Pick the Right Portland Summer Camp for Your Brood

Portland’s plethora of day camps could give your kids the skills to do just about anything.

By Margaret Seiler March 3, 2014 Published in the March 2014 issue of Portland Monthly

Trackers Earth specializes in a rustic experience.

Summer camp isn’t all crafts and canoe lessons. Portland kiddie camps now offer near-university-level specialization—an opportunity to mold offspring into fascinating world citizens (or a crack anti-zombie corps). Registration is happening now—and many programs fill up lickety-split. To get started, just decide if you want your kid to...

save you after the apocalypse?

  • Trackers Earth (Ages 4–17, $295–495*) Even if city kids don’t need the archery, tracking, fishing, or “zombie survival” skills Trackers imparts, cofounder Tony Deis says campers report back about “how much more they notice” in the world.
  • See also: YMCA Camp Collins, Audubon Society of Portland

enroll in the University of Summer?

put dinner on the table?

  • Sauvie Island Center Farm Camp (Ages 8–11, $225–325) Kids learn about food, from seed to table. 
  • Portland’s Culinary Workshop (Ages 7–18, $175–250) The week starts with knife skills and ends with dessert—the circle of life. There’s a focus option for budding bakers, too.
  • See also: The Merry Kitchen, Sur La Table

translate on your next foreign adventure?

  • Kindersommer (Ages 3–14, $210–265) Beaverton’s German American School goes beyond ein, zwei, drei to offer immersion courses in cooking, crafts, sports, and chess. Jawohl!
  • The International School (Ages 3 through fifth grade, $375–500 for two-week sessions) TIS’s themed programs in Spanish, Japanese, or Chinese are open to new learners and fluent speakers.
  • See also: French American International School, Alliance Française, Aprende con Amigos

express their deepest emotions?

  • Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp for Girls (Ages 8–17, $400) Raising a little Kim Deal or Kim Gordon? This band camp comes complete with lessons in screen-printing and zine-making.
  • Grace Art Camp (Ages 4–12, $285) This year’s theme: French folk tales and culture. 
  • See also: Ethos Inc, Tears of Joy puppet camp 

take the stage by storm?

  • BodyVox (Ages 3–12, $160–260) This dance camp takes in everything from hip-hop to ballet to improv.
  • Northwest Children’s Theatre and School (Ages 3–18, $75–265, nwcts.org) Whether it’s tiny tots playing dress-up or older kids mounting a play, extreme cuteness abounds.
  • See also: Polaris Dance, Do Jump, Portland Metro Arts

*Tuition rates listed are for one week of day camp. Contact camps directly for information on financial aid, discounts, longer sessions, and extended hours.

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