Alternative Summer Camp Ideas

Many children look forward to summer camp all year – the weather is finally right for various activities like swimming, sailing, and backpacking. Unfortunately, most camps have been cancelled this season, but keep your head up! There are still lots of ways to bring camp to your neighborhood and celebrate summer with your kids.

One great option is to gather all the neighbors together and switch off teaching subject matters like birdwatching, gardening, or arts and crafts, while maintaining social distancing. You can also put together a scavenger hunt by creating a map of the neighborhood and have them visit each neighbor’s house.

For the more introverted type, start up a reading club. Pick out a few books together and set chapter due dates, then discuss the story at the end of each due date. You can have them write a report on their favorite book they read before summer ends.

To get outdoors, ride your bike together though parks or wooded trails. Or, if they still are learning to ride, find an empty parking lot to practice. Remember, always wear a helmet. Safety first!

The good thing about being outside is that it’s easier to socially distance, especially if you’re going camping. You can even set up a tent in your yard if you don’t feel comfortable booking a campsite. Gear rentals are now open, or you can borrow supplies from a neighbor.

Rent a kayak, canoe, or paddle board, and hit the beach. Although some sandy areas are starting to bring crowds, you can keep a safe distance in the water. Just like bike riding, always practice safety. Don’t head out without a life jacket, and don’t leave your kid unattended.

There are also virtual summer camp sessions for indoor activities like computer programming and robotics, improv, online puzzles, sewing, and more. Prices vary, and you can even find some for free. Online searches provide plenty of options.


As you can see, you all can still have fun this summer and spend some quality family bonding time.

What other ideas do you have for the summer?