Summer camps offer kids the opportunity to explore a bunch of different sports, skills, and opportunities without a lot of time commitment. In addition, your kids get to be with kids from all sorts of backgrounds and demographics. It is a wonderful opportunity for growth in so many ways.
Now summer camp registration is typically notoriously early. However, most of the camps on this list are registering now in February and at the beginning of March. Please check each organization for registration specifics. Also, this list mainly focuses on day camps. There are some organizations here that offer both day camp and overnight options.
One sad bit of news for us old-school Oregonians. The Oregon Zoo is in the process of rebuilding its education department. So they do not currently have plans to offer Zoo Camp. However, they stated that they “know this has been a popular program in the past, and are working on new programming to engage our community in new and innovative ways.” They also suggest keeping an eye on their website camp page for announcements and upcoming opportunities. Hopefully, this popular program will come back. In addition, the zoo staff encourages parents and caretakers to continue to inspire their kids to create a better future for wildlife by watching their educational videos and participating in at-home activities.
More information on those activities can be located HERE.
Now, the Summer Camp 2023 list!
Jesuit’s athletic camps offer an outstanding and affordable opportunity for athletes of all ages to keep in shape and hone their skills during the summer. All camps are located at Jesuit High School. Camps in every sport offer attention to detail and focus on fundamentals. Every camp is led with the expert and enthusiastic instruction of Jesuit High School head coaches and their staff. Registration opened on February 3.
The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) has day camps and overnight camps. For the day camps, explore forensic science, program a LEGO® robot, create animated movies, pilot a drone, care for exotic pets, and more at OMSI’s action-packed day camps and classes in the Portland metro area. For the overnight camps, your kids can film a documentary, learn desert survival, go rafting, backpack through stunning wilderness areas, and more at their overnight camps in the desert and on the coast.
Oregon Episcopal School (OES) offers summer camps that range from exploring the Columbia Gorge to learning audio engineering, from STEAM activities to a Spanish immersion program. There is something for everyone at OES this summer. Summer camp registration opens on March 1, 2023.
Oregon Humane Society‘s (OHS) summer camps are an excellent way for campers to spend the day developing and strengthening their love, appreciation, and knowledge of animals. OHS loves to bring animals and campers together because youth who learn to be kind and compassionate to animals grow into more compassionate adults, helping to create a more humane society. This summer, campers will interact with companion animals, learn pet care basics, play games, learn basic training techniques, make animal-based crafts, bake treats, and build a warm and welcoming camp community. It is our goal to increase campers’ understanding and awareness of the role that they can have as ambassadors for animals.
Portland Parks’ offerings allow your kids to explore swimming, sports, music, dance, cooking, and so much more. The community centers offer a wide range of activities. Be sure to explore their catalog to see what classes they have and what would be a good fit for your family.
Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District
Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District (THPRD) is also a parks department that offers hundreds of activities for your children. Registration for classes and camps for summer starts on February 25, 2023.
Trackers is another place that offers day camps and summer camps. Trackers has award-winning summer camps. Learn skills of wilderness survival, farming, or fishing. Go on adventures with boating, archery, or rock climbing. Be a dinosaur hunter, mystery solver, or time traveler! Make DIY crafts in sewing, ceramics, or blacksmithing. Train in martial arts, parkour, or circus performance. Delve into role-playing, game design, or theatre magic. Early discount allows you to save $50 off all camps. This discount ends February 24, 2023, at 11:59 PM.
Vibe’s summer dedicated and passionate crew of Teaching Artists is there to inspire, motivate and unleash your young artists’ innate creativity! Vibe camps are process-based, allowing children to learn new skills at their pace and allowing for different teaching styles and methods. Some classes include illustration and drawing, painting, mixed media, building miniatures, and more. They are offering discounts on summer camps until March.
Willowbrook Arts Camp is also another award-winning summer camp. Willowbrook takes the model of creative self-growth and puts it into action. Kids exercise choice in a unique environment dedicated to the imagination. Intersections between art, science, and cultural history are forged in ways that are inviting, inclusive, and stimulating. Registration for new families starts March 1, 2023.
The Y offers camps for ages 4-18, roaming a range of interests. Whether you’re looking for an overnight leadership opportunity for your teen or a basketball day camp, there are endless camp opportunities with the Y. Their day camps provide fun, child-centered activities and opportunities for learning through discovery and challenge children to grow in imagination, creativity, self-directed initiative, and leadership.
PDX Parent has a great list of summer camps you can find here. They have compiled resources for inclusive/accessible camps here and here. PDX Parent also created an excellent planner to help you keep your camps in order. You can download it here.
What camps are you signing your kids up for this year? Have you already made your summer camp plans? Are there camps that we missed? We would love to hear from you.
Johanna is married with two kids, three dogs, three cats, one leopard gecko, several chickens, and a few fish. She has been in the Pacific Northwest since the dream was alive in the 90s but has Southern roots and hails from Arkansas. The family spends a lot of time at some sort of sporting event for the kids. Johanna likes to fast craft, garden, host parties, and bake. Johanna and her crew go hard traveling, DIY-ing, and are always up for a new adventure or challenge.