Based on our belief that Congress wouldn't dare sequester summer, we pushed ahead with plans for this year's camp guide.
Here we have gathered every manner of hot-weather diversion, both indoor and out, pinkies-up refined and sweat-pig filthy. There's bug-chasing, ballet, zombies and robots, ziplines, hip-hop, pirates and magic, all of it awaiting your bumptious sprout or silent, misunderstood teen. But before we air out the sleeping bags, a few housekeeping items:
Our favorite summertime experiences have never cost a cent ... playing freeze-tag at twilight, shivering into yesterday's wet swimsuit, poking the odd dead thing with a stick. That said, these chock-full-of-activity camps do cost, but because the economy is still limping, please remember that a lot of these places offer discounts, scholarships and sliding-scale fees. All you gotta do is ask.
Although we tried to include every nature hike and art class, we're sure we've missed a few, especially church and sports camps. So if you know of a kid-pleaser that you don't see here, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or post a comment on the online version of this story.
And now, let's hie into the woods, bug spray at the ready.
Academy District 20
Colorado Springs, 234-1374, asd20.org/sse
D-20's summer programs are designed for students in grades pre-K through 12. Beyond intervention and credit-recovery classes, there will be themed adventures, summer band, computer programming and outdoor education at the School in the Woods. Detailed program descriptions will be available the week of April 1; register online starting April 11.
Academy of Children's Theatre
Colorado Springs, 282-9101, aoct.net
Students from 4 to 19 can explore the elements of theatre through fun teaching, creative improvisations, and preparing and performing a production. Camp options include acting, musical theatre and stage makeup.
Colorado Springs, 209-1484, email@example.com
Alleycat is offering creative educational opportunities for ages 7 to 16 on Tuesday mornings during June and July. This summer's choices include Valjean, based on the first few chapters of the book Les Misérables, and a Broadway Musical Theater class with songs and dances from Les Misérables and other popular shows.
Ballet Society of Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs, 272-7078, danceinthesprings.com
Summer offerings begin June 17 and include three-week Ballet Intensive and Young Dancers workshops for intermediate and advanced dancers; four-day themed camps for younger dancers featuring Cinderella, the Nutcracker, and Dancing Fairies; week-long Broadway and Worship dance workshops for all levels, and more.
Blue Mountain Ranch Youth Camp
Florissant, 748-3279, bluemountainranch.com
Since 1946 this residential camp for ages 7 to 16 has offered up the best of summer, with horseback riding, trout fishing, nature study, campouts, swimming, hiking, canoeing, ropes course, drama, arts and crafts and more.
Bold Earth Teen Adventures
Colorado and worldwide, 303/526-0806, boldearth.com
Bold Earth runs Colorado outdoor adventure camps including kayaking and whitewater rafting, climbing and backpacking, and offers a broad range of programs in Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Campers must be 11 to 18. Limited scholarships are available.
Cal-Wood Education Center
Jamestown (northwest of Boulder), 303/449-0603, calwood.org
Cal-Wood offers residential camps for ages 8 to 18, including Chipmunk Summer Camp, Mountain Summer Camps, Wildland Skills Camp, Alpine Teen Adventure, and Leadership Camp for boys or girls, which cultivate skills that will be used throughout life while focusing on summer fun: archery, high ropes course, night games, and more. Scholarships are available.
Near Georgetown (30 miles west of Denver), 303/674-6400, mtevans.org/camp-comfort
Camp Comfort is a bereavement camp that offers a way for children ages 6 to 12 to explore feelings of grief and share memories of loved ones through activities led by licensed social workers. Of course, the camp also offers swimming, horseback riding, fishing, and arts and crafts. This year's dates are June 28-30 and July 26-28; scholarships are available.
Woodland Park, 687-2030, campelim.com
This Christian Bible camp for kids entering grades 3 to 12 offers a mixture of activities, including swimming, archery, hiking, nature studies and handcrafts, along with spiritual instruction.
Camp Invention Science Day Camp
Colorado Springs, 800/968-4332,campinvention.org
Led by local educators, two themed five-day camps in June will immerse elementary schoolchildren in hands-on learning disguised as fun summer activities. Children will solve problems on Planet Zak, save Sludge City, launch rubber ducks, earn glyphs and create a petrosphere journal. Discounts are available.
Camp Jam Power Chord Academy
Boulder, 800/513-0930, powerchordacademy.com
Vocalists, guitarists, bassists, drummers and keyboardists will work on everything from playing techniques to stage presence to music videos at Camp Jam, where the motto is "No Canoes, Lots of Rock." This overnight camp for musicians from 11 to 17 runs from July 21 to 26 at CU-Boulder.
