Where to send your kids for Summer Camp – 2017

By Cameron Rasmusson
Reader Staff


Illustration by Nancy Cerra.

It’s that time of year again… for summer camp? That’s right. You’d be surprised how fast some of these camps fill up. As we have done every year, here is a short compendium of some of the summer camp options for your children this summer. Weigh your options and choose the right camp for your child.

Cocolalla Bible Camp
Ages 9-18 and Family
Swimming, canoeing, paddle boats, water sports, team sports, fishing, etc.

For nearly 50 years, Cocolalla Bible Camp has been a leading local option for faith-based summer entertainment. The robust summer program includes weeks of activities for campers age 7-8, 9-10, 11-12 and teenage.

Over the course of their week-long adventure, campers have access to varied activities, including canoeing, swimming, paddle boats, volleyball, horseback riding, Frisbee golf and team sports like baseball and basketball. Along with the traditional summer camp experiences comes a focus on scriptural education, with regular chapel sessions and Bible studies rounding out daily activities.

Schweitzer Adventure Camp
Ages 6-11, July-Aug
Hiking, crafts, swimming, village activities.
263-9555 ext. 2152

Whether its winter or summer, Schweitzer Mountain Resort offers amenities unique to the North Idaho region. Schweitzer Adventure Camp takes full advantage of those attractions to offer kids ages 6-11 a one-of-a-kind camp experience. Camper will enjoy chairlift rides, hiking, the mining sluice box, the monkey jumper, climbing wall and swimming, with plenty of games and structured activities adding to the fun.

Beginning in July, Schweitzer Adventure Camp features week-long activities while still getting kids home in time for supper each night. Parents drop their children off at the Red Barn and pick them up at the same spot in the evening, a format likely to cut down on that summer camp home sickness. And if you’re a season pass holder, keep an eye out for tuition discounts.

Twin Eagles Summer Camps
Ages 6-18 and family
Day and residential. Nature awareness, animal tracking, wild edible and medicinal plants education.

In a technology-saturated world, there’s something refreshing about Twin Eagles Summer Camp’s commitment to getting kids back in the natural world.

At its summer camps for campers age 6-18, Twin Eagles gets participants into the nature for fun, skill-building activities like making fire by friction, learning about edible plants, archery, tracking wild animals and building shelters in nature. Teens get an even more immersive outdoor experience.

Youth Horsemanship Camp
Western Pleasure Guest Ranch
Ages 10-16
Hands-on experiences with horses, including maintenance and riding instruction.

For horse lovers, there’s perhaps no better summer camp option than Western Pleasure Guest Ranch’s Youth Horsemanship offerings.

The camp is a full-featured education in caring for and riding horses. Campers learn everything from horsemanship and riding techniques to the process of grooming, saddling and interacting with the animals.

It all culminates in a series of popular riding events like barrel racing, allowing campers to show off the skills they’ve picked up in the past few days. Best of all, all riding experience levels are welcome, so there’s no need for any would-be cowboy or cowgirl to feel left out.

Watershed Discovery Camp
Ages 8-13
Hands-on activities centered around understanding the science of the lake.

A collaboration between Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeepers and the Eureka Institute, Watershed Discovery Camp combines lakeside fun with the science of its ecology and local stewardship.

Campers spend their time learning about water quality monitoring, shoreline cleanup, invasive species prevention and a wetland ecology field trip. There’s plenty of time to enjoy the water, too, with kayaking, water-themed arts and crafts and the Eureka Center’s challenge ropes course being just a few of the options.

Selkirk Outdoor Leadership and Education (SOLE)
Ages 4-10; teen and up
Experiential treks in the outdoors with emphasis on Leave No Trace and therapeutic value of the outdoors.
928.351.SOLE (7653)
June, July, August – More specific information available on the website

A well-known local nonprofit for its use of nature in character building, Selkirk Outdoor Leadership and Education camps aim to make participants better people through immersion in nature.

Combining exercises like wilderness navigation with deeper lessons on leadership and personal achievement skills, SOLE offers experiences for both boys and girls throughout Idaho and Montana locations. Participants learn to be good stewards of the environment, too, with all SOLE activities emphasizing a leave-no-trace policy.

Music Conservatory of Sandpoint Summer Music & Theater Camps
Grades 4 and up
Music instruction, choir and theatrical based day camps.

No matter what experience level your budding musician is at, the Music Conservatory of Sandpoint aims to help it blossom through its summer camps.

The local music education organization charted a variety of musical experiences last year, including the Summer Orchestra Camp, the Summer Choir Camp and the Summer Theater Camp. All options offered both practical lessons to increase proficiency as well as performances for friends and loved ones to see just how much their campers have grown.

SWAC’s Summer Adventure Camp
Ages 10-12
June 29-Aug. 11
Swimming, sports, arts and socialization

In its 18th year, SWAC’s Summer Adventure Camp has become something of a staple for the Sandpoint community. The camp offers a safe, fun place for kids to take part in activities like swimming, team sports, arts and crafts and other important socialization activities.

Through the unique partnership with Bonner County and the City of Sandpoint, SWAC is able to keep the costs down without sacrificing any of the fun. Each week costs $70 per camper and runs Monday through Friday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

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