Favorite

2014 Summer Camps 

Because at least once a year the Independent should mention marshmallow catapults and print words like "zoopendous," we this week present our annual Summer Camp Guide for the Pikes Peak region and beyond. Once again, it is full of pretty awesome-sounding warm-weather opportunities for kids of just about any stripe, as well as a couple handfuls of spring-break options for later this month.

A few notes to consider: Many organizations have yet to work out all their summer details; don't hesitate to call for more as the days pass. Also, while some camps made it a point to mention financial aid, we would urge you to ask any camp you're interested in about those possibilities. And while we generally haven't collected listings for sports camps, there are of course a huge number of them out there.

We're updating our online listings as we learn of additional offerings. Happy summer planning, and remember that even as you "let your light shine through" (as one camp puts it), it's a good idea to apply sunscreen.

Academy School District 20

Colorado Springs, 234-1374, asd20.org/sse

Students in pre-K through 12th grade can take intervention and credit-recovery classes. On the lighter side: themed adventures, summer band, computer programming and outdoor education. Detailed descriptions will be available the week of April 1; register online starting April 11.

Academy of Children's Theatre

Colorado Springs, 282-9101, actcolorado.net

Students from 2 to 19 can explore the elements of theater through creative improvisations, and will even prepare and perform a production. Options include acting, musical theater, voice classes, glee club, dance classes and camp, stage combat and jewelry-making.

Ballet Society of Colorado Springs

272-7078, danceinthesprings.com

Summer offerings begin June 23 and include four-week Ballet Intensive and Young Dancers workshops for intermediate and advanced dancers; four-day themed camps for younger dancers featuring Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, Coppelia, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Swan Lake; and week-long Broadway and worship dance workshops for all levels.

Blue Mountain Ranch Youth Camp

Florissant, 748-3279, bluemountainranch.com

This small, traditional camp serves kids ages 7-16. Campers will gain self-confidence and meet others from throughout the U.S. and beyond, all while having new experiences in our natural world. Sessions run June 12-27, June 29-July 23, or July 25-Aug. 9.

Bold Earth Teen Adventures

Colorado and beyond, 303/526-0806, boldearth.com

This 38-year-old organization offers teens outdoor adventures in Colorado, the western United States and all over the world, many with community-service components. Some scholarships and discounts are available.

Cal-Wood Education Center

Jamestown (northwest of Boulder), 303/449-0603, calwood.org

Kids and teens ages 8 to 18 may attend overnight camps that foster independence, confidence and responsibility through horseback riding, high-ropes course, mountain biking, kayaking, fire-making, archery, ecology and more.

Camp Comfort

Near Georgetown (west of Denver), 303/674-6400, campcomfort.org

This camp helps children ages 6 to 12 explore their feelings of grief and share memories of loved ones through activities led by licensed social workers. The camp also offers swimming, horseback riding, fishing, and arts and crafts. This year's camps will be June 27-29 and July 25-27; scholarships are available.

Camp Elim

Woodland Park, 687-2030, campelim.com

Kids and teens will enjoy outdoor adventures while learning more about biblical principles. New this year: Father & Kids Pack Trip from July 11-14, for kids entering grades 5 through 12.

Camp Invention

Colorado Springs, 800/968-4332, campinvention.org

Five-day camps in June will put 3-D glasses on grade-schoolers, help them design their own motorized vehicles, lead them through constructing an insect-themed pinball machine, and many more adventures.

Camp Timberline

At the base of Longs Peak (south of Estes Park), 970/484-8462, camptimberline.com

This Christian camp offers Beyond Timberline and SHIFT residential camps, Outta Bounds day camp, family camp, and Faith and Fitness for kids ages 6 through 18.

Camp Whiskers & Wags

Colorado Springs, 302-8739, hsppr.org

The Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region presents the ideal way for kids and critters to become friends. Children entering first grade through 12 years old will learn respect for animals through engaging activities, compassionate actions and responsible pet ownership. Week-long and three-day sessions start in June.

Catamount Institute

Colorado Springs and Teller County, 471-0910 ext. 106, catamountinstitute.org

Camps throughout the Pikes Peak region include the always-popular Creepy Crawly Safari for ages 6-8, the Wildfire Service Camp in Black Forest for ages 13-16 and the Wilderness Adventure camp with tent camping, backpacking, and whitewater rafting for ages 13-16.

