Summer Camps in Saint Louis metro area

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(Update 06-13-2024) I gave summer camps more thoughts. I think for different families: the need for summer camps are also different. For example, doctors, nurses, restaurant workers, and some other jobs that parents or guardians need to be in office and usually have a 8 or 9 hours working day. If we add commute time, it means those families who need probably 9 to 10 hours of child care (younger or little kids). In those cases, the families likely need before and after care. Not all summer camps do that. If I can categorize camps, I think there are two types: one with the need I just mentioned above, another one is more like “give parents a few hours break, also give kids a few hours of camp / play time”.

Also, for me personally, I am at a stage of my career that I can work from home, and also I can be quite flexible. In that case, I will choose the later camps or camps without before/after care.

(Update 04-18-2024) Ms Donna Matthews, Ladue School District Gifted Specialist, shared this list (google spreadsheet) for summer camps that are suitable for middle school and high school kids.

(Update 12-05-2023) from LCC FB group I came across this Camp ThunderBird at Minnesota. It seems lots of outdoor fun. Seems like a good option for sleep away camps, for the families/kids who want to do sleep away camps (also see Sleep Away Camps (added 05-08-2023) below). I also vaguely recall there is a thunderbird camp in Arizona. I could mixed it up with the Thunder bird school in AZ though.

I know I know, when my older daughter was doing the sleep away camp at Cub Creek in summer 2021, I was refreshing their photos and emails website every 5 minutes in the 1st few days ๐Ÿ™‚

(Update 07-01-2023) Came across this one at Webster U. But I could not find it at their website. It seems Webster U has quite a few camps for middle school and above age kids.

(Update May 2023) Added more sleep away outdoor summer camps. Scroll down or search for “sleep away” on this blog post. Also Creve Coeur Racquet Club.

(Update Spring 2023) Some minor edits including adding the FB link for the D & A basketball camp. Added Master Qi Martial Arts school (at the end of this post, good thing takes time and needs patience ๐Ÿ™‚

Spring break camps: the J (or JCC), Olivette, and McCormack basketball camp.

Two horse riding camps: Kennedy Farms and The Stables at Lake St Louis. And one cheerleading camp.

(Original Spring 2022) I wrote a piece on summer camp choices a while ago, to be precise, 5 years ago. My kids are growing older and they have attended more summer camps in the past 5 years. Below are some of the camps they attended and are planning to attend this summer, in alphabetical order. Also since a few years ago the Missouri legislature passed a law that pushed back the fall public school opening by about 10 to 14 days, and that makes the summer camp a bit more important for the kids and working parents. Private school were not impacted. I think a general rule of thumb for summer is: take some family vacation if the work schedule allows, spend a few days or weeks at home (if parents work from home); for younger kids, it’s important to put them in a routine, provide some fun activities as well as get off the screen and games when possible.

All American Gymnastics and Super Ninja: this is a popular place for some of the Spoede, Creve Coeur and Olivette kids. They do gymnastics, games (hide and seek), arts and craft (tie dye shirt etc.), and water (field) day. The kids need to bring own lunch. 9 am to 3 pm. Pick up along the car pool line. (Update 01-08-2024: they usually do promotions on early Jan) ๐ŸŒžSummer Camp Registration Is Open to ALL! | Save $100 until 1/14!๐ŸŒž

Andrews Academy: our go to camp before pandemic, especially for our old kid who is 6th grader now. She used to go to the neighboring Hope Montessori when she was pre-schooler. They have fantastic activities, food, and field trips. They also do one gathering / open house, with food for parents (picnic, food from Kenricks) for parents and siblings (before pandemic). There are activities after dinner too. Last but not least, before pandemic we had friends come from China did summer camp at Andrew’s academy too. They had good experience there (I recall the kids were about Serenity’s age now about 11 years old).

Cub Creek Science Camp: this is a sleep away animal science camp in Rolla, Missouri. (from FB Ladue community or Ladue parents community group: this camp is popular among Ladue kids. Note the cost is about $1100 for a week ๐Ÿ™‚ We signed up our old daughter for one week this summer. Update: she was very happy with the camp. She is going there for a week this summer too.

JCC: they have different tracks too. They usually do swim daily. My older daughter went there the summer before her kindergarten year. They drop off and pick up at the back of JCC, by the pavilion next to soccer field. (Update summer 2023) My younger daughter did 2 weekly sessions there: she made a friend in the 1st week, and later she came back for another week so that they two can be together.

