Cottonwood Gulch

(Photo: Cottonwood Gulch).

Thorne Nature Experience

(Photo: Thorne Nature Experience).

There’s nothing like summer in Colorado, especially for our kids. Here’s a breakdown on some seriously fun activities and camps our kids can get involved in.

At Altitude Youth Ultimate, Ultimate is all about fun and inclusion. Ultimate is a fast-moving, non-contact sport that combines elements of football, soccer, and basketball and is played with a flying disc. Campers play numerous games to develop disc fundamentals and value athletic sportsmanship over winning-at-all-costs. Camps are co-ed and great for new and experienced players.

Game On! Sports Camp 4 Girls in Boulder provides a safe, fun and empowering summer camp for girls of all skill levels entering grades K-8 to experience multiple sports every day. Each day brings lessons in teamwork, sportsmanship, and leadership and honors spirited day camp traditions. Game On! Sports Camp 4 Girls provides customized, fun programming that teaches both skills and values.

Longmont Recreation is offering two camp experiences: The Longmont Summer Day Camp for ages 5 to 10, and the new Expedition Tween day camp for ages 11 to 12. Longmont Summer Day Camp is a traditional day camp with daily enrollment options, so you can pick and pay for only the days you need (Boulder and Weld County CCAP are accepted). Special themes add a new twist every week. Expedition Tween is a new series of nine weeklong small-group adventure-based camps that venture offsite to field trip locations in the area (swimming trips included).

Community Sailing of Colorado’s mission is to make sailing in Colorado accessible to all, teaching skills, building confidence, and having fun. Programs take place at Cherry Creek Reservoir and Boulder Reservoir. They include a wide range of youth sailing programs for ages 5 to 17, at levels from pre-beginner to expert. Competitive racing and sailing instructor training are also available. Windsurfing, stand up paddleboarding and kayak camps round out their offerings.

Women’s Wilderness programs connect girls and LGBTQ+ youth to the outdoors and community. All levels of comfort with the outdoors are welcome. Kids can get their feet wet with Discover Nature day camps or Adventure Car Camping, or sign up for a high peaks expedition, white water rafting, fly fishing, and more. Specialized programs are offered for BIPOC middle schoolers and just-graduated high school seniors looking for a pre-college collective expedition experience.

Blue Mountain Ranch is a 3rd-generation family-owned sleepaway camp experience celebrating its 77th year. In a supportive family-like environment surrounded by Pike National Forest, campers choose their own activities from a long list of possibilities (Paddleboarding, Horse Care, Arts and Crafts), having fun while gaining independence and confidence. Sign up for a week or a whole summer.

The program at Rocky Mountain Day Camp is built for fun! Campers build confidence and self-esteem through a wide variety of activities including sports, music, arts and crafts, and STEM. Every activity is conducted by expert staff in an age and ability appropriate manner.  Since all children have a wide array of interests, the program is designed so that every camper has a rewarding experience every day.

Renaissance Adventures offers a unique camp experience that uses live-action role playing as a fun educational tool to develop cooperation, teamwork, and communication. Exciting challenges are presented that require the players to invest in each other’s unique perspectives and powers. Every individual, and the character that they play, has skill sets and perspectives that are vital to the team reaching their goals.

Cottonwood Gulch Expeditions offers summer treks that bring youth into the outdoors, living in community and exploring the American Southwest. Two new treks for teens are available this year. The Blue Corn Trek focuses on food systems in the Southwest, diving into food history and culture, growing, and cooking. The Quartz Trek is designed as a space of shared identity for genderqueer and nonbinary youth.

Thorne Nature Experience

(Photo: Thorne Nature Experience).

The goal of Thorne Nature Experience is to spark a love of nature that lasts a lifetime. For over 60 years, kids have been spending the summer exploring Colorado’s wild places in this hands-on outdoor day camp. They’ll catch critters, splash in creeks, build forts, create nature art, and more. Don’t miss Thorne’s family and community programs as well. Thorne offers full scholarships to every
1-in-4 campers.

YMCA Camp Santa Maria

(Photo: YMCA Camp Santa Maria).

YMCA of Northern Colorado works to make day camps convenient for busy families, offering a variety of locations and camp options throughout northern Colorado. Traditional full-day camps include YMCA Camp Noco and Kindercamp. They have specialty full- and half-day camps, including STEAMrollers, Y Riders, Sports and Esports Clinics, and Camp Elks. YMCA Camp Santa Maria, a traditional overnight camp outside of Bailey, offers opportunities for ages 6 to 17.

At ABLE To Sail, it’s about more than the US Sailing nationally award-winning curriculum. The program actively teaches self-esteem: instructors don’t just hope they get it, they teach it. ABLE to Sail breaks down negative thought patterns, and helps youth rebuild the way they think in a positive way – all using sailing as the foundation. Featuring two LGBTQIA+ camps.

By Amy Harris Van Vranken, Raised in the Rockies