Summer is here and that means that it is time to start exploring the opportunities for kids to attend camp. Choosing a camp can be a daunting task, especially when looking for one that not only provides fun and adventure, but also provides foundations of the Christian faith. Christian summer camps are important for kids to attend in order to gain crucial social skills, obtain lasting memories, and deepen their faith in Jesus Christ. The 25 camps listed below are ranked as the best Christian summer camps for 2014. They all offer daily faith based activities, such as Bible study and prayer time, while combining that with a variety of unique activities to reach as many participants as possible.
Kidder Creek Adventure Camp is located in northern California and offers a unique adventure experience based on a camper’s age and ability. While many adventure camps expect campers to be of a certain skill level, Kidder Creek invites everyone to participate at a level that they feel comfortable. For junior campers, a junior ranch camp is offered that teaches the basic skills of horsemanship and riding skills. Older and more advanced campers can still participate in a ranch camp, but will learn more advanced skills such as mountain riding. In addition to ranch camps, Kidder Creek also offers a High Adventure camp with a high ropes course, white water rafting and rock climbing.
You can learn more about Kidder Creek Adventure Camp here.
If your family is ready to be “fully charged” this year, then Kanakuk Kamps might be for you! This is the 2014 theme for this activity packed camp that hosts over 10,000 youth every season. Camps range from 7-28 days and are for children ages 7-18 as well as for families. Some of the activities that a camper might experience here would include kayaking, zip lining, golfing, scuba diving, and learning survival techniques. A camper’s participation in these activities depends heavily on which Kanakuk Kamp he or she decides to attend. For example, survival activities are taught at the Kanakuk Adventure Series Kamp, while golf skills are focused on at the Kanakuk Golf Kamp.
You can learn more about Kanakuk Kamps here.
With over 120 activities offered at Camp Ozark, campers are sure to find something that they enjoy throughout the one, two, or three week camping experience. What makes this camp unique from many others, besides its 7,000 acre of property just west of Mt. Ida, Arkansas, is an activity titled “Mish Mash”. While on the surface mish mash might just seem like free time for campers, it is much more than that. Campers are able to participate in a wide variety of activities on their own schedule, all of which are staffed by a trained camp counselor. In this time period there are also organized clinics and tournaments for various sports that are offered so that campers can obtain skills and compete with others who enjoy the same activities. Mish Mash lasts for about two hours each day and is what many campers call their favorite aspect of Camp Ozark.
You can learn more about Camp Ozark here.
Focusing mostly on middle and high school youth and teens, Life Teen Camps’ goal is to expand the horizons of an age group that can be habitually stuck in their spiritual ways. One of the best attributes to this camp is the fact that they have multiple locations on both coasts of the southern United States. This Catholic camp allows teenagers to focus on deeply spiritual matters through daily Mass as well as allows them to experience many of the sacraments of the Catholic faith. In addition, messy activities set this camp apart from many others. For those campers who are fans of “mud runs” or other messy activities, Life Teen Camps designs several activities around the concept of getting dirty.
You can learn more about Life Teen Camps here.
Customizing a camp experience for youth and teens ages 7-17, Camp Kalaqua provides individualized programs to reach any camper within this age range. Located in High Springs, Florida, this Christian summer camp offers weeklong sessions designed to reach a wide variety of children and teens. Examples of the specific camps offered through this program include cub camp, youth camp, teen camp, and horsemanship specialty camp. If a potential camper is intrigued by the idea of learning the basics of horse care, riding technique, and skills then this specialty camp might just be for them. Even though this camp focuses on horses, campers can still enjoy many of the activities of the mainstream camp including go-kart racing, hiking, and visiting water parks.
You can learn more about Camp Kalaqua here.
