When school lets out and you’re looking for fun summer activities to keep your child stimulated, look no further than a summer camp. Summer camps provide the perfect opportunity for your kid to engage in new experiences that may foster leadership skills, independence and confidence, all while making new friends and fond memories that can last a lifetime.

Girl playing jump rope

But if you’ve never enrolled your child at a summer camp before, you may be wondering, how long does summer camp last?

The short answer is, it depends! There are countless programs that offer different durations depending on what you’re looking for. In this guide, we’ll break down different summer camp lengths and provide tips for choosing the right one for your kid this year.

Types of Summer Camp Durations

So, how long is summer camp? There’s actually quite a range of possibilities. Summer camps can last for a week, several weeks, or even the entire summer.

Generally speaking, summer camp durations are divided into two different categories:

  • Week-long stays – Shorter camp sessions tend to span about a week, and many of them are referred to as day camps. These types of programs provide kids with fun and enriching experiences throughout the day. Then, campers go home at night and return the next morning.
  • Extended summer experiences – Extended summer experiences can range from three to eight weeks, if not longer. Given their duration, many of these programs are sleep-away, meaning the campers are given their own beds, and they stay at the campsite for the entire program. These types of camps offer a more immersive experience.

Now that you know what your duration options are, you may be wondering, which is right for my kid?

Choosing the Right Camp Duration for Your Child

The type of camp experience that’s best for your child depends on their personality, as well as your needs as a parent. Although it can be tricky to choose between a short- and long-term camp option, you can rest assured knowing that each offers many benefits.

Let’s take a look at the different advantages of each type of camp duration so that you can determine what’s best for you and your child.

Benefits of Short vs. Long Summer Camps

Whether the summer camp lasts a week or a month, each duration offers different opportunities for your child to thrive.

Short Summer Camps

Shorter summer camps range from a few days to a week. Their benefits include:

  • Easier accessibility – Going to camp for several weeks can feel like a big commitment to anyone, especially a child who may be nervous about their first camp experience. A shorter summer session is great for testing the waters and seeing what your child thinks about camp.
  • Lower price range – While overnight camp programs can offer a more immersive experience, they also come at a higher price point. Shorter camping sessions can be the key to balancing summer fun with affordability.
  • Flexible scheduling – Day or week-long camp sessions often allow greater flexibility when it comes to choosing a program that fits your summer schedule. In fact, choosing a week-long program gives you the opportunity to add more activities to your summer, like a family vacation.
  • Specialized programs – Shorter camp programs may specialize in activities and subjects that aren’t traditionally offered at other summer camps. These specialized programs allow your child to focus on a specific hobby or interest alongside like-minded peers.

While short summer camps offer unique perks like specialized programs and flexible scheduling, extended summer stays contain their fair share of benefits, too.

Long Summer Camps

Longer summer programs may last a few weeks or more and offer many great opportunities, such as:

  • Ample time for adjustment – The first few days of camp can include a lot of adjustment to the new people and environment. A longer session allows kids ample time to settle into their new routines and become acquainted with other campers.
  • Stronger connections – Summer camp offers a unique opportunity to develop social skills and make lasting friendships. The longer your child attends camp, the stronger their connections with other campers will be.
  • Extended fun – Whether it’s to try all of the available activities or to complete a project they’ve been working on, a longer summer camp experience allows your child more time to explore, learn and play!

A Glimpse into Galileo’s Summer Camp Program

Still not sure whether to choose a short or long camp duration for your kid? With Camp Galileo, you can start with one week and always enroll for more!

Camp Galileo is a day camp that offers week-long programs for different types of learning curated for grades ranging from K-8 (as well as CIT programs for young adults from 8th to 10th grade), and every week supplies a new STEAM project or outdoor adventure. If your child wants to stay and explore every week of new opportunities and projects, feel free to enroll them at Camp Galileo each week of the summer. If you and your child are unsure about having a longer experience, you can always enroll for a week and then add on more weeks if you decide you want to continue.

At Camp Galileo, your child can experience STEAM exploration, engineering projects, outdoor games, arts and crafts, collaboration and many other kinds of play!

Planning an Unforgettable Summer Experience with Camp Galileo

With the combination of traditional summer camp fun and creative learning, Camp Galileo is sure to foster an unforgettable experience. We offer activities that appeal to any growing learner, from dino excavation for second graders to woodworking projects for eighth graders.

When planning your child’s unique summer experience with Camp Galileo, consider:

  • Your child’s interests
  • Ideal camp length (one week or several)
  • Ideal price range
  • Scheduling (including pickup times and carpooling)

Each of these factors will provide insight into what camp program is right for your child and your family this summer.

Have a Summer Like No Other with Camp Galileo

Boy riding in GoKart

Summer camp is a great opportunity for your child to engage in fun activities, develop new skills, meet new friends and make lifelong memories. Whether you’re looking for a week-long adventure to take advantage of ease and flexibility, or a lengthened adventure to give your child more time and connection, you can feel confident that Camp Galileo provides an unforgettably fun experience.

Explore our programs, and decide how long summer camp lasts for yourself by enrolling at Camp Galileo.

Explore our locations across California, Chicagoland, Seattle, and Colorado! Located in the California Bay Area? Be sure to check out our Berkeley summer camp or our Lafayettte summer camp. We have Camp Galileo locations across many communities. Explore our Camp Finder to find the locations nearest you.

Use our camp finder to find the perfect camp for your adventurous child. Find your camp!


American Academy of Pediatrics. Creating Healthy Camp Experiences. 


National Library of Medicine. Shaping Summertime Experiences: Opportunities to Promote Healthy Development and Well-Being for Children and Youth. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK552656/