Challenger Learning Center of Colorado

Colorado Springs, 598-9755, clccs.org

Creating marshmallow catapults? Building singing alligators? It's all possible through LEGO® building and programming for students entering grades 1-12 at all skill levels. Week-long summer programs at four locations around Colorado Springs are available in June and July.

Cheley Colorado Camps

Estes Park, 303/377-3616 through May 15, then 970/586-4244, cheley.com

Kids and teens can explore the outdoors through overnight camping, horseback riding, hiking, rafting, crafts and more at this camp near Rocky Mountain National Park. Options include four-week sessions in June and July or July and August; the entire season; or a week-long family camp in August.

Chess Camp of Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs, 634-1144, rockymountainchess.com

It's your move — enroll your kids for half-days or full days, for June 16-20 and/or June 23-24. All sessions are geared for the child's skill level and taught by experienced chess players in small groups.

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Colorado Springs, 719-633-9925 ext. 127, tiny.cc/mdo7bx

Students entering pre-K through sixth grade will have a wild summer with camps in varying lengths and themes including Wild Wardrobe, Cool Cats and Zoo Science Investigators. Brand-new: Creepy Crawlers, so campers can learn to appreciate spiders, cockroaches and rats (really!). Register online the first week of April; scholarships available.

Children’s Literacy Center Summer Reading Camp

Colorado Springs, 471-8672, childrensliteracycenter.org

With a theme of “Digging into Nature,” CLC will give kids two weeks to work on their reading and writing, both via one-on-one tutoring and more traditional camp activities including arts and crafts, storytelling and more. Ages 7-8 will be welcomed from June 2-13; ages 9-10, from June 16-27.

CityROCK

Colorado Springs, 634-9099, climbcityrock.com

This downtown climbing mecca offers camps for adventurous kids ages 3 and older. Indoor Climbing Camp teaches the basics and helps them build confidence and teamwork skills. Outdoor Climbing Camp for kids 10 and older teaches them how to belay, top-rope, rappel and more.

Colorado College

Fun Quest Summer Day Camp: 389-7217, coloradocollege.edu/cccc

Sign up for any or all of nine, week-long sessions from June 2 to Aug. 1 from the CC Children's Center. Kids from 6 to 12 will enjoy field trips, swimming, ice skating, reading, movies, games, sports, and arts and crafts. Starting March 17, download registration form from coloradocollege.edu/cccc (click on the FunQuest link).

Conversations of Humankind: 389-6330, tinyurl.com/CC-middle-school

This summer's Life of the Mind summer program, "The Science Fiction and Fantasy Narrative," is for students entering grades 7 to 9. Participants in this one- and/or two-week course (available in June) will collaborate on this creative writing project, creating a storyline and imagery only middle-school students can access.

Whiz Bang Science: 389-6330, tinyurl.com/CC-summer-science

Featuring hands-on, experience-based activities in science and engineering, the July 9-18 morning program gives kids entering grades 1-6 the chance to develop creative, critical-thinking skills. The pupil-to-teacher ratio is low to encourage individual exploration and small-group interaction. This year's theme: "Planet Earth: From the Core to the Stratosphere."

Colorado Lions Camp

Woodland Park, 687-2087, coloradolionscamp.org

People with disabilities, ages 8 through senior adults, may take one-week sessions from early June to early August. Activities include arts and crafts, dances, hiking and walks, horseback riding, swimming and nature education. The camp is wheelchair-friendly, and some financial assistance is available.

Colorado Outward Bound School

Colorado and beyond, 720/381-6589 or 828/239-2320, cobs.org and outwardbound.org

Summer offerings include Super Youth Colorado Rockies Backpacking for ages 12-13, Southwest Canoeing and Rafting for ages 14-16, and Southwest Outlaw - River/Canyon for ages 16 and older.

Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center and Bemis School of Art

Colorado Springs, 634-5581, csfineartscenter.org

Art and Acting in the Forest: Bemis School of Art and FAC Theatre Company instructors work with children ages 6 to 11 at this day camp in the wild forest around La Foret Conference and Retreat Center. Besides swimming and other joys of summer camp, they'll experiment with artistic styles, media and techniques, and develop acting skills through theater games, improvisation and mime. June 9-July 25. 475-2444.

