Educational Camps 2021

YMCA of Northern Colorado

Day Camps

Alaya Preschool Summer Day Camps

The Alaya Summer Day Camp offers a rich, inviting and relaxed summer program to meet the needs of a variety of family situations. Our small groups and low adult-child ratios allow for individual attention and a comfortable environment of warmth and friendship. Each group is designed to provide an age-appropriate program of outdoor play, creative arts and crafts, nature lore, gardening, swimming, song and dance, dramatic play and social skills development. Sesssions available from June 7 through July 22. Half-day and full-day sessions available for two, three or five days a week.

Camp Invention
Longmont, various locations

Spark your kid’s creativity and confidence with our new Camp Invention® program, Recharge. Campers in grades K-6 will team up to take on fun, hands-on STEM challenges. From taking apart their own microphone to exploring solar-powered crickets and creating duck-launching devices, each activity is designed to give your young innovator an unforgettable summer experience. Given the challenges presented by the pandemic, we are planning to run the 2021 Camp Invention program in person and virtually, so you can choose the format that works best for your child. Even better, you have the option to change your format selection up to six weeks before the program start date. Secure your spot and save today at our website. 

Camp Oonie Koonie Cha

Oonie Koonie Cha is an action-packed music camp that integrates music with drama, storytelling, a xylophone orchestra, science and movement. A magic carpet will transport the children around the world. An amazing didgeridoo player will serenade travelers during our Australian “Walkabout,” and the sailing regatta and rocket blast-off will thrill young hearts. Music weaves it all together with movement, chants and rock ‘n’ roll. Our young travelers will return home with their own handmade instruments to play along with their complimentary digital CD. Toe-tapping songs will keep your family jammin’ all year long. If you have any questions, email 

Chess Wizards Camp at Friends School South Campus

July 19-22. 12:30-3:30 p.m. Join us this summer for tons of challenging chess lessons, exciting games and cool prizes. You’ll improve your chess skills, meet new friends and work out your most powerful muscle — your brain. Our camps include fun team chess games (like bughouse), recess time (of course), snacks, tournaments and puzzles. Each camper receives a T-shirt, trophy and puzzle folder. Unleash your brainpower and spend part of your vacation with Chess Wizards.

Chess Wizards Online

Enter into the magical and exciting world of chess with Chess Wizards online. You will participate in epic chess games, fun and interactive lessons, tournaments, team matches, trivia and more. Our specialized classes are a blast for everyone in grades K-5. Whether you have been playing chess for your entire life and want to improve, are brand new to the game, or you just want to have a fun experience with your friends — Chess Wizards is the place for you! Register at our website. 

Cottonwood Gulch Expeditions
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Cottonwood Gulch sponsors educational wilderness expeditions and outdoor programs in the American Southwest that promote personal growth, a knowledgable environmental ethic, and scientific, historic and cultural discovery among all those who participate.

Denver Rocky Mountain Chess Camps

The 27th annual Denver Rocky Mountain Chess Camps will be held on June 7-11 and July 6-8. Full- and half-day options, 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. Eight-to-one staff-to-student ratio. (Camp will be held virtually like last year, if not able to hold in person.) Participants will be taught scorekeeping, etiquette, tournament preparation, logical-thinking and strategic planning for all phases of the game. Founded in 1993, the Rocky Mountain Chess Camp is the oldest and one of the largest chess camps in the country. Thousands of students, including state and national scholastic champions, have attended the camp from around the country for decades. Learn from National Chess Master and international best-selling author Todd Bardwick. Call or visit our website for details.

Discover Nature Camp
Boulder or Jefferson County

Discover Nature Camp is the first step into a lifetime of being a confident, active, outdoors-kid. These camps are packed with hiking, rock climbing, art projects, games, nature awareness activities, as well as an optional overnight experience. Cost is $500. Open to rising third- to fifth-grade girls. Two sessions offered (June 7-11 and 14-18). All camps are five days, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., except Thursday, which is an optional overnight camping trip to Golden Gate Canyon State Park. Transportation is provided to and from the park for the overnight. Monday to Wednesday camp days will begin and end at the NCAR Trailhead in Boulder.

