example, VISIONS Service Adventures provides teens a way to learn about other cultures while accomplishing impressive projects. Your teen can travel to such locations as Alaska, Cambodia, or Dominica. Does your teen think summer camp is boring? I wonder what they would think about harvesting fruits and vegetables or working with children living with special needs in the British Virgin Islands.

Discoveries

Without experiences, we lack real perspective. Teens, especially, need to be challenged and adaptable to new places, new people, and new experiences. It will prepare them for life’s adventures. Campers are exposed to so many activities that it’s likely that they’ll try an activity they’ve never tried.

When your teen steps outside of their comfort zone, they may discover a hidden talent in those uncharted waters. Maybe at a performing arts camp, they’ll figure out they have superior dance skills or vocal chops. Furthermore, horseback riding and zip-lining are things you don’t get to do every day, but at camp, it’s only a small part of the fun.

Don’t let your child’s last summers of being a kid pass by without some invaluable experiences and memories.

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CAMP LISTINGS

Plan a summer to remember by attending camp!

We’ve compiled a list of some of the best camps in the state. Whether your child prefers art, theatre, dance, sports, or wants to focus on something more educational or traditional, you’ll find it here in this listing.

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CREATIVE ARTS

Ah Haa School for the Arts

155 W. Pacific Avenue (970) 728-3886

ahhaa.org

Ages: 5-18

Curious Jane

55 Clermont Street (908) 433-0528

curiousjane.fun/camp/denver

Ages: 4-13

Dates: June 12-July 21

Rates: $100-495

Curious Jane builds confidence through making things and is a space to be creative and inventive in a high-energy environment.

Got Game Summer Camp

Aspen Ridge Preparatory School (720) 909-8077

gotgamecamp.com/colorado

Ages: 5-12

Living Arts Summer Camp

Living Arts School

Anne U White Trail (720) 383-4406

livingartsschool.com/summer-camp

Ages: 6-12

EDUCATION

DAY CAMPS

Camp Invention

Various locations (800) 968-4332

invent.org/local

Grades: Entering K-6

Dates: Varies

Rates: $260+

Children take on inspiring challenges with the allnew Camp Invention® program, Wonder! Register using SUM25 by 3/30 & save $25!

CAP STEM & Technology Camps

Colorado Adventure Point

10455 W. 6th Avenue (720) 266-2143

coloradoadventurepoint.org/communityprograms/stem-camp

Ages: 6-12

Dates: June 5-August 11

Rates: $275

We offer STEM & Technology camps, with a side of adventure!

Chess Camp (29th Annual)

Denver Chess Academy 4500 E. Hampden Avenue (303) 770-6696

coloradomasterchess.com

Ages: 6-16

Every Child Reading–

Super Star Summer Camp

Littleton/Lakewood and Denver (720) 235-5935 everychildreading.org

Ages: 6-15

Legendary Summer Camp

Sunshine House Early Learning Academy

1080 West Lake Street (970) 480-5990

sunshinehouse.com/summer

Ages: 5-12

Dates: Varies

Rates: Varies

Unforgettable field trips, unique weekly themes, and hands-on experiences. Safe, licensed, and secure. 45 years of experience. Meals included.

Legendary Summer Camp

Sunshine House Early Learning Academy 1703 East 18th Street (970) 820-4075

sunshinehouse.com/summer

Ages: 5-12

Dates: Varies

Rates: Varies

Unforgettable field trips, unique weekly themes, and hands-on experiences. Safe, licensed, and secure. 45 years of experience. Meals included.

Legendary Summer Camp

Sunshine House Early Learning Academy 1801 Piney River Drive (970) 635-0111

sunshinehouse.com/summer

Ages: 5-12

Dates: Varies

Rates: Varies

Unforgettable field trips, unique weekly themes, and hands-on experiences. Safe, licensed, and secure. 45 years of experience. Meals included.

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Legendary Summer Camp

Sunshine House Early Learning Academy

6910 Wills Drive (719) 573-6910

sunshinehouse.com/summer

Ages: 5-12

Dates: Varies

Rates: Varies

Unforgettable field trips, unique weekly themes, and hands-on experiences. Safe, licensed, and secure. 45 years of experience. Meals included.

Montessori Children’s House of Denver

2211 Xanthia Way (303) 322-8324

mchdenver.org/classroom/mchd-summer-camp

Ages: 1-12

Dates: June 5-July 28

Rates: $830-1,550

MCHD offers learning-centered, theme-based camps built around extended outdoor play and hands-on experiences with a variety of schedule options.

