The Best Summer Camps in California for 2023

With sun-drenched days amidst the scenic coastline and the majestic Sierras mountain range, we present the best summer camps in California.

California features the highest concentration of kids camps in the US, and we have over 200 in our summer camp search. To find the best summer camps in California, we have combed the State from North to South. With its warm climate, rugged mountains, and scenic coastline, there are opportunities a plenty for a wide variety of exciting summer camp activities. Dotted across the state is a whole world of incredible and unique summer camps that are sure to deliver an unforgettable outdoor adventure for the kids.

In this blog, we are going to separate the best of the best when it comes to activities, culture and the overall experience.

Keep in mind that kids and teens preferences are continually changing. These summer camps are a good place to start, but there are many other summer camps in California that might be better suited for your kids or teens.

It’s always a good idea to include them in the search for a summer camp. Have a discussion with the kids about what kind of things or activities might really excite them in the outdoors. This will help them to have an easier time adjusting to camp life.

Take a look at our Summer Camp Search to see all of the possible options! In no particular ranking order, these are our selections for the best summer camps in California.

Summary of the Best Summer Camps in California

Camp
Name
# of
Activities*
Gender
& Ages
Session
Lengths
Financial
Aid
AstroCamp
Traditional Camp
19Coed
8 to 17
1 - 2 weeksYES
Camp Winnarainbow
Arts & Performance Camp
5Coed
7 to 17
1 - 2 weeksYES
Canyon Creek Summer Camp
Traditional Camp
14Coed
7 to 16
1 - 2 weeksNO
Farm Camp
Traditional Camp
12Coed
8 to 16
1 - 4 weeksYES
Kennolyn Camps
Traditional Camp
28Coed
6 to 18
1 - 2 weeksYES
Mountain Camp
Traditional Camp
14Coed
7 to 17
1 - 4 weeksYES
Pali Adventures
Traditional Camp
21Coed
8 to 16
1 - 2 weeksNO
River Way Ranch Camp
Traditional Camp
22Coed
7 to 16
1 - 8 weeksYES
Woodward Tahoe
Sports Camp
12Coed
7 to 17
1 weekYES
YMCA Camp Campbell
Traditional Camp
11Coed
7 to 17
1 - 2 weeksYES
Camp JCA Shalom
Jewish Camp
11Coed
8 to 17
1 - 3 weeksYES
URJ Camp Newman
Jewish Camp
12Coed
8 to 16
1 - 4 weeksYES
Leoni Meadows Camp
Christian Camp
11Coed
8 to 17
1 weekYES
Camp Bothin
Traditional Camp
11Girls Only
6 to 18
1 - 2 weeksYES
Amplify Sleep Away Camp
Academic & Technology Camp
6Girls Only
10 to 18
1 - 7 weeksYES
Catalina Sea Camp
Traditional Camp
8Coed
8 to 17
1 - 3 weeksYES

*Number of Activities reflects our own activities filters within our exclusive Summer Camp Search*

Summary of the Best
Summer Camps in California

Camp
Name
# of
Activities*
Gender 
Ages
Financial
Aid
AstroCamp
Traditional Camp
19Coed
8 to 17
YES
Camp Winnarainbow
Arts & Performance Camp
5Coed
7 to 17
YES
Canyon Creek Summer Camp
Traditional Camp
14Coed
7 to 16
NO
Farm Camp
Traditional Camp
12Coed
8 to 16
YES
Kennolyn Camps
Traditional Camp
28Coed
6 to 18
YES
Mountain Camp
Traditional Camp
14Coed
7 to 17
YES
Pali Adventures
Traditional Camp
21Coed
8 to 16
NO
River Way Ranch Camp
Traditional Camp
22Coed
7 to 16
YES
Woodward Tahoe
Sports Camp
12Coed
7 to 17
YES
YMCA Camp Campbell
Traditional Camp
11Coed
7 to 17
YES
Camp JCA Shalom
Jewish Camp
11Coed
8 to 17
YES
URJ Camp Newman
Jewish Camp
12Coed
8 to 16
YES
Leoni Meadows Camp
Christian Camp
11Coed
8 to 17
YES
Camp Bothin
Traditional Camp
11Girls Only
6 to 18
YES
Amplify Sleep Away Camp
Academic & Technology Camp
6Girls Only
10 to 18
YES
Catalina Sea Camp
Traditional Camp
8Coed
8 to 17
YES

*Number of Activities reflects our own activities filters within our exclusive Summer Camp Search*

The Top 10 Summer Camps in California

# 1 – AstroCamp

Our first summer camp is AstroCamp with locations in both California and Virginia. Their Cali site is located in the mountain town of Idyllwild; a short 2 hour drive from Los Angeles. AstroCamp calls itself a mountain adventure science summer camp.

