Best Summer Camps 2017 Making a Difference Awards

Welcome to the Best Summer Camps 2017 Making a Difference Awards


Best Summer Camps 2017 Making a Difference Awards

Our team personally reviews each summer camp website.

Make this your “go to” resource guide for selecting the

Best Summer Camps 2017.

Submit your site to be nominated for the Best Summer Camps Making a Difference Awards next year.

Click Here to Like Our Annual Guide  


  • Academic Summer Camps

JOhns hopkins logo

 Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth

CTY is accredited for grades K through 12 by the Middle States Association of College and Schools Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools. The CTY Summer Programs served over 9,450 students in 2012, and courses through CTY Online Programs counted over 13,000 annual enrollments. CTY students hail from all neighborhoods and many nations, and our alumni include the cofounder of Google, the CEO of Facebook, and leaders in the sciences, arts, government, and all professions.


  • Academic Outdoor Adventure Camps


Outward Bound

Outward Bound is the leading provider of experiential and outdoor education programs for youth and adults. Regardless of who you are or where you are from, there is an Outward Bound course at an Outward Bound School that is right for you. Experience Outward Bound on one of our backpacking trips, mountaineering trips, whitewater rafting trips, canoeing trips, dog sledding expeditions, sailing trips and many other offerings.

  • Activity/Traditional Camps

Falcon Camp

Falcon Camp 

“Dave, just wanted to let you know how impressed I was with Falcon! I can give you no greater compliment than to say you matched, if not exceeded, my fondest childhood memories of camp. Your staff, quality of activities, accommodations, and general policies are top notch. Samantha had a wonderful time and will most certainly be back next year.  All the best,” – Abby Kamen, Louisville KY

Falcon Camp is about fun for now and skills for life. It’s getting outside, trying new things and making new friends! From arts and crafts, drama and archery to outdoor activities such as horseback riding, sailing, canoeing, tennis, hiking and sports, Falcon Camp brings campers together for a fun and adventurous time. The best part? You choose your activities and there’s always something new to explore!


PHONE: (800) 837-CAMP

  • Adventure Summer Camps

Long Lake Camp Adventures

Long Lake Camp Adventures 

Long Lake Camp Adventures is where your summer adventure begins in New York’s Great Adirondack Park. Every day is thrilling as you embark on your unique journey.    At Long Lake Adventure Camp our campers have the unique opportunity to create their own schedule from a wide variety of options for each of our seven periods.

We go on many exciting trips exploring the Adirondack high peaks, white water rafting down unspoiled rivers, plus sea plane rides and theme parks with roller coasters and giant water slides!

Everyday you can go horseback riding, tubing, ATVing, play paintball, do our high ropes course and all land and water sports, you can start a rock band or get creative in our fine arts building. Since 1969 our family has provided the most wonderful experiences in summer fun.  Campers immediately feel at home enabling them to thrive and grow.   Campers enjoy all the positive aspects of camp life while living in modern cabins, having great fun and learning skills that will last a lifetime.


Phone: 914-693-7111


  • Archaeology Summer Camps

Crow Canyon

Crow Canyon Archaeological Center

At Crow Canyon’s archaeology camps, students age 12 to 18 dig at a real archaeological site in southwestern Colorado. These academic/science camps also include opportunities for teens to learn about American Indian cultures. Each camp includes a field trip to nearby Mesa Verde National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

  • Boys’ Camps


 Indian Acres Camp for Boys

” Lifelong friends and memories are made at this wonderful place we call camp! Best summers of my life in this community – nothing else compares!” Ashley

Join a 90 year tradition in teaching your children, independence, friendship, and group living, all while being nestled into the Mount Washington Valley of magnificent Western Maine.  Enjoy top quality facilities for all major sports and private lessons in tennis and swimming.  Your gift of camp to your children will last a lifetime for them and provide many benefits.


PHONE:  207-935-2300 OR EMAIL:

  • Coding Camp

 Kids 4 Coding

Kids 4 Coding inspires our youth through innovative, hands-on projects and challenges designed to propel kids to Tech Readiness. Students gain an edge in STEM while learning to create and program (code) games, apps, websites, robots and more!

