Did summer just take you by complete surprise? Are there kids taking up residence on your couch already?! You meant to sign your kid up for one of those cool countryside camps you've read about all your life. You know, the ones with mosquito bites and true love?
Odds are that your traditional summer camps in the woods by serene lakes and bug infestations are pretty much booked up. But camp is more than just pine trees and s'mores or vacation Bible school these days. Think outside of the tradition and you just might find a couple of openings somewhere.
So where should you look?
Check out your local art museums. Many have summer programs that, while they might not be overnight adventures, might be daytime adventures instead.
Co-ops and Community Gardens
Tired of gardening, but want your kids to still appreciate gardens and learn to eat healthy? See if your local co-op or community center has a community garden that invites young workers. You might just save on childcare while they come home loving broccoli and kale.
Again, these might not be overnight for a week but many day programs are useful for giving the kids a different perspective for a few hours. Check and see if your local science museum is offering anything just for summer that's a little out of the ordinary. The California Academy of Science does sleepovers!
Following the advice of A Kid's Guide Series, local parents and I co-oped last year to create camp in the backyard. Each week we went to another place on the globe and explored. During Greek week we built an Argonaut out of boxes and made Greek clay tablets with cookie dough.
The Digital Age
There's still room at the Digital Media. They offer digital filmmaking, game design, programming and robotics, art and design, science and engineering. You can take your geek kid to a whole new level of geek awesomeness. They have locations all over the United States and take kids from as young as six. They have adult camps too.
Also with locations around the country is School of Rock — where kids can learn to play like a rock star, take lessons in playing various instruments, and of course, learn to pose. Or perhaps Hip Hop Camp?
They Even Have a Camp for [Insert Your Camp Here]
There is a camp out there for everyone, and a great likelihood that you'll find your match. There's Renaissance Adventures, which also has locations in Colorado and Washington. Have a spy in your house? Consider Secret Agent Camp or any of Pali Adventures' whacky camps like Stunt Camp or Girl Power Extreme.
The point is, if there's an interest out there, someone is doing a camp this summer about it. If it's too far from where you live, well, there's no reason you can't grab a few friends and run with some of the ideas the professionals have come up with on this list.
Stay safe and have fun!