Bemis School Summer Art Classes and Workshops: Experienced professional artists and art instructors lead adventures for all ages and skill levels, with media including watercolor, printmaking, ceramics, jewelry-making and photography. Class sizes are small and of varying lengths and start dates. Some partial scholarships available. June 9-Aug. 31. 475-2444.

Fine Arts Center Theatre School: The FAC offers innovative and comprehensive professional theater training programs for students, split into sessions for ages 6-9, 10-13 and 14-18. There are four two-week sessions for the younger kids and one five-week session for the older kids. Each session ends with a performance. Some partial scholarships available. June 2-Aug. 3. 477-4340.

Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services

Colorado Springs, 385-5981, springsgov.com/YouthSports

Get the kids away from the computer and out of the house with all sorts of fun ways to burn off energy and stave off boredom.

The Colorado Springs School

Colorado Springs, 475-9747, css.org

Kids and teens entering grades 2 through 12 get choices including Chess Camp, LEGO® Video Game Creation Camp and sports camps.

Colorado Springs Tennis

Colorado Springs, 385-6023, costennis.com

Junior classes are available for ages 4-17; they include beginner and advanced classes, camps, junior leagues, tournaments and free days. Programs are offered at Memorial, Cottonwood Creek and Bear Creek parks.

Computer Programming Camp

Colorado Springs, 694-2690, collegenanniesandtutors.com

College Nannies + Tutors' local site offers week-long camps designed to introduce children to fun, interactive programming concepts. They'll create their own computer games during week-long camps in June and July; mornings are for ages 8-10 and afternoons are for ages 11-13.

Concrete Couch

Manitou Springs and Colorado Springs, concretecouch.org

SCAMP — the Summer Community Art and Mural Program — is free, open to all ages (though 12 and younger need an adult chaperone), and meets mornings, Mondays-Fridays. Participants learn mural painting, ceramic mosaic, concrete casting, basic construction and more as they plan and execute one project in a public space during each one-week program. RSVP for any SCAMP project with lisbet@concretecouch.org.

Cottonwood Center for the Arts

Colorado Springs, 520-1899, cottonwoodcenterforthearts.com

All ages are welcome at Cottonwood's cornucopia of creativity in various media. Check the website for updates about summer offerings and schedule.

Counterpoint School

Colorado Springs, 633-9880, counterpointschool.com

For children ages 2½ to 10, summertime at Counterpoint is filled with ice cream socials, swimming, art lessons in the park, science and nature studies, dance and movement, tumbling, field trips and storytelling. Call to schedule a tour of the facility.

Crow Canyon Archaeological Center

Cortez, 800/422-8975 ext. 146, crowcanyon.org/summercamps

For kids who dig archaeology, Crow Canyon's one-week camps give middle-school and high-school students the chance to go on excavations with archaeologists, study artifacts, and participate in lively discussions. A three-week intensive field school is available for high school-age students. Scholarships are available.

Digital Media Academy Tech Camps

Regis University, 3333 Regis Blvd., Denver, 866/656-3342, digitalmediaacademy.org

From June 23 to July 11, “Colorado’s Jesuit University” hosts tech-centric weeklong day camps for kids ages 8 to 12, and week- and two-week-long day camps for those 12 to 17. Topics include game design, digital filmmaking, music production and more.

E11 Creative Workshop

Manitou Springs, 659-5371, e11cw.com

Children ages 5 to 10 will play and learn at programs inspired by the national "Teaching for Artistic Behavior" movement. Activities include sculpture, ceramics, sewing, woodwork and collage, plus exploring the mini-forest at Memorial Park in Manitou Springs. And who could resist painting on a giant easel? Sessions range from one morning to five full days, between June 2 and Aug. 22.

Eagle Lake

Colorado Springs, 800/873-2453, eaglelakecamps.com

Day camps for kids ages 7-12 are based at local landmark Glen Eyrie and offer a high-ropes course, arts and crafts, field trips, hiking, archery, tennis and other sports. Overnight options include Rez Camps for ages 7-18, Horse Camps for ages 12-18, and Excursion Camps for ages 10 and older. The Navigators ministry camps run throughout June, July and August.

Early Connections Learning Centers

Colorado Springs, 632-1754 ext. 1001, earlyconnections.org

Children up to age 14 are welcome in these literacy-based programs that include fun field trips and other great activities. The multiple locations across the city and sliding-scale fees can help working families with summer child care.

