Once upon a time, camp was something that happened over summer vacation. Kids would stay in cabins and do arts and crafts, athletics, and the like. But now the word “camp” is used much more liberally, and applies to a myriad of education-focused programs in different subjects, for different age groups, and for different lengths of time.
A camp can be a week worth of day classes (a day camp), or it can be an intense few days of 24 hour immersion into the subject (a sleep away camp). It can be for small children, focusing on English as a second language, or it can be for boys and girls of all ages, like Space Camp.
These sorts of camps can be a great way to jump start a child’s interest in a subject, or it can merely be a constructive way to get the kid out of the house. In any event, educational camps have a big up side, and I wanted to discuss a few different kinds to let you know what kind of options are available.
Computer Camp – The first computer camps began in 1978, making this one of the first specialized educational camps, and have flourished ever since. In the beginning, computer camps covered only the basics, but now our computer-savvy society has led to dozens of different subjects being covered in these camps, from game design and web design to programming, software applications, and even industry certification in A+ and Network+.
Science Camp – This is a general term, applying to Science Camps and more specific programs like astronomy camp, or robotics camp. These camps use interactive projects, group activities, and hands on experiments to get children involved with learning about science. Camps the the Sally Ride Science Camp and Destination Science are day camps that are serious about making science fun for kids.
Leadership Camp – This is not the sort of camp that will help with a subject in school, but having confidence, leadership, and public speaking skills can potentially help a child in all their areas of study, and of life. Childhood and adolescence are awkward times for many children, who are discovering who they are – these camps use self reliance, positivity, and self-esteem building activities to help children believe in themselves, and build the social skills they need.
Performing or Fine Arts Camp – A performing arts camp will immerse young people in the world of acting, writing, directing, set design, and other aspects of stagecraft and film making. Fine arts camps can be anything from painting and drawing to weaving or silver smithing. New camps have focused on digital film or multimedia design.
Music Camp – Band camp or music camp is a tradition in some high schools, but these camps are available for any child old enough to play an instrument. There are instrument specific camps, and larger camps teaching different aspects of music.