Camp Timberline Sports & Mountain Adventure
At the base of Longs Peak (south of Estes Park), 970/484-8462, camptimberline.com
Camp Timberline is a Christian camp with sessions for ages 6 to 18. On offer this summer: Classic Camp, Beyond Timberline (teen backpacking), SHIFT (teen internship/adventure program) and a new day camp, Outta Bounds.
Camp Whiskers & Wags
Colorado Springs, 302-8739, hsppr.org
This is the third summer for day-camp fun at the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region. From June through early August, kids entering first grade on up to age 12 can enjoy week-long themed camps that foster respect for animals, encourage compassionate and responsible actions, cultivate knowledge and offer hands-on experiences with all kinds of critters. Two two-day sessions are available, including Shelter PALS for children entering grades 1 and 2, and Critter Careers for kids 10 to 12.
Colorado Springs, 471-0910 ext. 104, catamountinstitute.org/education/camps#summer
Week-long camps include the half-day Creepy Crawly Safari for kids 6 to 8, Outdoor Explorers day camp for ages 9 to 11, Backpack Beyond day camp for ages 13 to 16, and Adventure Camp, a residential experience for ages 12 to 14.
Challenger Learning Center of Colorado
Colorado Springs, 598-9755, clccs.org
Students entering grades 1 to 12 will build and launch rockets, discover how humans live in space, assemble Lego robots, and use the Magic Planet to learn the principles of flight and natural disasters. Register online for camps, which run in June and July.
Cheley Colorado Camps
Estes Park, 303/377-3616 through May 15, then 970/586-4244, cheley.com
Since 1921, Cheley has offered four-week overnight camping sessions for ages 9 to 17. Activities include hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, campouts, rock and tech climbing, mountain biking, crafts, sports and whitewater rafting.
Chess Camp of Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs, 634-1144, rockymountainchess.com
Offering beginning, intermediate and advanced instruction and mini tournaments for ages 6 to 18. Campers can sign up for one or both sessions, June 17-21 and June 24-28.
Cheyenne Cañon Summer Camp
Colorado Springs, 385-6086, cheyennecanon.org
Mission: Into the Cañon is a day camp based at Starsmore Discovery Center that runs from June 17 to 21 for kids 7 to 11. Campers will hike the trails, get up-close and personal with indigenous pine trees, and learn about the Cañon's ecology through games, activities, exploration and lectures. Space is limited, so register ASAP.
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
Colorado Springs, 633-9925 ext. 127, tinyurl.com/CMZoo-summer-2013
The zoo has a truly splendid lineup of summer opportunities for kids who will be entering grades pre-K to 6 in the fall — half-day and day camps, and one- and two-week sessions, some of which are of the overnight variety. Our favorite is the Nocturnal Night Club for kids. Campers will stay in the zoo two nights in a row, learning about nocturnal animals and identifying constellations. Other camps include Survival Safari, Artistic Instincts, Junior Zookeeper and Expedition Ecosystem. Register online; scholarships are available.
CityROCK Summer Climbing Camps
Colorado Springs, 634-9099, climbcityrock.com
CityROCK offers indoor and outdoor camps for adventurous children ages 3 and up. Indoor Climbing Camp helps kids learn climbing basics and build confidence and teamwork skills. Outdoor Climbing Camp for kids 10 and older teaches them how to belay, top-rope, rappel and more.
Colorado College Summer Programs
• Conversations of Humankind: 389-6330, tinyurl.com/CC-middle-school
This summer's Life of the Mind summer program, The Origins of Color!, is for students entering grades 7 to 9. Participants in this one-week course (available twice in June) will explore the science, art and aesthetics behind what we define as color.
Sign up for any or all of these nine, week-long sessions from June 3 to Aug. 2, from the CC Children's Center. Kids from 6 (first grade) to 12 will enjoy field trips, swimming, ice skating, reading, movies, games, sports, and arts and crafts. Registration begins March 18.
• Whiz Bang Science: 389-6330, tinyurl.com/CC-summer-science
Featuring hands-on, experience-based activities in science and engineering, the July 8-19 morning program gives kids entering grades 1 to 6 the chance to develop creative, critical thinking skills. The pupil-to-teacher ratio is kept low to encourage individual exploration and small group interaction. This year's theme: "Myth Busters!"
Colorado Lions Camp
Woodland Park, 687-2087, coloradolionscamp.org
Colorado Lions Camp offers 10, one-week sessions for campers with all types of disabilities, ages 8 through senior adults. Activities include astronomy, mini-golf, ropes-course work, swimming, fishing, mountain biking, horseback riding, camping and hiking. Wheelchair accessible; sponsorships are available through the Lions Club of Colorado.
