7 Adventure Sleep-away Camps for Kids

Why Send Your Kids to an Adventure Sleep-away Camp

Sending your kid away to sleep-away camp, especially for the first time, can be nerve wracking for parents and kids alike. But once you get over that hurdle, sleep-away camp can be a great learning experience for kids that can generate a lifetime of memories. 

Adventure-focused sleep-away camps can offer some kids their first taste of independence. Many don’t allow cell phones, giving children accustomed to spending a lot of time on screens an invaluable opportunity to throw themselves into activities the only the natural world can offer—canoeing, hiking, camping, rock climbing, horseback riding, to name just a few. Best of all, camp friendships are some of the most lasting relationships a kid can make. 

sleepaway adventure camp for kids

If you think this is the summer for your kid to try sleep-away camp here are a few options to consider!

 Sleep-Away Adventure Camps for Kids:

1. Gold Arrow Camp - Lakeshore, CA

Located on beautiful Huntington Lake in the Sierra National Forrest, this sleep-away camp offers boys and girls, ages 6-13, a chance to make life-long friends and memories wake-boarding on a beautiful lake, horseback riding, and rock climbing. Big on tradition, community, and belonging, Gold Arrow keeps the fun non-competitive and no-tech. Kids can even opt to sleep in tee-pees or platform tents! 

2. Camp Chief Ouray - Granby, CO

If your kid is an adventurer, this camp is worth considering. Campers can choose from among 2 week Trekker Trips. Service learning trips to South Dakota to work with the Sioux at YMCA at Camp Marrowbone and 11-day explorations of Dinosaur National Monument are just two of the adventures offered. Counselors are equipped with wilderness first aid training. Scholarships are available.

3. Wilderness Adventures - Wilson, WY

Designed for high school–age kids, Wilderness Adventures are offered in two, three, four and six week programs that can take your teen all over the world, from California to Switzerland. Hiking, climbing, backpacking, kayaking and leadership training are all on the agenda as kids trek the Blue Ridge mountains, Yellowstone National Park, the Adirondaks and other wild places. Kids can choose from among 45 adventuring programs. Custom expeditions are available. 

4. Melwood Recreation Center is a co-ed camp for children of all abilities, ages 10 to 18. The 108-acre facility located on the Nanjemoy Peninsula in rural Charles County, Maryland, offers lodge-style cabin accommodations, challenge courses, almost 10 miles of hiking trails, and aquatic and equestrian facilities. Among Melwood Recreation Center's programs are Camp Accomplish, an inclusive camp for kids of all abilities and the Equestrian Program, offering therapeutic and general horsemanship lessons as well as trail-riding for campers of all ages and abilities


5. Clearwater Camp - Minocqua,WI

Clearwater Camp has offered a supportive rustic summer home for girls, ages 8-16, for over 80 years. Nestled amidst beautiful wooded trails, the camp offers a program designed to help girls build confidence, a sense of adventure, and lasting friendships.  Located in the magnificent Northwoods of Wisconsin on the shores of crystal clear Tomahawk Lake in Minocqua WI, the camp is particularly known for its mountain biking, which is offered to all campers as an activity as well as a trip option. The camp's lakeside location makes it great for swimming and sailing as well.

6. Swift Nature Camp - Minong, WI 

Forest hikes, canoeing, archery, swimming, fishing, biking and other traditional camp activities are offered at this co-ed camp for kids, ages 6–15. But the camp's nature center and programming are designed to also give campers a greater appreciation for science and the environment. Adventure trips are also offered to give kids a chance to sleep out under the stars with supportive counselors to help children with limited camping and trekking experience every step of the way.

7. Windsor Mountain International - Windsor, NH 

Talk about adventure - this camp sits on 365 acres of land, surrounded by 1000 acres of wilderness. With a plethora of outdoor activities to choose from, kids can focus on sports or activities they already know how to do or take a risk and try something new. The camp's non-competitive environment, where differences among people are respected, makes it a place where they can feel comfortable getting out of their comfort zone to develop new skills and passions. With one-on-one help from their counselors, campers select new activities every three days from roughly 100 options, ranging from traditional camp activities plus those designed by counselors and campers themselves. 3 day wilderness trips (off the camp grounds) are also offered. Windsor attracts campers from all over the world, so kids are sure to learn about other countries and cultures the best way possible—by making friends! 

This list of camps is taken directly from the ACA website, and each camp listed is ACA-accredited.