Earth Mountain Education Farm

Weston (west of Trinidad) 719/680-0215, earthmountainfarm.org

This organic farm and outdoor education center in the Spanish Peaks promotes self-empowerment, social consciousness and stewardship for children ages 3 and older. They'll live in tipi lodges, play environmental education games, gain earth skills, and be part of daily farm activities. Internships and scholarships are available.

Easter Seals Colorado (Rocky Mountain Village)

Empire (west of Denver), 303/569-2333, easterseals.com/co

This fully accessible residential camp hosts 11 overnight sessions May 25 through Aug. 3 for people ages 6 and older with physical and/or developmental disabilities. Activities include horseback riding, swimming, arts and crafts, music and drama, fishing, a climbing wall and a zip line. Scholarships are available.

El Paso County Parks

Bear Creek Nature Center, Colorado Springs, 520-6388; Fountain Creek Nature Center, Fountain, 520-6745; Fox Run Park, Black Forest, 520-6745; elpasocountynaturecenters.com

Children will learn about environmental stewardship through discovery time in the woods, hikes led by naturalists, songs, storytelling, games, puppet shows and other hands-on activities. Discounts and scholarships are available; phone registration available with credit card.

Bear Creek: Half-day and full-day for kids entering grades 1-5. Dates and times TBA; check site or call for details.

Fountain Creek: Camps are available for kids entering grades 1-5 and for ones entering grades 6-8. Dates and times TBA; check site or call for details.

Fox Run Park: A nature camp will be held the mornings of June 23-27.

First Presbyterian Church Ascent Camps

Colorado Springs, 884-6126, first-pres.org/camps

First Presbyterian hosts several camps for kids entering grades 3-8. Programs include a music and drama camp, as well as overnight out-of-town camps for grades 3-8. Scholarships are available.

Fountain Arts Center

Fountain, 205-7909, fountainartscenter.com

This summer's offerings include V.I.P. Camp (Very Important Princess) and Fairytale Adventure Camp, plus ukulele, recorder, piano, voice and guitar lessons and dance classes for ages 2½ to 18. Registration for new students opens April 1.

Fountain Valley School

Colorado Springs, 390-7035, fvs.edu

In Western and English Summer Riding Day Camps, beginners to advanced riders ages 9-18 will learn basic horsemanship and other skills through gymkhana events, roping, and trail and hunt riding. The camps, June 2-6, conclude with an exhibition for families.

Girls Wilderness Program

Boulder, 303/938-9191, womenswilderness.org

The Women's Wilderness Institute welcomes girls ages 8-18 for activities such as hiking, rock climbing, camping and backpacking. Camps include artistic expression in the wilderness, daughter-parent outings and one-day adventures for young Latinas. Scholarships are available.

The Goddard School

Colorado Springs, 495-4432, goddardschool.com

Children up to age 8 will enjoy special guests and field trips through this private preschool near Powers Boulevard and Research Parkway. The School Readiness Camp prepares kids for kindergarten through third grade.

Golden Bell Camp & Conference Center

Divide, 687-9561, goldenbellccc.org

Golden Bell offers Christ-centered experiences for children entering grades 1 to 12, including cabin camps, tepee camps and adventure camps. Activities include swimming, climbing wall, zip lines, archery, high ropes, hiking and miniature golf.

Handprints Early Education Centers

Colorado Springs, 598-4083, hand-prints.org

Children ages 1 to 12 are welcomed to the advanced education programs, Bible studies and elementary preparatory activities at this Christian day camp.

HillSprings Learning Center

Colorado Springs, 576-3840, hillsprings.org

Kids entering first through eighth grades will learn about "reading, writing and 'rithmetic" in morning classes between June 16 and July 18. The student-to-teacher ratio is 4-to-1.

Hope Montessori Academy

Colorado Springs, 388-8818 and 573-5300; Monument, 488-8723; Falcon, 886-4900;montessorichild.com

Hope Montessori Academy's programs promise engaging and fun activities for children ages 12 and younger. Summer camps include educational field trips, swimming, sports clinics, gymnastics, and arts and crafts.

iD Tech Camps and iD Teen Academies

Denver, Fort Collins and elsewhere, 888/709-8324, tinyurl.com/iD-colo-camps

Tech-centric students ages 7 to 18 can study game and web design, coding, robotics, Java programming, and more. Weeklong day and overnight programs are available at Colorado State University-Fort Collins, the University of Denver and nationwide. Intensive two-week "Academies" (ages 13-18) immerse students in programming or game development only at the DU campus.