Colorado Outward Bound School
Throughout the summer, Outward Bound offers 7- to 30-day programs for ages 12 to adult. Adventures include mountain and canyon backpacking, mountaineering, canyoneering, whitewater rafting and rock climbing.
Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center/Bemis School of Art
Colorado Springs, 634-5581, csfineartscenter.org
• Art and Acting in the Forest:
Instructors from Bemis School of Art and the FAC Theatre Company will work with children ages 6 to 11 at this day camp in the wild forest surrounding La Foret Conference and Retreat Center. Campers will experiment with artistic styles and techniques — painting, printmaking and collage — exploring composition and design, and develop acting skills, voice, movement and characterization through theater games, improvisation and mime. 475-2444
• Youth Rep Summer Theatre Training Camps:
One-, two- and five-week camps for various age groups for young people ages 4 to 18 — Actor's Tool Box, Performance Lab Intensive, and Youth Repertory Theatre.
• Bemis School if Art Classes and Workshops:
Taught by experienced artists and art instructors, with limited class sizes, there will be art adventures for all ages and skill levels, including watercolor, printmaking, ceramics, jewelry-making, photography and more. 475-2444
Colorado Springs Junior Tennis
Colorado Springs, 385-6023, coloradospringstennis.com
Classes for ages 4 to 18 will be held on courts in parks in the Springs and Manitou, starting with Pee Wee tennis for ages 4 to 6 on up to Blast Camp and Crush Camps for older players. There will be basics classes, in which players will learn scoring, rules and basic strokes, as well as league tennis and classes aimed at refining skills.
Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services
Colorado Springs, 385-5981, tinyurl.com/springs-summer-city-kids
As always, our city offers a huge assortment of summer programs for kids, including league sports and day camps. Register online at springsgov.com/RecreationServices.
• Challenger British Soccer Camps
Fun-focused British coaches challenge players 3 to 16 to improve their skills with maximum participation, maximum touches on the ball and maximum fun.
• Community Programs, , firstname.lastname@example.org
Cheerleading Camp (ages 7 to 13), City Tykes Cheerleading Camp (4 to 6), Young Stars Day Camp (6 to 13), Jump City Basketball (8 to 15) and Little Quarterbacks Camp (4 to 6).
•Skyhawks Summer Sports Camps, skyhawks.com
These camps focus on developing fundamental skills through small group activities in a fun and positive environment. Camps accommodate both beginners and experienced players ages 4 to 12 (varies by sport). Sports include: golf, baseball, volleyball, soccer, lacrosse, Capture the Flag, basketball, flag football, Mini-Hawk (basketball, baseball, soccer) and Multi-Sport (soccer, flag football).
• Young Stars Summer Day Camp, 385-6005, email@example.com
These neighborhood-based day camps for ages 6 to 13 offer sports — baseball, softball, basketball, soccer and field hockey — non-traditional games, and field trips in a positive, safe atmosphere.
The Colorado Springs School Summer Camps
Colorado Springs, 475-9747, css.org
CSS offers a broad array of summer camps for kids entering grades 2 to 12, including Chess Camp, Lego Camp, Art Camp, Drama Camps, Video Game Creation Camp and Sports Camps.
Childrens Cooking Day Camp
Colorado Springs, 964-4443, thenewandseasonedcook.com
The New and Seasoned Cook's week-long camps run from June 3 to Aug. 5 for ages 9 to 17. Each week has its own theme, and the winner of each Friday's cooking competitiom wins a trophy. Yummy leftovers go home with students so their families can sample their creations.
Cottonwood Center for the Arts
Colorado Springs, 520-1899, cottonwoodcenterforthearts.com
Cottonwood will offer a wide range of activities this summer that encompasses all ages. Watch the website for this summer's offerings and schedule.
Colorado Springs, 633-9880, counterpointschool.com
For kids ages 2 to 10, summertime at Counterpoint is filled with ice cream socials, swimming, art lessons in the park, science and nature studies, dance and movement, tumbling, field trips and storytelling — plus a summer carnival.
Crow Canyon Archaeological Center
Cortez, 800/422-8975 ext. 146, crowcanyon.org/summercamps
Crow Canyon runs one-week camps for middle school and high school students, who work on excavations with archaeologists, study artifacts and participate in lively discussions. A three-week intensive field school is available for high school-age students. Scholarships are available.
