The 2022 Summer Camp Guide: The Best Camps, How to Choose a Camp That’s Right for Your Child and More

summer camps

It’s that time of year again, when parents are scrambling to send their kids to the right summer camp. With so many to choose from, the choice can be daunting.

A good place to start is our Better List, featuring a comprehensive list of Chicago area camps to consider, including:

If you’re looking for more information on what kind of camp to send your child to, and what to consider when choosing a camp, or just a couple great camps we recommend, check out our articles below:

20 Chicago and North Shore Summer Camps for Kids of All Ages

Camp CBG Chicago
Camp CBG at the Chicago Botanic Garden

Summer is just around the corner — which means you can officially get your darling children out of the house for a glorious eight hours at a time (trust me, they’ll be thrilled too). But with the whole, wild world of summer camps, where should you send your brood? Here are 20 picks around Chicago and the North Shore that are sure to appeal to any future camper. Read more.

Sending Your Kids to a Sleepaway Summer Camp? Here’s What to Consider

kids summer camps

As a kid, when the school year ended and the first day of summer would roll around, I would become obsessed with counting down the days until I would go to Girl Scout summer camp. The night before I boarded the camp bus and headed to the mountains of New Mexico for two weeks felt like Christmas Eve. I’d barely sleep anticipating the excitement of seeing old friends and making new ones, hiking, going horseback riding and making s’mores around a campfire. Summer camp was my happy place where I could completely be myself and indulge in pure, carefree fun. Read more.

Interlochen Arts Camp

Interlochen Arts Camp offers world-renowned summer arts programs that encourage emerging young artists to explore and refine their artistic passion. Here, students will do what they love all day long – in the most beautiful place imaginable. From cabin games to exploring the outdoors, students will experience all the fun of summer camp while practicing, performing, and making art. Young creatives ages 8-18 convene at Interlochen to grow creatively and gain confidence in: 

  • Music
  • Theatre
  • Dance
  • Creative writing
  • Visual arts
  • Film

Spark creativity, forge friendships, and find adventure at Interlochen Arts Camp. 

4000 J Maddy Pkwy Interlochen, MI 49643, 231-276-7200

Is Your Teen Ready to Be a Babysitter or Camp Counselor?

If your teen has the qualities that you would want in a babysitter – someone who is dependable, organized and punctual – then they may be a good candidate. Start them off with some training with an American Red Cross babysitting class. They’ll learn valuable skills and it will help them determine if caregiving is something that they really want to do. They will also learn how to start a babysitting business of their own and perform basic first aid skills. Read more.

Woodlands Academy

woodlands academy

GrowGirl is an all-girls summer day camp open to campers entering grades 4-6. Taught by world-class faculty from Woodlands Academy, this camp offers a one-of-a-kind interdisciplinary approach to exploration, growth, and fun! Spanning four weeks,  families can choose to participate in one or all four sessions of camp. Sessions include: Roller Coaster Design; Roller Coaster Design; Investigating Mysteries: Forensics & Fiction; Earth Works: Clay & Photo Nature Art; Space Exploration & Robotics. Sign your daughter up to grow with us this summer under the tutelage of teachers from the #1 all-girls and Catholic school in Illinois. Register today at

What Kids Bring Home From Sleep-Away Camp

My son is about to leave for his fourth summer at overnight camp. His first year, I was obsessed with making sure he was okay. My phone displayed his local weather and I ran to the mailbox daily, then eagerly scoured the camp photos posted each night. I was Sherlock Holmes, determined to find clues to his happiness. Is that a smile on his blurry face in the background?

I worried. Did he have enough sunscreen? Was he warm enough? Why is he wearing the same shorts three days in a row—didn’t I pack enough? I thought his entire experience hinged on my preparation. What I discovered in those photos is that it doesn’t matter so much what you pack; once kids are at camp, it’s a free-for-all. Read more.

Apachi Day Camp


Apachi Day Camp supports campers’ social emotional growth as they navigate relationships and form friendships, gain independence and build confidence, and find joy in each day at camp. Camper care is at the center of everything we do, and our top priority is creating an environment where each camper feels safe and supported. Discovering new interests, developing new skills and making memories with camp friends are all hallmarks of an Apachi summer. Add in rock climbing, sports, science, performing arts, special Shabbat Celebrations, Maccabi Games (camp-wide, team-based events), theme days and spirited song sessions and you’ve got the makings for one incredible summer. 3 years – 7th grade + Counselors in Training (8th-10th grade).

4 and 8 week sessions available.

Top 3 Questions to Ask When Searching for a Summer Camp

Top 3 Questions to Ask When Searching for a Summer Camp

Today, as children’s lives are increasingly filled with academic drills and social media friendships, the life-changing impact of summer camp is more important than ever. Whether day- or overnight-camp, kids are provided with opportunities to safely choose their own adventures under the guidance of highly trained role models who are neither parent nor teacher. Read more.

Camp Chi

For over 100 years, Camp Chi has transformed children’s summers. We unplug campers from their daily lives and connect them to life-changing moments while supporting their personal growth. And long after the last s’more, the best of Camp Chi stays with you. Where else can you sail a boat, fly down a zip line, record an original song, jump in a pool, hit an archery bullseye and sing around a campfire all in one day? Campers see opportunities for adventure and fun, while we see them making decisions for themselves, gaining independence and discovering their passions.

Age Groups:

2nd – 11th grade


  • Session 1A: 6/19/22 – 7/15/22
  • Session 1B: 6/19/22 – 7/8/22
  • Session 2: 7/17/22 – 8/12/22
  • Take Two: 6/19/22 – 7/1/22
  • Mini Session 1: 7/3/22 – 7/15/22
  • Mini Session 2: 7/17/22 – 7/31/22
  • Try Chi: 8/14/22 – 8/17/22

For Parents: P.S. I Hate It Here! Kids’ Letters from Camp

Parents, we know sending your kids to camp can be nerve-racking! Have a good laugh with the P.S. I Hate It Here! book series. Diane Falanga, Chicago author, parent and owner and principle designer of Space Defined Interiors, collected hilarious and heartwarming real-life letters by children ages eight to sixteen to their parents about their adventures at summer camp. The letters are laugh-out-loud funny and will have readers reminiscing about their own camp days. Learn more.

St. John’s Northwestern Summer Academy

st johns northwestern academies

Whether in the classroom, rappelling off the 43′ tower, or enjoying Lake Nagawicka on our private island, your child is sure to reach new heights this summer! All St. John’s Northwestern Summer Academy experiences take place on our picturesque campus, located in the quaint town of Delafield in the heart of Waukesha County’s Lake Country. No matter the goals, through compassionate leadership, empowerment, and structure, we make it happen! Our co-ed programs for grades 1-12 are open to everyone from all school districts. Visit to discover what your child could achieve.

St. John’s Northwestern Summer Academy

1101 Genesee Street Delafield, WI 53018

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