Summer is right around the corner, so you’re probably already hunting for ideas to keep your kids engaged during the holiday.
For many parents, this means enrolling your child in a summer camp, and understandably so. As this article points out, attending a summer program helps kids improve their social and problem-solving skills and boosts their self-confidence.
That said, finding the ideal summer camp for your little one isn’t easy, especially if you’re in Alabama. There are so many options to pick from, each one touting to be the best. This is why we’ve done the legwork of research for you and compiled a list of the seven best summer camps in Alabama. Let’s dig in:
Sitting on 300 acres of land, Camp Fletcher was founded in the mid-1920s. Given its lengthy history, it’s safe to say that this summer camp has a ton of experience handling youngsters.
It offers an array of activities tailored for kids aged between 6 and 18. From canoeing to archery, and swimming, your child will have heaps of fun participating in whichever one they choose.
The kids who enroll are divided into small groups based on age or grade. This allows camp directors and counselors to focus their attention on each child. This then increases the camper’s chances of gaining beneficial skills.
Nestled in the pines of Talladega National Forest, Camp Mac is ranked among the best summer camps in Alabama.
Comprising 16 wooden and insulated cabins, it offers many activities and games. These activities are divided into morning, afternoon, and nighttime. So, you can choose the most convenient one, depending on your schedule.
For the morning program, kids participate in horseback riding, arts and riflery among others. Meanwhile, the afternoon session is reserved for activities like mountain biking, fishing, paddlesports, and more. These are just a couple of the 40+ activities available.
If you’re a parent to an aspiring astronaut, then Space Camp is the perfect summer program for them. Tucked away in Huntsville, Alabama, this camp trains kids to apply science and technology concepts in real life.
But what I love most is their flexible schedules. Parents have two main options to pick from when it comes to the camp’s duration. They are:
- Weeklong Group - includes overnight stays and is tailored for kids aged between 4 and 12
- Pathfinder - this is a 3-day, 2-night program designed for kids between the ages of 4 and 8
Do you envision a summer holiday full of fun, educational activities for your munchkin? If you do, you should check out the YMCA Camp Cosby. Situated in East Alabama, it sits on 135 acres of land and offers multiple activities.
The camp offers week-long sessions, with each week assigned a specific theme. The themes for the 2023 summer program include: Medieval Week, SuperHero week, Holiday Hoopla Week among others.
In addition, there are other programs organized based on age. This means that you’ll be enrolling your child in activities suited for their age.
Camp Cha-La-Kee earns top marks for its versatile summer programs. Parents will have the freedom to choose from five types of camps, namely:
- Drop-off Day Camp - here, kids get to participate in outdoor activities during the day. They’re also given two snacks and lunch every day.
- Overnight Camp - this program combines daytime and nighttime activities. The overnight sessions comprise skits, campfires, and more.
- Mini-Camp - this program is tailored for kids attending summer camp for the first time. Although it runs for two days, children will enjoy the same camping experience as their full-week campers.
- Leaders in Training - designed for kids aged 13 and 14, it teaches kids crucial leadership skills.
- Counselors in Training - this one is also suited for teens. The goal is to help these young adults learn how to interact with kids and co-workers.
Camp DeSoto is an all-girls summer camp founded on Christian beliefs. It’s conveniently situated on Lookout Mountain in Mentone, Alabama. As such, it provides campers with a breath of fresh air and an opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors firsthand. In fact, the campers live in rustic, wooden cabins.
Activities run the gamut from archery to knitting, photography, sports, drama, and so many more. Contrary to other camps, Camp DeSoto offers campers freedom of choice. Essentially, the girls get to choose eight activities they can immerse themselves in during the month.
Lookout Mountain Camp is a family-owned camp in its 5th generation. In fact, it’s been offering young boys adventure-packed summers since 1928.
Located on the beautiful shores of Lake Lookout, it offers a slew of sports and activities. When it comes to sports, campers get to choose from badminton, baseball, battle ball, softball, tennis, tetherball and basketball.
Similarly, examples of outdoor activities available are whitewater rafting, arts & crafts, horseback riding, and wood shop.
When is the best time to camp in Alabama?
Spring is the best time to go camping in Alabama because the weather is just moderately warm. Alabama summers tend to be too hot and humid, which can be uncomfortable for someone who’s not used to them.
How do I choose a summer camp?
If you’re looking for a summer camp for your child, there are a few things you should consider. These include location, range of activities, learning opportunities, meals and price.
If you don’t want your child to spend all summer Snapchatting or playing video games, a summer camp is the best solution. It offers a variety of fun activities while instilling crucial life skills.
Some of the top-rated summer camps for Alabama residents include Space Camp, Camp Cosby, Camp Fletcher, Camp Mac, Camp Cha-La-Kee, Camp DeSoto and Lookout Mountain Camp.
That said, enrolling your child at a summer camp requires a financial commitment. Sometimes, you may have to spend a large chunk of money. If you don’t have the financial capability for this, there are more affordable activities they can participate in such as those listed here.