Battling Summer Sloths: Cool Camp Options for Kids!

As the second half of the school year winds down, many adolescents are envisioning what their summer will consist of: Wii marathons, iCarly reruns, and trips to the mall.   If this doesn’t sound like the ideal way for your child to spend their two and a half months of freedom, then now is a great time to consider some residential summer program options.

If you’ve got the future Paula Abdul or Nicole Scherzinger living under your roof, then the Grier School’s Summer Intensive Dance Program could be a great option for them.  Girls ages 12-17 will spend several hours each day during the Pennsylvania school’s 3-week program, held June 24-July 13, learning ballet and jazz technique, choreography for performance, and exploring several dance styles.  In addition to dance instruction, participants will also have the opportunity to enjoy traditional “camp” activities such as swimming, outdoor sports, and creative writing.

Grier Summer Intensive Dance Program

For those parents who regularly catch their young one reading by flashlight under the covers at midnight, you may want to consider the Summer Session at the Cardigan Mountain School in New Hampshire.  With a wide array of academic offerings, your bookworm will probably enjoy classes such as Literary Luminaries and Grammar Gurus.  Girls and boys in grades three through nine can choose to participate in either a 3-week (June 23-July 14) or 6-week session (June 23-August 2) at Cardigan.   In addition to the academic component, Summer Session participants will also participate in fun weekend trips and afternoon recreational activities.

Cardigan Mountain Summer Session

Boys and girls ages 7-17 with learning differences or attention issues, such as ADD/ADHD or Dyslexia, will benefit from the summer program offered by the Linden Hill School in Massachusetts.  Held July 8-28, the Linden Hill program combines academic coursework with recreational activities such as fishing, hiking and mini-golf.  The academic component of the program focuses on maintaining skills developed during the school year, not on remediation, and is intended to provide participants an opportunity to prevent regression over the summer months.

Linden Hill School Summer Program

If your son or daughter is entering grades 6-9 and has a passion for adventure, New Hampshire’s White Mountain School Climbing Camp might just be the place for them.  From beginner to advanced, participants will learn the fundamentals of rock climbing, gear placement, and anchor building from certified American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) instructors.  Offering one or two-week sessions in July, this camp is sure to be a hit with your young thrill-seeker!

White Mountain Climbing Camp

Any future Lionel Messi or Serena Williams will feel right at home participating in the Baylor School’s Team Baylor Sports Camp.  Sports enthusiasts ages 8-13 can spend the week of June 24-29 on the Tennessee school’s campus training with experienced coaches in sports including tennis, soccer, golf, and volleyball.  Team Baylor participants range in ability from novice to expert and, regardless of skill, will receive individualized instruction.

Team Baylor Summer Program

No matter what type of interests your son or daughter has, there is most likely a residential summer program that would be a great fit for them.  An added bonus to participating in programs like those mentioned above is that, not only will they stay active during their time off of school, they’ll be making great friends and creating lasting memories at the same time!

Kristina L. Dooley is the founder of Estrela Consulting, an Independent Educational Consulting firm helping families navigate the college and boarding school search processes. A former college and boarding school admission counselor, Kristina enjoys sharing her “behind the scenes” tips with families embarking on this exciting experience.  Kristina resides in Mexico CIty and can be reached via email at or online at  

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