Camps for Tweens and Teens

Camps for Tweens and Teens

Looking for a camp program for your tween or teen? From traditional camp programs to specialty camps, now more than ever before, there are so many different summer camp options to choose from for your older child.

While many older children go to sleepaway camp or on teen tours, the overnight experience isn’t for everyone. “There are older kids who want to participate in activities and do some traveling, but just don’t want to be away for multiple weeks at a time,” explains Sam Borek, Owner and Director of Woodmont Day Camp in New City, NY. 

“Many private day camps offer programs that evolve as you get older. Our program for rising 7th and 8th graders includes an elective based program where campers choose their own activities and go on a weekly out of camp day trip such as an amusement or water park and do an overnight trip.

They also participate in community service. Teens entering 9th and 10th grades spend their time out of camp traveling to amusement parks, water parks, sporting events and museums. They also do short overnight trips to places such as Washington, DC or Niagara Falls.”

If your child has a particular interest or is focused on a specific sport, a specialty camp is a good option to look into. Specialty camps focus on a specific activity or activities where children spend their time honing a skill. 

At Berkshire Soccer Academy in Otis, MA, rising 4th – 12th grade girls spend 1-2 weeks (or more) in a hybrid camp program where girls receive high level soccer training combined with a traditional overnight camp experience. “We are different than other soccer specialty camps because of the community building that happens here,” says Katy Kreiner,Director of Berkshire Soccer Academy.

“Girls live in a cabin with 8-12 other girls along with a counselor, unlike at other soccer programs at universities where girls are housed in dorms in a single or double room. Often girls dabble between soccer camps. They go to one camp one year, another camp a different year. 

Here we have girls really connecting with each other and returning for years, asking to bunk with their friends.” Girls at Berkshire Soccer Academy are competitive athletes at home, often under pressure to make varsity or the next team. Kreiner says, “The off the field activities like campfires and performing in a bunk skit allows girls to let their guard down and have fun which leads to more confidence. This confidence amplifies their playing on the field and helps takes them to the next level.”

You don’t need to be a competitive athlete to enjoy a summer at a specialty camp. For kids who love to cook or just have an interest in cooking, Berkshire Hills Eisenberg Camp in Copake, NY offers Culinary Camp, where kids can go for 12 days to 7 weeks.

Aspiring chefs live in dorm style rooms with private bathrooms along with 1-2 other campers which can be appealing for kids who aren’t into bunk life. “Culinary campers spend the morning doing long form culinary such as making and decorating a cake to making fresh pasta to roasting or barbecuing meat.

In the afternoon, they can take electives like arts & crafts, paddle boarding or zip lining or can choose an elective in the culinary camp as well,” explains Adam Weinstein, Executive Director of Berkshire Hills Eisenberg Camp. 

“Campers also take advantage of the creative food scene in the Berkshires with trips to farms where they learn about milking cows and then making ice cream or picking organic strawberries and making jam. Exploring the culinary scene gives them the opportunity to try and recreate what they saw when back at the culinary labs.”

​​No matter what type of program you choose, know that there are a ton of options out there for your older children. Whether it’s their first camp experience ever or they are ready to try something new, there is a great summer camp out there for your tween or teen.

Psst… Check out Covid’s Silver Lining for Camps