  • Community Service Camps 

Image result for global works adventures logo

 Global Works Travel

Global Works combines community service, cultural exchange, language immersion, and adventure- which creates an unforgettable experience, friends for a lifetime, lessons in leadership, and impactful change!


  • Computer Technology

Planet Bravo

Whether it’s in our award-winning summer camps, computer lab curriculum, or after-school clubs, our students are consistently learning how to do amazing things with computers. Our creative approach to education has our kids coding their own video games, engineering custom robots, filming original movies, creating digital artwork, and lots more.


  • Cooking/Culinary Summer Camps

 The Kids Culinary Academy of Florida

Looking for a great kid’s summer camp program?  Are your children always “helping” in the kitchen, asking to bake cookies or a cake?  Do they ask how to cook?  Kids Culinary Camp is perfect for your child.  Kid’s Culinary Camp is a day and residential summer cooking camp offering one, two or multiple week sessions where kids learn a variety  cooking skills in a fun atmosphere with other kids who like to cook. This is a cooking school for kids in the summer and for adults all year.

  • Exploration


Founded in 1976, EXPLO is a not-for-profit educational organization that promotes creativity, engagement, and intellectual daring. We operate internationally renowned summer programs on the campuses of Yale University, Wellesley College, and Wheaton College.

  • Filmmaking

New York Film Academy 

Since 1996, the New York Film Academy has built a reputation as one of the premier summer film, acting, visual and preforming arts camps in the world. Offering a wide variety of programs for high school teens and kids between the ages of 10 and 17, students gather from all over the world for a fun-filled summer where they can pursue their passion in visual and performing arts.


  • Girls’ Camps


Forest Acres Camp for Girls

” Lifelong friends and memories are made at this wonderful place we call camp! Best summers of my life in this community – nothing else compares!”  —Ashley 
Join a 90 year tradition and one of the most prestigious equestrian programs in camping. Led by riding director Mrs. Carol Law of Mt. Holyoke College, the program is second to none. For non-riders Forest Acres offers a tremendous tennis program, as well as adventure opportunities, drama, and a full arts and crafts program–all in the comfort of the Mt. Washington Valley in Western Maine.

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 PHONE: 207-935-2300  EMAIL:

  • Healthy Lifestyle Camps

Camp Pocono Trails 

The world famous Camp Pocono Trails is a spectacular private lakefront weight loss camp in Pennsylvania – one of the only weight loss camps accredited by the American Camp Association. Campers benefit from the attention only an owner-operated camp can provide. Enjoy loads of fabulous activities in serene, beautiful settings, all aimed to promote long-term health, wellness, integrity and learning in a fun, mainstream manner.

  • Horse Lovers/Equestrian Summer Camps

 Rockbrook Camp for Girls

Rockbrook was a haven for my daughter who longed for a chance to spread her wings and fly in an environment that was both completely free and fully safe at the same time. From the moment she set foot in camp, it was as if she had always belonged, and barely turned to kiss us goodbye. For the entirety of the session, she was busy and engaged, and HAPPY! She had a health issue that had me worried about letting her go to a sleep away camp. Rockbrook did an AMAZING job keeping her safe and keeping me informed about all the protocols they had in place. Rockbrook did a better job than me! When I picked my daughter up, she seemed strong, confident, self-assured and beaming with joy. Rockbrook is an amazing place that truly understands how to help a girl be her best self.” —Parent, Chevy Chase, MD

A fun-filled sleepaway summer camp for girls located in Brevard, NC, Rockbrook provides an inclusive environment where girls ages 6-16 explore the beauty of nature, enjoy carefree summer living, and make some of their very best friends. 2-, 3- and 4-week sessions. Established in 1921. ACA accredited.

The Rockbrook equestrian program combines qualified staff, experienced horses, and excellent facilities to create an atmosphere where campers can advance their horseback riding skills, expand their horsemanship knowledge, and enjoy riding with friends.

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  • Marine Biology Summer Camps

Image result for seacamp


We are one of the few organizations in the United States providing experiential education in marine studies to students aged 8 to 21 years old. As a residential summer camp and educational program, Seacamp Association offers extended sessions of hands-on, interactive education, taking advantage of the variety of marine environments surrounding our beautiful location in the heart of the Florida Keys.