Imagination Celebration Camps

Colorado Springs, 597-3344 ext. 1, imaginationcelebration.org

Imagination Celebration hosts a series of "Kids Are Dramatic" theater camps for rising stars of elementary to high-school age. Camps engage students in theater fundamentals including story creation, improv, pantomiming, stage acting and more. Weekly or summer-long camps culminate with performances for friends and family.

JCC Ranch Camp

Black Forest, 303/316-6384 (winter), 303/648-3800 (from the end of May), ranchcamp.org

Unaffected by the Black Forest Fire, JCC Ranch Camp is ready to host campers entering grades 2-11 for a Jewish-based camp experience. Residential and multi-week camps are available, with activities including rock climbing and ropes courses, backpacking, hiking and biking, water sports and nature programming.

Junior Academy Children's Centers

Colorado Springs, 272-9070 (headquarters), jracademykids.com

Available at the Junior Academy and Junior Academy Small Wonders, day camp promises activities from swimming lessons to sign-language, promoting physical and educational development for ages 5 to 15. Slower-paced "education day camps" also tout field trips, up to three per week.

Jurassi-Camp

Colorado Springs, 599-4370, discoverytrailsacademy.com

Discovery Trails Early Learning Academy caters to 3- to 6-year-old dinosaur-lovers with a half-day camp from July 14-18. On tap: fun with fossils, excavation experiments and even volcano eruptions.

Keystone Science School

Keystone, 800/215-5585, camp@keystone.org, keystonescienceschool.org

Campers ages 5 to 11 can experience Keystone's themed day camps by the day, week or entire summer. Hands-on activities take campers through the Rockies, focusing on scientific principles and leadership skills. Residential programs include the flagship Discovery Camp; Legacy Camp is available free of charge to any camper grieving a loss.

KidPow Summer Camp

Colorado Springs, 433-7120, villasport.com/cs/camp

Sign up for one or all 12 weeks, each of which promises different "shenanigans." Themes range from the beach to space. Also find equestrian camp, junior lifeguard camp and more.

Kids Mountain Bike Camps

Colorado Springs, 355-3573, kidsonbikes.net

Kids on Bikes' week-long day camps for ages 5 to 13 will help young mountain bikers build confidence and skills as they take on local trails. On offer: challenge, camaraderie, adventure, learning ...

KinderCare Learning Centers

Colorado Springs, 888/523-6765, kindercare.com/summercamp

KinderCare offers week-long summer camps for preschool, pre-K and school-aged children at multiple locations in the Springs and Monument. Weekly themes include gardening, science and art.

LEGO® & Mindstorms Robotics

Colorado Springs, 271-2120, youngbotbuilders.com

Kids ages 7-13 learn through building, problem-solving, teamwork and creativity using various LEGO® elements. Via the building system, the camp teaches the basics of engineering and programming, mechanics and perseverance in problem-solving. Programs run mornings and afternoons through the summer.

Lewis-Palmer School District 38 (through Kids Adventures)

Monument, 303/699-1561, kidsadventures.org

D-38 has turned over its summer programming to Englewood-based Kids' Adventures, which is running camps from May 26-Aug. 19. Expect two field trips per week, arts and crafts, games and guest speakers.

The Little Gym

Colorado Springs, 447-9153, tlgcoloradospringsco.com

The Little Gym offers new camps and special events for kids ages 3 to 12, every three days. Themed programs centered on physical activity promote strength and flexibility, while reinforcing fundamental learning skills.

Manitou Springs Aquatics

Manitou Springs, 685-9735, manitoupool.com

Weekday and weekend swimming lessons will be available throughout the summer at the Manitou Pool. Classes are available to all ages, but children 3 and under must have a parent present. Check online for dates.

Manitou Springs Arts Academy

Manitou Springs area, 685-2141, themsaa.org

Manitou Springs Arts Academy is offering dynamic, arts-focused camps for grades K-12 in June and July. Workshops and traveling camps engage kids in filmmaking (grades 5-9), musicals (9-12), art and crafts, and games.

Manitou Springs Public Schools

Manitou Springs, 685-2024, mssd14.org

Manitou's "Growing Gardens, Cultivating Kids" runs in June, with registration beginning in mid-May. The program is for kids entering first through fifth grades and combines science, art, and literature; theme and exact dates TBA.