Kids Camp Ladue (KCL)*: lots of kids in the ladue school district and neighboring area. Mr. Long, Ladue Middle School science teacher has been doing this (mostly as a community service for working parents) for many years. Btw, I saw a familiar face on the website ๐Ÿ™‚

Ladue Camp Legacy: for the older kids who are entering grades 6 through 9 in the fall.

Maryville U robotics program: signed up my two girls for summer 2022 (one week each). The camp is two weeks long, btw. My girls like to do one week, which is okay. Btw, the school campus map here. It looks like the checkin is at Auditorium. I am hoping to write a post on Arduino soon. Personally I think it’s interesting. Note: parents for the girls, you may notice there are usually more boys than girls as this is STEM arena. Please don’t get discouraged. Send your daughter over to explore, and they usually love the activities there, and those enhanced their confidence on STEM as well. So win-win ๐Ÿ™‚ I am speaking from my own younger daughter’s experience, she felt more comfortable with the MIT Scratch game at school after doing this at Maryville last summer.

MICDs Summer Camp*: it’s not cheaper compared to Andrews Academy (the after hour care cost extra money). But MICDs has good facilities including the fairly new indoor swimming pool. They usually have a play (a show) for parents come to watch.

Olivette: usually held at Olivette Community Center. It’s popular among the kids in Olivette and Creve Coeur (did you know some people pronounced it like Creamed Corn ๐Ÿ™‚ || Btw, heard Webster Groves has some camps such as fire safety, soccer etc. Sounds similar to Olivette summer camp. Our younger daughter attended one week of Camp O this year (year 2022).

Also, some specialized camps. Bobby McCormack basketball camp.

SPICE Chess Camp at Webster U: my older daughter Serenity did a week in summer 2018. I believe she participated the “girls only” session.

St. Louis Chinese Language School: ๅœฃ่ทฏๆ˜“ไธญๆ–‡ๅญฆๆ ก 2023 Summer Camp During pandemic Serenity attended a few classes (math came to mind, Zoom only). They have in person culture and martial arts camp this summer (maybe more are coming).

Some Ladue school specific camps or camps led by Ladue School Teachers

there are also D&A basketball camp (Dockery & Anderson, they are Ladue PE teachers and basketball coaches) , as well as Jessica Mitchell’s Spanish camp (Ms Mitchell is Spanish teacher at Spoede elementary).

Spoede teachers / coaches Dolan and Williams have a PE and STEM Math camp too. My old daughter did Dolan / Williams camp before pandemic (once), and my younger one did Spanish camp (twice). (Update 04-06-2023 new for summer 2023), Dolan and Williams’ camp is back, here is the peachjar flyer.

(04-19-2023 added Hadfield Enrichment Camp, as a friend asked about the writing enrichment.) This is the flyer.

Cross Country: saw 2 familiar faces right there, Coach Strayhorn is Ladue Middle School math teacher and Ladue High School girls cross country coach. He has been doing the camp for a while too. I signed up Serenity for session 2 this summer (2022). Interesting question on the google form: on scale 1 to 5, 1 means “my parents make me do it”, 5 means “I love running”. I thought in America, we don’t force kids do things they don’t like. LOL. Our old daughter did this camp in summer 2022.

Ladue School District Summer Enrichment Programs (July 6-30, 2021) An invitation and details will be shared with eligible families.(copied from Ladue Schools e-Connect Newsletter โ€” April 30, 2021). Note some of the program are invitations only.

Ladue Camp Legacy (new in Summer 2022, and it’s there for 2023 as well, note this is a fee based program, and open to all.

(04-12-2023) Today I learned there are also ESL (English as Second Language) and Ladue LEAP program (this one is for selected incoming kindergarten kids).

(We have not done the below camps) There are other Ladue teachers led specialized camps: reading, baseball etc. Those are usually communicated via peach jar (email). Contact me if you like to get some more information.

Below are some of the camps in the area that I am aware of, or we think we may attend.

Community school summer camp: I learned they have a summer camp when our Spoede teachers (coaches) used their campus (facilities) once for summer PE / Math (STEAM) camp. Of course some of people may know CS (community school) is a feeder school for MICDs and John Burrough school (JBS)

Creve Coeur Tennis-Camps-and-Lessons: please check with the city of Creve Coeur, the Parks and Recreation dept.