Space Voyage Summer Space Camp

Space Voyage

Coronado Elementary School (303) 985-3143

spacevoyage.com

Ages: 6-16

STEM & Coding Camps

Coding with Kids

7701 E. 1st Place

codingwithkids.com

Ages: 5-18

Summer Programs at the International School of Denver

7701 E First Place (303) 340-3647

isdenver.org/summer

Ages: 3-14

Dates: June 3-July 28

Rates: $425-625/week

Every week your child will explore the world while moving their body, expanding their mind, and forming new friendships.

Summer STEAM (STEM + the Arts) Camps

Gold Crown Foundation

150 S. Harlan Street & 2501 Chase Street (303) 233-6776

goldcrownfoundation.com/enrichment/programs

Ages: 10-17

Dates: June 5-August 4

Rates: $150

Create, explore, innovate! Four week-long camps include music production, LEGObotics, GIF animation, and creative design. No prior experience required!

Wings Air & Space Summer Camp

Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum

13005 Wings Way (303) 360-5360

wingsmuseum.org/camp

Ages: 8-14

Dates: June 5-August 11

Rates: $399

At Wings’ Air & Space Camp, your camper will be immersed in a week-long aerospace experience. Register today!

Wings Air & Space Summer Camp

Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum 7711 East Academy Boulevard (303) 360-5360 wingsmuseum.org/camp

Ages: 8-14

Dates: June 5-August 11

Rates: $399

At Wings’ Air & Space Camp, your camper will be immersed in a week-long aerospace experience. Register today!

Young Americans Center for Financial Education

FUN-ancial Summer Camps 3550 E. 1st Avenue (303) 321-2265 yacenter.org/summer-camps

Ages: 8-13

Dates: June 5 - August 4

Rates: $260

Choose from Young AmeriTowne, International Towne, Girls Can, Money Matters and YouthBiz camps. Financial assistance is available.

PERFORMING ARTS

Aerial Summer Camps

Frequent Flyers Aerial Dance

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3022 E. Sterling Circle (303) 245-8272

frequentflyers.org/camps

Ages: 5-18

Dates: June 5-July 21

Rates: $250-450

Students learn aerial arts, dance, and performance skills, ending each week with an informal performance for family and friends.

Camp Shakespeare & Shakespeare’s Sprites

Colorado Shakespeare Festival

261 University of Colorado (303) 735-1181

cupresents.org/performance/10037/shakespeare/ summer-camps

Ages: 8-18

Performing Arts Summer Camps

Performing Arts Academy

5690 County Line Place (303) 900-7041

paacolorado.org/theatre-summer-camp

Ages: 3-18

Dates: June 5-July 30

Rates: $150-225

One-week half-day camps. Grades PreK-12. Each camp ends with a Shareformance/ Recital for friends and family!

Queen Bee’s Kids Bluegrass Camp

818 Red Lady Avenue (505) 278-0012

queenbeemusicassociation.org/summer-campkids-bluegrass-camp

Ages: 7-15

Dates: July 10-14

Rates: $330-355

A fun-filled music camp in Crested Butte, Colorado, where kids learn to write songs and play in a bluegrass band.

Summer Show Camps

Performing Arts Academy

5690 County Line Place (303) 900-7041

paacolorado.org/summer-shows

Ages: 3-18

Dates: May 30-July 30

Rates: $245-745

Fully-Staged Show Camps. 1-week full-day, 2-week half-day or 2-week full day during June and July for all age groups.

Summer Show Camps *Castle Rock

Performing Arts Academy

5254 N. Meadows Drive (303) 900-7041

paacolorado.org/summer-shows

Ages: 4-18

Dates: June 19-June 30

Rates: $395-745

Fully Staged Musical! Summer Show Camps are either 1-week full-day, 2-week half-day or 2-week full day (conservatory) camps.

SPECIAL NEEDS

Summer Camp at The Behavior Exchange - ABA Therapy

The Behavior Exchange 500 Discovery Parkway (720) 647-8541 behaviorexchange.com

Ages: 2-12

Dates: May 30-August 11

Rates: ABA therapy is covered by most healthcare plans and we’re in-network with most major insurance providers, including Colorado Medicaid. Join us for Individualized Applied Behavior Analysis(ABA) therapy with a specialized summer curriculum for children with developmental and behavioral challenges.

SPORTS, FITNESS, & NUTRITION

AF Sports Camps

2169 Field House Drive (719) 333-2116 goairforcefalcons.com/camps

Ages: 8-18

Dates: June 12-27

Rates: $500-1,000

AF Sports Camps located in beautiful Colorado Springs, CO and led by our very own Divisions 1 Collegiate Coaches.

