Different Types of Camps

Camps differ greatly in their intention, goals, and objectives.  To help you find what kind of camp would be the best fit for you we explain below how camps differ in their programming (how they operate), activities (what campers do while at camp), who owns them, and who attends these camps.  Included in each example are links to representative websites.  Across all these examples, camps vary greatly in the benefits they offer, including pay, healthcare, housing, and quality of food.

Types of camps by Program

Types of Camps by Activity


Types of Camps by Owner

  • Private/Independent
    • Many private camps have been around for a long time and are steeped in tradition and values.  Private camps may also have a “for profit” approach and feel, delivering a specific product at a market driven price.
  • Non-Profit/Agency
    • Non-profit organizations use surplus revenues to further their goals instead of distributing those revenues as profit amongst the owners.  These camps often serve special needs, under-privileged populations, faith based, or other specific communities. Others have a mix of populations they serve.


Types of Camps by Population Served

  • Under-privileged
    • Ensuring that people from all backgrounds have similar opportunities. Many non-profit camps serve populations from many different incomes and cultural/ethnic backgrounds.  –
  • Special Needs
    • Different people have different needs, and working with special needs populations can be incredibly challenging and rewarding.  Some cater to multiple different needs, while others focus on a category, such as autism, muscular dystrophy, or cancer.
  • Organization
  • Adult Camps
    • There are camps which cater specifically to adults.  They may be fitness, therapy, activity, or growth oriented, may serve adults with special needs, or provide recreation.