Top 10 Smart Kid Camps in Southeast Michigan
Think your child's summer shouldn't be squandered? There are plenty of A+ camps in Michigan that allow kids to learn, grown and achieve when school is out.
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Throughout metro Detroit and Ann Arbor, camp purveyors are offering an increasing number of "enrichment" programs – with a hearty focus on academics, learning and continuation of school-year studies.
"Parents are interested in making sure their kids are well-rounded," says Sue Griffin, director of special and summer programs at Cranbrook Schools in Bloomfield Hills. "They want their kids to have more going on than just soccer."
Adds Brookfield Academy regional manager Christine Kulp, "Our families really want some academic something to be happening in the summer."
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Led by teachers and the director of Franklin Academy, the weeklong sessions, at $125-$156 per week, aim to develop literacy, math and art skills during the summer. On the Road to Reading teaches kids ages 4 1/2 to 6 vocab development, letter-sound correlation, reading, writing and early comprehension skills.
Marvelous Math, for ages 3 1/2 to 6, builds math readiness skills using manipulatives and everyday objects. Be Your Own Picasso is a weeklong camp teaching the 4-9 set about famous artists, their personal styles and hands-on art experimentation in the same vein as the artists they study.
"A lot of parents feel it's a good use of their time for children not to get totally separate from the experience of learning – and, at the same time, acquire skills they don't otherwise have," says headmaster Jack Faxon.
Its Language Adventure Day Camp devotes mornings to intense foreign language study and afternoons for more camp-like, play-based activities. Campers range in age from 5 to 13, and the camp runs for four weeks.
Programs for young authors, a summer arts studio, robotics and theater school are all popular at Cranbrook's expansive campus every summer. The theater school brings in theater professionals to give kids a "true sense of what theater professionals are all about," says Sue Griffin.
"We sell camp by the week, and we moved to that model in response to parents' requests for more options," she adds. "We have seen an increase in the popularity of these enrichment-based activities."
The four Brookfield Academy campuses offer a Montessori-based day camp with mornings devoted to academics and afternoons for looser play-based activities. Ages range from preschool through fifth grade.
Regional manager Christine Kulp says many Brookfield students pull from international families, who expect more academic-focused programs for overall achievement than American-born families.