Awesome Warrior Playground Camp

33 S. Pratt Parkway (303) 485-1000 warriorplayground.com/camps

Ages: 5-13

Colorado Mines Volleyball

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Colorado School of Mines Volleyball

1651 Elm Street (303) 273-3371

camps.jumpforward.com/minesvolleyballcamps

Grades: 3-12

Colorado School of Mines

Men’s Soccer Camp

Colorado School of Mines Soccer Camps

1500 Illinois Street (303) 273-3369

minesathletics.com/sports/2018/1/22/camps.aspx

Ages: 6-12

Denver Nuggets Hanzlik Hoops Camp

Gold Crown Foundation

150 S. Harlan Street (303) 233-6776

goldcrownfoundation.com/events/summerbasketball-camp

Ages: 7-14

Dates: July 10-20

Rates: $145-165

Get ready for skill stations, contests, games and FUN. Campers win prizes, receive a t-shirt and a Denver Nuggets ticket.

Got Game Summer Camp

Fireside Elementary School (720) 909-8077

gotgamecamp.com/colorado

Ages: 5-12

Summer Volleyball Camp

Gold Crown Foundation

150 S. Harlan Street

(303) 233-6776

goldcrownfoundation.com/events/summervolleyball-skills-camp

Ages: 8-15

Dates: June 19-22

Rates: $165

Build your confidence and skill set! Camp includes all aspects of the game, including passing, setting, footwork serving, and fun!

Swim and Marine Science Camp

Ocean First

3015 Bluff Street (303) 444-7234

oceanfirst.blue/swim/camps-programs

Ages: 5-8

Dates: June 19-August 3

Rates: $228

Multi-day camp for five-eight year olds! Campers will receive a daily 90-minute lesson about the ocean and a 30-minute swim lesson.

YEA Afterschool Program

Youth Empowerment Agency

15960 E. Colfax Avenue (720) 756-8204

youthempowermentagency.com

Ages: 5-12

TRADITIONAL

Adventure Quest with Renaissance Adventures

1001 Arapahoe Avenue (303) 786-9216

renaissanceadventures.com

Ages: 6-17

Dates: May 30-August 18

Rates: $320-599

Be the hero of a mythic quest! Adventure Quest is designed to develop teamwork, critical thinking, ethical reasoning, and communication.

Adventure Quest with Renaissance Adventures

1001 Arapahoe Avenue (303) 786-9216

renaissanceadventures.com

Ages: 6-12

Dates: June 5-August 11

Rates: $490

Be the hero of a mythic quest: solve mysteries & riddles, overcome dynamic challenges, and battle using safe, foam swords!

Adventure Quest with Renaissance Adventures

1700 N. Sheridan Boulevard (303) 786-9216

renaissanceadventures.com

Ages: 6-17

Dates: July-August

Rates: $212-320

Your child is the hero of a mythic quest in an incredibly fun, award-winning experience like none other!

Adventure Quest with Renaissance Adventures

1800 Creekside Drive

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(303) 786-9216

renaissanceadventures.com

Ages: 6-17

Dates: June-July

Rates: $530

Be the hero of a mythic quest: solve mysteries and riddles, overcome dynamic challenges, and battle using safe, foam swords!

Adventure Quest with Renaissance Adventures

2100 S. Pennsylvania Street (303) 786-9216

renaissanceadventures.com

Ages: 6-17

Dates: June 6-August 4

Rates: $530

Be the hero of a mythic quest! Adventure Quest is designed to develop teamwork, critical thinking, ethical reasoning, and communication.

Adventure Quest with Renaissance Adventures

4601 W. 46th Avenue (303) 786-9216

renaissanceadventures.com

Ages: 6-17

Dates: July-August

Rates: $530

Your child is the hero of a mythic quest in an incredibly fun, award-winning experience like none other!

Camp Greenwood

5801 S. Quebec Street (720) 838-2496

greenwoodcamps.com

Ages: 5-12

Dates: May 30-August 11

Rates: $195-435

Full-day camps include fun weekly themes, swimming, games, sports, arts and crafts, special events, and field trip Fridays.

City of Aurora Day Camps

15151 E. Alameda Parkway (303) 739-7182

auroragov.org/daycamps

Ages: 2.5-17

Colorado Mini Adventures Day Camp

Simply Venture

8000 S. High Street (970) 309-0066

simplyventure.net/daycamp

Ages: 7-12

Discover Nature

Women’s Wilderness

1206 Euclid Avenue (303) 938-9191

womenswilderness.org/programs

Ages: 8-10

Dungeon Delvers™ with Renaissance Adventures

1001 Arapahoe Avenue (303) 786-9216 renaissanceadventures.com

Ages: 10-17

Dates: June-July

Rates: $320-599

Explore and create an adventure in the fantasy world of one of the most popular tabletop roleplaying adventure games.

