Kids will rejoice over these Cape Cod Summer Camps!

With summer vacation quickly approaching, it's time to decide.  Will the kids laze around the family room all summer long or become happy campers?

Whether they're in search of outdoor exploration, science projects, honing their hockey skills, reciting Shakespeare or snacking on s'mores by the bonfire, there are several options for kids to immerse themselves in epic summer adventures here on Cape Cod.

Cape Cod Sea Camps in Brewster offers a summer camp experience with a focus on aquatic pursuits. From sailing and windsurfing to kayaking and paddleboarding, campers can dip their toes into watersports for the first time, or master their maritime hobbies. There are also additional activities on land, including archery, woodworking and pottery. Day programs or sleepaway camp options are available.

At the Hyannis Youth and Community Center, kids of all ages can dive into fun with everything from swimming lessons to sailing. Participants can also choose from ice skating lessons, beach volleyball, soccer clinics, advanced science classes, and even a junior ranger program at Sandy Neck beach.

Girl Scouts of Eastern Masscahusetts puts a modern twist on traditional summer camps with their Brewster-based Camp Favorite. There are day and residency schedules that help kids and young adults channel their best selves. Campers will learn to windsurf, kayak on Long Pond, or participate in graduated sailing programs. There are plenty of land activities too, from biking the Cape Cod Rail Trail to mastering outdoor skills. For those opting for overnight stays, there will be snacks by the campfire and platform tent sleeping quarters.

Campfires, bunk beds, cannonballs into the pond, and letters (not texts) home to parents. That's what kids will experience at Camp Wingate Kirkland in Yarmouth Port. The traditional sleepaway camp combines the best parts of old-fashioned camp, including friends that return every year, with creative additions such as zombie hunting and flash fiction writing.

For kids who want to skip sleepaway camp in favor of fostering athletic skills, here are the best bets:

NHL hopefuls know how to keep cool on hot days; they take to the ice. The Top Shelf Hockey School in Hyannis runs weekly camps and scrimmages June through August. Aimed at advanced skaters in the 6th grade and above, summer lessons focus on mastering skills and keeping in top condition during the off season.

Cape Cod Baseball League will help the little sluggers learn to throw a curveball or steal first base. Baseball clinics are run by each of the 10 individual teams on the Cape for six weeks, Monday through Friday.

Figure skaters don't take a holiday, and summer months are used to fine tune spins, jumps, and spirals to prepare for the competition year ahead. Yarmouth Ice Club holds year-round instructional programs, and boost day and week-long activities in summer for beginners just learning their way around the rink.

The Boys & Girls Club of Cape Cod in Mashpee, which runs year-round after school programs, also expands offerings in summer months for kids and teens. The day-long schedule mixes outdoor activities with access to the indoor gym and summer learning sessions.

There are camps for young explorers too. Outdoor enthusiasts and budding artists will love the hands-on adventures at the Waldorf School of Cape Cod summer program. Campers will enjoy everything from nature crafts and woods exploration to gardening and baking.

At the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History in Brewster, daily activities range from outdoor exploration and science activities to art programs focusing on the natural world. There's even a shark week program introducing budding marine biologists to sharks through hands-on activities, outdoor experiences, and camp games.

At the Mass Audubon Summer Camp in Wellfleet and Chatham, themed weekly sessions blend outdoor and nature exploration with hands-on activities, games, songs, and crafts, including off-site travel for activities like kayaking, whale watching, and snorkeling. And YMCA Cape Cod's Camp Lyndon in Sandwich also crafts daily activities around adventure and discovery, including nature walks, team sports, raft building and music & movement.

STEM activities rule at Empow Studios in Osterville. The tech and design camp focuses on digital arts and computer sciences including video game design, robotics, animation, coding and 3D modeling & printing. Students will learn the foundations of these programs, as well as participate in hands-on building activities.  Heritage Museums and Gardens in Sandwich also offers STEM-focused weekly summer programs through its Hundred Acre School, which allow children to question like scientists, use technology as a tool, be creative engineers, and think like mathematicians.

The Seahawks Camp at Cape Cod Academy offers a unique choice-based electives program to campers in a dynamic, nurturing and fun environment. Specialty day camps will also be hosted on the school’s 46 acre campus: Red Sky Sports Academy (for sports buffs), EmPow Tech Camp (for little scientists), Cotuit Center for the Arts (for budding performers) and a big band week (for young musicians) with local band Stage Door Canteen.

And we can't forget the littlest tykes, who also have options. St. Peters Nursery School in Osterville offers preschool programs for children from 2 to 5 years-old all summer long. From crafts and music activities to a focus on reading fundamentals and physical education, the youngest Cape Cod residents can enjoy a summer break, too!
 

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