E11 Creative Workshop
Colorado Springs, 659-5371, e11cw.com
E11 is dedicated to creative free-choice, which means kids can choose from a multitude of learning materials based on their interests. They might build waterways and forts, work with woodworking tools, airbrushes, clay and sand, and lots more. Flexible sessions run from early June to late August for ages 3 to 12.
Eagle Lake Camps and Day Camps
Colorado Springs, 800/873-2453, eaglelakecamps.com
This Christian summer camp runs a variety of programs for ages 8 to 18, focused on Christ-centered love and commitment through friendships with counselors and outdoor experiences. There are also day camps at Glen Eyrie for kids ages 7 to 12, offering outdoor activities, sports, arts and crafts, plus Bible lessons and more.
Early Connections Learning Centers
Colorado Springs, 632-1754 ext. 1001, earlyconnections.org
All children up to age 14 are welcome in these literacy-based programs that include fun field trips and great activities. There are multiple locations across the city to help working families with summer childcare, as well as a sliding-fee scale.
Earth Mountain Education Farm
Weston (25 miles west of Trinidad), 719/680-0215
Offering day camp for kids 3 and older and three-day camps for ages 8 and up on a working, sustainable, off-grid farm. Earth Mountain promotes self-empowerment, social consciousness and stewardship. Children will live in tipi lodges, play environmental education games, test their skills on challenge courses and be part of daily farm activities, from cooking on the wood stove to natural building projects.
Easter Seals Colorado
Rocky Mountain Village
Empire (40 miles west of Denver), 303/569-2333 ext. 301, tinyurl.com/rmv2012
This fully accessible residential camp serves people ages 6 and up who have physical and developmental disabilities. Camp activities include horseback riding, swimming, arts and crafts, music, drama, sports, fishing and riding the zipline. Scholarships are available.
El Paso County Parks Nature Camps
Bear Creek Nature Center, Colorado Springs, 520-6388; Fountain Creek Nature Center, Fountain, 520-6745; Fox Run Park, Black Forest, 520-6745; elpasocountyparks.com
Camps feature environmental stewardship, naturalist-led hikes, discovery time in the woods, hands-on activities, crafts, games and more.
• Bear Creek: Half- and full-day adventures for children entering grades 1 to 5 will run from early June to early August.
• Fountain Creek: There will be day camps for children entering grades 1 to 5 and grades 6 to 8, and an optional overnight campout.
• Fox Run Park: A morning camp will be offered from June 24 to 28.
El Pueblo History Museum Summer Workshops
Pueblo, 719/583-0453 ext. 103, tinyurl.com/El-Pueblo-Colorado
The museum will offer an Imagine That workshop for kids ages 8 to 12, focusing on art, history and science. The Frontier Living History Camp for youths 10 to 16 will feature work in the trading post, making meals, dressing in period costume and more.
Falcon Sports Camps
Colorado Springs, 333-2116, goairforcefalcons.com
Held at the Air Force Academy, these camps welcome athletes ages 8 to 18 in training for baseball, basketball, cheerleading, football, golf, ice hockey, lacrosse and more. Boys and girls can commute to the Academy or stay on campus if they are 12 or older.
First Presbyterian ChurchAscent Camps
Colorado Springs, 884-6126, first-pres.org/camps (Priscilla, Children's Ministries)
First Presbyterian hosts a number of camps for kids entering grades 3 to 8. Programs include a music and drama camp, as well as overnight out-of-town camps for grades 3 to 8. Scholarships are available.
The Fitness Factory
Colorado Springs, 344-9716, the-fitness-factory.net
Four-week courses for kids 3 to 13 include ballet, hip-hop, breakdancing, jazz/tap combo, and World Class kids, which is a combination of Masala Bhangra, hula hoop and Zumbatomic. There also will be children's self-defense workshops throughout the summer.
Fountain Arts Center Camps and Classes
Among this summer's broad array of offerings are Under the Sea Camp, Princess and Pirates Dance Camp, Pop Star Camp, master dance and guitar workshops, ballet, tap and hip-hop dance classes — and more. Watch the website for updates on offerings.
Fountain Valley School Summer Programs
Colorado Springs, 390-7035,fvs.edu/summerprograms
This private, college-prep high school offers an assortment of residential and day camps for young people, including Robotics Camp, Western Riding Day Camp, Pinhole Camera Arts Camp, Extreme Writing, Colorado Style! and more. Check the website for options and dates.
