Why Kids Should Attend Summer Academic Camp

A picture of teens at a robotics camp
These kids are learning about robotics in their academic summer camp. Photo © Echo / Getty Images

Children who aren't happy when school lets out each summer can continue to learn during academic camps. These camps enrich your children's learning experience while focusing on a specific academic program. Colleges and schools are the main providers of academic camps, but many camps are also led by educators without being affiliated with a college or school. Find out if summer academic camp is right for your child:

Get more help on finding the right kids' summer camps. Read the free Summer Camp Guide.

What is Academic Camp:

Academic camp is a summertime program that enhances your child's love of academic learning. Academic camp is not the same as summer school.

In academic camp, kids enjoy a variety of learning experiences. Some academics are very specific in their learning program, such as a tech camp that teaches kids advanced computer coding during one week or a camp where kids spend the week learning how to build and program robots.

Other academic camps break up the learning opportunities into mini sessions. For example, during one week your child may learn how to play chess every morning, by afternoon she may be learning the art of moviemaking and at the end of the day she's designing video games. Each academic camp has its own educational schedule so shop around until you find a camp that fits with your child's interests.

Ages Best Suited for Academic Camp:

Academic camps can cater to children as young as five. Most offer sessions for children eight and up.

Length of Academic Camp Session:

A majority of academic camps hold week-long day camp sessions. You can find some that run longer than one week, up to the entire summer, as well as camps that offer overnight stays.

Cost of Academic Camp:

Academic camp isn't cheap but for what your child gets out of the program, it's still affordable. One week of academic camp generally costs between $100 and $300 for day camp. Some can cost more than $800. Week-long sessions of residential camp typically start at $300 and get close to the $1,000 mark.

Costs also vary based on the location of the camp and who will be teaching your children. For example, academic camps backed by corporations, taught by college professors or well-known business executives as well as camps taught at leading college institutions can cost well over $1,500 for a one-week daytime session.

The good news is, some academic camps offer scholarships. Check with each camp to see what types of opportunities are offered and if your child qualifies for this money-saving camp opportunity.

Examples of Academic Camps:

  • Archaeology
  • Astronomy
  • Biology
  • Business
  • Chemistry
  • College Preparatory
  • Computer
  • Creative Writing
  • Debate
  • Environmental Science
  • Foreign Language
  • General Academics
  • Gifted
  • Geology
  • Journalism
  • Marine Science
  • Math
  • Medicine
  • Psychology
  • Robotics
  • Science
  • Veterinary Science

Typical Day at Academic Camp:

  1. Eat breakfast
  2. Academic studies
  3. Snack break
  4. Back to academic studies
  5. Lunch break
  1. Academic activities and games
  2. Dinner break
  3. Campfire fun
  4. Lights out

What to Look for in an Academic Camp:

Because academic camp's main goal is to teach your kids about a specific subject, you'll want to ask detailed questions about the teaching model and curriculum used at camp. Other factors to ask about include:

  • Instructor credentials
  • Instructor to camper ratio
  • Year the current curriculum and activities were developed to make sure the camp is utilizing the latest technology, if applicable
  • If college credit can be earned at camp