Atmosphere

Happy Campers

How to give your kids a summer's worth of stories.

By
May 2009

Flash forward a few weeks: School's out, the kids are amped up, and two months of long days await. Try a cool camp this summer—because glorified arts 'n' crafts just won't cut it.

For the Adventurer
Poulter Camps
For 43 years, the Poulter folks have led rock-climbing, spelunking, and mountaineering trips for third- to 11th-graders at this sleep-away outdoor discovery camp near Steamboat Springs. 970-879-4816

For the Artist
Precollege Academy at Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design
Got a budding Picasso on your hands? With a variety of weeklong classes (lodging optional for juniors and seniors) capped at 15 participants, plus a three-week session, the Denver-area design school welcomes any high school student interested in topics ranging from interior design and 3-D game art to comic book illustration. 303-225-8570

For the Sailor
Community Sailing of Colorado Summer Camp
Kids from eight to 17 can hit the open water (or as close to it as we get in Colorado) at the Cherry Creek Reservoir or Standley Lake in Westminster. Weeklong lessons from June though August cover everything from basics like knot-tying to advanced racing techniques; try two- or eight-week stints for longer sailing or windsurfing sessions. 303-757-7718

For the Animal Lover
Vail Horse Camp at the Ranch at Spraddle Creek
Saddle up just north of Vail Village at a day-ranch that offers horsemanship camps, nature lessons, and advanced riding sessions, for the first-timer through the advanced rider, on a flexible, pay-per-day basis ($75-200). 970-476-6941

For the Performer
Rocky Mountain Theatre for Kids
The drama queen (or king) in your family will dig these two- or four-week sessions in either Denver or Boulder that culminate with a performance in a real theater. Divided into age groups and trained by skilled theater teachers, kids will practice acting techniques, singing, choreography, stage presence, character portrayal, and more. 303-245-8150

For the Archaeologist
Crow Canyon Archaeological Center Summer Camps
Scout out southwestern Colorado's Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings (up to 1,500 years old), with hands-on summertime sessions (one week or three weeks, for high schoolers only), including field excavation, artifact analysis, and simulated digs. 970- 565-8975