Popular local options include West Bank School of Music, Friends School, Blackhawks and Como Park
By TESHA M. CHRISTENSEN
Take an unforgettable adventure to Africa this summer or spend a week at Hogwarts. Focus on ballet, Irish dance or tap. Experience the circus. Go for gold in the Animal Olympics at the zoo or create something great at the Friends School. Try tennis, soccer, or mountain biking. Dabble with clay, book arts or sewing. Step back in time and be a history detective.
That’s just the start of the youth camp options available in the Twin Cities area. Browse below for more information on some of the camps offered locally.
IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD
BLACKHAWKS OF ST. PAUL
Blackhawks (photo right) offer several exciting half- and full-day soccer camps for players ages 5-18 that encompass a wide variety of activities and skills. Specialty camps focus on specific skills such as ball control, shooting, and goalkeeping.
Spend some time “Monkeying Around” with your primate pals, go for the gold in “Animal Olympics,” take an “African Adventure” without leaving Como, or try on the hat of a zookeeper or gardener in “Behind-the-Scenes!” Como’s camps focus on developing children’s appreciation for the natural world through play and exploration, behind-the-scenes experiences, interactions with zookeepers and gardeners, and up-close encounters with plant and animal ambassadors. Five-day, half-day or full-day sessions for preschool to grade eight. Extended care is available.
CREATE SOMETHING GREAT AT FRIENDS SCHOOL
Want to make a film just like the professionals do? Feel like biking 10 (or 20!) miles a day? Have a secret stash of poems you want to share? Feel a need to express yourself through paint and paper-folding? Maybe you’d rather argue for the defense in a real courtroom? Friends School will be the place to do that–and more–from June 19-Aug. 4 for ages 4-14. Weekdays, half- and full-day. Extended day care in the mornings and afternoons and need-based financial aid available.
Cost: $105 to $295
GIBBS MUSEUM OF PIONEER AND DAKOTA LIFE CAMPS
Travel back in time and learn about life in the 1800s. Explore seasonal Dakota activities including the maple sugar camp, wild rice village, life in the tipi, hunting games, methods of travel, language, and song. Or enroll in Gibbs Girl or Digging History sessions. Three-day, half-day camps. One-day Pioneer PeeWees camps offered for ages 4-5.
HAMLINE YOUNG WRITERS
High school students ages 15-18 can explore the craft, prepare for college, and connect with other young writers in the Twin Cities while working closely with Hamline Creative Writing faculty and published authors.
MINNESOTA WALDORF SCHOOL
Join the Minnesota Waldorf School for good, old-fashioned summer fun June 12 to Aug. 18. Outdoor games, natural crafts, water play, gardening, caring for the school’s chickens, and much more, all on their beautiful 8-acre campus. 70 East County Road B, St. Paul. For children ages 3.5 to (rising) 6th grade.
Cost: $150- $275
SPIRIT TAE KWON DO
Fun, exciting camps that combine physical fitness and education are offered throughout the summer for school-age kids. Register early for discounts.
ST. PAUL ACADEMY
Make your own games and design circuits. Take a writing workshop entitled: “A Week at Hogwarts.” Debate, play chess, learn about mathematical modeling and forecasting, make movies or delve into creative science options. Eight options at SPA cover a wide range of academic, arts, and enrichment activities for grades 2-12. The Minnesota Institute for Talented Youth offers the ExplorSchool for students in grades 4-6.
ST. PAUL BALLET
Summer is a great time to try dance. Programs include workshops and camps for ages 3 and up, weekly drop-in classes for teens and adults, and a new “mommy and me” baby class.
ST. PAUL URBAN TENNIS
Located at 30+ sites, St. Paul Urban Tennis offers a summer program for all age groups and skill levels. Tennis lessons combine high-quality instruction with life skills learning. Sampler Camps offer a condensed, 4-day version of the lesson program. Scholarships are available.
WEST BANK SCHOOL OF MUSIC
There’s something for everyone at WBSM this summer! Camps: Rock, Pop, Funk, Brass, and Girls Rock–Ensembles: Jazz, Gypsy Jazz, Fiddle, String Quartet, and Irish–Guitar Classes: Blues, Celtic, and Finger-style, and more.
IN THE TWIN CITIES
ADVENTURES IN CARDBOARD
Construct ten castles, get lost in colossal mazes, build suits of armor and more during these five-day, full-day sessions for ages 8-17. Buses available from Powderhorn Park. New this year: Teen Weeks and Advanced AiC.
ALEXANDER RAMSEY HOUSE
Solve mysteries of the past in this three-day History Detective Camp for ages 10-13. Or, young ladies ages 9-12 can step back in time in a unique Finishing School for Young Ladies day camp.
ANIMAL HUMANE SOCIETY
Unleashed summer campers entering grades 3-10 spend a full week immersed in animal learning and fun. NEW this year: Campers will spend their time exclusively in the shelters.
A variety of art disciplines and mediums with themes like mirror images, urban forest, theater, art car, or paper and book arts offered for ages 4-18. Five-day, half- and full-day sessions available.
