Chattanooga Summer Camps

[caption id="attachment_1314" align="alignright" width="400"]Chattanooga summer camps range from the typical bunkbeds and canoes vibe to a proper introduction to theater! You were expecting a cabin by the Lake? These children fill their summer with fun at the Chattanooga Theatre Centre's academy for kids ages 4-18.[/caption]

Chattanooga TN offers no shortage of activities and events that appeal to children and families. We’ll be talking about great family-friendly Chattanooga attractions like the Tennessee Aquarium and Creative Discovery Museum in future editions of this blog (we love to rave about our community and share aspects of it), but we wanted to take a moment now to look at Chattanooga options for the Quintessential Summer Experience for Kids: Summer Camp!

We researched and identified quite a few local camps for kids focused on making the most of what remains of summer, even as stores begin to put out their back-to-school merchandise. That means that if your child hasn’t done camp yet, there’s still time to find one or get a very early start on planning for summer 2019.

Not Your Typical Summer Camp

In researching what's out there, we found that some of the available options do not fit the mold of what one typically envisions: The rustic camp by the lakeside. But that's okay. In fact, that's great. Because every child is different. What interests one might be very different from another.

Proximity to home may also a consideration in choosing where to enroll your child in summer camp. Boys and Girls between the ages of 5- 15 who do not want to get too far removed from the city can enroll in camps like the YMCA of Metropolitan Chattanooga Summer Day Camp (ending August 5th), where they can remain downtown yet still participate in swimming, craft projects, outdoor education, songs, and literacy skills practice.

Also downtown, Creative Discovery Museum offers various camp programs during the summer focused on science, cooking, art, and more.

Boys and Girls in the East Ridge area can participate year-round in activities at Belvoir Christian Academy, which offers a summer camp for infants through eighth-graders.  A Christian environment is also offered at Boyd-Buchanan Summer Camps for those ages 3-17, Silverdale Baptist Academy for boys and girls ages 7-14,  and First Baptist Church of Chattanooga (K-5th grade).

The City’s Youth & Family Development Department also offers camp programs that include sports, arts and crafts, and preparing kids 6-12 for the upcoming school year.

Skill-Focused Summer Camps

For children with a love of the arts, there’s Chattanooga Theatre Centre’s summer academy for ages 4-18 offering degreed expert instruction in acting, dance, creative play, comedy, and more. Ballet Tennessee's Youth Dance Camp is designed for students ages 7-13 with at least two years of ballet training.

To deep dive into gadgets and skills of the future, TechTown on Market Street gives children hands-on learning experience with coding, video editing, 3D printing, robotics and more! Camps serve kids ages 7-17.

Want your 8- to 16-year-old to learn how to sail a boat on Lake Chickamauga? If so, the Privateer Youth Sailing Camp from the Privateer Yacht Club in Hixson may be the wind in their sails.

Budding chefs can take part in four-day cooking camps at The Sweet & Savory Classroom.

Teen summer camps by Girls Inc. will teach girls both the history of the 21st Century and self-sufficiency skills. Girls Preparatory School also offers girl-focused, fun summer experiences.

If your child loves trains, the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum offers teen summer camps for junior railroaders. Each session is limited to 14 campers ages 7-17, usually occurring in June, so you should get the jump on next summer. You can also look into signing your 3- to 14-year-old up for Zoo CampHigh Point Climbing and Fitness Camp with locations in downtown and Riverside teach boys and girls 5-14 the basics of climbing, including equipment usage, techniques and the importance of trust and communication.

Challenge Island also offers some interesting educational summer programs in Chattanooga.

Chattanooga Summer Camps that Get Kids Outside

Summer is a special time to get outdoors. In that spirit, the Chattanooga Audubon Society offers summer camps in South Chickamauga Creek at Audubon Acres, where kids ages 4-13 can have fun while also studying water quality, wildlife, and their environment.

Similarly, Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center gets children hiking, canoeing, and involved in other activities. Their camps include Forest School (ages 3-6), Treehouse Club (5-6), Waldtiere German Adventure Day Camp (5-8), Wolf Pack (7-8), Tree-Frogs (7-8), Junior Naturalist (9-10), Adventure Camp (11-13), Nature Near and Far Chattanooga Zoo Partnership (ages vary).

Other Summer Camps Near Chattanooga TN

If you have fond memories of going off to camp in the woods and building self-confidence with traditional camp activities, Camp Juliette Low offers this for girls ages 7-17 in Cloudland, GA. Another great one with a long history is Valley View Ranch Equestrian Camp, also in Cloudland, for girls 8-17.

A little farther down the road, Mentone, Alabama also offers several summer camp options like Riverview Camp for Girls, Camp Skyline, Camp Laney for Boys, Nature’s Classroom, One World Adventure Company, Ponderosa Bible Camp, and more.

Whichever option you choose, these camps and activities offer Chattanooga children and families great ways to stay active, learn new things, and expand their worlds!

Photo: Courtesy of Chattanooga Theatre Centre

Written by Steven Stiefel