  • Math Summer Camps

AwesomeMath Awesome Math

What makes this camp different? We emphasize collaborative problem solving and provide enriching activities within a community of gifted mathematicians from all over the world.

Our camp balances a rigorous mathematics curriculum and program, with a wide-range of activities that allow our campers to connect on multiple levels. Sports, games, and our talent show, are a few examples at the residential camps. AwesomeMath campers are so much more than their math abilities. They are scientists, musicians, engineers, and, of course, mathematicians with multiple worldviews, cultures, and backgrounds. This creates a unique experience: Collaboration, connections, and community – our campers find mentors and peers who can make a positive impact on their future.

  • Music Summer Camps

Berklee-Stacked-knock-LOGO-15Berklee Summer Music Programs

At Berklee’s premier pre-college Five-Week Summer Performance Program, you’ll leave inspired, transformed, and equipped to drive your music forward with:

  • College credit: get a head start towards your undergraduate degree.
  • Berklee faculty: learn from the world’s leading music educators.
  • A comprehensive curriculum: take your musicianship to the next level with master classes, ensembles, jams, and weekly private lessons.
  • A collaborative environment: connect with musicians from more than 70 countries.
  • Nature Camps


Does your inquisitive child love animals? Wildlife Camp is a fun way to stimulate learning about wild animals and instill a life-long respect for nature.

Weekly camp programs are designed to captivate, engage and challenge young people, building environmental knowledge and values.

Watch a pelican training session, experience animal visits from our live non-releasable animal ambassadors, prepare a meal for our desert tortoise, search for wild animal tracks out on the trail, play wildlife-themed games, and create nature crafts-it’s a camp experience that is sure to leave a lasting impression.


  • Performing Arts and Fine Arts Summer Camps

Long Lake Camp for the Arts

Long Lake Camp for the Arts

Long Lake Camp for the Arts is the best sleep-away summer Performing and Fine Arts camp in America. We specialize in Theater, Music, Fine Arts, Dance, Rock Bands, Circus, Film, Magic and Comedy, plus we have fun sports and a stunning waterfront. Our campers ages 8 to 16 from all around the world, 100% get to create their own custom made schedules. With only 250 campers and 160 spectacular staff we are the perfect size.  Long Lake Camp is located in the heart of the beautiful Adirondack Park on our own lake front private estate with mountains and lush forests surrounding us.


PHONE: 914 693 7111


  • Residential Camps

  Pine tree campsPine Tree Camps

Pine Tree Camps overnight program Kampus Kampers is Monday thru Friday sleepover camp, with campers returning home on weekends. This gives campers all the fun and adventure of an overnight camp and parents the security of knowing their children are nearby. After participating in one of our many day programs, Kampus Kampers then take part in night activities such as campfires, zany sports, cookouts, group games, and pool parties.

Pine Tree Camps, founded in 1978, is located on the Lynn University campus in Boca Raton, Florida, and is one of the area’s only American Camp Association accredited camps.


  • Science Summer Camps

cub creekCub Creek Science and Animal Camp

At Cub Creek Science Camp, we encourage our campers to explore, experiment, ask questions and try lots of new things. We engage their curiosity and give them opportunities to strengthen their problem-solving skills. Campers learn by “doing”, and have a whole lot of fun in the process.

Many of our campers come to camp loving science and are excited by things like physics and chemistry. Other campers come because they love animals, arts and crafts, or other activities offered at Cub Creek. What all campers find out, is that science is everywhere, from building a rocket, to catching a frog or baking a cake. At Cub Creek Science Camp, we believe learning is fun and especially when kids are given the opportunity to investigate their passions. Our week-long courses can be broken down into 6 main categories: Animals, Arts and Crafts, Adventure, Nature, Science and Traditional. Several courses could be in more than one category, and all courses could be considered “science”.


  • Space Summer Camps  

space campSpace Camp

Your child’s weeklong, sleepaway Space Camp adventure features astronaut training and missions for next generation of space exploration – with both NASA and the private sector! They’ll enjoy hands-on excitement surrounded by new friends from all around the world.


