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I was fortunate enough that my parents sent me to summer camp every year from the time I was 8 years old. Even though I am a homebody, summer camp was not only the highlight of my summer but my entire year. My first college roommate was a girl I met as summer camp. Even in my late 30s I am still in contact with many of the friends I made at camp.
Summer camp also helped me to gain confidence, social skills, independence and drive. In fact, NBC News recently did a piece about how going to summer camp can better prepare students to adjust to college life. I can attest to this because I believe that my experience with summer camp made it much easier for me to adjust when I chose to attend college 1400 miles away from my hometown.
Arkansas is a beautiful state that has myriad choices of summer camps with both day camps and sleep away camps. Here are a few worth checking out:
Time For Art
505 W Spring St, Fayetteville, AR 72701
Dates: June 6-10, June 13-17, June 20-24, June 27-July 1, July 11-15, July 18-22, July 25-29, Aug 1-5
Ages: 6-8 and 9-14
Cost: $90 – $125 Full and partial scholarships are available.
Time for Art will take children on an engaging and hands-on discovery of art and its impact on the world around us. Campers will use clay, paints, pastels and other creative art media to explore art through the lens of history, nature, science and other enlightening subject areas. Time for Art will ignite students’ imagination, foster curiosity and inspire a whole lot of fun!
113 W. Mountain St., Fayetteville, AR 72701
Dates: Varies June 6 – Aug. 5
Ages: 5-12 (Advanced camp is for ages 10-15)
The goal of Be Active! Summer Camps is to provide healthy, fun, and educational activities for campers between the ages of five through 12* (*All campers must have completed kindergarten. *Outdoor Advanced Camp is offered to campers 10-15 years). We strive to create an environment where your child has an enjoyable experience fostering life-long participation in sports and recreational activities. Children are encouraged to attend regardless of experience and skill level.
14 Elizabeth Drive – Bella Vista, Arkansas 72715
Dates: June 13 – July 29, six sessions
Ages: Grades 2-8, varies by session
Experience Robotics summer camps are a great way to have fun and learn about STEM at the same
time! Students are inspired to engage in STEM education through hands-on, project-based activities right here in Northwest Arkansas.
H.A.P.P.Y at the RAC
301 W. Chestnut – Rogers, AR 72756
Dates: May 23 – Aug. 12, one week sessions
Ages: First through seventh grade
Cost: $95 (RAC membership required)
The Rogers Activity Center is the place to be during the summer! We offer an excellent Summer Day Camp program where the kids have a blast and parents are at ease knowing their children are well cared for. This year it will be an 11-week program; you can register by the week. Children are provided breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack. The RAC is a licensed child care facility. Come join us this summer at the Rogers Activity Center for fun and excitement. Campers will go on field trips, play games, and enjoy arts and crafts while making new friends. Field trips include: skating, swimming, Amazeum, High Rise and many more.
Summer Camp Academy
Arkansas State University, Jonesboro, AR
Dates: May 31-July 29
Ages: PK – 8th Grade
We strive to provide fun, educational programs for our growing youth by providing students with a variety of activities including art, literature, drama and creative play, and STEM fields through our summer camp programs. Our camp leaders and teachers are dedicated to helping children build self-confidence, advance academic skills, and experience new and exciting ways of learning. Join us for several summer camps!
Lake Charles Fun Fit Day Camp
Lake Charles State Park, Powhatan, AR 72458
Dates: June 20 – 22
Cost: $10 (Lunch NOT included.)
Challenge your kids this summer with Fit Day Camp. Campers play games and do activities that help improve their physical fitness while having fun. Some activities include scavenger hunt hiking, kayaking, geocaching, races, swimming and more! Parents must supply snacks and lunches for kids.
100 E. University, Magnolia, Arkansas 71753-5000
Ages: kindergarten through Grade 12
SAU Mulerider Athletics offers a variety of sports camps for both boys and girls. Camps are available for baseball, basketball, football, softball and volleyball and have day camps and overnight camps available.