Camp Magruder is located between the Pacific Ocean and Smith Lake in Rockaway Beach, Oregon. This summer camp provides activities for children, youth, and for entire families. Some of the activities listed for Camp Magruder include boating, hiking, water sports, candle making, pottery, or learning archery. Two unique programs at Camp Magruder are the family camp options. This type of program allows campers to participate with any relatives that they choose throughout the week. Family campers can stay in their own private cabin or can share a cabin with another family for the week. Family camps usually last one weekend and include inter-generational activities such as a talent show and singing around the campfire. There are scholarships available for campers with financial hardships at Camp Magruder. Potential campers are encouraged to contact a local United Methodist church for more information on this scholarship program.
You an learn more about Camp Magruder here.
With two programs, CentriKid and CentriFuge, designed for campers of various ages, Jenness Park is a camp that tailors its activities to each individual participant. No matter the age, however, campers can expect to get a strong dose of awesome worship music, live speakers, and meaningful Bible study each day at Jeness Park. In addition to the faith-based teachings each day, campers will participate in activities designed for their age group and development level. An interesting aspect to the CentriFuge camp schedule is that on Day two the schedule allows for extended free time that permits older campers to leave the camp if desired. Campers can explore the town of Cold Springs, California, for a period of up to 5 hours if they choose or can stay on campus for optional activities.
You can learn more about Jeness Park Camp here.
With kids spending, on average, 4.5 hours watching TV each day, Camp Victory in Zumbro Falls, Minnesota is poised to break that statistic by offering a multitude of faith based activities for youth in grades 4-12. One of the unique aspects to this camp is its Lego Robotics camp designed for youth ages 5-12. This day camp runs for five days from 8am-5pm and allows campers to make their own robotic creations using Legos. This is the perfect type of camp for a child who isn’t comfortable staying overnight, but still wants the camp experience. Another type of camp offered through this program is a Wilderness Adventure Camp, where youth in grades 6-9 can learn skills such as trip mapping, outdoor cooking, and paddling in this 6 day/7 night camping experience.
You can learn more about Camp Victory here.
Grindstone Lake Bible Camp, located in Sandstone, Minnesota, offers campers a week-long experience with a wide variety of activities designed to build unity among the camp and also in specific cabins. Grindstone Lake offers an all-camp activity each evening (such as Capture the Flag) to promote team work and comradery. In addition, this camp offers team building time for cabins each day. Cabin time is offered each day as a time for activities specifically with a camper’s bunk mates. Sports such as soccer, flag football, or basketball would be examples of activities played during cabin time.
You can learn more about Grindstone Lake Bible Camp here.
As one of the only summer camps with programs for teenagers over the age of 18, the Living Waters Bible Camp truly offers something for all ages. Though this camp offers the traditional overnight or day camp options for younger students, its ministry options for older students is what makes it stand out from the rest. Teenagers can choose to attend either the Foundation camp, Teen Service Team camp, or the World Religions in America camp. The Foundation program offers teenagers who are at least 15 years old the opportunity to dive into a two-week period of intense Bible study and personal assessment. The Teen Service Team camp will help teenagers form crucial team-building skills, while the World Religions in America camp seeks to deepen campers understanding of different world religions. Though this camp is based in Westby, Wisconsin, campers who attend the World Religions in America program will travel to Chicago, Illinois to complete their camp experience.
You can learn more about the Living Waters Bible Camp here.
Camp Willow Run is a unique Christian summer camp for youth and teens in that it provides an interdenominational experience for campers. Camp Willow Run is located in Littleton, North Carolina, right on Lake Gaston. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this camp is its design. It is based on a railroad theme with former boxcars as cabins with an authentic 1911 steam engine and caboose to complete the look. Another unique aspect of this camp is that there are set times each day for three classes that campers sign up for in advance. This allows campers to focus on a specific skill set to improve upon during the duration of the camp.
You can learn more about Camp Willow Run here.