Creve Coeur Racquet Club: “We are going to start offering Day time (tennis) clinics on Tuesday and Thursdays starting May 30th from 1:30-2:30 for orange and green ball kids. You register by the day. A minimum of 3 kids must register for the clinic to go for that day. Registration is open online. If you have difficulties registering online, please email the proshop at proshop@ccrctennis.com. Please let me know if you have any questions. -Toni”

Forest Lake Tennis Club: Summer Junior Camp

GRC: gifted resources council summer academies. This is open to everyone. Unlike the gift programs in many schools that require a test. They have activities (learning labs) during regular school year too, it’s being held at Wydown Middle School (clayton), on Saturdays. Before pandemic, I have been to their “Creative Convention” and my older daughter also attended the “equation competition”.

Camp Invention: saw it from school communication, I don’t have any knowledge about. If you have any feedback or comments, please email to minjie.xu@gmail.com. Thank you.

Highland Golf & Tennis Youth Camps: at forest park. This seems to be a popular place for many families. Note on some summer afternoons, St. Louis could be really hot and I assume they will put kids in indoor facility with AC (as playing outside could be dangerous).

John Burroughs summer program

Laumeier Sculpture Park art camp:

Missouri Fine Arts Academy: this is actually in Springfield, MO, the Missouri State U campus. Note invitation only: it’s a selected program. The kids can apply and the camp will decide who are chosen. || I came across it from FB: “A total of six Rockwood School District students – 5 kids’ names (Eureka High) and 1 kid name (Rockwood Summit High) – were chosen to participate in the Missouri Fine Arts Academy this summer! The Academy, which runs June 4-17 on the campus of Missouri State University in Springfield, is a two-week summer residential program for highly motivated student artists in visual arts, theatre, dance, creative writing and music. The Academy offers an intensive schedule of classes in interdisciplinary and discipline-specific arts and a wide range of co-curricular activities. Congratulations to these outstanding student artists!”

St Louis Academy of Dance (SLAD) summer program: our daughters go there during regular school year. Typically they have quite a few Spoede/OB/Ladue kids.

SIUE (Edwardsville, IL): my old daughter’s percussion teacher at LMS send us the information on percussion institute.

More Sleep Away or Outdoor Camps (added 05-08-2023)

I am aware of a few, and I saw friends sent kids there. My kid so far only went to the Cub Creek Animal Science camp I mentioned above.

Camp Manitowa: 12770 North Benton Rd., Benton, IL 62812

JCC Camp Sabra: this is in the lake of Ozarks.

YMCA Camp Lakewood: 13528 State Hwy AA, Potosi, MO, 63664

Those looks quite fun both in terms of outdoor actives, as well as let the kids have some independence (a necessary training, so that we know when we send them away for college, they would have some experience on their own). Also I did notice the price is more steep than a normal summer camp: consider the room and board. It’s a good experience for the kids though (both being away from parents, bonding with new friends, at a cabin, outdoor environment, doing new activities).

St Louis Modern Chinese school: check back for more info.

SLU Summer Camp: I just heard about it. One friend recommend the swim camp, another the cooking camp. It sound like something I can send my 2 girls next summer.

UMSL bridge program: saw a parent sending kids there (FB friend)

Webster U middle school challenge (assume a bit similar to wash u program below): saw another parent sending kids there (from Twitter)

wustl summer camp for middle school kids: link here. We were thinking about it, the cost is $780 for a week (wustl employee / family has 10% discount). Noticed the 6th grade is full now. We won’t go this year due to a conflict. Personally I feel 9 am to 5 pm is too much for the kids. For that matter, I feel 9 to 5 is overrated for grownups too (which is off topic, I know). Also noticed they have need based scholarship, too.

St Louis Master Qi Kungfu School : ้บ’ๅธˆๅ‚… (Master Qi) has opened the martial arts school in the Olivette/Ladue area for a while. He has after school program for the kids, and summer program as well.

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*: means the older kids (incoming 7th graders and above for KCL, and high school for MICDs camp) will have opportunity to be a counselor, think that as an leadership training opportunity.

No longer actively maintained posts on summer camps

03-10-2017 : Summer Camp Recommendations

04-14-2014 : Kids Summer Camp In St. Louis Area

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