Friends School Summer Camp Friends School

5465 Pennsylvania Avenue (303) 499-1999

friendsschoolboulder.org/programs/ summer-programs

Ages: 3-14

Dates: June 5-July 28

Rates: $225-375

Music, STEM, art, CIT, sports and preschool camp. Ages 3-14 years. Fun half & full day camps.

Knight CIT with Renaissance Adventures

1001 Arapahoe Avenue (303) 786-9216 renaissanceadventures.com

Ages: 14-17

Dates: May 30-June 2

Rates: $215

The Knight CIT offering at Renaissance Adventures is a unique leadership program where the teens become mentors and assistants.

Knight CIT with Renaissance Adventures

2100 S Pennsylvania Street (303) 786-9216 renaissanceadventures.com

Ages: 14-17

Dates: June 5-9

Rates: $215

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The Knight CIT offering at Renaissance Adventures is a unique leadership program where the teens become mentors and assistants.

Magic Cards & Games with Renaissance Adventures

1001 Arapahoe Avenue (303) 786-9216

renaissanceadventures.com

Ages: 10-17

Dates: August 14-15

Rates: $212

Learn strategy & tactics playing Magic the Gathering®, Werewolf®, Coup®, Samurai Sword®, and Avalon® and breaks with foam sword dueling!

PlayQuest with Renaissance Adventures

6717 S. Boulder Road (303) 786-9216

renaissanceadventures.com

Ages: 6-8

Dates: June 12-16

Rates: $530

Adventure Questing for our youngest adventures! Your child is the hero of a mythic quest in an award-winning experience.

Star Quest with Renaissance Adventures

1001 Arapahoe Avenue (303) 786-9216

renaissanceadventures.com

Ages: 10-17

Dates: June-July

Rates: $599

Star Quest is a science fiction live-action roleplaying game with mind-bending fun in a galaxy really, really close!

Steve & Kate’s Camp

1800 N. Pontiac Street (720) 439-7785

steveandkatescamp.com/ denver-park-hill

Ages: 4-12

Dates: June 12-August 11

Rates: $110-3,300

Campers choose from activities including sewing, coding, building, sports & more! Est. 1980. Lunch, snacks & all hours (8 a.m.-6 p.m.) included.

Steve & Kate’s Camp

Aspen Academy

5859 S. University Boulevard (720) 248-6566

steveandkatescamp.com

Ages: 4-12

Dates: May 30-August 4

Rates: $110-3,300

Campers choose from activities including sewing, coding, building, sports & more! Est. 1980. Lunch, snacks & all hours (8 a.m.-6 p.m.) included.

Steve & Kate’s Camp

Montessori Academy of Colorado 2500 Curtis Street (720) 399-5622

steveandkatescamp.com

Ages: 4-12

Dates: June 5-August 11

Rates: $110-3,300

Campers choose from activities including sewing, coding, building, sports & more! Est. 1980. Lunch, snacks & all hours (8 a.m.-6 p.m.) included.

Summer Adventure Day Camp

Iliff Preschool, Kindergarten, and School-Age Summer Camp 4140 E. Iliff Avenue (303) 757-3551

Iliffpreschool.com

Grades: Post Kindergarten-Age 12

Dates: June 5-August 17

Rates: $374/per week, $80.85/day

Campers spend their days visiting museums and parks, swimming, playing sports, hiking, creating art, and exploring STEAM activities. Since 1963!

