South Carolina is known for many things. The state is well known for its warm weather, sandy beaches, and a plethora of festivals across the state. Over the summer, parents are constantly looking for ways to get outdoors. Of course, not having to worry about their children is a plus. When schools are out, the best way for kids to spend their time is through a summer camp program. Whether overnight or daily, camp is the perfect way for kids to get active, socialize with their peers, and have fun. Fortunately, South Carolina has a ton of great options when it comes to finding the perfect summer camp.
1. Camp Chatuga
Camp Chatuga is a traditional overnight summer camp program for campers ages 6-16. Both boys and girls are welcome at Camp Chatuga. Since 1979, the camp has been open to campers in the Blue Ridge Mountains of South Carolina. Campers can choose sessions from 1 week for $1,090 or up to 4 weeks for $4,510.
Camp Chatuga allows campers to choose their own activities from over 30 different daily choices. They also have special events every summer such as themed lunches, scavenger hunts, theme nights, dances, Olympics, carnivals, and talent shows. Bunkhouses are organized by age and grade level, as well as camp groups. Meals are served daily for campers. Parents only need to send clothing and supplies.
2. Camp Canaan
Camp Canaan has a little something for every type of camper through their programs. The camp is located on a 100-acre island in the Catawba River in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Camp Canaan has camp programs that cater to campers ages 5-16, whether they want to go to day camp or a residential/overnight style camp.
Their day camp is a 9-week program that runs Monday-Friday from 7:30 AM-6:00 PM. The camp is located near Rock Hill, South Carolina. Junior day camp is for campers ages 5-8, while Senior camp is for campers ages 9-14. Campers bring their own lunch daily and partake in traditional camp activities such as swimming, sports, and outdoor fun.
Their overnight/resident camp sessions run weekly and range from co-ed sessions to all girls and all boys. Each session has specific age groups that can sign up, such as 10-13 or 14-15. The camp is located on The Island in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Camp Canaan also offers a teen camp program that allows teens to give back through service and leadership programming.
3. Camp Gravatt
Camp Gravatt is located in Aiken, South Carolina, and is an overnight camp for rising 1st-10th graders. Campers are grouped by age and are able to stay overnight in 6-10 day sessions, participating in all types of traditional camp activities. The camp is Christian-faith based and located on 270 acres of land with both lakes and ponds for activities.
Some activities the camp offers are challenge courses, hatchet throwing, gardening, fishing, faith formation and education, sports, music, hiking, and much more. The campers stay in the bunkhouse for the duration of their camp session. Families are allowed to send letters and packages to their campers while away.
Camp Thunderbird is a camp associated with the YMCA and is located two miles from the shorelines of Lake Wylie in South Carolina. The summer camp hosts both overnight sessions and regular day camps for campers and has been around for over 80 years. Their overnight camp is for campers ages 6-16 and their day camp is for campers ages 6-15.
Their overnight program runs in weekly sessions, but campers can stay for multiple sessions. They host water activities as well as land activities, as most traditional sleepaway camps. They also have a special “bandana program” that allows campers to set goals for achievements. Their day camp runs from 7:30 AM to 6:00 PM and also hosts an array of traditional camp activities.
Clemson University offers a program for high school students that is both interactive for summer and academic-driven. Their program is for rising 7th graders-12th graders that are looking into and interested in several different college majors. The program gives the campers and students an opportunity to have classes and courses taught by actual instructors from Clemson. They also have free time throughout their day to explore the campus and meet new people.
Aside from academic-driven activities, there are also trips and treats for those who attend the program such as ice cream socials, trips, and more. They get to meet students and learn about the ins and outs of being a student at Clemson.
Trail Blazer Survivor School & Adventures offers a summer camp program for children ages 10-14. This specific camp has two locations, one in Simpsonville and one in Union, South Carolina. The camp is primarily focused on outdoor and nature activities, in which campers learn survival skills and habits that can help them in any environment. Activities include fishing, hiking, crafts, games, and other outdoor niche activities. The camp drop-off time is 7:30 AM and the day ends around 3:00 PM.
Each week at the camp is dedicated to a specific activity and program. Families can look through the programs to see what their campers will enjoy the most.
7. Camp La Vida
Camp La Vida is a camp that specializes in mission discipleship education located in the White Oak Community. The camp offers all-girl sessions and co-ed sessions throughout the summer months. It is a residential/overnight camp program that operates on several day-long sessions. From the early morning, campers are able to partake in Missionary activities and meet others who come to camp as guest speakers. The camp also includes traditional camp activities such as swimming, archery, arts and crafts, and games.
The camp also dedicates specific times to worship in each daily schedule. All meals are provided with the camp, and the bunkhouse is kept neat and clean. Depending on the camper's grade level, registration prices range from $140-$285.
Camp Burnt Gin is an overnight camp located in Sumter County for campers who have physical disabilities and chronic illnesses. The summer camp is open to children, teens, and young adults to register and join. The camp's mission is to enhance the experiences of these individuals who may otherwise not have the opportunity. It is run through the Division of Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN).
Like a traditional camp, Camp Burnt Gin has many activities such as arts and crafts, sports, and water activities. They also have special activities, like talent shows and dances. Each camp is broken up by age group. The children's camp session is offered for campers ages 7-15, the teen session for campers ages 16-21, and the adult session for campers 22-25.
9. Camp McCall
Camp McCall is an all-boys Baptist Church-run camp that focuses on faith and adventure for young men. The camp focuses on being outdoors, connecting with religion, as well as teaching campers life lessons they need to bring with them into the real world. There are several camp sessions based on age brackets and grade level, with each program having different activities for campers.
The Lad Session is for boys who have completed 1st grade to 4th grade and runs $155. The Lad Session is three days and two nights. The Alpha Camp is for campers who have at least completed 1st grade and the program has no age limit. Many generations of men come together with their families for Alpha Camp. The Crusader camp is for campers who have completed 4th through 12th grade and runs five days and four nights. The Adventure Trip Camp is for campers ages 15-18 and brings campers on various outdoor activities and adventure trips.
Camp Mary Elizabeth is an affiliation of the Girl Scouts of South Carolina and is a summer program for young girls. It is located in Spartanburg, South Carolina. The day camp has traditional camp activities such as swimming, outdoor adventures, arts and crafts, and tons of socialization. There are also special activities such as campfires, skill building, and a ton of other fun ways to teach young girls leadership skills.
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