Walk on over to this summer camp for kids age 7-13 and you will find a world of hidden mysteries. No, we are not talking about extraterrestrials, but rather terrestrials. Activities include; hiking, biking, crafts, fishing, nature games and more. Reservations are required as space is limited. Please contact the park for more details.
Bald Knob Fine Arts Camps at The Studio
Bald Knob, Arkansas
Dates: June 6 – Aug. 5
Ages: Grades 1 – 12
The Studio will offer a variety of art, music, dance, theater, fitness and leadership camps this summer. Space is limited.
Wilderness Explorers Day Camp
Pinnacle Mountain State Park, Little Rock, AR
Dates: June 14 – 17
Older children ages 11-13 will enjoy this chance to explore the wilderness at Pinnacle Mountain State Park. Camp activities may include canoe/kayak floats, extensive hiking and survival skills. Advance payment and registration are required.
T Tauri Movie Camp
UACCB 2005 White Drive Batesville, AR 72501
Dates: July 18-July 30
Ages: Grades 4-12
T Tauri Offers a variety of video production workshops for ages 8 to 18. Workshops range from two to four days in length. The camp culminates in a public screening of the videos produced in the workshops. Offerings in 2016 include Script to Screen and Depicting Zombies.
Camp War Eagle
14323 Camp War Eagle Rd, Rogers, AR 72756
Dates: May 29 – Aug. 6, 7-day and 14-day Sessions, Day-camp sessions available
Cost: Tuition based on family income, multi-child discounts available
You are taking the first step in a truly unforgettable adventure. An adventure that will allow you to participate in over 60 different activities like football, softball, gymnastics, volleyball, water skiing, wakeboarding, riflery, horseback riding, archery, rock climbing, rappelling, skateboarding, pottery, stained glass, cheerleading, nature/conservation study, hip-hop dance, water slides, Blobbing, fishing, canoeing and many, many more! An adventure that will help you develop leadership qualities. An adventure that will promote a greater appreciation for God, others and yourself. An adventure that will not stop at the end of the summer but will continue throughout the year. An adventure that will be fun, exciting, challenging and life-changing. An adventure that is called CAMP WAR EAGLE!!
Arkansas FCA Camp
Spring Lake Camp, 145 Straus Street, Lonsdale, AR
Dates: June 6-9 and June 9-12
Ages: Junior and Senior High
Our Arkansas FCA Camp is specifically designed to allow student athletes to train for leadership, improve athletically, connect relationally and encounter Jesus Christ powerfully. We invite top-notch coaches, as well as, FCA Staff who instruct the students during the week and college athletes that serve & lead our students as Huddle Leaders (small group staffers).
SAU Engineering Camp
100 E. University, Magnolia, AR 71753
Dates: July 11-13
Ages: Grades 8-12
The primary goal of this summer camp is to grow interest in studying engineering and physics among high school students. Participants will do hands on projects related to engineering and physics. Engineering projects include building and programming of Lego Mindstorms robots, playing with Arduino based electronics and hardware, designing the path of a robotic arm, building of model bridges and structures, design and modeling with Solid Works, and material testing using a force tester. Physics projects includes design and build simple electrical circuits, with the goal of understanding simple household light fixtures and switches, learn about space radiation and perform your own nuclear physics experiments, and learn about wave interference, diffraction and beats with sound and lasers. Lodging and food will be included in the price. All participants will receive an engineering T-shirt. There will be an awards ceremony at the end of the 3-day camp on Wednesday.
Overnight Adventure Camp
Cassatot River State Park, Wickes, AR 71973
Dates: June 27-June 30
We will be hiking, fishing, swimming, learning how to build fires correctly and exploring other state parks including Daisy, Queen Wilhelmina and Crater of Diamonds. Spend 3 nights exploring different types of camping and experiencing fun programs at each park. Meals, transportation and tents are provided. Fee includes a gift bag, meals and daily snacks. Space is limited and reservations are required by June 06, 2016. Contact the park at (870) 385-2201.
