Mind, Body & Nature: Austin’s Unique and Earth-Friendly Summer Camps of 2015

With mere weeks separating you and your little ones from the sunny warmth of July, you may be scrambling to find engaging and educational activities to keep your kiddos occupied during those long summer days. Never fear, though–for we have compiled a list of the most enriching local summer camps that are sure to ward off any summertime boredom!

Camps that Study Nature

Want your child to step away from his/her video game console and experience the wonders of nature firsthand? These camps are great for a well-rounded brochure of activities that are sure to pull your kid off of the couch and observe the natural world.

Camp Fire Adventure CampCovering topics like urban wildlife, outdoor skills, and natural science, Camp Fire educates their campers as well as pulls them into the exciting realm of nature. (5-12, $275 per session)

Farm CampLet your child enjoy the simple pleasures of organic farming- from planting to harvesting to livestock care -as well as learn about ecology, conservation, and cooking. Pony cart rides included! (Ages 5-15, $103.20 per session)

Earth Native Wilderness SchoolEarth Native’s naturalist instructors guide their campers in the exploration of the wilderness, encouraging an intimate relationship between human and nature. (Ages 6-17, $199-$245 per session. Overnight camps are $545)

Epic AdventuresFor a more intensive program, Epic Adventures takes their campers on journeys (both national and international) to master their outdoor survival skills. Hiking, backpacking, rafting, and mountain biking are all possible activities upon registration, all under safely guided instruction. (Ages 13-17, $1995-$3450)

Camps that Nurture the Mind

For a family who wants their child to receive summer curriculum that keeps their minds exercised and sharp, these camps create fun, team-oriented learning environments that welcome any hungry young mind.

ThinkeryDesigned with the elementary-schooler in mind, the Thinkery offers week-long camps that teach the importance of math, science, and engineering through hands-on interactive activities.  (Ages 5-11, $190-$410 per session)

Curious EinsteinIf your child loves the internet, then this is the camp to call! Using computers, gadgets, and technology is the name of the game at Curious Einstein– the instructors teaching children math, science, creative writing, and literature while also acknowledging each camper’s unique learning speed.  (Ages 6-12, $230 per session)

Badgerdog Creative Writing CampFor children with a knack for the written word, Badgerdog’s three week program provides in-depth workshops in poetry, playwriting, and general fiction/nonfiction writing as well as comprehensive lessons in classic and contemporary literature.  (Ages 9-18, $450 per session)

UTPCR Summer SymposiumEncouraging the utmost critical thought in arenas such as ethics, morality, and conflict resolution, The UT PCR Symposium is helmed by several speakers who have mastered a variety of individual subjects (psychology, gender and race, media & journalism, music, sociology, etc), challenging young minds to sharpen their creative, critical thinking skills.  (Ages14-27, $985-$1350 per session)

Camps that Balance the Body

Yes, Austin offers summer camps that not only promote physical stamina and health, but teach children the importance of their bodies’ well-being!

The Little Yoga HouseStrictly for kids only, The Little Yoga House offers week-long summer programs for tiny yogis-in-training, focusing on yoga (of course!), nature walks, and crafts. (Ages 3-12, $245 per session)

Texas Power AthleticsGymnastics, tumbling, cheerleading, and stunts/performance jumps are the main interests of TxPA, with skilled instructors enhancing the body control of young athletes. (Ages 5-12, $275 per session)

Kula Yoga CampsWith summer camps serving up both karate and yoga courses, your kiddos definitely won’t be told to hold still at Kula Yoga! Babies get both a story time on top of a yoga and movement lesson, while older children are able to hone in their physical energy. (Ages 2-5 & 5 up, $150-$225 per session)

Other Resources

These are just a few of many Austin summer camps available to you and your kiddo! Is your child a natural performer? Do you have a miniature Mozart, a budding painter, or insatiable sculptor? What about a fashionista? For those parents seeking theatre, music, sewing, and art programs, look no further! A comprehensive list of 2015 summer camps (ranging from filmmaking to video game design to intramural sports) can be found at austinchronicle.com/sc— full of camps ready to satisfy your child’s thirst for knowledge in all forms!