For many kids, summer camp means hiking, swimming and maybe some archery or a few crafts, but some area camps go beyond the traditional and offer programs that truly spark a child's imagination. Whether it's a day camp or an overnight camp, it's an opportunity for kids to do something they haven't done before.
Cranbrook Institute of Science, Bloomfield Hills
Dates: July 26-30, 2010
Cost: $315/members, $350/nonmembers
Here's a chance for kids to connect to their inner Sherlock Holmes or CSI agent. Campers are introduced to a fictional crime, conduct an investigation, gather evidence, interview suspects and learn how to work a crime scene to ultimately answer the age-old question of whodunit?
University of Michigan campus, Ann Arbor
Dates: through early August 2010
Cost: $779/day camp, $1,249/overnight
The camp offers seven gaming courses, including the opportunity to create a role-playing video game, a multi-level arcade or platform-style video game. This is the perfect opportunity for a kid who plays video games to make his or her own game at the end of the week.
19 locations throughout Michigan
Dates: through Aug. 5, 2010
Cost: $75 to $159
Camps review the fundamentals of all positions on offense, defense and special teams, as well as life skills like teamwork, communication, sportsmanship and the importance of education. The highlight? A team member of the Detroit Lions stops in for a day to work with campers.
Dates: July 19-23 and Aug. 2-6, 2010
Cost: $50/current campers, $300/those not enrolled in camp
Kids who have a passion for performing get a chance to be a part of all aspects of theater at this first-time camp, where they design the set, make scenery, pick costumes and learn lines for a performance they'll give for other campers and their parents.
Dates: vary in 2010
Want variety? These camps' range of activities and locales make them sure-fire for kids who can't make up their minds. Learn how to swim, make pottery or be part of a coffee house poetry experience. Full-on nature camp experiences are at Y Camps Ohiyesa and Nissokone.
Cass Lake, Oakland County
Dates: July 5-16, 19-30, Aug. 2-13, 2010
Cost: $350/10 lessons
This camp though the Pontiac Yacht Club turns young landlubbers into skilled sailors. Classes match instruction to ability with three programs, including learn to sail class for beginners, another for more skilled sailors and a program for those who are ready for the sailboat racing experience. Individuals are taught on club-supplied Optimist, Laser Radio or Flying Junior two-handed sailboats.
Summers-Knoll Camp, Ann Arbor
Dates: July 27-31, 2010
For kids who dream of knights and dragons, this camp will bring it all to life, culminating in a Medieval Feast on the final day. The week starts with campers creating costumes from fabric (dresses for girls and chain mail armor for the boys). During the week, children can make music with minstrels, learn how to joust and perhaps fit in a little juggling.
Ann Arbor, Bloomfield Hills and West Bloomfield
Dates: through August, 2010
Cost: $239/half-day classes, $479/full-day classes
Camp owners George Albercook and Katie Tilton pair learning about robotics with energetic outdoor activities. Sumo battle bots campers are also trained in knot-tying and safety skills that they will need for the two field trips to go rock climbing. For older kids going into sixth grade, there's the high-ropes challenge where campers walk a tight rope and zip-line through the woods.
The Roeper School, Birmingham
Dates: July 12-16, July 19-23, or July 26-30
Kids channel their inner George Lucas by drawing on their imaginations in fantasy, science fiction, computer graphics and creative writing. Campers work on their own as well as in groups to create their own fantastic worlds along with a storyline that goes from crisis to resolution. Once the storylines are complete, the students will use the Bryce 3D computer graphics program to create shapes, galactic battles and worlds never seen before.
Dates: July 12-16, 2010
Even before the movie School of Rock, there was Dayjams to help kids who love rock live out their dream. Whether kids play guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, vocals or horn, they are taught and coached to be their best. Kids will play in a band, write an original song and on the last day of camp put on a rock concert for family and friends that can number up to 350.
Detroit Institute of Arts
Dates: July 12-16, 2010
Cost: $180/members, $225/nonmembers
Kids explore the galleries, then develop their own ideas using clay, wood and paint. All camps use the same materials but with a different twist. Campers may be in the presence of the great masters, but they need no prior art-making experience. At the end, there's an art show for the children's parents and other grownups.