Summer Plans? Cool Camps for Kids and Teens with ADHD

Long, school-free days can leave kids feeling restless and a bit unsettled. This is especially true for kids and teens with ADHD who, while grateful to escape the constraints of classroom schedules, benefit greatly from the predictability of daily routines.

Summer camps are a great way to add structure to the shapeless summer months without subjecting your child to anything too stuffy or “school-like.” While certain camps specialize in ADHD, others are simply well-suited for the ADHD brain.

Here’s a list of camps, both local and further afield, that we think kids with ADHD will love.

Worth a plane ride:

Summer Adventures ADHD Family Camp

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Organization: Dr. Hallowell

When: July 14 - 19, 2019

Ages: families with children ages 8 to 18

Where: The Leelanau School on Lake Michigan

About: Of course, we can’t include a list of ADHD summer camps without featuring Dr. Hallowell’s annual family camp at the top of our list. The foremost scholar and thought-leader on ADHD, Dr. Hallowell provides families with a fascinating week of learning, connecting, adventuring, reflecting and community-building.

The camp offers a mixture of ADHD education for parents through seminars and Q&As, and fun camp activities for kids, like kayaking, art and music. There’s also plenty of time set aside for families to spend quality time together. The camp is held at the Leelanau School, situated on the stunning Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore on Lake Michigan. Families can choose to stay at the school in dorm-style lodging, or opt for other local accommodations nearby. It’s an incredible week that provides a strong foundation for families to build on throughout the year.

Learn more: http://www.hallowellsummercamp.com/

SOAR Adventure Camps for ADHD and LD

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Organization: SOAR

When: 10- to 18-day sessions throughout Summer 2019

Ages: 8-18

Where: North Carolina, Wyoming, Florida, Costa Rica, the Caribbean and more!

About: SOAR is the ultimate ADHD adventure camp provider, with a fascinating range of trekking options for kids and teens. From hiking with llamas in North Carolina to exploring the rainforests of Costa Rica, each expedition is more enticing than the next. The camps cater specifically to the needs of kids with ADHD / ADD and LD, focusing on developing self-confidence, social skills and general life skills.

Learn more: https://soarnc.org/soar-adhd-summer-camp/

Cool local options:

Circus / Acrobatics Camp

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Organization: School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts (SANCA)

When: Week-long day camps throughout Summer 2019

Ages: 6-17

Where: Georgetown (Seattle, WA)

About: The circus arts require a unique blend of creativity and physical movement, an ideal combination for kids with ADHD. With options for all ages and levels, SANCA circus camps guide campers through a range of skills, from juggling and unicycling to tumbling and the flying trapeze. SANCA also offers an add-on “camps with inclusion” option for campers who need extra support emotionally, socially, or behaviorally.

Learn more: https://sancaseattle.org/classes/camps/summer-camps/

Painting & Art Camp

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Organization: Paint Away

When: Week-long sessions throughout Summer 2019 | Mon-Fri, 10:00 am - 2:30 pm

Ages: 6-14

Where: Redmond, WA

About: For ADHD kiddos looking to break out their hyperfocus superpower, this hands-on arts and crafts camp is just the ticket. Each day, campers are guided through a range of awesome art projects, from pottery painting (Paint Away’s specialty) to canvas painting and even glass fusing. Campers are encouraged to have fun and “get messy” with their art—which is music to many an ADHD child’s ears!

Learn more: https://paintawaynow.com/kids-summer-art-camp

Rock Band & Music Video Camp

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Organization: Off the Wall School of Music

When: Week-long day camps throughout Summer 2019

Ages: 8-15

Where: Wallingford (Seattle, WA)

About: Creativity is one of the many gifts that comes with ADHD, and where better to express it than at music camp that culminates in a Beatles-esque rooftop concert? Campers at Off the Wall School of Music in Wallingford spend their days rocking out on their instrument of choice, with instructors on hand to help them hone their skills. Matched by age and skill level, they work together with their bandmates to learn songs, produce a music video, and perform a live showcase for their fans at the end of the week.

Learn more: http://offthewallschoolofmusic.com/programs-events/rock-camp/

Camps for Curious Minds - Science Camp

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Organization: Pacific Science Center

When: Week-long day camps throughout Summer 2019

Grades: Pre-K to 8th

Where: Various locations throughout the Seattle region

About: The Pacific Science Center offers an impressive range of camps that go far beyond the typical “kid-friendly” science projects kids encounter at school. Forget about baking soda volcanoes, here are just a few of the awesome camps on offer at the Science Center: Underwater Machines, Candyology, Amusement Park Physics, Cooking Up Science, The Duct Tape Challenge — the list goes on! From computer science to the culinary arts, there’s sure to be a camp that sparks your child’s interest.

Learn more: https://www.pacificsciencecenter.org/summer-camps/

Camp Gallagher Overnight Camp

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Organization: Camp Gallagher

When: Week-long sleepaway sessions throughout Summer 2019

Grades: 6th to 12th

Where: Lakebay, WA

About: Situated on the shores of Case Inlet in the South Sound, Camp Gallagher is a traditional overnight camp for middle schoolers and high schoolers. Although it doesn’t specialize in ADHD, its camper-led programming and emphasis on screen-free outdoor time provide amazing growth opportunities for tweens and teens with unique brains. During each session, campers set off from main camp on an epic two-night excursion, navigating to campsites around the South Sound via canoe, sailboat or kayak. Campers are encouraged to reflect on their experience and return home with a greater sense of community and self-worth.

Learn more: https://www.campgallagher.org/


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