Millibo Art Theatre

Colorado Springs, 465-6321, themat.org

It's a summer of dramatic adventures: One- or two-week programs explore worlds of imagination, the secrets of the circus, Shakespearean shenanigans and more with music, acting, arts and crafts. Professional artists teach kids pre-K to high school.

Mizel Museum Creative Journeys Camps

Denver, 303/394-9993, mizelmuseum.org

Creative Journeys summer day camps offer kids (ages 3 to 15) four-day, themed programs led by professional artists in the renovated museum space. Themes of this year's camps include animal art, comedy, technology, puppetry and storytelling.

Mountain Park Environmental Center

Beulah (west of Pueblo), 719/485-4444, hikeandlearn.org

Little Kids Camp invites kindergarteners and first-graders to spend summer days hiking and playing nature games in Pueblo Mountain Park. Adventurers entering grades 2 to 9 set out on ropes courses, climbing walls, backpacking and survival excursions, and even controlled wolf encounters. Boys- and girls-only camps are available for two to four days throughout the summer.

Nature & Raptor Center of Pueblo

Pueblo, 719/549-2414, natureandraptor.org

Nature & Raptor Center of Pueblo continues its "free range children's camps," offering half-day camps to "Knee High Naturalists" (ages 5 and 6) and a handful of day camps for first- to sixth-graders. Campers hike, explore the Arkansas River, and get hands-on activities with birds of prey.

North Cheyenne Cañon Summer Camp

Colorado Springs, 385-6086, cheyennecanon.org

Starsmore Discovery Center is the home base for this day camp, focusing on the ecology of the cañon and regional cultural history, running June 16-20. Kids ages 8-12 will create items using natural materials, then barter or trade with other campers during the final day's Rendezvous.

Ormao Dance School

Colorado Springs, 471-9759, ormaodance.org

Between June 16 and Aug. 8, Ormao will offer modern, ballet, jazz and creative movement classes for ages 3 through adult, using a punch-card system that allows families to work around vacation plans. Also offering dance camps: From Pirates to Princesses (ages 5-7) and Dance Sampler Camp (11-14), African/Hip Hop/Musical Theater/Improvisation (11-14). Workshops available for older kids. Registration begins May 1.

Peace Camp 2013

Colorado Springs, 632-6189, ppjpc.org/programs/peace-camp

Beginning Peacemakers (ages 6-9) and Advanced Peacemakers (10-13) explore the meaning of peace within themselves, their neighbors and the world, while learning how to become the peace-builders of the future. The week-long camps conclude with a Friday night camp-out. Counselor-in-training programs are available for ages 14 to 18.

Pikes Peak Library District

Colorado Springs, 531-6333 ext. 1403 or 2403, teen programs ext. 1318, ppld.org

The Pikes Peak Library District offers free daily programs all summer long for babies on up to teenagers. Daily activities include arts and crafts, science experiments and, of course, reading. This year's schedule ends with a series of "summer reading parties. "

Pioneers Museum Junior Docent Program

Colorado Springs, 385-5990, tiny.cc/4og9bx

The junior docent program offers 25 history-loving students in grades 5 through 12 the chance to act as educators for the summer. Participants will become museum guides, introducing visitors to the history of the Pikes Peak region. Visit the website for updated information and application details.

Play-Well TEKnologies

Six locations in Colorado Springs, Peyton and Black Forest, 720/515-8582, play-well.org/camps

Play-Well's camps, for ages 5-12, bring an exciting introduction to science, engineering and architecture using the LEGO building system. Day camps run through June and July with campers piecing together boats, bridges, robots and eco-engineering projects during four-day programs.

Primrose Schools

Colorado Springs: Briargate, 268-0664; Cottonwood Creek, 260-8181; Springs Ranch, 442-1992, primroseschools.com

Primrose private schools offer summer day camps for pre-K kids to 11-year-old students. Themed camps touch on subjects including history, science, music and dance, outdoors and cooking.

Pueblo YMCA's Camp Jackson

Rye, 719/543-5151, campjackson.com

Located in the foothills of Greenhorn Mountain, Camp Jackson offers Base, Teen and Senior Teen camps for kids ages 7-17. The traditional and high-adventure camp activities include hiking, horseback riding, rock climbing, shooting sports, canoeing, camping and whitewater rafting. Financial assistance is available.

