OC Summer 2017 camp providers in Orange County offer a number of outdoor camp themes for families looking to enroll their kids in options to keep them active and learning outdoors this summer. Most camps are for school-age children from ages 6 to 18.
#1 – Inside the Outdoors, part of the Orange County Department of Education, offers programs with themes like: Campology, Sharks!, There’s No Place Like Space, Body of Knowledge, Camp Castaway, and Leave No Trace. Locations vary between Rancho Sonado in Silverado Canyon, Shipley Nature Center in Huntington Beach, and Irvine Regional Park.
#2 – Environmental Nature Center in Newport Beach – Camp themes: Nature Detectives, Weird Science, Amazing Animals, Journey Through Time, Outdoor Explorers, Nature Play, Outdoor Creativity, and Tail Tales. You’ll have to visit even if you don’t attend camp – read about our nature outing.
#3 – Earthroots Field School Summer Camps – With themes like Surf and Nature Skills Camp, Ocean Awareness Camp, and Cooking & Nature Camp.
#4 – City of Irvine Eco Explorers in Bommer Canyon – Both my kids attended Eco Explorers camps for one summer — great value — for their age group 5-8 (A Bug’s Life, Lil’ Explorers, Where the Wild Things Were, America the Beautiful, Science of You) or for kids 9-12 (Nature Nuts, Wild Wild West, Journey Through Time, National Treasures, Science Magic).
#5 – Sea and Sage Audubon Summer Day Camps at San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary – Warning – these camps sell out quickly! These are very popular camps for the 7-8 year old Fledglings and 9-12 year old Marsh Bird Camp. Campers must complete beginner camps to advance to intermediate camps.
#6 – Starr Ranch Junior Biologists Summer Camp for kids ages 8 to 13 researching wild animals and their habitats.
#7 – O.A.K.S. Day Camp at Oak Canyon Nature Center in Anaheim – “Each session will focus on a special nature topic and will include trail walks, art, nature, games, and Native American traditions.” Online registration is available if you login to their EZ Rec Connect site and look under the Oak Canyon Nature Center for youth.
#8 – Ocean Institute has incredible camps which include time on boats and lots of marine science and research. View the website for complete details.
#9 – Try Westwind Sailing in Dana Point Harbor and Newport Sea Base or Orange Coast College’s School of Sailing and Seamanship in Newport Harbor.
- Take the Bus! OCTA Summer Youth Bus Pass (unlimited bus rides from June 1 to August 31 for kids 18 and under) – will release price when it comes out for summer
- Surf Camp
- Junior Lifeguards
Disclosure: I should disclose that I personally know many of the organizers of the other camps from my history of writing about outdoors in Orange County. As always, my opinions are all my own and you shouldn’t take my word as an endorsement of any organization. I’m just providing info and you can make your own choices!
Originally posted in March 2012.