Philly Tweens Camp Guide – Summer in the City and Beyond!

From rustic traditional camps in the woods to summer arts and drama programs to unique social good workshops, there is truly something for every tween in the Philadelphia area.

Here are some cool camps to consider for your tweens this summer!

Improv Comedy Summer Camp

TheaterPhilly Improv Theater’s Improv Comedy Summer Camp is a great place for tweens and teens to develop comedic talent and make friends with the funniest kids in Philly! Middle schoolers will explore short-form improv, which teaches the basic of improv comedy through fun, Whose Line is It Anyway? style games. High school teens will discover long-form improv, and the tools comedians use to create completely made-up-on-the-spot scenes. Both camps run for two weeks, from July 22 – Aug 2. Scholarships available! Sign up today or learn more online. 

The Business of Doing Good Camp

If your child dreams of one day starting their own business or giving back to their community, they might be a great fit for social entrepreneurship camp with The Business of Doing Good. These 5-day summer programs teach middle school kids about social entrepreneurship, providing the exposure and tools while each participant chooses their own topic to focus on. Kids get the chance to meet and engage with local entrepreneurs, who will share their stories. They teach kids how to create, present, and launch their unique social entrepreneurial endeavor, and the dynamic and engaging curriculum will leave kids inspired to change the world.  Registration for the two Philadelphia programs can be found on online and scholarships are available. For a full write-up onThe Busienss of Doing Good Camp, click here.

Music Theatre Philly Camp

Music Theatre Philly’s goal is to create a professional training ground for young artists by cultivating a creative, encouraging, and disciplined environment while maintaining the integrity of musical theatre. Camps run June 10-28 and August 5-30, perfect for filling those summer “gap weeks.” Each week focuses on a different musical, from Mary Poppins to Hamilton, culminating in a showcase for family and friends to attend. For a full write-up on Music Theatre Philly, click here.

Liberty Lakes Day Camp

Looking for a true, old school camp experience that will really make an impact on your kids’ lives? Liberty Lake Day Camp is designed to be a children’s summer utopia, combining a traditional rustic outdoor camp experience, with varied modern programming to appeal to kids with a wide range of interests. The camp offers 60 acres of natural beauty including a 6-acre lake. Facilities also include two 80-foot-long swimming pools, huge athletic fields, boating and fishing docks, four large playgrounds, a high ropes adventure course, a rock wall, and a mini-golf course. You can even take a virtual tour of the camp onlineFor a full write-up on Liberty Lakes, click here.

Phield House Camps

Phield House, the indoor sports complex at 9th & Spring Garden offers camps all summer long for kids ages 6-14. To help facilitate the two weeks of Gap Camp and ten weeks of Summer Camp, Phield House partnered with suburban camp experts, LifeSeeds, which provides quality sports instruction and healthy competition in a safe environment. Kids will be offered development and competition in three different sports – basketball, soccer, and baseball/softball (in the form of Quickball) each week. Additionally, Gap and Summer Camp emphasizes the importance of character development and fill each day with experiential activities that teach the qualities that are fundamental to success in sports and in life. For a full write-up on Phield House, click here.

Appel Farm Arts Camp

If you’re looking for an arts-focused program with all the outdoor play of traditional summer camps, Appel Farm Arts Camp is the perfect fit. For nearly 60 years, summers at Appel Farm have offered children ages 7-17 the chance to join a creative, nurturing community of artists from around the world in rural South Jersey. Flexible, combinable two-week session and dynamic learning programs with a 3:1 camper to counselor ratio allow campers to practice the creative process with hands-on learning and collaborative projects. A focus on camper choice, personal attention, and love of learning helps children identify and ignite their unique strengths, skills, and confidence in music, theatre, dance, color guard, visual arts, photography, video, creative writing, sports, and swim. Learn more online.

Spark the Wave Weeks at Villanova

Have you ever thought about changing the world – or maybe just something in your school or community? Let Spark the Wave help you bring your vision to life at Wave Week 2019. Held at Villanova University, Wave Week offers two sessions welcoming students in grades 6 – 11. Through hands-on activities and group discussion, participants will gain skills in communication, group dynamics, creativity, diversity awareness, motivation, fundraising, project planning, and more. Wave Week offers the premier service-leadership experience for young people – plus, all participants earn 40 hours of community service for attending! Attendees will walk away with an action plan in place to support the next steps on their leadership and service journey. Learn more and register online.

