9 Craziest Summer Camps for Kids
Though plenty of camps across the country fit this idyllic version, some are quite the opposite. Each of these nine crazy camps has put a special spin on the traditional camp experience—making for one unforgettable summer.
ThrillCoaster ToursLocation varies 1 of 10
Warning: This camp comes with sudden drops, hairpin turns and high-speed acceleration.
If your child is a die-hard rollercoaster fan, we can't imagine a better fit for the summer than ThrillCoaster Tours, a traveling camp that will take your teen to some of the craziest coasters around.
Campers come from all over the United States (and even other countries) to experience the different trips, which change every year. For example, the Southern Studios Tour takes campers to Florida where they can ride the coasters at Disneyworld, Universal Studios, Busch Gardens Tampa and Sea World.
New York Film Academy Summer CampsLocation varies 2 of 10
Is your child a budding artist with an eye for film? The New York Film Academy offers a number of exciting camps in acting, filmmaking, screenwriting, journalism, photography, musical theatre, video game design, music videos and more.
Not only will your child get hands-on experience as they stretch their creative muscles, attend various classes and create a final product for their portfolio, they will also get to hear from some of the best. This year's camp features guest speakers like Steven Spielberg, Al Pacino and Kevin Spacey.
Explosives Summer CampRolla, Mo. 3 of 10
If your child is interested in making things go boom, they'll learn all about it here, where they can attend lectures, demonstrations, and yes, even handle and shoot the explosives themselves. Campers will also receive a behind-the-scenes look at how explosives are used in the entertainment industry.
The camp even ends with a beautiful fireworks display that campers set up and shoot themselves. The minimum age for enrolling in the camp is 16, and rest assured all explosives are handled in a supervised, safe environment.
Photo credit: Sam O'Keefe/Missouri S&T
Pali Adventures Summer CampRunning Springs, Calif. 4 of 10
Watch the on-screen action come to life at Hollywood Stunts, a part of Pail Adventures, where campers have the opportunity to be a real, live action hero as they learn to do their own stunts.
Stunts include high falls, hand-to-hand combat, swordplay techniques, choreographed fight scenes and more. Campers are supervised by staff members at all times and receive constant coaching on how to improve their technique. The camp ends with a showcase of all your child has learned.
United States Space CampHuntsville, Ala. 5 of 10
Imagine stars, planets and galaxies at your child's fingertips. At the United States Space Camp, that dream becomes a reality.
The most well-known and renowned camp of its kind, the official Space Camp is operated out of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, and offers a number of programs for campers at every age. Whether your child is interested in model rocket launches, simulated space missions, robotics and engineering or learning real-world survival skills, Space Camp has something for your little astronaut.
Raquette Lake CampRaquette Lake, N.Y. 6 of 10
This camp might be one of the most traditional summer camps on the list, minus one defining feature: the price tag.
Raquette Lake Camp, located in the beautiful Adirondacks, is known as one of the hardest summer camps to get into, with a lengthy interview process for all new attendees. And though Racquette keeps a tight lid on their prices, Business Insider listed their summer admission at over $13,000.
For seven weeks, the camp runs separate boys and girls programs, with ages ranging from 6-15. Campers will enjoy an on-site chef, full uniform attire, and a number of special activities like sailing, an equestrian program, archery and more.
Plantation Farm CampCazadero, Calif. 7 of 10
This camp takes place on a real, working farm where campers play a critical role in keeping all operations running smoothly. Whether it's caring for the animals or tending to the garden that provides food for the camp, young people will get an authentic experience of what it's like to live and work off the land.
The camp, first founded in 1952, emphasizes the need for young campers to get outside at a time when they are increasingly surrounded by computers, televisions and smart phones.
NERF Zombie CampBurlington, Mass. 8 of 10
Sending your child to go pretend-fight zombies may seem like a waste of a summer, but not at this camp, where the mythical is combined with a first-rate education.
As camp organizers work hard to set the scene for your kid—now a defender of the land of Sidleterra—they also seamlessly work in lessons in biology, environmental science and conservation. The staff includes a number of scientists and historians who help young campers research various civilizations from real world history, literature and mythology in order to complete the story. The camp also has a science lab on-site that allows campers to learn about DNA and biology.
Camp BizSmartLocation varies 9 of 10
Camp BizSmart describes itself as an "entrepreneur academy" and partners with major corporations like Google and Microsoft to create two intensive programs for your child to choose from. At each, campers will be challenged to design brand-new, innovative products that could change the world.
Campers will leave with a product design and business plan portfolio, professional, full-color product renderings and important lessons in starting their own business.