  • Special Needs Summer Camps

wedikoWediko Summer Program

Located on 450 lakefront acres in New Hampshire, the Wediko Summer Program is a 45-day residential treatment program serving boys and girls ages 9-19 with social, emotional and behavioral challenges. The children who come to Wediko are referred by schools, educational consultants, and clinicians from across the country who believe a fresh-air, therapeutic experience can create positive change.

  • Sports Summer Camps

Image result for us sports camps logo

 US Sports Camps

US Sports Camps’ mission is to connect passionate coaches with young athletes to facilitate athletic and personal development in a positive and safe environment. Together, with our network of coaches and top facilities, we remain just as committed today to growing each camper’s love for sports while providing a memorable camp experience that always delivers on fun. Serious. Fun.

  • STEM Camps

Camp Invention

Camp Invention is the only nationally recognized, non-profit elementary enrichment program inspired by the brightest thinkers around, the National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductees. We know how to tap into your child’s natural need to discover and we do it with certified local instructors

  • Traditional Summer Camps


Adirondack Camp

Adirondack is an overnight summer camp for boys and girls. You’ll find us hidden away in the ancient New England bedrock of the Adirondack Mountains, surrounded by the crystal clear waters of world famous Lake George in upstate New York.

  • Traditional Wilderness Overnight Camp

Cheley CampsCheley Camps

The Cheley Mission states “We build the lasting character and resiliency of young people, creating unique life experiences in a challenging and nurturing natural environment.”

It is in this spirit that a young man named, Spencer, who made a mistake at school, had his Dean of Discipline tell him that he was a very different person since returning back to school from the summer. When asked what made the difference, Spencer said, “The camp I went to this summer changed my life!”

Since 1921, Cheley has welcomed campers from around the world.  A summer at Cheley provides formative experiences that nourish the body and spirit.  A chance to put aside the competitive demands of school and sports.  To slow down, open up and explore.  And in doing so, find out more about who you are.

Campers spend their summers hiking, horseback riding, backpacking, mountain biking, rafting, technical climbing, stand-up paddleboarding, and participating in riflery, archery, crafts, sports, fishing, and much more.  All of this while enjoying the beautiful Colorado Rockies.  Our sessions are 27 days for campers ages 9 to 17.

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Phone: 303-377-3616 


  • Visual Arts

Ballibay-Logo-1200x660-1Camp Ballibay

On a pristine mountaintop in the Alleghenies, over a thousand feet above the Susquehanna River Valley, Camp Ballibay is a haven for the young artist with a love for theater, art, dance, or rock music. For beginners to advanced students, we offer deep, engaging programs. Since 1964, boys and girls aged 8-16 have come to us from all over the world to enjoy our unique offerings. We are a friendly and welcoming place for the creative kid.

  • Travel Abroad Summer Camps  

 Village Camps Summer Camps Homepage

Village Camps

Education Through Recreation™ Since 1972.  Summer Camps in Austria, Canada, England, France, Spain & Switzerland.


  • Western Style/Dude Ranch Summer Camps

teton valley ranch campTeton Valley Ranch Camp

Wrangling horses just before dawn. Climbing to the top of the majestic Tetons. Fly fishing the clear, blue mountain lakes of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.  Hiking with the moon as your guide. These are just some of the adventures that await you on your next adventure with the most historic summer camp in Wyoming. Welcome to Teton Valley Ranch Camp.

Click Here to Like Our Annual Guide


Pat Wyman

Pat Wyman is America’s Most Trusted Learning Expert, college professor, best selling author of Smarter Squared: How to Use Personalized Learning to Master School Faster and Create the Future You Want! ;  Spelling Made Easy: Learn Your Words in Half the Time; Amazing Grades: 101 Best Ways To Improve Your Grades Faster, CEO and founder of

Each year, Wyman and her team reviews each and every website and are proud this year to bring you the Best Summer Camps Making A Difference Awards.

We do our best to bring you the widest variety of camps possible and need to make the usual disclaimers about the camps. Be sure and check for Certifications, get references and more to ensure your child has a wonderful summer camp experience.

Best Summer Camps 2017 Making a Difference Awards