Yes! And… Collaborative Arts Camp

Yes! And… Collaborative Arts offers a summer of adventure in play. Middle School students have the opportunity to join Summer Theatre Camps for three-week sessions where they create imagined identities, roles, shared history, and stories – all through play and work in daily classes. These classes include acting, dance, visual arts, music, and storytelling. Each Summer Theatre Camp experience ends with a World Premiere Performance imagined, created, produced and performed by the students.
Yes! And also offers Theatre Camp Intensives, one-week intensives honing in on visual arts, improvisation, and technical theatre. There’s even a musical theatre camp offering students the opportunity to put on a full-length musical for a paying community audience. “Camperships” and other financial aid are available for all programs. Learn more online.

Kids Photography Camp

That Instagram prowess may mean you have a budding photographer on your hands. Wanda Thomas Photography is offering a one-week photography camp this summer at the new Studio on McCallum in West Mount Airy. From Aug. 12-16, your child will learn the history of photography, exposure, camera settings and more. There will be games to make the camp extra fun and your child will learn a new, creative skill while having a blast. Sign up online.

Asian Arts Initiative Youth Arts Workshop

Youth Arts Workshop creates art-making opportunities for Asian American youth and fellow students from all backgrounds to share their experiences to develop cross-cultural understanding and connect with a sense of community. The six-week summer arts camp welcomes middle schoolers (grades 6-8) across Philadelphia to work on various art projects with Lead Teaching Artist, Jino Lee, and an exciting roster of guest artists. In addition, they will collaborate with community partners to examine social issues such as incarceration and immigration through multidisciplinary art practices. The sliding scale tuition covers supplies, camp tee shirt, meals/snacks, and weekly field trips. Learn more here and pre-register here.

Summerside on the Hill

Have one child into sports, another who’s a budding artist, and a third passionate about technology? It’s possible to send them all to one place with Springside Chestnut Hill Academy’s Summerside on the Hill, a variety of day camps with something for every age and interest. This year, they’ve revamped their programming to offer culinary arts, tech camps, sports performance, and robotic engineering. Focus on Minecraft Missions, culinary art, woodworking, or lacrosse! Tucked into the Wissahickon Valley Park, the 62-acre campus boasts state-of-the-art facilities and sports fields, trails, climbing walls, 3-D printers, a robotics and engineering lab, and new media video studios. Whether your child enjoys crafts, sports, performing arts, music, or computer animation, there’s something for everyone. Use the Plan Your Summer page to pick-and-choose the camps you want or stay and play all summer long.

FREE SUMMER PROGRAMS

Schuylkill Acts & Impacts Summer Program

Schuylkill Acts & Impacts is a week-long service-learning program offered to a team of fifteen high school students from communities within the Schuylkill River Watershed. This expedition will involve a physical journey (by kayak and van) along the 120-mile Schuylkill River from its headwaters in the anthracite coal lands of Schuylkill County to its confluence with the Delaware River in Philadelphia. Learn more online.

GSK Science in the Summer™ Free Summer STEM Courses

GSK Science in the Summer™ is a free science education program sponsored by GSK and administered by The Franklin Institute, which introduces students to the wonderful and fascinating world of science. Programs are held during the summer in public libraries in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties. Local libraries, including Blanch A. Nixon/Cobbs Creek, Walnut Street West, and Wynnefield Neighborhood Libraries will offer two-day sessions in June and July. Registration for the Philadelphia program begins in May. Learn more online.

Our Mothers’ Kitchens Culinary & Literature Camp for Girls

Our Mothers’ Kitchens Culinary + Literature Camp is a 3-day immersive camp experience for girls of color, ages 12 – 17, interested in cooking and creative writing. Learn about the importance of food and African American cultural histories; share food stories through creative writing activities; learn basic cooking skills, recipes, and kitchen hacks; read the works of Zora Neale Hurston, Vertamae Smart-Grosvenor, Ntozake Shange and more. This camp is free and breakfast and lunch are provided. Learn more online.

The Evoluer House Summer Empowerment Programs for Teen Girls

Two programs are offered for girls ages 13-18: Personal Development Program is taught by youth development and education professionals, to provide a reality-based learning experience to teenage girls to inspire a positive self-image, ambition, and true personal development. Youth Workforce Development Program provides teen girls with the social, resume-writing and communication skills they need to land a job, keep a job, and advance in their lives and careers. This 8-week program is taught by a team of youth development, human resources, and image professionals. Learn more online.

Looking for camps that fill the early June and late August gap weeks? Click here.

*Disclosure: Some of the camps featured in this post paid for inclusion.