26+ High Quality, “Don’t Miss This”, Great Summer Camps
Summer 2024 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 camps include 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 damage your child’s academic skills. Every year, too many kids come back to school with lower reading and math abilities than they left with the previous school year.
The reason this happens will be evident to most parents who have spent their childhood summers watching videos, 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 add to what they had learned in the previous school year.
With that in mind, my friends and I have been discussing the fun and interesting summer camp options available around Howard County, Montgomery County, and Baltimore, Maryland.
Please drop me a comment if you know of any camps 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 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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- Idea Lab Kids – A friendly place with loads of options. Great STEM Camps in Ellicott City. Here is their camp schedule. They also have a great aftercare program. 👍
- Rube Goldberg Camp – FREE summer camp where rising 3rd to 5th graders can have fun building simple machines and learning about the connection to 19th-century mill life. Laurel Historical Society Museum in Laurel, Md.
- Archeology Camp – FREE summer camp at the Laurel Historical Society – rising 5th to 8th graders can learn about archaeology and life in Laurel from prehistory to today during this hands-on camp.
- Thrifty Teacher – Every session includes a guided painting class, a snack, a guided craft, and independent crafting time. In Laurel on All Saints Road. 👍
- Launch Business Camp – This one is standout for its unusual nature. There are two locations for the camp, one in Columbia, Md. Kids aged 8 – 17 will learn the ins and outs of entrepreneurship and running a business.
- Glenelg Country School – In Ellicott City, this school has some amazing choices for summer learning fun, including 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 – 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. 👍
- Howard Community College – These are very popular summer GT camps and summer classes–popular like a rock concert–the registration begins. Ten minutes later, it’s “sold out”…Check out the options. Many of them are very good! For 2023 registration opens on January 30, 2023. Don’t miss your chance–review the options and get ready to sign up in time! 👍
- MICA in Baltimore – Great camps for kids and teens interested in art and design. They take place on the campus of MICA in Baltimore and at the St. Paul’s Schools.
- Imagination Stage – This Bethesda, MD venue is a promising place for fun and creative learning. This is not in Howard County or even Baltimore, but if you happen to work out that way in Montgomery County, consider sending your kids there for a week or two. Registration for 2023 is 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 from late June until Mid August. If your child is interested in the arts, this is a “don’t miss” summer camp!
- Club SciKidz – 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. 2023 registration is now open!👍
- Columbia Academy Columbia Academy in Columbia, Maryland, has some wonderful summer camps for of all ages 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. 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. 👍
- On Target Fencing Camp – Fencing camp for beginners or intermediate fencers. Located in Annapolis Junction.
- IDTech – Computer programming summer camps for kids and teens. In College Park and Towson. Great for gifted and talented kids.
- Howard County Parks and Recreation – 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! 👍
- Karate Camp – Wilde Lake Karate would be a great place to learn martial arts this summer. Check it out! 👍
- Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University – Great summer music sessions held in Baltimore. 👍
- Drama Learning Center – Great camps where kids can hone their drama skills in Columbia/Ellicott City.
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- Columbia Association – 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 – Summer intensive. Great way to get into some great acting skills.
- Walters Art Gallery – Not sure if this is happening in 2023…The Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore has summer camps! Sold by the week, these camps are very interesting for kids in first grade and older. This looks like a beautiful 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 take 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 – Music, drama, and other fun in Columbia.
- Sleepaway Camp – I have heard great things about the Echo Hill camp on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Camp Letts in Edgewater (Held by YMCA) is also getting good reviews.
- Doodle Hatch camp – In Long Reach.
- StemTree – On Guilford Road, this learning center has it all for STEM summer camps. Click the online registration button to view the camp sessions. Looks good: “Our camp includes science workouts and experiments, computer programming, and engineering. Each student will take an assessment at the beginning of the program to gauge his or her level to create a customized learning program.”
Here are some additional camps I have come across but have less information about/don’t know anyone who has attended. Nevertheless these may be of interest to you:
- Echo Hill Outdoor School – Located in Worton, MD, Echo Hill Outdoor School offers a variety of nature-based summer programs for children and adolescents. Campers will participate in activities such as canoeing, hiking, environmental education, and team-building exercises.
- Barrie Camp – Situated in Silver Spring, MD, Barrie Camp provides a diverse range of activities for children aged 4-14. The camp offers opportunities to engage in swimming, sports, arts and crafts, theater, and various specialty camps such as coding, robotics, and horseback riding.
- Cutaway Bike Summer Camp – Located in Boyds, MD, this camp is perfect for kids aged 6-14 who love biking. Campers will learn bike safety, maintenance, and repair while participating in bike rides, games, and activities.
- Indian Creek School Summer Camp – Situated in Crownsville, MD, Indian Creek School Summer Camp offers a variety of programs for children aged 3-18. Campers can participate in traditional day camps, sports camps, arts and crafts, theater, and academic enrichment programs.
- McDonogh Summer Programs – Located in Owings Mills, MD, McDonogh Summer Programs offer a wide range of activities for kids aged 4-18. Programs include traditional day camps, arts, sports, equestrian, and academic enrichment camps.
- Chesapeake Bay Envoironmental Center Camp – This camp, located in Annapolis, MD, focuses on environmental education and water-based activities. Campers will learn about the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem, participate in water sports, and engage in conservation projects.
Thanks for reading my list of summer camps. I also have a list of school’s out camps in Howard County.