Cherry trees have begun to blossom and the daffodils are starting to pop up. Spring is arriving in Vancouver, which means summer is not far behind. Though the summer school break sounds like a long ways off, now’s the time to start making plans for July and August with the kids out of school. Many summer camps begin registration soon – and you don’t want to miss out.
Summer camps can provide a great opportunity to learn something new, meet new people, get outdoors – or maybe indoors with a new activity, depending on the camp. Most of all, it’s a change of pace for kids and parents alike during the long school vacation.
Check out these unique programs that include both day camps and overnight camps with a focus on all different topics and interests.
Outward Bound – Overnight Camp
For the older kids and adventure seekers in your family, Outward Bound offers an experience like none other. Featuring camps all across the country, your kids will venture deep into the Canadian wilderness where they’ll see beautiful landscapes and take part in a true summer camp experience that will encourage self-reflection and growth.
Featuring sports and physical activities like kayaking, boating, climbing, hiking and lifestyle skills such as self-direction, teamwork, communication building, outdoor living skills and more, these camps are unique in their depth and breadth and have been leaving lasting impressions on kids and parents for many years.
While Outward Bound camps are on the pricey side and largely aimed at older youth, they’re good enough to deserve your consideration if you’re looking for a unique experience that will leave a lasting impression. Visit outwardbound.ca for camp descriptions and registration info.
YMCA – Day and Overnight Camps
With everything from day camps in the city to one- and two-week overnight camps in the great outdoors, the Greater Vancouver YMCA’s camp offerings are a diverse mix sure to have something for everyone. Well known for their high-quality camps with a strong focus on youth, health and leadership in a positive setting, the YMCA offers some of the most extensive camp options in the province. The longer overnight camps can be a great opportunity to gain some independence and foster lifelong friendships, while the day camps provide a change of scene for kids close to home. Explore the full lineup of possibilities on their website.
STEM Camp Vancouver – Day Camps
This popular program originated in Ontario but is expanding into Vancouver and Victoria for the first time in summer 2020. Aimed at kids ages 5 to 13, STEM Camp offers day camps throughout the summer with a variety of themes that allow kids to explore science and technology. The full-day camp also offers extended hours for working parents who need a little extra time to arrive for drop off and pick up each day. Check out the lineup (and the sibling discount) on their website.
Pioneer Camp Pacific – Overnight Camps
Head to Thetis Island for a week of summer camp in one of the most beautiful areas of the world. There are adventure camps, discover camps, girl-only camps, leadership and teen camps – and for the kid who isn’t quite ready for a solo adventure, there’s even family camp. With so many possibilities to choose from, there’s definitely something for all ages to find here. Check out their camp lineup for details.
Pedalheads – Day Camps
You’ve probably heard of the award-winning Pedalheads, who are well known for their great bike learning and education programs. But did you know they also offer swim and sports camps? The expanded lineup brings all the great things that made the original programs so successful – great organization, good instructors, and a fun environment. Check out all the possibilities in your local area and register early. These camp spots go fast.
Pear Tree – Day camps
One of Vancouver’s most popular summer camps, Pear Tree offers a huge range of courses for kids from five to 14. Activities include drama, public speaking, technology, arts and crafts, sports, cooking, music and more. With locations in Vancouver, East Vancouver and Burnaby, there’s a wide variety of options. Classes run from 9 am to 3 pm, making them a full day of fun for kids.
Camp Fircom – Overnight camps
Designed for kids aged 6-16 years, Camp Fircom offers short “introductory” sleepaway camps for younger kids of just a few nights or longer ones for older kids and youth. Located on beautiful Gambier Island, this camp is the full summer camp experience with trail hikes, canoeing, campfires and much more. A long-time favourite in this region, many kids return to Fircom summer after summer, enjoying the cabin-life for a week or two (or sometimes tents, depending on the adventure!).
Earth Heads – Day camps
Have a green thumb or future zoologist in the family? Does your kid like learning about bugs, plants, and the great outdoors? Consider Earth Heads for a chance to let them immerse themselves in nature. Play and learning activities help kids explore the environment and local ecosystems. Offering camps for kids aged 3-9 yrs, this is an excellent option for your younger kids. Visit Earth Heads online for all the details.
From the classic summer sleepaway camps to unique themed day camps, there’s something for everyone at summer camps in the Vancouver region. With registrations opening soon (or already taking bookings) now’s the time to consider what your kids will enjoy and how they’ll be spending their time next summer. It’s never too early to get organized – and now that the warmer weather has begun, the time will fly!