Girls' Wilderness Program
Boulder, 303/938-9191, womenswilderness.org
The Women's Wilderness Institute offers courses for girls and teens ages 8 to 18, including activities like rock climbing, backpacking, outdoor skills and expressive arts, all in a "girl-positive" environment. Five- to 14-day courses are offered as well as a day camp. Full and partial scholarships are available. New this year: Wild Horses, week-long camps for ages 13 to 15 that build decision-making and leadership skills through working with rescue horses.
The Goddard School
Colorado Springs, 495-4432, goddardschool.com
This private preschool near Powers Boulevard and Research Parkway offers summer camps for young children through age 8, featuring storytellers, magicians, musicians, special guests and field trips. School Readiness Camp, for ages 5 to 10, is a curriculum program designed to prepare children for kindergarten and first through third grades.
Golden Bell Camp& Conference Center
Divide, 687-9561, goldenbellccc.org
Golden Bell offers Christ-centered experiences for grades 1 to 12, including cabin camps, tepee camps and adventure camps. Activities include swimming, climbing wall, zip lines, archery, high ropes, horseback riding, hiking, a new mini-golf course, and more.
Handprints Early Education Centers
Colorado Springs, 598-4083, hand-prints.org
This Christian day camp offers advanced education programs, Bible studies and elementary preparatory activities for children ages 1 to 12.
Hill Springs Learning Center
Colorado Springs, 576-3840, hillsprings.org
This center offers multi-sensory instruction in reading, written language, study skills and math for grades 1 to 8 during a five-week program.
Hope Montessori Academy
Colorado Springs, 388-8818 and 573-5300; Monument, 488-8723; Falcon, 886-4900, montessorichild.com
Hope schools provide year-round programs, including engaging and fun summer camp activities for children ages 12 and younger. Summer camps include educational field trips, swimming, sports clinics, gymnastics and arts and crafts.
iD Tech Camps and iD Teen Academies
Denver, Fort Collins and elsewhere, 888/709-8324, tinyurl.com/iD-colo-camps
Students age 7 to 17 chase their interests, creating iPhone apps, video games, C++/Java programs, movies and more. Week-long, day and overnight programs are held at the University of Denver, CSU-Fort Collins and at other locations. There are also two-week teen programs: iD Gaming Academy (at DU), iD Programming Academy and iD Visual Arts Academy.
Imagination Celebration Camps
Colorado Springs, 597-3344 ext. 1, imaginationcelebration.org
Imagination Celebration offers summer day camps for kids entering grades 1 to 9 featuring a different theme each session. Check the website for details about its creative one-week programs.
JCC Ranch Camp
Black Forest, 303/316-6384 (winter), 303/648-3800 (from the end of May), ranchcamp.org
Residential one- and multi-week camps for kids entering grades 2 through 10 offer the true outdoor ranch experience: horseback riding, mountain biking, camping and backpacking, swimming, archery, arts and crafts, music and nature programming. The camp is a celebration of Jewish values (campers do not have to be Jewish), focusing on the essence of being a good person and taking better care of the world.
Junior Academy Children's Centers
Colorado Springs, 598-2095, jracademykids.com
Day camps for ages 5 to 15 include Zumba, Red Cross swimming lessons, ice skating, bowling and mini-golf, plus day trips to places like the Pioneers Museum, Olympic Training Center and Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. There is a focus on literacy-based enrichment, but also a lot of hands-on fun.
Keystone Science School
Themed residential Discovery Camps for ages 4½ to 13 blend science with adventure in a traditional camp setting. This year's themes include dinosaurs, Colorado ecology, and astronomy. Expedition-based programs for ages 12 to 17 feature camping along wild rivers, learning about fire ecology and alpine weather and more, and there's also a counselor assistant program. Keystone's new Legacy Camp in late August is for children and teens dealing with losses in their immediate family.
Kids Mountain Bike Camps
Colorado Springs, 355-3573, kidsonbikes.net
Kids on Bikes' week-long morning camps for ages 7 to 12 will help young mountain bikers build confidence and skills as they take on local trails. On offer: challenge, camaraderie, adventure, learning and, of course, fun.
KinderCare Learning Centers
Colorado Springs, 888/523-6765, kindercare.com/summercamp
KinderCare offers week-long summer camps for preschool, pre-kindergarten and school-aged children. There is a new theme every week, including sports, art and science. See the website for more information.
Lego & Mindstorms Robotics
Colorado Springs, 271-2120, youngbotbuilders.com
Week-long morning and afternoon camps for ages 6 to 13 will be located at various venues around town throughout the summer. Kids learn the basics of engineering through building, problem solving, teamwork, competition and creativity, and experimentation with gears, motors, pulleys and levers.