Grab your passports and join ArtStart artists on an unforgettable adventure to Africa through the arts. Preschool children ages 4-5 years register for “A Start with the Arts” offered morning only the week of July 10-14 and 17-21. Youth ages 13 years and older register for “Camp CREATE” offered June 19-22. Youth select classes taught by professional artists from multiple arts disciplines—music, creative movement/dance, and visual arts. As a result of participating in this 5-day immersion experience, youth gain artistic knowledge and skills, learn about the people, geography, and environment of a place and create artworks and performances inspired by the culture.
Cost: $145-$295. 651-698-2787.
Camp and canoe while learning leadership and teamwork skills in a seven-day resident camp for youths age 13-18 who live within the city limits of Minneapolis or St. Paul. Held on the St. Croix River in Rush City and organized by YouthCARE.
Explore international circus arts at Circus Juventas. Five-day, full-day sessions offered for ages 6-15. Or make your own camp with Circus Sampler Days.
CONCORDIA LANGUAGE VILLAGES
Experience cultural and language immersion; 15 languages to choose from. Resident camp for ages 6-18 and family camps.
DODGE NATURE CENTER
Explore prairies, wetlands and woodland trails during full- and half-day, four-day camps offered for students entering 1-8 grades. Shorter sessions are available for ages 3-6.
FARM TO TABLE
Make butter, ice cream, and bread while learning about science, agriculture, and history at the Bruentrup Heritage Farm in Maplewood. Plus, students will play old-time games like townball and do arts and crafts. Three four-day sessions offered in July and August.
Fiddling taught by master Swedish and American fiddlers, whistle making and folk dancing.
FOCI MN CENTER FOR GLASS
From fusing to casting to glass blowing, ages 9-18 are introduced to the mesmerizing medium of glass through immersive half-day, five-day experiences.
Experience the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Become a history investigator. Or, try out what life as an archeologist is like. Camps range from one day to one week.
GERMAN LANGUAGE AND CULTURE CAMPS
Speak, hear, sing, and create in German while exploring subjects ranging from history and art to science and music during five-day, half-, full- and extended-day sessions for grades K-3 at the Germanic-American Institute.
Professional Irish Dance training by director Cormac O’Se, an original member of Riverdance.
JUGHEADS JUGGLING CAMP
Half-day, five-day sessions and single day sessions for beginners through experts ages 8-18 enhance hand-eye coordination, boost concentration and build self-confidence.
Yoga infused throughout the day via story, dance, and games for campers age 5-12. Located on the Greenway with daily field adventures.
Girls and boys ages 6 to 17 can design and build their creative ideas, mixing art, science, and technology during partial-day, weekday camps. There are more than 115 classes available over 10 weeks.
Cost: $185-370, scholarships available
LOPPET ADVENTURE CAMPS
Roller ski, mountain bike, canoe and more during adventure camps for ages 9-13 at Theodore Wirth Park in Minneapolis (photo left). Equipment provided during the full-day, five-day sessions.
MILL CITY MUSEUM
Play music, get creative, bake bread, and construct books while exploring the rich culture of the Minneapolis riverfront district. Campers aged 9-11 will explore a new experience each day at four arts centers.
A variety of athletic, academic and enrichment programs are offered, including woodcarving, viola and cello, combat robots, puddlestompers, fencing, movie making, sewing, painting, rocket science, drumming, and more. Half- and full-day, one- to three-week weekday sessions. Camp Minnehaha, a full day camp for pre-k to grade 8, includes daily devotions, games, indoor and outdoor activities, daily swimming lessons and a weekly off-campus activity (photo right).
612-728-7745, ext. 1
NORTHERN CLAY CENTER
Work with sculpture, tiles, or wheel-thrown pottery in half or full-day sessions for ages 6 and up.
SCIENCE MUSEUM OF MINNESOTA
Summer programs for youth ages 3 to 16 combine science, art, drama, and literature in ways that encourage kids to actively discover and examine concepts for themselves. Programs also offered at the Lee & Rose Warner Nature Center, the state’s oldest outdoor environmental education facility.
SE MINNEAPOLIS SOCCER
Southeast Soccer fields a variety of girls and boys teams for ages U9-U18 at beginner, intermediate and advanced competitive levels. Consider the Lil’ Dribblers soccer program for ages 4 -8, or summer traveling teams (photo left).
STEPPING STONE THEATER
Learn about devised theater, music, and other performance art forms during these one- to two-week, half- and full-day sessions for those pre-K to grade 12. Two theater classes offered in collaboration with the Science Museum and Minnesota Zoo.
Use LEGO bricks, gears and motors to construct and program robots. Opt to learn to code or create your own video game. Math Addvantage offers five-day, half-day camps for grades 2-8.
TEXTILE CENTER CAMPS
Sew, knit, felt, dye and more. Take home completed fiber items from three- and five-day, half-, full- and extended-day sessions for ages 6-16.
TRAPEZE CENTER CIRCUS CAMP
Students ages 8-17 enrolled in the weeklong, half-day camps will experience a variety of circus disciplines (including Trampoline, Static Trapeze, Acrobatics, Circus Bike, and of course Flying Trapeze).
WHITE BEAR CENTER FOR THE ARTS
Painting, drawing, clay, theater, writing, glass and much more for ages 6-14.
Explore the variety of Y Summer Programs at over 60 metro-area locations. Programs include flexible three-, four-, and five-day options. There’s something fun for everyone from preschool through grade nine.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is not a comprehensive list of every camp in the Twin Cities. If you would like to be included in next year’s guide, please send us detailed information on the camp.