Pop quiz: It’s Saturday afternoon, and your kid has been busy for hours. What are they up to?

  1. Batting practice, shooting hoops or kicking around a soccer ball. Anything that involves sporting gear, they’re in.
  1. Painting, drawing or crafting. Just bring out the art supplies and watch the magic unfold.
  1. You’re not entirely sure, but it involves string, glue, rubber bands, duct tape and a solid grasp of physics.

Whatever your answer is, we’ve got good news: There’s a summer camp out there that’s the perfect fit for your budding artist, engineer, or athlete (or jack of all trades!).

kid playing outdoor

What types of summer camps are there? There are almost as many types of summer camps as there are types of kids. So pack their backpack and let’s explore the wide world of summer fun, from adventures in the great outdoors and STEM exploration to sports intensives and everything in between.

#1 Outdoor Adventures

Camps that focus on outdoor activities might be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a classic summer day camp experience. These camps offer activities ranging from the basics like swimming and hiking to more challenging offerings like rafting, climbing, wilderness survival, and so on.

Whether your child is already the outdoorsy type or could use a little more exposure to the natural world, outdoor adventure camps can provide many benefits:

  • Fostering teamwork Campers have the chance to work together on activities like building a campfire, setting up camp, rowing, and much more. This is excellent for building collaboration skills and kids and is a fun way to participate in outdoor activities.
  • Building resilience Activities in adventure camps are often challenging, encouraging kids to push their limits and overcome setbacks.
  • Bolstering physical and mental well-being Spending time outdoors is good for both physical fitness as well as mental health. Several studies have found that exposure to greenspace may be able to reduce loneliness, anxiety, and depression.
  • Unplugging from electronics We could all use a little less screen time in this day and age. An outdoor adventure camp will have your kid so busy they won’t even miss their devices.
  • Encouraging environmental stewardship Outdoor camps help kids build a deeper understanding of concepts like conservation and responsible use of natural resources.

#2 Artistic Escapes

Art camps let kids explore all dimensions of the creative world, from painting and photography to sculpture, theater, and beyond. Whether you’re raising a future Picasso or next generation’s Sondheim, an art camp experience can offer:

  • Opportunities to experiment with a variety of media, tools, and forms of creative expression
  • Instruction and insight from working artists, musicians, and performers
  • Space to explore creative thinking and imagination
  • Collaborative experiences such as theater productions and group art projects
  • Excel at kid-focused art projects and learn new artistic techniques

#3 STEM Exploration

Many parents have a specific goal for their child’s summer activities: Fending off the dreaded “summer slide”—the learning loss that many kids experience over summer break. According to the National Summer Learning Association, kids can lose as much as two months’ worth of learning over the summer.

The good news is, summer slide is preventable. In fact, summer learning opportunities have been shown to help kids gain skills during their break from school.

STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) camps are an ideal solution if you’re looking for an experience that blends in-depth learning with high-key fun. STEM camps often focus on hands-on activities like designing rockets, coding programs, building robots and conducting experiments. STEM programs have been shown to help with:

  • Building confidence around science and math
  • Increasing self-efficacy and problem-solving skills
  • Encouraging interest in pursuing a STEM career
  • Increasing their likelihood of attending college

You can also find an increasing number of STEAM programs (science, technology, engineering, arts, math), which embrace the imaginative, hands-on and problem-solving aspects that these sectors have in common. Galileo is proud to provide STEAM programs to our campers in an effort to unify learning and fun during our summer camp programs!

#4 Sports Intensives

A sports camp is one of the best ways to keep your kid active in the summer months. Sports intensives allow kids to practice their favorite sport and hone their skills, or try new sports they may not have had the opportunity to experience before. You can find sports intensives focusing on all the major sports, as well as more specialized interests like archery, lacrosse, water polo, gymnastics and others.

girl playing outdoor games

Naturally, enrolling in a sports camp is excellent for physical health. However, research has found that kids who participate in youth sports are exposed to lots of other benefits as well, including:

  • Better mental health – Kids who play sports tend to have lower rates of anxiety and depression, higher self-confidence and better overall life satisfaction.
  • Less risky behavior – Youth athletes show lower rates of self-harm and substance use.
  • More academic success – Kids who play sports tend to perform better at time management, goal-setting, perseverance and other life skills that are associated with success in school.
  • Stronger pro-social skills – Playing sports encourages teamwork, cooperation and empathy.

#5 Specialized Themes

If none of these camp types have quite hit the mark, never fear—there are still specialty camps available! In many areas, you can find specialty camps centered on a particular interest, group, career or activity. Attending a specialized camp gives kids an immersive collective experience with others who share their interests all while learning new skills.

Some examples of specialized camp themes include:

  • Performing arts – These camps allow kids who are passionate about drama, dance, singing or music to take their skills to the next level with structured daily practice and related activities such as attending performances and workshops.
  • Family camps – Not all summer camps are just for kids. Many areas offer summer camps for the whole family. Activities often include all the traditional camp favorites—backpacking, canoeing, swimming, campfire singalongs and more.
  • Special needs camps – Summer camp can be a chance for kids with unique challenges, like chronic health conditions or developmental differences, to spend time connecting with peers. You can find summer camps for kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder, cancer, physical disabilities, visual impairment and many other conditions.
  • Special interests – Got a kiddo with a passion for cooking? What about becoming an astronaut, or designing and playing video games? There are summer camps focusing on just about any niche interest, hobby, or career you can name.

Experience a World of Summer Fun with Camp Galileo

girls playing outdoor games and looking at camera

Whether your child wants to explore the great outdoors, unleash their creativity in the art studio, or dive into the wonders of science, there’s a summer camp program that’s sure to light them up with excitement.

At Camp Galileo, we understand that summer camp is a chance to give kids a life-changing experience like no other.

With traditional camp activities like relay races and skits, as well as STEM-themed experimentation in our Idea Lab, or crafting one-of-a-kind creations in the Innovator’s Studio, we’ve made it our mission to fuse enrichment with excitement at our summer camp program. We offer specialized programs for each age level from K to 8th grade, so enroll your child in Camp Galileo today and get ready for a summer of wonder.

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


American Biology Teacher. STEM summer camp for girls positively affects self-efficacy. https://online.ucpress.edu/abt/article-abstract/85/8/432/197447/STEM-Summer-Camp-for-Girls-Positively-Affects-Self

American Camp Association. Breakthrough study from American Camp Association outlines the benefits of camp experience. https://www.acacamps.org/news/press-release/breakthrough-study-outlines-benefits-camp-experience

Environmental Research. Urban green space and mental health among people living alone: The mediating roles of relational and collective restoration in an 18-country sample. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0013935123011283#

National Bureau of Economic Research. STEM summer programs and students’ educational outcomes. https://www.nber.org/digest/202210/stem-summer-programs-and-students-educational-outcomes

National Summer Learning Association. Summer by the numbers. https://www.summerlearning.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/SummerByTheNumbers.pdf

President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition Science Board. Benefits of youth sports. https://health.gov/sites/default/files/2020-09/YSS_Report_OnePager_2020-08-31_web.pdf