68 Fort Jackson Rd, Arkadelphia, AR 71923
Dates: June 5- Aug. 6, Nine sessions
Camp Winnamocka offers an imagination-driven frontier adventure for boys and girls ages 7-15. Our small enrollment of 120 campers ensures our top-notch and well-trained counselors will help shape, challenge, and teach your kids about teamwork, positive attitudes and friendships rooted in respect. Your child’s days will be spent facing-off against Blackbeard in one of our two full-size pirate ships, searching for hidden treasure, fending off an attack against Fort Crown Point, or hanging out in our very own Swiss Family Treehouse. There’s also blobbing and all sorts of fun and games to be enjoyed at Tom’s Swimming Hole, the Tropical Pool or the Bermuda Triangle.
155 Camp Ozark Drive, Mt. Ida
Dates: May 29-Aug. 6
Cost: 7-day camps $1,795; 14-day camps $2,995; 21-day camps $4,790
Each summer over 6500 kids choose to spend a session or more at Incomparable Camp Ozark, exploring over 400 acres of beautiful, forested terrain, participating in more than 150 activities, during our 11 week camping season. 6500…400…150…11. All important numbers to be sure, but it is our unique philosophy at Camp Ozark that the only number that really matters is the number “1”, which represents each individual child that becomes a part of the Ozark family.
5095 Camp Tahkodah Road, Floral, AR
(870) 251-1289; (501) 279-4226
Dates: June 5-July 29, various sessions
Cost: 1-week sessions $250; 2-week sessions $440
Camp Tahkodah is about faith, fun and friendship. It is a place to be outdoors and enjoy nature … a place to learn and grow with people who love the Lord and are living daily for Him … a place to make new friends and have lots of fun. The 1,350-acre camp is owned and operated by Harding University. Its location in the Ozark Mountains provides beautiful bluffs, quiet valleys, a spring-fed creek and wooded hiking trails. Campers enjoy daily outdoor Bible classes, horseback riding, swimming, softball, basketball, ping pong, tennis, hayrides, archery, volleyball, crafts, canoeing, fishing, picnics, hikes, Bible bees, talent nights, hymn sings and inspirational devotionals under the stars.
Ferncliff Overnight Camps
1720 Ferncliff Road, Little Rock
Dates: June 5-Aug. 5, Various sessions
Ages: Grades 1-12
Cost: Income based, $250-$575
Ferncliff creates positive change in the world by opening eyes, minds, and hearts to God’s transforming love. We see this mission statement lived out in all of our summer camp programs.
From late May to late July over 1,200 youth K-12 participate in more than 30 camps designed around having fun and growing their faith. Activities include hiking, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, large group games, sand volleyball, mountain biking, mountain boarding, crafts, large group worship, small group Bible study, games, orienteering, campfires, special events and more.
10 Camp Mitchell Rd., Morrilton, AR 72110
Dates: June 12- Aug. 14, various sessions
Ages: All ages, varies by session
Join us this summer as we explore what it means to be the work of God’s hands–molded and formed. Through daily activities our staff and campers nurture a Christian community of faith, uplift all people, and respect the fingerprint of God upon Creation. Campers can expect a week full of swimming, hiking, arts and crafts, sports, farming, archery, campfires, dancing, singing, and meaningful fellowship and worship. Each camp session will have an Episcopal priest to provide counsel and celebrate for us, and a registered nurse to provide basic medical needs. Please know that all are welcome at Camp Mitchell.
4 Ozark Mountain Road, Solgohachia, AR
Dates: June 13 – July 23, Day camps also available
Ages: Rising grades 4-9
Cost: $ 399 – $415
Our heart and vision for summer camp is for every camper to come and experience who Jesus is and how much He loves them, and have an incredible time doing it! He is the source of our strength, our fun and our laughter. Our desire is to partner with parents to help raise up a generation whose hearts are stirred with a deep love for God. Camp Solgohachia is boldy a Christian camp.
Of course, there are MANY other camps around Arkansas. Tell us where you went to camp when you were a kid? What are some of your favorite camp memories?
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