Food Lab Boulder

Ages 6 and up. Cooking camps all summer long. Starting June 1, ending the week of Aug. 9. Runs 9 a.m.-noon, and 1-4 p.m. Camp themes: Mexico, Baking, Asia, Italy. $325/week. (See website for current safety precautions.)

Friends School Summer Programs
303-499-1999, ext. 258

For preschool, elementary and middle school students, ages 3-14. June 7-July 29, with week-long morning and afternoon sessions. Programs include Preschool Backyard Camp, science, music, art, cooking, sports, dance, theater and more. Licensed and accredited. Discounts available. Details and registration at our website.

Front Range Adventure Climbing Camp

These foundational day camps introduce participants to the basics of outdoor rock climbing in a supportive, empowering community. Participants will have the opportunity to climb in Boulder Canyon, Clear Creek Canyon and North Table Mountain for a truly immersive week exploring varied terrain. All experience levels are welcome. Cost is $700. For rising sixth- to eighth-graders. June 14-18, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Camp days start and end in Boulder at the Women’s Wilderness office. Groups will travel together to climbing areas throughout the week. Transportation and gear is provided.

Frontier Film Camp

Ages 12-16. We invite the youth in our community to come and learn the fundamentals of documentary filmmaking and storytelling in a fun, collaborative and safe environment where they can freely explore and express their creativity. Tell your story. Each camp consists of two one-week sessions; Week one focuses on production, week two focuses on post-production. We teach storytelling through both weeks via filming and editing respectively. Students have the option to join for just one or both weeks, although we encourage both weeks for the full experience. Students can choose from four one-week sessions: Production Week One (June 14-18); Post-Production Week Two (June 21-25); Production Week Three (July 5-9); Post-Production Week Four (July 12-16).

Goats and Gardens — with Boulder Parks & Recreation 

Ages 5-11. Explore the wonders of Growing Gardens Children’s Peace Garden, get to know the goats at Mountain Flower Goat Dairy and finish off the day with some fun and exciting games. In the Children’s Peace Garden, we will investigate the intricate world of insects, create art from nature and explore the wondrous plants while making new friends. We’ll grow and taste from the famous pizza garden and cook using the power of the sun. At Mountain Flower Goat Dairy, we will spend time getting to know the goats and guardian llama. Campers will learn to walk the goats on leashes, make cheese and explore small-scale farming practices, all the while learning livestock management and the nutrient cycle. 

Growing Gardens — Children’s Peace Garden

Spend an active week gardening, cooking and creating on our one-of-a-kind urban farm. Learn about sustainable agriculture, pollinators and ecosystems through hands-on learning and exploration. We’ll engage all of our senses through farm-to-fork cooking, art and science projects, and games. Instructors are experienced educators trained in CPR and First Aid. Ages 5-11. Full-day camps, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. 

Keystone Science School Summer Camp

Experience the Rocky Mountains of Colorado this summer with our adventurous and traditional day camps. Campers, aged 5-12, will create lifelong friendships, explore and learn about the natural world, and gain leadership and wilderness skills. Since 1976, our beautiful, 23-acre campus nestled in the mountains along the Continental Divide has served as the perfect base camp for a summer full of adventure and fun in the outdoors. New theme options each week. 

KidzToPros STEM, Sports & Arts Summer Camps
Boulder, Broomfield, Thornton, Denver and suburbs

Explore, learn and thrive at KidzToPros STEM, arts and sports summer camps for kids 4 to 14. KidzToPros camps provide the perfect opportunity to develop valuable skills in a fun, creative, safe environment. Led by top-tier instructors who are enthusiastic about child development, KidzToPros will ignite your child’s creativity and passion. STEM camps prepare kids for the tech-driven future. Innovative, project-based camps teach kids how to program robots, design video games, create websites and develop 3D models.

Longmont Museum Summer Camp

Many of your favorite camps are returning this summer to the Longmont Museum. Outdoor, indoor and virtual options. June 7 through July 30, Ages 3-16. Camps include Longmont history, arts and crafts, museum and theater, STEM, Hogwarts and fantasy, outdoor exploration and more. Need-based scholarships are available. 