Lewis-Palmer School District 38Summer Programs
Monument, 785-4224, lewispalmer.org, click on Community
MyPlace, for D-38 kids entering grades 1 to 6, runs 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (or fewer hours, if you like) and includes three field trips per week including swimming, museums, parks, and on-site activities like water play and arts and crafts.
The Little Gym
Colorado Springs, 447-9153, tlgcoloradospringsco.com
The gym offers three-hour camps for children ages 3 to 10, including physical activities to build flexibility, strength and balance, as well as special events and arts and crafts.
Castle Rock, 303/660-6799, amazingshows.com
These Monday-through-Thursday morning camps for ages 7 to 16 foster development of self-confidence, dexterity, stage presence, creativity and self-motivation. Taught by two professional magicians, the program focuses on magic, illusion and mentalism. Each camp ends with an on-stage recital.
Manitou Springs Aquatics
Manitou Springs, 685-9735, manitoupool.com
Learn to swim or perfect your stroke at the Manitou Pool. Both private and public summer swimming lessons will be offered for ages 3 and older.
Manitou Springs Arts Academy
Manitou Springs area, 685-2141, themsaa.org
MSAA will offer arts camps for kids entering grades K to 9, featuring visual arts, drama, music and movement. There will also be a film camp for middle-school-age campers.
Manitou Springs Public Schools
Manitou Springs, 685-2024, mssd14.org
Growing Gardens, Cultivating Kids is a literacy-based day camp held for elementary-school kids (you don't have to live in the district to participate). Campers will spend their mornings journaling, reading, cooking, conducting investigations, taking photos and creating art based on nature. The Fine Arts Institute @ Manitou will run an afternoon music program with weekly themes. Beginning in June, the Manitou Springs Arts Academy will team up with the district to offer interdisciplinary arts programming for elementary- and middle-school-age students.
Millibo Art Theatre
Colorado Springs, 465-6321, themat.org
The MAT offers one- and two-week workshops for kids 4 through the teens. Themes include If You Give a Dog a Donut, Cowboy Up, Creating a Superhero, Water World, Circus, Shakespeare in the Park, Improv and more. Professionals teach small classes, helping students develop new skills and expand their confidence and imagination.
Mizel Museum Creative Journeys Camps
Denver, 303/749-5018, mizelmuseum.org
Affordable multicultural, one-week day camps for grades pre-K to 8 begin in June and are held in the museum's new permanent exhibit, "4,000 Year Road Trip: Gathering Sparks." Teaching artists will focus on visual arts, theater, photography, music, movement, storytelling, puppetry and more.
Mountain Park Environmental Center
Beulah (west of Pueblo), 719/485-4444, hikeandlearn.org
Camps for kids entering grades 3 to 9 include Adventure and Wonders of Nature day camps; Survival Camp; Mountain Adventure Camp; Camp Mission: Wolf; Backpack Camp; Birds & the Bees (both for girls); and Mountain Man Discovery (for boys). Their Counselor-in-Training program is for kids entering grades 9 to 12, and Little Kids Camp is a day camp for children entering grades K to 2.
Nature & Raptor Center of Pueblo
Pueblo, 719/549-2414, natureandraptor.org
They call them "free range children's camps" because they provide plenty of unstructured outdoor time. Week-long day camps include Knee-high Naturalists (for 4- to 6-year-olds), Nature Players (for kids entering grades 1 to 3), and Raptor Camp and Fort and Shelter Building in the Wild (both for kids entering grades 4 to 6).
Ormao Dance School
Colorado Springs, 471-9759, ormaodance.org
Ormao will offer dance camps, workshops and punch-card classes for ages 3 through adult from June 17 to Aug. 10. Explore modern, ballet, jazz, hip-hop, tap, musical theater, African dance and more. Registration begins May 1.
Peace Camp 2013
Colorado Springs, 632-6189, ppjpc.org/programs/peace-camp
Sponsored by the Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission, Peace Camp is for kids from 6 to 13. The week-long day camp, beginning July 15, lets children choose projects focusing on Peace with Self, Peace with Neighbors, Peace with the Earth, Peace with the World and Becoming Peace Builders. The last evening is an overnight campout. Youths from 14 to 18 can join the Counselors-in-Training team, learning to mentor the younger ones. Scholarships are available.
Pikes Peak Library District
Colorado Springs, 531-6333 ext. 1403 or 2403, teen programs ext. 1318, ppld.org
There will be programs for babies to 18-year-olds, including the annual reading game for younger readers — this year's theme is Dig Into Reading — with magic shows, animal visitors, crafts programs, games and performers. "Beneath the Surface" is this summer's teen theme. Reading is rewarded with prizes and there will be visits from residents of Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, movie nights, crafts, and activities involving the ever-popular zombies.
