Educational Summer Programs in the Delaware Valley
Let’s be honest: Your elementary- or middle-school-aged kid is probably a menace. (Many kids are in some form or another.) Therefore, even in the summer when school is out, they need structure and activities that can build character.
But this doesn’t have to mean just plain old summer camp. There are plenty of June, July and August activities in the Philadelphia area tailored to fit specific interests.
Here are several options:
School of Rock
Pennsylvania locations in Philadelphia, Fort Washington, Media, Berwyn, Newtown, Doylestown and Downingtown. New Jersey locations in Deptford and Cherry Hill.
Is your kid musical? Does he or she like to at least try to rock out? Then a School of Rock summer camp may be the move. The widespread music lesson and camp chain is offering programs on the Beatles, 1990s’ bands like Pearl Jam and rock, in general, among other options. There are camps for kids from the ages of 3 to 18.
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Summer Camp
118 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102. 215-972-2054.
Philadelphia is a city with some incredible arts institutions, and this is one of them. The PA Academy of the Fine Arts offers programs in “painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, comics and mixed-media projects,” according to its website. All sessions include “creative play, reading, storytelling, rest time,” and yes, even in 2022, SOCIALIZING! Woo-hoo!
Penn Tennis Camp
3701 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104. 215-898-4741.
Penn’s tennis camp, led by University of Pennsylvania men’s tennis coach David Geatz, calls itself “the nation’s most popular tennis camp” on its website. Who knows if that’s true? But we’ll take Penn’s word for it. The camp is popular, and there must be a reason for that.
The program hosts “close to a thousand campers each summer,” according to the site. And they all have the same ambition: to win Wimbledon one day. And failing that, they all have another ambition that is slightly less grand: winning the No. 1 singles spot on their future high school teams. These tennis kids play 12 months a year. If you want your kid to have a shot at playing singles in high school, instead of doubles like the mediocre athletes who can’t cut it in other sports, then you better start him or her now. And you better do it at the Penn tennis camp.
Penn Museum Anthropology Camp
3260 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104. 215-898-4016.
Another Penn program, but hey, it’s Penn, and Penn is Ivy League, so, of course, it’s very smart. And you want your kid to get smart, don’t you? Anyway, anthropology is a discipline often reserved for the collegiate level. But this is a camp that “explores the story of humans,” according to a web listing, with kids ages 6 to 13. Campers will be able to check out the Penn Museum’s very cool galleries (not sarcasm; I’ve been there myself; they are very cool) and learn from some Penn professors who visit the camp. If your kids attend this program, they might even get into Penn one day. (Maybe.)
Locations at the University of Pennsylvania, the St. Peter’s School, the Waldron Mercy Academy, Germantown Academy and other schools. 610-664-8800.
If your child likes tech, Lavner (named for the brothers who run the tech-oriented camp) has programs all over the region. Robotics, coding and video production are all offered, among other branches of technology. Your kid was born in the 2010s. Then he or she probably likes tech. Bonus: Older siblings might find a position here as a counselor.