It’s time to plan summer. Moms around the Seacoast are looking for meaningful, accessible, and affordable options for their teens to get away from screens and avoid the brain drain of summer. As a teen educator, adventurer, and mom – here are my recommendations for three worthwhile teen summer camp programs that will get your child out of the house and into a valuable experience.
For The Explorer – AMC Teen Wilderness Adventures
What: Backcountry Wilderness Adventures- hike, canoe, bike kayak, climb, and/or whitewater
Where: New Hampshire and Maine
Length: 5-25 days
Teen Wilderness Adventures is run by the Appalachian Mountain Club. This a perfect program for kids 12-18 to get “un-plugged” and have a meaningful wilderness experience. AMC’s teen summer camp program is not based at a camp facility. Instead, participants camp in the backcountry while hiking, biking, climbing, paddling, backpacking, or whitewater kayaking through the White Mountain Region. Trips range from 5 to 25 days with a wide range of outdoor adventures from introductory canoeing to long distance backpacking adventures. The goal of the program is to develop self-esteem, friendships, and leadership skills – all while appreciating nature. Also, staff is highly trained and experienced, and since group sizes cap at 10 participants, your teen won’t get lost in the crowd. It’s also must less expensive than some traditional summer camps, with programs starting at $1,010.
For the Marine Biology Enthusiast – Whale Camp
What: Marine Biology Summer Camp
Where: Grand Manan Island, Canada
Length: 1-3 weeks
Whale Camp is a hidden gem. Its remote location on the island of Grand Manan in the Bay of Fundy makes it an often overlooked choice for a New England teen. However, drop off/pick up for the program is in Bangor which is a more reasonable day trip – especially for the amazing experience it offers. This small summer camp offers programing from one to three weeks. What’s more, their well-rounded staff delivers holistic, interdisciplinary programs with expertise in marine biology, ecology, geography, history, and child development. Teens get direct encounters with wildlife including multiple whale watching trips as well as a trip to Machias Seal Island – a thriving puffin and seabird colony. Whale Camp is proud of their positive culture, inclusivity, and an environment where campers feel empowered in their identities. This camp provides a meaningful experience in a magical place. One week programs start at $1,425.
For the Scientist and Engineer – MSSM Summer Camp
What: MSSM STEM camp
Where: Limestone, Maine
Length: 1 week
U.S. News ranked the Maine School of Science and Mathematics the number one high school in Maine. Located in Limestone, the school has offered their STEM summer camp to middle schoolers age 10-14 for the past 21 years. Teens board in student housing and attend science and engineering courses of their choosing over the course of a week-long program. Hands-on courses provide meaningful and interesting science opportunities for New England teens. In addition, evening activities like games, crafts, and teambuilding promote fun and socialization. This program is extremely affordable with a one week program costing only $750 and financial aid available.
In conclusion, there is a plethora of teen summer camp programs in the Seacoast. Some of the oldest camps in the country are right here in New England. Still, it can be overwhelming searching for the right program for your teen. These unexpected options will give your teen an amazing experience without breaking the bank. Do you agree?