5 sophisticated summer camps for city kids


For some kids, spending a week hiking, canoeing and camping in the great outdoors is thedefinition of summer fun. But for those who have no interest in tents or bugs or bugs in tents? Here are five Philly camps they won’t forget.

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For the aspiring musician: Girls Rock Philly

If there was a badge for “Camp We Most Wish Existed When We Were Kids,” Girls Rock Philly would earn it. Open to all girls ages 9 through 18, this week-long program features workshops on everything from songwriting to spinning to stage presence. The session concludes with a concert showcasing original work, which students will also have the opportunity to record. As for tuition, a generous sliding scale includes full scholarships, so if you have a little cash or time to spare, consider donating or volunteering.

July 11-17 and July 18-24, Girlsrockphilly.org

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For the budding actor: Arden Theatre Summer Camp

With year-round kid-friendly programming, the Arden is dedicated to making the stage accessible for theatergoers of all ages. Taught by local theater professionals, their summer camps for students in grades 1 through 12 offer courses in acting, music, storytelling, improv, dance and design.

Weeklong sessions offered June 27-Sept. 2, $290-$400, Ardendramaschool.com

For the daredevil: The Philadelphia School of Circus Arts

Can’t keep them from climbing up the walls during summer break? Let the talented faculty at the School of Circus Arts show your little Spider-Man and Wonder Woman how to take flight safely. Classes in trapeze, acrobatics, tight wire, juggling, plate spinning and more are offered by the day or by the week for kids ages 8 and up.

Classes offered June 20-Sept. 2, prices vary, Phillycircus.com

For the messy maker: The Clay Studio’s Clay Camp

Old City gallery and workspace The Clay Studio offers an impressive roster of half-day and full-day classes for campers ages six and up. Sessions in everything from wheel throwing to claymation to sculpture are complemented by visits to nearby galleries and historic sites, making for an educational, inspirational summer. Bonus points: Your kids get to make a mess — we’re talking a huge, muddy, one-for-the-ages mess — and you don’t have to clean it up.

June 27-August 25, prices vary, Theclaystudio.org

For the storyteller: WHYY’s Journalists and Filmmakers Camp

Designed for high schoolers, WHYY’s award-winning summer camps provide hands-on experience for young storytellers. A two-week journalism session allows students to develop and produce their own pieces alongside WHYY staffers, while participants in the three-week filmmaking intensive will create their own short films. Although tuition is steep, students have access to professional media equipment, and scholarships are available.

Journalism: June 27-July 9 and August 8-19; Filmmaking: July 11-29, $1200-$1950, Whyyy.org

For the grown-ups: Camp Bonfire

Complete with cabins, counselors, archery and epic games of capture the flag, Camp Bonfire is a typical summer sleepaway camp in the Poconos—with the exception that it’s for adults. They’re only offering one weekend session this year, so register ASAP if you want in on the s’mores.

June 10-12, $449-$499, Campbonfire.com

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