Where to send your kids for summer camp

By Ben Olson
Reader Staff

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.
(208) 263-3912

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 ages 7-8 (July 29-Aug. 2), ages 9-10 (July 22-26) and ages 11-12 (July 15-19).

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, June 25 – Aug. 24
Hiking, crafts, swimming, village activities.
(208) 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 late June, 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. Registration begins online May 1.

Twin Eagles Summer Camps (5 different camps over 5 weeks)
Day camps: June 11 – July 13
Ages 6-13
Overnight camps: Late July-Aug.
Ages 10-18
Day and residential. Nature awareness, animal tracking, wild edible and medicinal plants education.
(208) 265-3685

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 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.
(208) 263-9066

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 8-12
Third week of July
Hands-on activities centered around understanding the science of the lake.
(208) 265-4000

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)
[email protected]
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 Camps:
for info: (208) 265-4444

Looking for an out-of-this-world experience for your children this summer? Look no further. Music Conservatory of Sandpoint has announced their summer camp schedule and this year it has a Star Wars based theme that all kids will love: Galactic Journey.

Theater Camp
Grades 4 and up
July 9-20

Do your kids have a flair for the dramatic? This camp will teach them to stand on stage and perform for an audience while having fun and collaborating with other kids who share their passion and creativity. Camp ends with a performance on July 20.

Piano Camp
Grades 4 and up
July 16-20
Teacher Recommendation Required (May 1 Registration Deadline)
Instructors: Melody Puller & John Fitzgerald

If your child would like to learn to play a duet, or participate as part of a piano ensemble this camp is for them. Sign them up for this versatile group style piano class. Campers will perform at a capstone piano concert on July 20.

Choir and Voice Camp
Grades 4 and up
July 16-20

Singers will make new musical friends, while improving their singing skills. They’ll learn to sing in a variety of musical styles, with harmonies, and perform in a final celebration concert at the end of the week.

Orchestra Camp (full and half day)
July 16-20

Your child will want to join us for the 6th annual MCS Summer Youth Orchestra Camp. This year features the return of guest conductor (our executive director, Karin Wedemeyer calls him “the return of the Jedi”) Dr. Philip Baldwin, Director of the Spokane Youth Symphony. Bringing together regional and international musicians from Mexico, this youth orchestra also reaches across borders. Daily practice, advanced ensembles, and master classes culminate in a finale concert on Aug. 10 at the Panida Theater. Full Day Orchestra Camp includes afternoon crafts with artists from Creations and lessons in Djembe drumming.

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

In its 19th 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.

Annual Hospice Kids Grief Camp
June 22-24
A special camp engineered for children who have suffered a personal loss
(208) 265-1185 ask for Lissa

This 18th annual camp provides a unique opportunity for children who have suffered a personal loss to spend some camp time in a safe and casual environment among others who may be experiencing a similar situation. It’s an opportunity to heal while participating in camp events and activities. One on one counseling and other grief services will be available.

“Being around others who are experiencing the same loss goes a long way as a tool in the healing process,” camp coordinator Lissa Defrietas said. “It’s powerful, this camp. There is so much transformation that takes place between drop off and pick up here. Also, we have a lot of fun at camp. It’s a whole spectrum of looking at how we acknowledge that loss that we experienced and how do we move through it.”

There is no cost to the community for this camp and it’s open to children in Bonner and Boundary Counties. It’s funded in part by grants from Selkirk Realtors and the Community Assistance League. Applications can be requested through Lissa at (208) 265-1185. Camp dates are Friday, June 17, and Sunday, June 19.

Sandpoint Waldorf School camps: 

Summer Day Camp
Ages 4-7 years
June 18 – August 24
A summer camp focused on giving your child more quality time outdoors
(208) 265-2683

Summer is meant to be spent outdoors! This summer camp will give your child just that opportunity. With a focus on engaging children socially in the natural world with activities such as nature walks, water play, cooking, gardening, crafts, language arts, music, stories, and more your child will enjoy summer days of imaginative play. Come and see what fun in the sun lies ahead for your young one. Snack provided; students bring their own lunch.

Cost is $180/week. Weekly enrollment available (minimum of 8 students/week). No camp the week of July 4.

Curtain Call Camp
Ages 7-14
July 9-20
A summer camp dedicated to theater
(208) 265-2683

Join Dramatist Carolina Sá and Music Instructors from Bella Noté for a Music Theater Camp. Students will create their own play and music, including costumes and sets.  The play will be performed the last day of camp. Snack is provided; students bring their own lunch.

Cost is $360 for the two-week session.

Farmer Boy: A Little House Summer Adventure
Ages 7-12
July 23-August 3
A themed summer camp that takes you back to the days of 1866.
(208) 265-2683

Your summer days will take place in 1866. Enjoy living like Almanzo Wilder in the wilds of Minnesota. Camp days will be spent working in the garden, churning butter, making cheese, visiting farms, and creating homespun crafts.Enjoy tales from the classic Laura Ingalls Wilder book “Farmer Boy” each day, and celebrate camps end with a hand churned ice cream social. Lunch is  provided (made by the students with fresh produce from the school garden); students bring their own snack.

Cost is $360 for the two-week session.

Back in the Day on Lake Pend Oreille
Ages 7-14
July 23-August 3
A camp with a focus on lake history and activities
(208) 265-2683

Historian and crafter, Shaun Dellar, captivates students with stories and tales about the history of our beautiful lake.  Students will learn the ways of the early fur trappers and Native Americans of this area by making crafts, working in the garden,  cooking their own lunches, and partaking in  adventures along the lake. Lunch is provided; students bring their own snacks. Ages 7 -14.

Cost is $360 for the two-week session.

Applications for all Sandpoint Waldorf School camps are available in the school office and are due by June 1. A minimum of eight students is needed in each camp. Please call the school if you have any questions about the program: (208) 265-2683.

Festival at Sandpoint Music Camp
Ages 8-18 years (all abilities welcome)
July 9-12
(208) 263-1151

The Festival at Sandpoint announces its first ever Summer Youth Music Camp at Sandpoint High School. Participants’ tuition is generously underwritten by the Festival at Sandpoint’s educational mission, so the only cost to the students is a $25 registration fee.

Camp director Dr. Jason Moody, a Sandpoint native who is currently first violin with the Spokane Symphony, will lead four fun-filled days of music instruction with classes including symphony orchestra, choir, chamber music, jazz band, classical guitar, ukulele, piano, fiddle ensemble, flute ensemble, master classes and more!

The camp features an all-star list of artists and instructors including Mika Hood, Tom Walton, Leon Atkinson, Jon and Bruce Brownell, Dave Gunter, Ryan Dignan, Rachel Gordon, Rich Beber, Larry Mooney, Anita Perkins, Karen Dignan and Laurie Stevens.

The camp will kick off with an All-Star Concert Monday, July 9, at the Panida Theater and culminate with a Grand Finale Student Concert Thursday, July 12. In addition to four days of instruction in a myriad of disciplines, other activities will include Alexander Technique classes at City Beach.

Registration is now open on a first come, first served basis – space is limited. For more infom, call Camp Administrator Beth Weber at (208) 263-1151.

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