T Bar M Camps, located in multiple locations throughout the United States, offers many attributes of a typical Christian summer camp, with a few unique exceptions. This camp is perfect for campers who are avid baseball players and avid swimmers. T Bar M Ultimate Camps combine world class coaching, fun, and Christian based teaching to enhance athletes’ skills in preparation for their season. Ultimate Swim campers will receive professional training from Olympic medalist Josh Davis while Ultimate Baseball campers will receive professional baseball training from former MLB player Micah Bowie. In addition to these ultimate camps, T Bar M Camps also offers Camp Travis, which is an adventure camp for teenagers seeking to master challenges such as water skiing, wrangling, or a triathlon.
You can learn more about the T Bar M Camps here.
Ranked the number one camp in Texas by the Top Educational Degrees blog, Camp Olympia offers choice to campers in order to provide an individualized experience for each person. While most camps provide a basic structure of activities that campers must follow, Camp Olympia allows campers to choose the activities that interest them. Another perk of this oasis, located in Trinity, Texas, is that the cabins, restrooms, and dining halls are all air-conditioned. Finally, this camp allow parents to stay connected to their campers through daily blog updates and the posting of over 100 pictures daily. Parents receive a password to the protected site where they can see photos of their camper at the end of each day.
You can learn more about Camp Olympia here.
Pine Cove Camps offers overnight locations in both Columbus and Tyler, Texas. It has several programs for campers of all ages at each location. In addition to overnight experiences, a program that sets Pine Cove apart from other camps is its Camp in the City program for children in first through sixth grade. This day camp is located in various cities and states in the south and allows students to spend five days with other campers their age exploring a wide variety of activities. Some of these activities, in addition to a daily Bible study, include laser tag, a climbing wall, a water slide, a bungee trampoline and, the Pine Cove classic, Octaball. Camp in the City locations include Dallas, Nashville, Baton Rouge, Atlanta, among several others.
You can learn more about Pine Cove Camps here.
Many kids dream of staying on a real western ranch, and at Rockin’ C Ranch in Lindale, Texas they have just that opportunity. This small camp has a western twist that allows for campers to learn skills such as rounding and working cattle as well as trail horseback riding. In addition to these western themed summer camp programs for mainstream children and youth, Rockin’ C Ranch also provides Camp Courageous, which is specifically designed for campers with special needs.
YMCA’s Camp Ocoee is designed for youth to have the traditional camp experience with a modern flair. While the camp does provide programs for youth, what makes this program really special is its Teen Camp program, designed for teenagers ages 13 and up. Teen campers are allowed to sleep in an extra hour each day so that they are prepared for the evening agenda that awaits after the younger campers have gone to bed. After the devotion time younger campers will return to their cabins while members of the teen camp program will participate in a variety of activities designed for their age group. Evening activities include night zip-lining, night swimming, building a campfire, and much more.
You can learn more about Camp Ocoee here.
One of the major philosophies behind this Camp Pinnacle summer camp is to disconnect campers from the electronics that they are sometimes tied to so tightly. Camp Pinnacle is located in Henderson, North Carolina which provides a beautiful backdrop for a wide variety of outdoor adventure activities. Some of these activities include, but are not limited to, rock climbing, white water rafting, mountain biking and hiking. While there are outdoor overnight activities designed to test the mental and physical strength of a camper, the staff provides many comforts and conveniences to ensure participants have fun while learning essential skills.
You can learn more about Camp Pinnacle summer camp here.
Are you looking for a camp for your child that occurs at a non-traditional time of year? Then check out Camp Como in beautiful Como, Colorado! Because this camp is located in the heart of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, one of its most unique features is the fact that it offers programs during all four seasons. Its winter camp includes activities such as alpine skiing, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, tubing, and a variety of indoor sports and activities. In the summer, adventure camps like the Ozark Adventure trip are offered which challenge participants to such things as canoeing and cave spelunking in the Ozark National Scenic River Ways.
You can learn more about Camp Como here.