Ocean First Discovery Center

The Ocean First Discovery Center is the first interactive marine science education center in Northern Colorado. We offer hands-on marine science education for students grades 6-12 providing unique opportunities for students right here in the Rockies. The Ocean First Discovery Center educational programming is facilitated by Ocean First Institute Executive Director Mikki McComb-Kobza, Ph.D., renowned marine biologist and internationally acclaimed shark expert, and her marine science staff. All programs will run at our state-of-the-art facility at Ocean First in Boulder, which includes an in-house pool, touch tanks with a variety of marine species, a wet lab and digital microscopes.

Space Voyage Space Camp

Space Voyage immerses students in “thinking like an astronaut.” 2021 is our 30th year of space camp, inspiring kids and encouraging problem-solving, teamwork and communication skills. It’s the highlight of the summer for many students. Launch our 9-foot rockets, fly simulators and learn about space. Ages 6-16. Discounts available.

STEAMrollers (YMCA of Northern Colorado)
Boulder and Loveland

It’s full STEAM ahead as we celebrate children who crave creativity, savor science and love making and crafting. This summer, the Y is offering STEAMrollers morning and afternoon programs that help children build their confidence — while having fun and discovering their talents. The morning program encompasses all areas of science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics. The afternoon program provides a variety of activities that focus on the visual and performing arts. Financial assistance available.

Intro to Coding Video Games with Scratch

Runs June 21-25 for kids ages 7-10. Days 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Kids will use their imagination to tell a story and create a video game using introductory coding with the program Scratch. Cost is  $285 with full or partial discounts available with SNAP card. Email ( to register with a SNAP card, or with general questions. Camp is held at Museum of Boulder.

CU Science Discovery

STEM Camps from June 1 through the end of July. Science Discovery programs utilize CU scientific expertise, equipment, resources and faculty, graduate and undergraduate students in order to provide participants with unique, experiential STEM learning experiences.


Global Works Travel
Boulder County-based with trips to domestic and international destinations

For 30 years, Global Works has been providing exceptional Community Service, Summer Enrichment and Adventure Travel programs for students and groups. Choose from programs that focus on community development, language immersion, ecology and wildlife, and public health/medicine. Choose from destinations like Puerto Rico, Costa Rica and domestic offerings such as Civil Rights in the American South and Marine Wildlife and Exploration in the Pacific Northwest. In all of our locations, we partner with communities and organizations to select and implement grassroots service projects that make an impact. Global Works offers summer service adventures for high school and middle school students and custom group travel for schools and organizations. If you are looking for fun and adventure, and want to be a spark for positive change in the world, let Global Works be your guide.

High Peaks Backpacking Expedition
Meet in Boulder, but travel to locations in Colorado and Wyoming

During these eight days, participants will go on an immersive backpacking trip in high peaks of Colorado. Participants will learn how to set up camp, cook delicious meals, pack a backpack, read a map and navigate in the mountains. This course area lends itself to participants learning about various ways humans impact and engage with natural environments, from recreation to forestry. Costs is $1,195. For rising ninth- to 12-graders. One session offered (July 8-16). This camp is eight days and starts and ends in Boulder at the Women’s Wilderness office. The group will travel together to the backpacking location. Transportation, gear and food is all provided.

Keystone Science School Summer Camp

Experience the Rocky Mountains of Colorado through traditional overnight camps or the excitement and adventure of our traveling expeditions. Campers will create lifelong friendships, explore and learn about the natural world, and gain leadership and wilderness skills. Since 1976, our beautiful, 23-acre campus nestled in the mountains along the Continental Divide has served the perfect base camp for a summer full of adventure and new friends. Morrison pick-up and drop-off available. New theme options each week. 

Sanborn Western Camps

Since 1948, Sanborn Western Camps have been creating outdoor experiences of exceptional quality and depth. Sanborn’s fun, relaxed atmosphere and caring staff provide a supportive environment for individual growth in self-confidence, independence and awareness of others. Big Spring Ranch for Boys and High Trails Ranch for Girls lie at an elevation of 8,700 feet in the center of Colorado, 35 miles west of Colorado Springs. 

Wilderness Adventures of Women’s Wilderness

High-quality wilderness multi-day adventures for girls and LGBTQ+ youth ages 8-18. Fun, creative, inspirational courses build courage, confidence and leadership. Mature, professional staff, excellent safety record. Generous financial aid available. 

Previous articleLetters: Gun violence, student loans and more
Next articlein the light