Wee Folk Forest Summer Camp

Wee Folk Forest Kindergarten

Two locations (720) 383-4406

weefolkforestkindergarten.com/ summer-camp

Ages: 2.5-6

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OVERNIGHT CAMPS

15 Day Teenage Whitewater Skills Camp

Dvorak Kayak & Rafting Expeditions

17921 US Highway 285 (719) 539-6851

dvorakexpeditions.com/courses-clinics

Ages: 13-17

ADTC ULTIMATE Rocky Mountains CO Dance Camp

American Dance Training Camps

2200 Baker Drive (866) 383-2382

americandancetrainingcamp.com/locations/ co-dance-camp

Ages: 8-17

Adventure Backpack and Climb

Women’s Wilderness 1206 Euclid Avenue

womenswilderness.org/programs

Ages: 11-13

Ajax Sleepaway

28525 Brush Creek Road (970) 718-6008

ajaxsleepaway.com

Ages: 8-13

American Diabetes Association Camp Colorado 16565 Co Road 162 (703) 253-4900

diabetes.org/get-involved/community/camp/

find-a-camp

Ages: 8-17

Beginner Campcraft

Women’s Wilderness

1206 Euclid Avenue (303) 938-9191 womenswilderness.org/programs

Ages: 11-13

Blue Mountain Ranch

11227 County Road 98 (719) 748-3279 bluemountainranch.com

Ages: 7-15

Bold Earth Adventures

1569 N. High Street (303) 526-0806 boldearth.com

Ages: 13-18

Brown Ledge Camp

71 Brown Ledge Road (802) 862-2442 brownledge.org

Ages: 10-17

Camp Birchwood

6983 N Steamboat Lake Drive NW (800) 451-5270 campbirchwood.com

Ages: 7-17

Camp Bon Coeur

300 Ridge Road (337) 233-8437

heartcamp.com

Ages: 7-16

Camp Ember 3535 S. Kipling Street (303) 963-6300

campember.net

Ages: 16-18

Camp Hollymont for Girls

339 Nacoochee Drive (828) 686-5343

hollymont.com

Ages: 7-16

Camp Stanislaus

304 South Beach Boulevard (228) 467-9057

campstanislaus.com

Ages: 8-15

Camp Stewart for Boys

612 FM 1340 (830) 238-4670

campstewart.com

Ages: 6-16

Camp Takajo

60 Takajo Road (207) 693-6675

camptakajo.com

Ages: 7-15

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Camp Timberlake

707 Dink Cannon Road (828) 669-8766

camptimberlake.com

Ages: 6-16

Canyonlands Field Institute

1320 S. Highway 191 (435) 355-2072

cfimoab.org/summer-camps

Ages: 6-17

Charis Hills

498 Faulkner Road (940) 964-2145

charishills.org

Ages: 7-18

CHBA Summer Camp

Colorado Honor Band Association 216 S. Grant Street (303) 778-6693

cohonorband.org

Ages: 10-18

Heart O’ the Hills Camp for Girls

2430 Highway 39 (830) 238-4650

hohcamp.com

Ages: 6-16

High Peaks Expedition (Backpacking)

Women’s Wilderness

1206 Euclid Avenue

(303) 938-9191

womenswilderness.org/programs

Ages: 14-17

Keystone Science School

1053 Soda Ridge Road (970) 468-2098

keystonescienceschool.org

Ages: 5-18

Middle School CO

Outdoor Adventure Camp

Simply Venture

8000 S. High Street (970) 309-0066

simplyventure.net/msadventurecamp

Ages: 10-14

Rainbow Trail Lutheran Camp

107 S. 9th Street (719) 276-5323

rainbowtrail.org

Ages: 7-18 and families

Rockbrook Camp for Girls

3460 Greenville Highway (828) 884-6151

rockbrookcamp.com

Ages: 6-16

Teenage Whitewater Skills Camp 15 Days

Dvorak Kayak & Rafting Expeditions

17921 Highway 285 (719) 539-6851

dvorakexpeditions.com/courses-clinics/

whitewater-skills-camp

Ages: 13-17

The Road Less Traveled 2331 N. Elston Court (773) 342-5200

theroadlesstraveled.com

Ages: 11-18

Twin Lakes Leader In Training Program (LIT)

Twin Lakes Camp and Conference Center 155 Milner Road (601) 845-6858

twinlakescamp.org

Ages: 13-15

Dates: June 4-July 22

Rates: $355

LITs are challenged to be godly leaders and prepared to minister to and serve others within camp and their communities.

Twin Lakes Summer Camp

Twin Lakes Camp and Conference Center

155 Milner Road (601) 845-6858

twinlakescamp.org

Ages: 6-12

Dates: June 5-July 22

Rates: $685

Campers experience the great outdoors, exciting day activities, creative night programs, kid-friendly meals, and time with our great summer staff.

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Hot Topics at Summer Camp

If s’mores, swimming, and songs by the campfire have sparked an interest in your child, then you might be looking for a suitable camp for your child to attend this summer. Parents all want their children to grow, learn, and enjoy themselves in a positive atmosphere, which leads to probing questions regarding camp safety, health, and communication policies.

With so much information provided to parents regarding these topics, one may feel a bit overwhelmed. To make the camp experience an enjoyable one for your child and easier for you, we compiled a list of some of the most common topics that concern our parents and found the information needed to help you be prepared for summer camp.

