The right camp can turn summer into an exciting time filled with discovery and adventure. Kids should be learning about themselves as they delve deeper into the things that interest them. Thankfully, Philadelphia has a day camp for nearly every interest, hobby and talent. So while the grownups continue their regular work schedule, youngsters can embrace summer vacation.
Camp can be pricey, but many programs have scholarships available to help with the cost. Others offer a week-by-week option rather than full-term enrollment. Some even have a bulk purchase discount. Be sure to check a camp’s website for alternate payment options. Here are a few of the nearby camps that we recommend.
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Young Performers Theater Camp
If you have budding thespians at home, the Young Performers Theater Camp is their calling. “Last year we had about 480 kids at the camp — each year it gets bigger,” says Tom Dignam, performing arts coordinator for Philadelphia Parks and Recreation. The program, which is open to ages nine to 18, is divided into dance and musical theater. Each group auditions for and rehearses a specific performance, which is put on at the end of the season.
Camp runs July 1–Aug. 12
$320 - $470 for a six-week course
3680 Walnut St.
The Franklin Institute offers kids in pre-K through eighth grade the opportunity to learn about space, experiment with science and explore the messy world of slime. Each week features a new track, all centered around education through fun.
Camp runs June 17–Aug. 30
$300 - $375 per week
The Franklin Institute
222 N. 20th St.
Young Journalists Summer Camp
Junior reporters can give the Metro news staff some competition with the help of WHYY, Philadelphia’s public radio station. High school students will be assigned a neighborhood beat to report about. The campers will be taught how to pitch their stories, research topics, conduct interviews, and present the information through text, audio and video.
Camp runs June 24–July 5 and Aug. 5-16
$1,200 - $1,350 per course
Hamilton Public Media Common at WHYY
150 N. Sixth St.
Summer Camp at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
PAFA provides a creative outlet for little Van Goghs ages 5 to 15. “There is a huge range of options,” says Cari Freno, manager of family programs at PAFA. “For the younger students the camps have themes like superheroes and imaginary places. For the oldest group the classes are more skill-based, like urban and graphic design. And the two age groups in between have a mix of the two.”
Camp runs July 1–Aug. 16
$235 - $300 per week
PAFA Cast Hall
128 N. Broad S.