Pueblo Zoo Summer Camps

Pueblo, 719/561-1452 ext. 125, pueblozoo.org

Touting some "zoopendous" camps for kids grades K-12, the Pueblo Zoo invites members and non-members to week-long programs. A sampling of opportunities: Help with the daily workings of the zoo in Zoo Alive; solve animal mysteries as a Zoo Scene Investigator; or make an impact for animals around the world with other Wildlife Warriors.

Rocky Mountain Mennonite Camp

Divide, 687-9506, rmmc.org

On offer: resident camps for kids in grades 3-12, family camps, and adult retreats run from the end of June to mid-July. Faith-based programming encourages spiritual, physical and intellectual growth with outdoor activities, campfire fellowship, arts and crafts and a "challenge course." This year's theme is "let your light shine through." All faiths welcome.

Sanborn Western Camps

Florissant, 748-3341, sanbornwesterncamps.com

Sanborn takes first- through fourth-grade students on a two-week adventure, while its High Trails Ranch and Big Spring Ranch camps (ages 9-16), for boys and girls respectively, boast month-long experiences. Backpacking, horseback riding, and a fourteener summit are just a few of the offerings.

Sky High Hope Camp

Bellvue (eight miles northwest of Fort Collins), 303/861-1754, skyhighhope.org

Sky High Hope offers weeklong camps, free of charge, to kids and teens (ages 8-18) fighting cancer, and their siblings (space permitting). Horseback riding, archery, lake waterfront activities, and sports allow campers to be "regular kids" in a safely controlled environment starting July 13.

Sky Ranch Ute Trail

Powderhorn, 970/641-0717, skyranch.org

Torpedo boats, hiking, kayaking and the like are calling campers ages 6-18 to Sky Ranch Ute Trail. The Christian camp hosts day, and overnight programs, family camps, group wilderness camps, and leadership programs (the latter for ages 12-18).

Springs Ensemble Theatre Camp

Colorado Springs, 330-8989, springsensembletheatre.org

From July 21-25, students ages 12-18 get acting and technical theater workshops on improv, movement, puppetry, monologues and more. Scholarships and financial assistance available.

Springs Equestrians Riding Camp

Colorado Springs, Falcon, 719/373-4490, tiny.cc/9tmbcx

Springs Equestrians Riding camps are hosted in Black Forest and Falcon through June and July. Camps are open to riders ages 6-16 interested in learning about horsemanship and riding techniques.

St. Luke's Children's Center

Colorado Springs, 598-7821, stlukeskids.org

"Our Colorado" is the theme for St. Luke's summer camp this year. Activities for kids ages 5 to 12 include sports, vacation Bible school, field trips, library visits and cooking classes.

Stars Gymnastics Summer Day Camp

Colorado Springs, 598-6863, tiny.cc/wb79bx

Kids ages 5-12 spend the summer in a gym setting, tumbling and jumping in Stars' gymnastics classes. Programs include trips to the zoo and museums, swimming, arts and crafts, and more.

Steelworks Museum Summer Camp

Pueblo, 719/564-9086, steelworks.us

This all-day, hands-on camp from June 23-27 is for kids in grades 6-8 who are passionate about science. There will be a different focus each day, from physics and rocketry to engineering and robotics.

Summer Flute Workshop

Colorado Springs, 246-8306, northspringsflutestudio.com

Nancy Andrew and Debby Blake will lead "low-pressure," participation-oriented activities (dates TBA). From 10:30 a.m. to noon, it's students in grades 7 and 8; from 1:30 to 4 p.m., grades 9 to 12 and adult amateurs. No auditions required.

Summer Speed and Agility Sports Camps

Colorado Springs, 216-6601, trainateds.com

The Ed's Gym coaching staff works with athletes, grade school to high school age, to improve agility, core strength, running velocity and much more to maximize athletic potential. Sessions include "tried-and-true" training methods and new techniques. Contact the gym for updated information.

Summer Wizard Camp

Castle Rock, 303/660-6799, amazingshows.com

With tentative dates of June 16-19 and July 7-11, Theatre of Dreams in Castle Rock plans half-day magic camps for children ages 7 and up. Young magicians are grouped by skill level and promised to be ready for a professional recital for family and friends on their final day.