Benefits of camp

Regardless of the type of camp a child attends, all camps have one common goal in mind: to encourage growth within children. Children who attend camp develop important life skills including leadership, independence, and compromising.

Samuel Del Favero, owner of Camp Birchwood, says, “The benefits of camp are infinite–everyone gets something out of camp that is a little different and unique to their experience. The socioemotional growth, here at Birchwood, is something every camper experiences growth in. Our program and culture is focused on this aspect of learning as it is directly translated to the classroom, household, or friendships outside of camp.”

Many camps offer a positive learning environment that teaches them they can do what they set their minds to, that fears can be conquered, and that new friendships and bonds can form in an environment of diversity. Camp builds children physically and psychologically.

Parents often report that after a child returns home from camp, there is a newfound maturity and self-confidence within the child. Kids are willing to take on more challenges and get involved in activities they once wouldn’t even consider trying.

Del Favero explains, “Parents notice a new confidence or an independence they haven’t seen when campers come home. Our curriculum focuses on choice, so it’s not surprising when parents email us or call in after a session and let us know how much their child is now doing on their own. The longer you’re at camp, the more you’ll get out of it; however, our two week, introductory camp, can be a very deep and meaningful experience for someone of any age.”

Are they ready?

“We always say moms know best, but when a mother calls camp to ask if their daughter is ready, I ask them two questions: 1. How social are they? 2. Have

they slept away from home? And maybe a third if they haven’t slept away from home: 3. How do they deal with transition? Oftentimes, the parents aren’t ready for their child, so we talk about things to help the parents as well! To prepare campers for camp, start by having them make more decisions at home, sleep away from home, and actually prepare for camp with your child by purchasing the gear, reading the Parent Handbook together, etc. Also, call the camp office. So many times parents call with one question and we end up having an hour-long conversation about camp and they feel relieved,” says Del Favero.

A child’s personality plays a crucial role in determining whether or not a child will be ready for sleepaway camp. Attending camp requires a sense of maturity in a child. If they are not taking baths by themselves or getting themselves dressed for the day without assistance from a parent or guardian, they may not be ready for overnight camp. Having sleepovers with friends will help parents determine whether or not their child will be ready for a sleepaway camp, too. If a child is calling in the middle of the night, wanting to come home, it might be best for the child to hold off for another year before attending camp.

However, if a child thrives in new situations and likes to make new friends, the transition to a sleepaway camp will be an easy one. And, a sibling tagging along for the camping experience can be very beneficial for the young campers by having someone there to show them the ropes.

Packing for camp

There are various factors to take into consideration when packing for camp: the type of camp, your child’s age, and the length of stay.

Packing in general can lead to stress, and sometimes parents aren’t sure where to start. What does a child need? What are they not allowed to bring? Are there any items that a camper will need to pack extra? All of these are common questions running through parents’ minds as they begin packing. Most camps offer a packing list to help jumpstart the process of what to bring and what to leave behind. Just remember the golden rule–be sure to label everything you send to camp.

Getting used to the dark

While a flashlight seems like a common must-have item for camp, there are times when a flashlight’s use is underrated. When camp activities are over and it’s time for lights out, children may find it hard to settle down due to the darkness and lack of streetlights. Talk with your child about sounds that go bump in the night and discover ways to help them relax and get a good night’s

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rest while using their flashlight. And, don’t forget the batteries.

General packing items

Besides the no-fail flashlight, other important items to add to the packing list include: comfortable clothing, swimwear, rain gear, sturdy footwear, toiletries, pen, paper, and stamped envelopes. It’s also a good idea to bring disinfecting wipes. Avoid bringing any expensive items that can be lost or broken, including cell phones and money.

Health issues at camp

Emergency and medical information

The American Camp Association encourages campers to bring along emergency contact information and any information about your child’s medications, including whether or not a camper will need Epi-pens, inhalers, or other devices. A parent must also talk to the camp directors about any medical issues the child may have such as allergies. Some camps will not administer certain medications, so it is important for a parent to discuss the policies long before signing up for a camp. Learning the medical procedures in case of an accident or illness is critical for parents prior to camp registration.

Heat, sunburn, and insects

Make sure your camper brings along sunscreen and insect repellent. Spray sunscreen is recommended because some children may object to other campers touching them to apply the sunscreen. Depending on the area and conditions of the camping experience, precautions may be given to avoid mosquito bites, bed bugs, and other insects native to an area.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines extreme heat as, “summertime temperatures that are substantially hotter and/or more humid than average for a location at that time of year. Children, especially children who are physically active, are at a higher risk for heatrelatedillnesses.” Outdoor camps are required to have trained personnel who can treat heat exhaustion or heat stroke. All campers and staff are taught conditions of excessive heat exposure, drinking adequate fluids, and how and when to seek help if necessary.

