School’s Out!

The Wildest Summer Camps for Kids

Tents, canoes, and the great outdoors are so over. Kids these days are spending their summers learning how to pull off movie-grade stunts and become the next Mario Batali.

Each summer, parents around the world pack their kids up and send them off to camp. Traditionally, this means a lakeside retreat complete with cabins, crafts, and nature-filled activities. But that’s not always enough for kids these days. A new crop of camps have created experiences to bring the modern child’s fantasies to life. From shark diving in Fiji to living like a wizard, check out the eight wildest new summer camps for kids.

Hollywood Stunt Camp

Running Springs, California

At Hollywood Stunt Camp, campers can experience the same thrills and adventures as the heroes of their favorite action-packed films. Professional stuntmen from blockbuster movies demonstrate high falls (32+ feet), hand-to-hand combat, and swordplay techniques. Kids who stick around for two weeks also get to direct, design, and choreograph their own stunt productions to present at the end of the session. Brings a new meaning to “Don’t try this at home.”

Fiji Shark Camp

Now there’s a new threat you can use against your misbehaving child—you’re going to send them off to the sharks. Set in tropical Fiji, Shark Camp offers attendees the chance to study sharks in their natural habitat, often diving to collect samples for their own research. While learning about the marine life surrounding the islands, campers also get to spend time in indigenous villages and exploring the local terrain.

Young Chef’s Academy

Forest Hills, New York

Child foodies seem to be all the rage these days. Is your kid always helping out in the kitchen, mixing whatever ingredients are in the cabinets and making you try their concoctions? A trip to the Young Chef’s Academy could be beneficial to you both. Courses include “A Taste of Italy,” “French Cuisine,” and “Treats to Beat the Heat.” By the time the summer is over, you’ll have your very own personal chef.

Plantation Farm Camp

Cazadero, California

Located in northern California, the Plantation Farm Camp takes everything back to the basics. Experiencing a totally sustainable life, campers care for livestock (milking cows and feeding the pigs), harvest fresh foods from the garden, and spend their nights by a campfire fueled by wood they chopped themselves. This is a getaway for a new breed of environmentally-minded kids.

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Camp Jam

Various locations

“No Canoes. Lots of Rock.” is the motto of this camp that claims to offer the “ultimate rock ‘n’ roll experience.” In addition to learning the basics of music, which includes creating, mixing, and editing beats, campers will also attend concerts, meet touring bands, create an MTV-style music video, and perform in a weekly concert.

Circus Camp

Nyack, New York

Why go see the circus when you can train to be in it instead? The instructors at Circus Camp have worked in some of the world’s best circuses—Cirque du Soleil, Big Apple Circus, and the National Circus School in Montreal—and spend their summers teaching acrobatic campers how to walk the tightwire, perform aerial acts on the trapeze, and perfect their clown routine.

Wizards and Warriors Camp

Burlington, Massachusetts

Bringing a gamer’s experience to real life, campers at the Wizards and Warriors Camp in Massachusetts can create their own characters (including special skills and weapon choices) for a unique summer-long storyline. Battling villains, solving mysteries, and defending land alongside fellow campers will have those attending feeling like a real-life hero.