16 Unique Boston-Area Summer Camp Options For Your Tween and Teen
Your child may be getting older and may not need QUITE as much supervision this summer. However, there are only so many days and weeks that they can entertain themselves. As kids grow older, after-school activities and homework tend to take up all of their free time during the school year. Summer is a great time to take advantage of uniquely themed summer camps so they can explore new activities and potential areas of interest and possibly find another passion that they love! Summer camps are a great way to open their eyes up to new opportunities and the future possibilities.
So, as we creep our way into spring, we have scoured the internet to find 16 unique summer camp options to consider for your tween or teen in the Boston area. There may still be remnants of snow on the ground, but you will need to book these camps in advance to hold your spot come the dog days of summer!
The Business of Doing Good
If your child is passionate about making a difference in the world, you need to check this one out. It’s a bootcamp style camp located by South Station in Boston where middle school students are led by real world social entrepreneurs to talk about their ideas for social change. Throughout the week, they work together for the kids to create a project, develop a business plan, conduct market research and showcase their work at the end of the week! Learn more.
Emagination Tech Camps
Located on Boston College’s beautiful campus, these Emagination Tech camps will show your teen what their future could look like at college. With day or overnight programs, your 8-17 year old can choose between gaming, tech or programming camp options blended with traditional summer camp programming, so your child is bound to have fun either way! If your child is interested or could be swayed about learning more about STEAM activities, definitely check this one out. Learn more.
This Boston Harbor Island camp is for kids 11-14 living in Boston, developed with the Boys and Girls Club. For just $5 (YES! You heard that right), your child can take part in a 2-week camp designed to have fun, build community and leadership and explore the outdoors that Boston has to offer. If you live in Boston proper, definitely check this out ASAP! Learn more.
For kids between 10-18 that are interested in learning to sail, there’s no better place then Boston’s Community boating. For a completely reasonable cost, your child gets a full week of instruction and practical training sailing a boat on the Charles. It’s an amazing experience that your teen will totally be into! Learn more.
Meant as an internship rather then a summer camp, CitySprouts offers up a free (FREE!!!) 6 week program in Cambridge for kids ages 11-14 where children take care of their school garden, go on field trips, cook lunch each day, explore the garden ecosystem, and create projects to address social justice issues in the food system and their community. If your child is interested in this amazing opportunity, check it out here.
Improv Boston Ages 8-17
Have a budding actor or comedian on your hands? Improv Boston, located in the North End offers weeklong programs for ages 8-17 focusing on the fundamentals of standup comedy and improv. During the week your child will partake in inclusive games, exercises and activities to support performance and expression on stage. Learn more.
BU Cooking Classes ages 8-18
Is your child the next Top Chef? What better place to let them hone their skills then Boston University! BU offers up several weeklong programs for kids 8-18 introducing them to different cultural cuisines. As well as learning basic cooking techniques, they’ll be introduced to new cultures, get hands on learning and enjoy great meals together. Learn more.
North of Boston
Maritime Gloucester Boat Shop
If your child between the ages of 8-15 and has an interest in how boats are made, you NEED to check out the Maritime Gloucester Boat Shop. Along with woodworking, boatbuilding skills, lighthouse exploration, and lobster catching aboard their vessel, they offer up different themed summer programs for your voyager or budding carpenter. Imagine your child coming home with a small wooden skiff that they build themselves! Learn more.
For kids K-6th grade interested in creating new things, check out this camp with locations all across the North Shore of Boston (and some throughout Massachusetts as well). During the weeklong programs, children are presented with challenges and encouraged to work as a team to problem solve with innovation and entrepreneurship. Learn more.
Stand Up Paddleboard Program
Get your kids ages 8-14 out in the water to gain confidence and have fun at Marblehead’s Little Harbor Boathouse Stand up Paddleboard Program! Kids will enjoy games, relays, board/boat swapping, capsize and rescue practice and so much more! Learn more.
South of Boston
Camp Shriver at Stonehill College
Located at both UMass Boston and also Stonehill College in Easton, MA, Camp Shriver offers FREE summer camps to low-income families around Boston. As part of their inclusive practices, they offer spots for children ages 8-12, half with and half without intellectual and developmental disabilities into their sports and activities based programming. Learn more.
Art Barn Summer Camps
Located in Weymouth, kids ages 6-11 can enjoy different art experiences designed to tease out your child’s creative side in a beautiful garden and nature setting, with an indoor art studio as well. Kids can learn new art mediums and different techniques alongside professionals and their peers. Learn more.
Youth Leadership Academy
Located in Braintree, Sheriff Michael Bellotti’s Youth Leadership Academy is open to 10-14 year olds living in Norfolk County (pretty much all of the South Shore, though check if your specific town offers one if you are not in this area). Centering around a challenging ropes course, the programming focuses on team building, anti-bullying, resisting peer pressure, increasing self-confidence and setting personal goals. Kids also learn about fire safety, the dangers of drugs, and the role of Sheriff’s Office throughout these weeklong programs. Learn more.
Edge on Science
Located in both Weston, kids ages 10-14 can choose from Galileo's Astronomy, Bridge Building, Catapult Engineering, Summer Rocket Blast Off and the Hydraulics Makerspace – all project based programs introducing kids to engineering concepts. Kids will get to build things like a catapults, rockets, bridges, hydraulic machines, or even a telescope. What an opportunity! Learn more.
Ecotarium Summer Discovery Camp
Kids ages 5-14 can partake in Worcester’s Ecotarium summer camps, featuring a different theme each week. From STEM, spy mysteries, animals, nature and more, your child will find one theme they are passionate about to explore this summer. Learn more.
Mass Motion Dance
Located in Sturbridge and Medfield, MA, Mass Motion Dance offers both fun and intensive dance summer camps for kids up to ages 18! With timing for working parents, these camps offer dance programming such as ballet, modern/contemporary, jazz, Broadway, tap, hip hop, and lyrical. Kids may also opt for programming around improvisation, composition, tumbling, pedagogy, dance history, and choreography. Learn more.
Whew, who knew there were so many UNIQUE and DIFFERENT options out there! There are dozens if not hundreds more summer camps for tweens and teens in the Boston area and throughout Massachusetts that you are sure to find as you scour the internet for yourselves (but after that list, do you really need any more options?!)
Please comment on this article below with a few of your favorite summer camps for kids so we can share the wealth!
Written by Phase2Parenting
PLEASE NOTE: The writers of this article are not medical professionals. The information in this column is not intended and should not be construed as providing medical or psychological advice, but rather to offer readers information and provide a perspective to better understand the lives of themselves and their children. Articles on this website may be opinion based. The articles are not intended to provide an alternative to professional treatment or to replace the services of a physician, psychiatrist, psychotherapist or other licensed medical professional. If you do have health or safety concerns, please get in touch with a healthcare professional.