Summer sets in and you’re faced with little bundles of energy ready to get out and explore. Give your kids the time of their lives at an overnight camp this summer! They will come home with new skills to share with you (no archery or fire-building in the house, please), and you might just grab a moment of quiet. Read on for seven great overnight camps to try near Portland this summer!
photo: Trackers Earth Portland via Yelp
This camp has classes for grades 5-12 that include tracking skills, stealth, blacksmithing, farm and folk craft, and even a role playing adventure weekend! Camps last all week in the foothills of Mt. Hood and Trackers promises a rugged, fun, challenging and confidence-boosting time! (Don’t worry Moms and Dads, they prioritize safety and experienced mentors, too!) This is one of the top rated camps in the area.
Dates: Weekly sessions held June 18–Aug. 20
Cost: Camps start around $615 but may vary according to session. Payment plans can be arranged.
4617 SE Milwaukie Ave.
2. Camp Namanu
Campers can stay a few from 3 days up to 2 weeks at this beautiful camp and ranch by the Sandy River. Living in cabins with campers of similar ages, your children will be given the chance to explore the outdoors with hikes and river walks, learn new skills like outdoor cooking or archery, and challenge themselves on the climbing ropes or by taking leadership positions. There’s a special camp option for those interested in horseback riding, for a week-long adventure in horsemanship.
Dates: Weekly sessions held July 2–Aug. 27
Cost: Varies. Financial assistance is available.
10300 SE Camp Namanu Rd
photo: by Christine N via Yelp
The Opal Creek Ancient Forestry Center sits on 15 acres of private land near the Opal Creek Wilderness. The site provides a beautiful natural classroom in old-growth forest, with opportunities to hunt for newts in rivers, hike to old mining sites and camp out in tents (they also have cabins). Younger campers ages 8 and up might enjoy staying in the camp (one or multiple nights), while older kids 10-18 can be challenged with backpacking expeditions into the backcountry. They teach the basics to make sure everyone is safe and empowered in nature.
Dates: Weekly sessions held June 25–Aug. 20
Cost: Camps start around $495. Scholarships are available for financial assistance
721 NW 9th Ave, Suite 236
OMSI is committed to bringing the excitement of science to all kids! Their camps head out across Oregon to places like their Coastal Discovery Center in Newport, or the John Day Fossil Beds in Central Oregon. From desert survival and astronomy in the backcountry to discovering the tide pools and beaches of the coast, these week-long programs are full of science, fun and adventure.
For a closer-to-home adventure check out OMSI’s Submarine Camp-In. Curious minds get the chance to stay for one night in a real submarine! Campers can see what it’s like to live on a submarine, explore the torpedo rooms and learn how subs dive and rise. Admission to the museum is included for the next day, as well!
Dates: Weekly sessions held June 19 – Aug. 20 and run Mon.-Friday from 7 a.m.-5 p.m. or Mon.-Thurs. from 7 a.m. Mon.-5 p.m. depending on camp.
Cost: Camps vary according to session.
1975 SE Water Ave
The Audobon Society holds a slew of fun for the summer with lots of options. There are several day camps, but they have plenty of overnight options as well. From the San Juan Islands to Olympic National Park, to nearby Mt. Hood, there’s an adventure for everyone and your camper will learn skills that they can use year-round with confidence and fun!
Date: Weekly sessions held June 26 – Aug. 28
Cost: Camps start around $305 per session and vary according to specific camp.
5151 NW Cornell Rd.
photo: OMSI via Yelp
Has your little climber climbed all over Portland’s indoor gyms and is ready for more? Chockstone Climbing Guides has been leading climbs at Smith Rock State Park since 1999. Beginning climbers ages 11-16 can start out on the 4 day kid’s climb, a great introduction to the ropes with lots of fun times. More advanced climbers or those who want to ‘turn it up a notch’ can join the Youth Smith Rock Climb. They’ll learn how to have fun and challenge themselves in a safe supportive environment!
Dates: Jul.17-20 & Aug.7-10
Set in the beautiful forests near Sisters, Or, Camp Tamarack is a classic outdoor summer camp for ages 8-13. They’ll spend five days enjoying activities like paddle boarding, hiking, archery, woodworking, or jumping on the underwater trampoline! Nights are for ‘olympic games’ and campfires until they’ll snuggle into sleeping bags and whisper all about the day.
Date: Weekly sessions held July 16–Aug. 20
Cost: Camp begin around $395 and vary by session
19696 Sunshine Way
What’s your child’s favorite summer camp experience? Tell us in the comments below!