As any mom knows, once the teen years hit, it can be really difficult to find something your kid finds enjoyable. And, if you’re a teen reading this, come on you know it’s true! Either yourself or your friends have well-earned your reputation as sullen and disinterested on more than one occasion – and sitting around a campfire singing songs and making friendship bracelets? Sure. You would totally go for that.
While traditional summer camps may not be what you have in mind for yourself or your child this year, the good news is there are plenty of high school camp options out there that teens DO enjoy, and return to for all four years. No matter what your interests or goals after high school, these camps can help you accelerate your skill set, or even just plain have fun and relax before people will expect you to get a job!
Want your young comedian to hone their craft? This summer, Susanna Spies’ Comedy Playground, the well-loved youth program from the Hollywood Improv is coming to the Bay Area!
Comedy Boot Camp! Week of July 8th– 12
Tam High School Theater, Mill Valley
Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts Program include Yoga, various types of dance, Arts & Crafts, Martial Arts, Theater, Music, Fashion Design, Literature & Poetry in Spanish, Capoeira, Percussion, and more. 4-week summer sessions for $325.
Golden Gateway Tennis and Swim Club is another way to get involved with sports over the summer with minimal commitment. While the camps themselves are geared toward younger campers, teens aged 13-17 can enjoy the camp experience volunteering as a counselor-in-training.
ArtWorks Summer Workshops and Art Camps are ideal for those aged 9 to 16, and give you a chance to be re-inspired within an art discipline you love, or provide you with the opportunity to try something new. Class options include cartooning, drawing exploration, mixed media sculpting and more. Dancing Paintbrush offers art camps in Berkeley.
Academic Chess may be considered “dorky” at your school, which gives you the perfect reason to get away from the usual opinions and spend a summer loving the board game with like-minded teens. Outside of just playing chess, campers can take yoga, gymnastics or theatre, and participate in Friday tournaments that come with pizza and trophies. Ages 6-18 welcome. For those who love computers, iD Tech or Digital Media Academy can round out your summer after you’ve played some great chess games. From gaming to visual arts, there is a week devoted to what you love about technology.
Thrill seekers can get a great experience surfing or skateboarding. Stinson Beach Surf Camps offers 1/2 day or full day surf camps to try out one day or the whole summer. San Francisco Skate Club and Society offer skateboarding camps to work on skills and learn from other skateboarders.
Golden State Lacrosse Academy is ideal for teens that enjoy the sport but don’t want to commit an entire summer to it. With their weekend camp, you enjoy an intensive training and review, picking up some great tips and tricks along the way to improve your game. If soccer is your game, and you ARE looking to get away from it all, check out Two Rivers Soccer Camp. This overnight camp lasts for about a week and picks up campers in San Francisco.
Roughing It Day Camps will give all city kids a chance to experience the great outdoors. The nature adventures include canoeing, kayaking, sports, crafts, and various teambuilding activities in the wilderness. Students are picked up at various bay area spots including San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland, Lamorinda and San Ramon, and are transported to Lafayette Reservoir for camp.
Paresh Martial Arts Day Camp will provide teens with fitness and agility with their many Tang Soo Do sessions. This traditional Korean karate will change your life and your outlook. One week sessions available through the spring and summer months.
Japanese Theatre Arts Summer Conservatory is a sanctuary for those who love the performing arts but crave something different. Learning about Japanese history through the theatre should do the trick, as teens are invited to adopt a character and learn everything from Japanese song and dance to staging techniques. “Kids” as old as 22 may attend.
Tutor Corps is the answer to enrichment programs that parents desire for their teens over the summer, but don’t have a lot of time or money to spend. Yes, teens reading this know that academics aren’t exactly the ideal summer vacation, but when you get into a good college – you can thank your mom AND your summer camp teachers. Convent & Stuart Hall Co-Ed Summer Program is another great resource, designed for kids entering grades 7-12. It’s a diverse array of students from all over the bay that normally would not cross paths, giving campers time to not only enrich their minds, but their social life as well.
Education Unlimited focuses on both the practical and artistic sides of the camper, with activities including creative writing, computers, science, acting and video production. It takes place each summer on college campuses, including local Stanford and Berkeley. Finally, the Eureka Tutoring Center Summer School can help those through 11th grade get a leg up on their next report card. From basic math skills to difficult geometry theorems, students learn in the morning and have fun with field trips and creative games & sports in the afternoon.
If you are close to a young overachiever who excels in school, but also cares equally as much about their social life, then SuperCamp may make up a great part of your summer. Here students learn life skills to help them manage their time, improve their friendships (and relationship with you, parents!), and also gives them plenty of academic strategies to make your bright star shine even brighter.