Pioneers Museum Junior Docent Program
Colorado Springs, 385-5631, cspm.org/support/volunteers-corp
Get your app in by March 22 for the CSPM Junior Docent program, open to 25 history-loving students in grades 5 through 12. Participants will become guides and educators for the summer, introducing visitors to the history of the Pikes Peak region. Limited scholarships available.
Five sites in El Paso County, 720/515-8582, play-well.org/camps
Week-long half-day programs for kids ages 5 to 7 and 8 to 11 offer Lego-assisted creativity in the areas of physics, engineering and architecture.
Colorado Springs, Briargate, 268-0664; Cottonwood Creek, 260-8181; Springs Ranch, 442-1992,primroseschools.com
These private schools offer camps for kids pre-K to 12 featuring field trips, water games, interest clubs, cooking, reading, creative writing, theater, dance and more.
Pueblo Zoo Summer Camps
Pueblo, 719/561-1452 ext. 125, pueblozoo.org
There are week-long morning and day camps for kids in grades K to 12, from Zoorific Adventures, to Hop, Wiggle & Jump, to Gross Out! But our favorite this year is Wild Design, which lets older kids design and create habitats for zoo animals.
Rocky Mountain Field Institute
Colorado Springs, 471-7736, rmfi.org
Restoration work sessions begin in April and run through early June in Garden of the Gods and the fire-damaged Blodgett Peak Open Space. Workdays are open to those 16 and older, or 13 and older if accompanied by a parent volunteer. Watch the website for additional summer workdays that may be scheduled.
Rocky Mountain Mennonite Camp
Divide, 687-9506, rmmc.org
This Mennonite overnight camp is open to those entering grades 3 to 12. Family camps also are available. Activities include nature study, arts and crafts, hiking and volleyball, to be enjoyed while encouraging holistic Christian growth. Scholarships are available.
Sanborn Western Camps
Florissant, 748-3341, sanbornwesterncamps.com
Since 1948, Sanborn has emphasized personal growth, independence and adventure in the high peaks of Colorado. Dates run from June through August, in 15-day camps for children who have finished grades 1 to 4, or month-long camps for those who have finished grades 3 to 10.
Sangre de Cristo Arts Center Summer Camps
Pueblo, 719/295-7200, sangredecristoarts.org
Eight weeks of art camps begin June 10, with a different focus each week, coordinated with the Buell Children's Museum summer theme: "True Blue Heroes." Go for one week, join them for all eight, or pick and choose. The last week — July 29-Aug. 2 — runs in tandem with the Missoula Children's Theatre residency and Pinocchio production. Watch the website for more details.
Sky High Hope Camp
Bellvue (eight miles northwest of Fort Collins), 303/861-1754, skyhighhope.org
Sky High is a free camp for kids with cancer, ages 8 to 18, and their siblings (if space is available). Activities at the July 7-13 camp include nature study, arts and crafts, skits and music, canoeing, fishing, rafting, archery, rock climbing and a ropes course.
Sky Ranch Ute Trail
Powderhorn, 970/641-0717, skyranch.org
This Christian camp offers outdoor adventures for families and middle- and high-school groups in the Rocky Mountains. Family activities include horseback riding, kayaking, a high-ropes course, and day and night programs. Backpacking camps for youth groups feature multi-day back-country trips.
St. Luke's Children's Center
Colorado Springs, 598-7821, saintlukes-cs.org
St. Luke's offers summer camp activities for kids from 5 to 12, including sports, vacation Bible school, field trips, library visits and cooking classes.
Stars Gymnastics Summer Day Camp
Colorado Springs, 598-6863, starsgymnasticscoloradosprings.com/summer-day-camp
Stars Gymnastics leads camps for kids ages 5 to 12 featuring tumbling and gymnastics, plus field trips, swimming, games, and arts and crafts projects.
Steelworks Museum Summer Camp
Pueblo, 719/564-9086, steelworks.us
This all-day, hands-on camp from June 24 to 28 is for kids in grades 6 to 8 who are passionate about science. There will be a different focus each day, from physics to robotics to rocketry.
Summer Flute Workshop
Colorado Springs, 246-8306,northspringsflutestudio.com
From June 3-7, Nancy Andrew and Debby Blake will lead "low-pressure," participation-oriented activities. From 10:30 a.m. to noon, it's students grades in grades 7 and 8; from 1:30 to 4 p.m., grades 9 to 12 and adult amateurs. No auditions required.
