Summer Camps: All the Facts, Stats, and Data You Need to Know

Attending a summer camp is a good way to meet new people and develop new skills. It allows you to get out of the house and have some fun. Summer camps can either be day camps or residential camps, and whichever option you choose, you are sure to enjoy your time while you are there.

Before you sign up to attend a summer camp, there are many things you might want to know on the interesting topic of summer camps.

Summer Camp Stats

There are many different summer camps of all types and themes. There are sports camps, science camps, equestrian camps, theatre camps, etc. However, even will all of the various themes, all summer camps are upholding a long tradition of giving campers structure and fun.

Here are some other facts and stats on summer camps that showcase the grand tradition of these camps.

  • Common camp accreditation: One of the most common accreditation programs for camps in the US is the American Camps Association.
  • Number of camps in the US: There were around 12,000 camps in the US circa 2011. Around 5,000 of those camps were day camps. Since 2002, the number of day camps has increased by about 69 percent.
  • Average cost of camp: Summer camps have so many different themes, lengths, locations, etc. that it is hard to pin down an average cost. However, it is likely that a camp will cost at least a $100 and could go upwards of a $1000 a week. It is important to note, however, that many of these camps offer some kind of assistance for lower income campers and there are some camps that are free or very cheap.
  • Average number of campers: It is estimated that 11 million kids and adults attend some type of summer camp.
  • Top recreational activities: Some of the more popular camp activities include recreational swimming and arts and crafts.
  • Who owns these camps: A high percentage of camps are run by nonprofit organizations such as the Girl Scouts or the Boys and Girls Club of America. However, there are also privately owned camps as well.

Famous People Who Went to Camp

When you go to summer camp, pay attention to the camper standing next to you. He or she (or maybe even you) could be famous one day. A lot of stars attended summer camp as a camper, counselor, or both when they were younger. Was that a coincidence? Who knows? Maybe you should go and find out.

While many of the following stars went to a performing arts school, some just went to plain old traditional camps or camps with non-performing themes. You will notice, however, that some of these stars attended the same camp. So if you are looking for a pre-star studded camp experience, you might want to try to get into one of these camps.

  • Larry David, All American Camp in New York
  • Patrick Dempsey, Camp Wekeela in Maine
  • Stagedoor Manor in New York: Natalie Portman, Zach Braff, Lea Michelle, Robert Downey Jr., and more
  • Bob Dylan, Camp Herzl in Wisconsin
  • Ralph Lauren, Camp Massad in Pennsylvania
  • Seth Rogan, Camp Miriam in British Columbia
  • Mark Zuckerberg, Island Lake Camp in Pennsylvania
  • Denzel Washington, YMCA Camp in Connecticut
  • Harrison Ford, Camp Napowen in Wisconsin
  • Julia Roberts: Camp Birchwood in Minnesota
  • Adam Sandler, URJ Eisner Camp in Massachusetts

Camp in Pop Culture

Not only have real famous people been to camp, but fake camps have made it into pop culture. Here are some fake camps and campers from TV and movies.

  • Salute Your Shorts, a 90’s show on Nickelodeon, chronicled the life of summer campers.
  • Bug Juice, Disney’s version on Salute Your Shorts. It was a reality show chronicling the experiences of summer campers.
  • Parent Trap. In either version of this movie, it is a summer camp that reunites the twins and starts the whole parent trap.
  • Heavyweights, a comedy about fat camp.

Unique Summer Camp Themes

As already mentioned, there are many different types of summer camps. These can range from general to more unique subject matters. If you want to try something different during your summer, then you might be interested in finding a summer camp that caters to something you have never done before.

While there are many standard summer camp themes, there are also many odder camp themes as well.

Here are some of the most unique.

  • Farm Camp. For the future farmers of America, this is a camp for you. If you have ever wanted to learn to grow your own food of birth a cow, chop your own wood and live without electricity, then the Plantation Farm Camp in Northern California is probably were you want to go. After all the hard work you do during the week, you will even get to attend a barn dance with old-timey music and dancing.
  • Dungeons and Dragons Camp. If you love to play D&D and cannot seem to get enough of it, then just go to summer camp. At the Todd Academy (because it is run by a guy named Todd) in Indianapolis, there is a camp designed around this game so you can meet fellow fans and play all summer so that when school starts again, you will be able to beat all your friends that went to a more traditional summer camp.
  • Ghost Hunter Camp. Summer camp isn’t just for kids. Adults can take advantage of all it has to offer as well. Adult campers can participate in extreme adventures, learn to be a rock star, or just participate in nostalgic, traditional camp activities. However, for the more daring adult camper, there is a camp that will teach you the basics of ghost hunting during a three day hotel stay in a place supposedly riddled with ghost. This experience is located in New Orleans.

Now that you know a few interesting facts and statistics on summer camps, you are ready to decide what you want to do this summer. Do you want to have a good summer experience? Then maybe summer camp is right for you.