Communication at camp

This generation of children is the most connected. Kids are constantly plugged in, whether it be through video games, cell phones, iPads, televisions, or computers. They are staying in the know with what’s happening, when it happens.

The thought of not allowing cell phones and electronic devices at camp seems downright archaic to some. However, unplugging from the electronic world is the beauty of camp–it restores tradition. Usually once a child is involved at camp, technology isn’t something they’re worried about. Parents tend to be the ones looking for a way to keep tabs on their child.

Many children have had cell phones since grade school to allow them to remain in contact with their parents at all times. At camp, the cell phones stay at home in order to encourage an old form of engagement that requires social interaction without the screen. But, how are parents supposed to get in touch with their children? Often, parents and their children can write back and forth while at camp. However, using phones or emails can vary from camp to camp. Before choosing a camp, be sure to find out how you will be able to stay in contact with your child and how often you may contact them.

Homesickness

Homesickness is a normal feeling that children experience. According to the American Camp Association, “In a recent study, nearly 96 percent of all boys and girls who were spending two weeks or more at overnight camp reported some homesickness on at least one day.” Since homesickness is a common occurrence at camp, staff members are fully prepared to help manage the situation by keeping the homesick camper busy, helping them write letters home, and by talking with a staff member.

To help avoid homesickness, parents can allow their children to attend sleepovers with friends just to test the waters and see how they do. The better the success at sleepovers, the better the child will be at camp.

Many times parents will tell their child to try out camp for a certain number of days, and if they still miss home, they can return home. Setting up these escape routes for a child won’t encourage them to really experience camp. They will be too focused on returning home instead of enjoying their

surroundings and what the camp has to offer.

Camp security

Keeping a child safe and healthy is top priority at all camps. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the incidence of violent crimes committed against and by children and youth continues to rise in America. Due to this alarming rate, the American Camp Association (ACA) encourages camps to continuously review and tighten security measures to ensure that campers remain safe at all times.

ACA suggests that each camp research its individual needs and liabilities by designing a protocol for handling visitors to the camp, assessing the need for fencing, lights, and telephones for emergency calls, assessing the quality of security and control present in the facility, and to coordinate with local support systems.

By securing the area around the camp and making personnel easily available, campers can experience camp in full-force, knowing they are going to be safe throughout the day and night.

Discipline

“Misbehaving or socially unacceptable behavior at Camp Birchwood is rare; however, there are several levels of behavioral management strategies which are dependent on the behavior.

The first way is proactive; we have a culture and structure to camp that sets our new campers up for success. The older campers role model for younger campers, and cabin counselors are creating positive, inclusive cultures with kindness and compassion. Every morning we meet with the counselors to discuss in-camp behavior and issues that arise.

First, we allow natural social consequences to play out if the behavior isn’t emotionally or physically harmful to others. The next intervention would be a counselor having a discussion and coming up with a plan to behave differently or implement supportive measures based on positive reinforcement–not a consequence-based system. We may encourage group intervention as well. The key is that the intervention is related to the behavior, which is not always a simple concept to grasp. If none of this is effective, I would check in with the parents and discuss with the camper. The last measure is to send a camper home, which doesn’t necessarily mean they can’t come back to camp, as everyone is constantly learning; a year of development may be helpful to have a great camp experience next summer. We would be in direct contact with parents and there is a process involved with this,” says Del Favero.

Special needs camps

Camps for children with special needs are growing everyday. The mission of these camps is to offer the chance for as many children as possible, regardless of their abilities, to have the chance to have fun, to make new friends, to be accepted for who they are, and to learn new challenges. For parents who are not aware of what camps are out there now, a little research can make a lifetime difference for your child. Camps for children with special needs provide many of the same opportunities and benefits of traditional camps such as a few we have researched below.

Louisiana Lions Camp offers a free outdoor summer camp for campers living with respiratory disorders, special needs, juvenile diabetes, and childhood cancer. Camp Pelican provides a week-long overnight camp for children with pulmonary disorders, severe asthma, cystic fibrosis, tracheostomy, and ventilator assisted children.

Camp Bon Coeur provides camping to children who have been born with congenital heart defects. Camp Bon Coeur offers a safe and fun environment for “cardiac campers” to participate in various activities under the supervision of a nursing staff.