Summer Speed and Agility Sports Camps
Colorado Springs, 216-6601, trainateds.com
Athletes from all sports in grades 3 to 5, 6 to 8 and high school will work to improve core strength and stability, agility, acceleration and deceleration, running velocity and confidence during training sessions June 3-27 and July 8-Aug. 1.
The Sunshine House Summer Camp
Colorado Springs, 573-6910, sunshinehouse.com
For kids pre-K to 12, this is a summer day camp with weekly themes, including field trips, arts and crafts, and more.
Sunshine Learning Center Explorers Club
Colorado Springs, 598-7852, sunshinelearningcentercs.com
The Explorers Club offers swimming, field trips and educational activities for children kindergarten to 12.
Temple Shalom's preschool camp
Colorado Springs, 634-5311 ext 13, templeshalom.com
Temple Shalom will offer a morning camp for ages 2 to 5 during the first two weeks of June. Potty training is not required. Visit the website for more information and registration.
University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
• UCCS Family Development Center Summer Camp, 255-3483, uccs.edu/fdc
For kids 6 to 11, the Center offers daily field trips to such destinations as Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and Fountain Creek Nature Center, as well as pleasure reading, art, science, cooking and computers. Financial aid is available.
• UCCS Pre-collegiate Development Program, 255-3039 or 255-3299, uccs.edu/pcdp/index.html
This program, which includes summer learning, is designed to build study skills and an academic foundation for middle- and high school-students who will be first-generation college students. Participants must meet the program's criteria.
• Center for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Education, 255-3595,uccs.edu/~pipes/index.html
Proceeding from the belief that "nerd is the new cool," the STEM center offers several camp opportunities for weekly (half- and full-day) camps. STEM By Me are week-long engineering camps for grades 3 to 5. Topics include robots, high-tech art, computer game design and animal science. MindQuest, FLITE, Jumpstart STEM and UNITE are day and week-long camps for students entering grades 6 to 8 and 9 to 12. Visit the website for details and dates.
There will be a wide range of athletic and recreation camps for kids 5 and older. Watch the website for program and registration details.
Venetucci Farm Summer Programs
There are three week-long day programs this year. Farm to Fork: Cooking With Kids (new this year) combines farm exploration with cooking; Junior Farmhands offers farm experiences like feeding chickens, slopping pigs and planting seeds. Farm Animals/Wild Animals focuses on the animals raised on the farm as well as turkeys, coyotes and other wild animals that live there too. Age levels vary by program.
Village Seven Presbyterian Church Camp
Colorado Springs, 574-6700 ext. 21, v7pc.org
Village Seven offers free Summer StoryTime for ages 3 to 8. There is also a basketball (ages 6 to 12) day camp, and vacation Bible school.
Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado
Statewide, 303/715-1010, voc.org
VOC projects and programs get kids 6 and older involved in caring for and preserving the state's natural places. Youth opportunities run from the family-friendly variety to Youth Stewardship With a Team projects and the ongoing Cairn Youth Program for high school students. Check the website for this year's activities.
YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region
The YMCA offers day camps featuring various themes for children ages 5 to 12. Visit the website or contact locations for more information. Financial aid is available.
• Briargate YMCA, 4025 Family Place, 282-9622
• Downtown YMCA, 207 N. Nevada Ave.,473-9622
• Garden Ranch YMCA, 2380 Montebello Drive West, 593-9622
• Meridian Ranch Recreation Center, 10301 Angeles Road, Falcon, 495-7119
• Southeast YMCA, 2190 Jet Wing Drive, 622-9622
• Tri-Lakes Family Center, 17250 Jackson Creek Parkway, Monument, 481-8728
YMCA Camp Shady Brook
Camp Shady Brook provides overnight camps for ages 6 to 17. Campers can enjoy a variety of activities such as horseback riding, art camp, archery and swimming. Scholarships are available.
YMCA of the Rockies: Camp Chief Ouray
Camp Chief Ouray offers traditional camping experiences for young people ages 7 to 17. Activities include horseback riding, canoeing, arts and crafts, swimming, campouts, archery and ropes courses. Teen wilderness adventure programs include outdoor challenges like backpacking, whitewater rafting and mountain biking. Scholarships and flexible payment plans are available.
Pueblo YMCA's Camp Jackson
Located in the foothills of Greenhorn Mountain, Camp Jackson offers traditional and high-adventure camps for 7- to 17-year-olds. Activities include hiking, horseback riding, rock climbing, shooting sports, canoeing, camping and whitewater rafting. Financial assistance is available.