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
- Day camps
- Residential Camps
- Campers spend one or more nights at camp, often with a mix of sleeping in a cabin with a roof and sleeping out under the stars. Residential camps may be co-ed/mixed gender, organized into boys and girls cabin groups, or they may be single gender “boys camps” or “girls camps”
- Religious Affiliated
- Religious affiliated camps vary greatly in the amount of faith-based activities offered to campers, some are open enrolment, possibly serving under-privileged populations through sponsorships or “camperships.” Some may only serve these populations within members of their faith.
- Conference and Retreat Centers
- Some camps operate year round, and in the “off season” they host family camps, run outdoor education courses, weddings, business groups, or other community groups. “Camps” which offer only this programming year-round may still employ the word camp in their name but are different than a summer camp.
Types of Camps by Activity
- Academic Enrichment
- Adventure camps may be focused on challenge course activities, wilderness pursuits or both. Many organizations incorporate a challenge by choice approach and often focus on personal growth, emotional intelligence, and leadership skills.
- Computers and Technology
- Horsemanship is the man focus of some camps. These camps have a wide range of programs revolving around riding skills and animal husbandry.
- Faith Based
- Many religious affiliated camps are oriented around faith based activities and studies.
- Most camps exist within, or on the border of natural settings, be it forest, mountain, desert or costal. These camps embrace their natural setting to varying degrees, though for any camper the opportunity to sleep in an open air cabin or out under the stars holds its own magic. Some camps have significant focus on nature and natural history, gardening, wilderness skills, and survival skills.
- Surf camp, football camp, tennis camp, rock climbing camp, the list goes on. If there is a sport that enough people are passionate about there will be a camp that focuses on that particular sport.
Types of Camps by Owner
- 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
- 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.
- Camps which serve members of organizations, such as Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Campfire.
- Adult Camps