26+ High Quality, “Don’t Miss This”, Great Summer Camps
NOTE: I am beginning to hear of camps that will be available “IN PERSON” this summer. I will add “In Person” to those camps that are open and following Covid-19 guidelines. I am also noting camps that are completely canceled.
Summer 2021 is approaching, and so is summer vacation–so I have made a list of summer camps in Howard County (as well as near me in adjoining counties). The list of camps includes academic sessions for the many Howard County GT students, sports, drama, arts, crafts, and music.
As a former teacher, I can tell you that summer break can do some damage to your child’s academic skills. Every year there are too many kids who come back to school with lower reading and math abilities than they left with the previous school year.
The reason this happens will be obvious to most parents who have themselves spent their childhood summers watching TV, hanging out with friends, and avoiding anything remotely academic. Some of this is great, but not too much it seems.
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Of course, there were always a few kids who did not suffer from the summer effect and still had time to relax and be kids during summer. These were the children whose parents were on top of making sure that some of the kids’ summer experiences would actually add to what they learned in the previous school year.
With that in mind, my friends and I have been discussing all of the fun and interesting summer camp options that are available these days around Howard County, Montgomery County, and Baltimore Maryland.
Please drop me a comment if you know of ones that I missed. BTW, I am only listing camps that I have first-hand knowledge of–these aren’t paid listings, but just interesting summer camps that I think kids will actually benefit from attending–some are learning camps for gifted and talented (GT / TAG) kids, and others are just general fun camps.
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- Laurel Museum Rube Goldberg Camp – Rising 3 – 5 graders. Contact the museum for dates. Here is a pdf advertising it for 2020, but please check the dates for 2021.
- Idea Lab Kids – IN PERSON – A friendly place with loads of options. Great STEM Camps in Ellicott City. Here is their 2021 camp schedule. They also have a great aftercare program.
- Thrifty Teacher – IN PERSON – Every session includes a guided painting class, a snack, a guided craft and independent crafting time. In Laurel on All Saints Road.
- Glenelg Country School – IN PERSON – In Ellicott City, this school has some amazing choices for summer learning fun including in theater, GT math, dance, chess, robotics and sports. I highly recommend checking out their offerings. The school has a wonderful campus in the forest in a rural part of Ellicott City. Camps run until the end of July.
- Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth – ONLINE FOR 2021 – Great offerings for gifted and talented kids around Maryland including classes in Baltimore and Sandy Spring Friends School. Students must be specially admitted to the program before they can attend the summer camps, and that won’t be possible for kids who aren’t advanced in academics. CTY camps are renowned in the USA and we’re lucky to have them right in our backyard. BTW, if you’re looking for an alternative to the CTY camps, there is also SIG Day Program at the Woods Academy in Bethesda.
- Camp Invention – This is a really cool idea for kids in grades 1 to 6. There currently aren’t any schools hosting this camp in Howard County, but they may be worth some travel time or could be close to mom or dad’s office. The one that I have linked is in nearby Catonsville, at Westchester Elementary.
- Howard Community College – These are very popular summer GT camps and summer classes–popular like a rock concert–the registration begins and ten minutes later it’s “sold out”…Check out the options. Many of them are very good! For 2020 registration opens on January 30, 2020. Don’t miss your chance–review the options and get ready to sign up in time!
- Terrapin STEM Camp – Located in Laurel at St. Marys of the Mills Elementary School, this camp offers all day long programs for grades K-5 with before and after care. Kid’s learn about several aspects of STEM each day through fun and hands on experimentation. Activities include Zome Tools (I am a fan of these!), Lego robotics, 3-D printing, and coding,
- Imagination Stage – This Bethesda, MD venue is a promising place for fun and creative learning. This is definitely not in Howard County or even Baltimore, but if you happen to work out that way in Montgomery County, definitely consider sending your kids there for a week or two. Registration for 2020 now open.
- Howard County Art’s Council Center for the Arts IN PERSON –they have all sorts of art camps, including acting. There is very limited space for these summer camps that go late June until Mid August. If your child is interested in the arts, this is definitely a “don’t miss” summer camp!
- Club SciKidz – IN PERSON – Space explorer, science chef and other great days of fun await your child at this camp in Ellicott City. Deep space robotics? 3-D Printing? Minecraft? Emergency Vet? YES! My kids have really enjoyed their camps. Registration is now open!
- Columbia Academy Columbia Academy in Columbia Maryland has some wonderful summer camps for all ages of kids. For more about Columbia Academy–see my post about private schools in Howard County.
|Great Summer Camps in Central Maryland|
- Camp IO– Yoga and science camp in Columbia, MD for kids ages 6-11. $330/week (as of January 2020. This camp looks great for boys and girls who love science and need more balance in their lives-mandalas and model rockets, a brilliant combination! My kids have enjoyed their camps in the past (including their School’s Out camps).
- Howard County Conservancy has some great camps. They are nature themed and take place in Woodstock, MD and Elkridge, MD. Conquer the trails of the Patapsco Valley, learn about some of the amazing beasts in our forests and streams, go green! My kids have enjoyed their camps in the past (including their School’s Out camps).
- Circle D Farm – Day camp comes highly recommended. In Woodbine, Md.
- IDTech – Computer programming summer camps camps for kids and teens. In College Park and Towson. Great for gifted and talented kids.
- Howard County Parks and Recreation – IN PERSON – Affordable and interesting camps for younger and older kids.
- Howard County Public Schools – Want to learn Chinese this summer? How about a biomedical skills camp? Only at HCPSS! In person registration begins February 1, 2020.
- Karate Camp – Wilde Lake Karate would be a great place to learn martial arts this summer. Check it out!
- Drama Learning Center – Great camps where kids can hone their drama skills in Columbia/Ellicott City.
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- Columbia Association – IN PERSON – Columbia Association offers many nature and art camps that I have heard good things about. This year’s program looks fantastic.
- Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts / Toby’s Dinner Theater camp – Great way to get into some great acting skills.
- Walters Art Gallery – Not sure if this is happening in 2021…The Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore has summer camps! Sold by the week, these camps are very interesting for kids first grade and older. This looks like a wonderful experience!
- Terrapin Adventures – If you’ve never been to Terrapin Adventures in Savage (near Savage Mill), you’re in for a high-flying treat. Their camps are full of outdoor fun, exercise, science and more. This looks really cool. Very limited space.
- Loyola University – Reading skills for elementary aged kids and speed reading camps for grades 6-8th taking place in June and July. Call 800-834-3693 for camp information (Ellicott City, Columbia, Elkridge and Catonsville).
- YMCA Camp – The YMCA in Ellicott City has several options for traditional summer camps. You may also be interested in the camps at Lifetime Fitness in Columbia.
- Camp Oasis – Not operating in 2021. Music, drama, and other fun in Columbia.
- Columbia Horse Center – Horsemanship summer camps for Howard County horse lovers.
- Sleepaway Camp – I have heard great things about the Echo Hill camp on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
Thanks for reading my list of summer camps. I also have a list of school’s out camps in Howard County.