Camp Dream Street in Mississippi offers a five day, four night camping program for children with physical disabilities.

Each camp has their own application process, depending on the disability, in order to ensure the camp is able to meet the camper’s needs. Many have financial aid available, and some camps are free. With highly trained staff, these happy campers are able to create the lifetime memories they so richly deserve.

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“Parents notice a new confidence or an independence they haven’t seen when campers come home.”

A Therapeutic Summer Camp Alternative for Troubled Teens

If you have a troubled teen, the prospect of summer break may fill you with dread. The school year provides at least some structure and support, but the long summer stretch leaves at-risk teens ample time and opportunity to engage in dangerous choices. If you’re a working parent, you may be especially concerned about the lack of supervision for your adolescent and your ability to enforce consequences. Summer break is a perfect time to send your teen away for an intervention.

You may be tempted to send your teen to a boot camp, with the promise to straighten out your delinquent youth through strict discipline and military structure. The idea of sending your child away to return with a changed attitude, now respectful of your authority, can be appealing to exhausted parents who feel in over their heads. Boot camps, however, are not all they’re cracked up to be. The boot camp environment may work to instill discipline in some teens, but this often doesn’t apply once teens return to their home environment. More problematic, the harsh, and even abusive approach many of these camps take can be damaging to teens. Often, teens act out when they’re experiencing internal mental or emotional distress. Not only do boot camps fail to identify and resolve these underlying problems, but the measures they use can also exacerbate teens’ mental health problems.

Short-term treatment centers and wilderness programs are safer and better options for teens with moderate to serious issues. They’re more beneficial to troubled teens and their families and usually are part of a treatment program to help teens get the help they need to reduce problematic behaviors. These programs are about healing teens in a supportive environment instead of just training youth to be subservient through harsh tactics. This approach, with its focus on mental and emotional health, creates lasting positive change. For teens with mild to moderate problems, mental health summer camps are another option to consider. These programs are also far less risky than boot camps for teen’s physical and emotional health. Mental health summer camps can help prevent teens’ issues from spiraling out of control.

How can a mental health summer camp help my troubled teen? Going away interrupts negative patterns. Often, when teens are struggling, they’re involved in social groups and have developed routines that reinforce negative behavior. Even when youth recognize their behavior is unhealthy, they often feel unable to break away from those patterns. While away, adolescents are removed from negative influences and are allowed to start fresh.

The goal is to support, not punish. Though your teen may still feel like being sent to a mental health summer camp is a punishment, that isn’t the goal of their stay. Instead of spending their time being punished and told they’re bad, teens experience interesting, engaging, and even fun opportunities designed to help them succeed.

May be run by trained staff and counselors. Mental health summer camps

may have staff and counselors who are trained and licensed and who want to help your adolescent. These professionals understand psychology and development and are experienced in working with at-risk teens. Therapy sessions for both individuals and groups may also be part of the program, which provides structured support and a safe outlet for talking about the challenges teens’ are experiencing. If you’re considering a mental health summer camp for your teen, ask about the credentials of the camp’s staff.

They address mental and emotional health. When run by mental health professionals, summer camps focus on imbalances in mental health and emotional wellness that lead to bad choices. This approach aims to fix the core problem instead of temporarily treating the symptoms.

Lessen feelings of isolation. Many mental health summer camps offer sessions for teens facing the same problems or with similar disorders at the heart of the youth’s struggles. The programs provide opportunities for group sessions with other teens they can relate to and work with together.

Nature is inherently healing. Studies show that exposure to nature and the outdoors can help reduce anxiety and depression–two common mood disorders among teens who act out.

Activities promote interpersonal growth. Mental health summer camps have team-building activities. These help participants learn to work with others successfully and communicate more effectively. The programs are also good bonding experiences. Teens can make positive connections with others while working on changing their lives for the better.

Activities lead to personal growth. Counseling and other activities help teens to build confidence in themselves by accomplishing tasks and learning to set goals and be responsible. An improved positive view of themselves and the self-confidence gained from learning new skills can lead to better choices.

Clear connection to home life. Counselors and staff understand that to have a lasting effect outside of the program, they need to help teens make connections to the real world. Staff support teens in taking the lessons they learned and apply them at home for more authentic changes.

They promote physical health. Teens engage in healthy habits like appropriate physical exercise, exposure to fresh air, and eating, or even preparing nutritious food. Improved physical health supports mental health and teaches young people habits they can continue at home.

The summer months provide the perfect opportunity for getting help to turn your teen’s life around. Summer camps with a mental health focus provide a positive experience and support the development of better mental health and connection with others.

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