Sunshine Learning Center Explorers Club

Colorado Springs, 598-7852, tiny.cc/rf89bx

Elementary-aged kids get out and about for most of the day visiting the county fair, animal centers, Santa's Workshop and more in Sunshine Learning Center's Explorers Club.

Temple Shalom's Preschool Camp

Colorado Springs, 634-5311 ext. 13, templeshalom.com

Temple Shalom will offer a morning camp for ages 2 to 5 during the first two weeks of June. Potty training is not required.

University of Colorado at Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs, uccs.edu/campusrec/summer-camps.html

UCCS Family Development Center Summer Camp, 255-3483, uccs.edu/fdc

The center offers a new field trip every day to fun destinations like the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center and Bemis Art School. On-campus activities before and after field trips range from science and cooking to art and building projects.

Center for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Education, 255-3947, uccs.edu/~pipes/index.html

This program, focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) on the UCCS campus, aims to ignite the passion for science and engineering in all students entering grades 3-12. Half-day and full-day, one week and two-week long camps for all ages and interests. For more information, call or see the website.

Kids University, 255-3498, http://www.uccs.edu/~kidsu/

Between July 21-24, Kids U will offer nine half-day classes on topics ranging from ocean life to Money 101. Some are for kids as young as Grade 1, others for kids as old as Grade 7; some happen in the morning, others in the afternoon. See the site for details.

UCCS Recreation Camps, 255-3099, camps@uccs.edu, uccs.edu/campusrec/summer-camps.html

UCCS campus recreation offers a variety of summer programs for kids 5 and up, half- or full-day, from June to August. Campers participate in swimming, climbing, arts and crafts, theme-based educational sessions, mind/body, nutrition-based programs, hiking, biking and more. The focus is on fun and entertainment in a non-competitive environment.

Venetucci Farm Summer Programs

Colorado Springs, drudin@ppcf.org, 389-1251 ext. 112, venetuccifarm.org

Venetucci Farm offers three week-long day programs. Farm to Fork: Cooking with Kids combines the farm experience with cooking delicious foods. Junior Farmhands takes campers through the workings of a farm, and Farm Animals/Wild Animals focuses on all the farm animals, as well as the bobcats, coyotes, wild turkeys and other wild animals that make Venetucci Farm & Pinello Ranch their home. Age level varies by program.

Village Seven Presbyterian Church Camp

Colorado Springs, 574-6700 ext. 21, v7pc.org

Village Seven Presbyterian offers Space Probe vacation Bible school for children pre-K to 6th grade. A summer-long internship program is open to college sophomores and above.

Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado

Statewide, 303/715-1010, voc.org

Kids 6 and up, or the entire family, can get involved in VOC's youth volunteer projects. Upcoming local opportunities include Fountain Creek flooding restoration, and habitat recovery efforts in the Waldo Canyon and Black Forest burn scars. High school students can join the four-day Youth Stewardship Summit focused on environmental education, outdoor recreation and leadership training.

YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region

329-7280, ppymca.org

The YMCA offers day camps featuring various themes for children ages 5 to 12. Visit the website or contact locations for more information. Financial aid is available.

Briargate YMCA, 4025 Family Place, 282-9622

Downtown YMCA, 207 N. Nevada Ave.,473-9622

Garden Ranch YMCA, 2380 Montebello Drive West, 593-9622

Meridian Ranch Recreation Center, 10301 Angeles Road, Falcon, 495-7119

Southeast YMCA, 2190 Jet Wing Drive, 622-9622

Tri-Lakes Family Center, 17250 Jackson Creek Pkwy., Monument, 481-8728

YMCA Camp Shady Brook

Deckers, 719/329-7266,campshadybrook.org

Camp Shady Brook provides three-day to two-week overnight camps for ages 6 to 17. Kids can enjoy a variety of traditional camp activities as well as specialty camps for art and drama, the HorseMaster program, half-week treks, or Teen Leadership programs. Camp I Believe is a free bereavement camp for kids ages 7-14, running Aug. 29-31.

YMCA of the Rockies: Camp Chief Ouray

Granby, 970/887-2648, campchiefouray.org

Camp Chief Ouray is taking a Trekker Trip to Peru, with teens 15-18. But the camp also hosts a traditional camping experience for young people ages 7 to 17. Programs include overnight backpacking trips, mini camp, horseback riding and the Challenger Program (ages 13-15), and more. Scholarships and flexible payment plans are available.

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