20 Of The Weirdest Summer Camps

When most people think of summer camp, hikes, swimming and capture-the-flag come to mind.

But some niche camps go above and beyond the classic fun and give kids a chance to fight zombies, swim with sharks, or learn French.

From Space Camp to Camp Jam, here are some of the more unusual summer camps out there.


At Spy Camp, kids break codes, make disguises, and use spy gadgets.

Cost: $415 for one week

Location: International Spy Museum, Washington DC

Kids 10-13 years old spend one week from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily learning to crack codes, going on spy missions, attending secret briefings, and having adventures around the museum.

At Space Camp, kids are trained in robotics, space missions, and more.

Cost: $949 for the summer session

Location: One Tranquility Base, Huntsville, AL

Campers get extensive training at week-long Space Camp, learning space history and working together on mock space missions.

The summer session lasts from May 22 to August 18.

At Wizards & Warriors Camp, kids spend the summer fighting zombies.

Cost: $4,295 a month

Location: Westford, Mass.

Kids create their own armor, receive (foam) weapons training, treasure hunt, and write their own character for the duration of the session at Wizards & Warrior Camp.

At Circus Arts Camp, kids learn to juggle, unicycle, and fly on the trapeze.

Cost: $1,225 a month

Location: Solomon Schechter School of Westchester, Hartsdale, NY

You don’t clown around at Circus Arts Camp; you actually learn how to become a clown. The camp accommodates kids ages 7 years and older.

Kids learn acrobatics, balancing skills, juggling, equilibristics, rolla bolla, trapeze, Spanish web, fabric, trampoline, stilt-walking, tightwire, unicycling, and more.

At Camp Jam, aspiring musicians rock out in their own bands.

Cost: $1,595

Location: Norcross, Georgia

Camp Jam is considered the premiere Rock-n-Roll summer camp in the country for kids ages 7 to 17.

The camp markets itself as “no canoes, lots of work.” Every Friday night the campers perform a concert.

At Mad Science Camp, kids explore chemistry in a lab.

Cost: Price is determined by location

Location: Global

At Mad Science Camp, kids make casts of animals, learn about and play with robots, and experiment with chemistry sets.

There is one instructor per 13 children at camp, and grades one through five are admitted.

At Hollywood Stunt Camp, kids learn hand-to-hand combat and choreograph their own stunt show.

Cost: $6,295 a month

Location: Running Springs, CA

Hollywood Stunt Camp is part of Pali Adventures Camp, and campers learn how to do stunts like the pros.

They even coordinate with campers at a nearby film camp for their stunt shows.

At Plantation Camp, everyone lives outside without electricity and works on a sustainable farm.

Cost: $4,400 for about a month

Location: Cazadero, CA

At Plantation Camp, the entire experience is unplugged. Campers can choose from more than 50 activities, including riding a horse bareback, building a fort, tie-dying a shirt, or playing capture the flag in acres of redwood trees.

At Kids ‘N Comedy Camp, the campers are mentored by professional New York City comedians.

Cost: $995 per session

Location: New York, NY

At Comedy Camp, students learn about improv, comic acting, and stand-up comedy, and end camp with a live show at Gotham Comedy Club.

The class is open to kids ages 10-18, and limited to groups of 10, so the students get a lot of attention.

At Kids Culinary Camp, students learn to prepare fresh ice cream, cater meals, and decorate cakes.

Cost: $4,900 for two weeks

Location: Highgate, Vermont

At Kids Culinary Camp, kids will be exposed to crock pot cookery, canning and preserving, German and Japanese cuisine and more.

At Camp Fully Involved, women who aspire to be firefighters learn the tricks of the trade.

At Camp Fully Involved, women who aspire to be firefighters learn the tricks of the trade.

(Not a firefighter from Camp Fully Invovled)

Rachel Davis

Cost: Many campers receive scholarships

Location: Merrimack, NH

Women between the ages of 14 and 20 years old who have dreams of becoming a firefighter experience vehicle and dumpster fires, rappelling, SCBA drills, room and content fires, Engine and Truck company operations, forcible entry, ventilation and combined operations.

At Camp Biz Smart, kids are given “thrival skills.”

Cost: $1,400 for two weeks

Location: Several in the California area

Camp Biz Smart is designed for the future entrepreneur between the ages of 11 and 15 years old.

Students will learn to pitch ideas, develop leadership, business and project management skills, and more.

At Nuts, Bolts, & Thingamajigs, kids can become handymen.

Cost: Unavailable

Location: Colleges in the California area

The Foundation of Fabricators and Manufacturers run camp Nuts, Bolts, & Thingamajigs, helping mold students into artisans.

Each session of camp offers a different specialty, including welding, turbine power, and the magic of manufacturing.

At Jurassi Camp, students learn about dinosaurs and fossils.

At Jurassi Camp, students learn about dinosaurs and fossils.

(This image is not from Jurassi Camp).

woodleywonderworks on Flickr

Cost: Unavailable

Location: University of Miami, Pinecrest, Jungle Island, St. Philips, & Lynn University

Kids make a model T-rex and fossil dig on a typical day at Jurassi Camp.

Jurassi Camp is part of the Fun Camps franchise.

At China Cultural Immersion Camp, students volunteer, and learn the language.

Cost: $5,999 plus air fare

Location: China

The “China: Ancient Empires to Modern Wonder” camp exposes students to caring for pandas, allows them to visit the 2008 Olympic venues in Beijing, take boat tours along the Li River, and more.

The price includes meal and hotels.

At Fiji Shark Camp, students scuba and snorkel next to the sharks.

Cost: $5,580

Location: Fiji

Swim along the sharks for hands-on experiences in Fiji. Students must be scuba certified.

Campers receive 10 hours of community service and three college credits for the program.

At Dude Ranch Camp, kids ride horses, zipline, and more.

Cost: $2,995 for three weeks

Location: Lake Wales, Fla.

At Circle F Dude Ranch Camp, campers ride 65 different horses or choose from over 25 different activities including rockwall, zipline, paint ball, sailing, kayaking, arts and crafts, dance, tumbling, cheerleading, football, soccer, volleyball, and swimming.

At Canoe Island French Camp, students learn to speak French.

Cost: $2,000-$3,000 for two to three weeks

Location: Canoe Island in the San Juan Islands

Forty-five campers spend their summer on Canoe Island immersing themselves in French culture, while learning the language and partaking in classic summer camp activities such as archery.

At Motorsport Camp, kids get behind the wheel at least twice a day.

Cost: $2,190 for two weeks

Location: Alton, VA

At Motorsport Camp, kids get to drive on dirt and paved courses.

When they aren’t behind the wheel, there’s still time for paintball, racing-career exploration, and motorsport science.

At Cricket Summer Camp, kids six to 18 years old attempt to master the sport.

At Cricket Summer Camp, kids six to 18 years old attempt to master the sport.

(This photo is not at the Cricket Camp mentioned in this article).

Scott Heavey/Getty Images

Cost: $120 a week

Location: Multiple locations

Cricket Camp,  which is part of the US Sports Institute, is a five-day course that teaches campers the game from the elementary level.

You’ll learn to handle the ball on Monday, and by Friday be playing in the “World Cup,” the camp’s website says.

Prefer a more traditional summer camp?

Prefer a more traditional summer camp?

Camp Androscoggin


Thanks, Meredith!