While at Camp Orchard Hill in Dallas, Pennsylvania, campers can expect traditional Christian camp activities designed to fit a variety of age groups. Camp Orchard Hill offers four programs that are specifically designed to a camper’s age and developmental level. The Verge, Roots, Surge, and Thrive programs all focus on encouraging campers to become involved in camp life by offering 15 activity periods of the course of 5-7 days. For campers attending the Thrive camp, a trip to Camelbeach Mountain Water park is also on the agenda. What’s even more unique is that Camp Orchard Hill has its own in house worship band that plays at a variety of times throughout each session.
You can learn more about Camp Orchard Hill here.
Camp Westminster, located in Roscommon, Michigan, offers a huge selection of themed camps for participants of a wide variety of ages. From music and drama camps to a rocks and ropes camp to a sailing regatta camp, this program truly has something for everyone. One of the most unique aspects of Camp Westminster, however, is its Free to Be camp. Offered for participants in first through ninth grade, this camp serves a completely allergen free diet. Kids with special diet restrictions can participate worry free as a team of dieticians are extremely cautious about the food preparation for these campers. Similarly, parents can send their kids to camp worry free knowing that their child won’t be exposed to a food item that could be dangerous to their health.
You can learn more about Camp Westminster here.
Located just twenty minutes east of the Twin Cities in Minnesota, YMCA’s Camp St. Croix has been offering programs to youth for the last 100 years. Though Camp St. Croix offers a wide variety of overnight and day camps to fit the age and developmental level of many participants, the camp that stands out is a leadership development camp for participants in grades 10-12. This camp trains participants in the areas of time management, service learning, equipment use and care, and “leave no trace” camping ethics. Campers who choose this program can sign up for a two, three, or four week experience that is sure to leave them with a well developed sense of leadership at its conclusion.
You can learn more about Camp St. Croix here.
Rock N’ Water Christian Camps is an outdoor adventure camp located near Sacramento, California. This camp will test the limits of its campers while also bringing them closer to God’s creation through its wide variety of outdoor sports and activities. Challenges such as rock climbing, white water rafting, backpacking, and canyoneering top the list of adventure laden sports at this location. One of the benefits of the Rock N’ Water camps is that the average length of stay is between 1-5 days. While most camps schedule a two week excursion, this is the perfect length for a camper who doesn’t want to be away from home for that period of time. Rock N’ Water also allows campers to customize their stay by adding days if needed to coincide with travel time.
You can learn more about Rock N’ Water Christian Camp here.
Waking up in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina is just one of the perks that a participant of Camp Wayfarer will experience. This non-denominational Christian summer camp is designed for youth and teens in first through twelfth grade with a mix of traditional and non-traditional activities to keep everyone busy and entertained for the camp’s entirety. While most summer camps last an average of one to two weeks, Camp Wayfarer has an incredible six week option for the participant who wants the true full length summer camp experience. Another unique aspect to Camp Wayfarer is its “Wayfarer West Expeditions.” This allows participants to depart to locations such as Yosemite National Park, the Badlands, Mount Rushmore, or Silver Dollar City for a camp adventure like none other!
You can learn more about Camp Wayfarer here.
River Valley Ranch is designated as Maryland’s premier Christian summer camp that serves over 20,000 youth and adults annually. This summer camp offers four separate programs for participants, depending on their age and ability level, with each program offering multiple camps from which to choose. One nice feature of this camp is the “preview” option that it has for its seven to nine year old program. Participants in this age range might not be comfortable with a five night stay, so the preview option allows them the same camp experience but at a condensed stay of only three days and two nights.
You can learn more about River Valley Ranch here.
With Yosemite National Park only a few minutes away, Yosemite Sierra Summer Camp’s location is one of its strongest selling points. Because of its location in beautiful Bass Lake, California, this camp provides participants with adventure experiences that they cannot get elsewhere. Another unique feature of this camp is its unusually high counselor to camper ratio. While most camps have an average of one counselor for every seven campers, YSSC makes it a priority to have a 1:2 ratio. This means that for every two campers there is a counselor available. This helps to put parents’ minds to ease when wondering if their children will be well taken care of at this summer adventure camp.
You can learn more about Yosemite Sierra here.