AstroCamp Location_Best Summer Camps in California
AstroCamp Location_Best Summer Camps in California

Our first summer camp is AstroCamp with locations in both California and Virginia. Their Cali site is located in the mountain town of Idyllwild; a short 2 hour drive from Los Angeles. AstroCamp calls itself a mountain adventure science summer camp.

Founded in 1990, AstroCamp features several 1 to 2 week sessions for 8 – 17 year olds.

These folks have a passion for STEM, astronomy and all things space. With their own planetarium, they are able to immerse kids in the mythology and science of the great sky above us. They have even been known to offer microgravity scuba in the past. That is pool training for astronauts to develop efficiency in different gravity-based environments.

For any kids curious about science and space, AstroCamp will excite them with engaging and interactive experiential learning activities.

They also blend in the traditional camp activities as well such as ziplines, mountain biking, wilderness survival, campfire and more. For those curious to excel in some other exciting trades, their welding, metalsmithing, robotics and animation programs are sure to catch the eye of many a kid or teen.

# 2 - Camp Winnarainbow

The next summer camp is in Northern California just north of the small town of Laytonville near the coast - Camp Winnarainbow. A circus and performing arts summer camp where every camper is encouraged to “run away with the circus!”

Camp Winnarainbow Location_Best Summer Camps in California
Camp Winnarainbow Location_Best Summer Camps in California

The next summer camp is in Northern California just north of the small town of Laytonville near the coast - Camp Winnarainbow. A circus and performing arts summer camp where every camper is encouraged to “run away with the circus!”

Founded in 1975, Camp Winnarainbow offers 1 to 2 week sessions for 7 to 17 year olds. The camp operates from Black Oak Ranch about 3 hours north of the San Francisco Bay Area.

We love this kids camp for its focus on creative expression, inclusion, and for developing one of the best circus programs in the state.

Camp Winnarainbow_Camp Pics 5
Camp Winnarainbow_Camp Pics 2
Camp Winnarainbow_Camp Pics 3

Pics courtesy of Camp Winnarainbow.

Camp Winnarainbow_Camp Pics 5
Camp Winnarainbow_Camp Pics 2
Camp Winnarainbow_Camp Pics 3

Pics courtesy of Camp Winnarainbow.

At Camp Winnarainbow, the circus activities are wide and diverse. With it’s aerial program, the kids can fly with trapeze, silks, cloud swing, and rope. They can walk tall with stilt walking, ride a unicycle, and learn to be a circus clown.

There are so many other ways for kids to find their creativity at Winnarainbow that include performing arts, LARPing and more. And if the kids need to wind down, they can enjoy swimming in Lake Veronica, nature walks, or bike riding through the local fields.

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Total Camps in Our Summer Camp Search

+108

Different Summer Camp Activities to Choose from

+1701

Total Camps in Our Summer Camp Search

+108

Different Summer Camp Activities to Choose from

+228

Unique Search Filters to Find Your Summer Camp

# 3 - Canyon Creek Summer Camp

Tucked away in the Castaic Lake State Recreation Area, and about an hour away from Los Angeles, is Canyon Creek Summer Camp. A summer camp for kids and teens that offers a huge array of different sports to engage in whether it be on foot, on wheels, or on the water.

Canyon Creek Summer Camp Location_Best Summer Camps in California
Canyon Creek Summer Camp Location_Best Summer Camps in California

Tucked away in the Castaic Lake State Recreation Area, and about an hour away from Los Angeles, is Canyon Creek Summer Camp. A summer camp for kids and teens that offers a huge array of different sports to engage in whether it be on foot, on wheels, or on the water.

Canyon Creek is a traditional summer camp with a number of highly active, engaging, and fun ways to enjoy being outside. This summer camp presents itself as a safe and non-competitive environment for kids and teens.

Fun on the water can be found with their jet skis, floats, water skiing, and scuba program.

While on the courts and fields, the kids will receive high-caliber guidance with a focus on teamwork for their usual favorites such as baseball, basketball, soccer, street hockey, and tennis.

Personally, my favorite area would be the driving activities where the kiddoes can ride go-karts and mini-bikes around the camps own tracks.

They also boast an impressive ropes course high above the ground with ziplines, a rope swing, and high climbing perches that are surely worth the view at the top. Campers can also catch some air and some thrills on half-pipes in the skate park.

There’s a whole world of opportunities at Canyon Creek Summer Camp for kids to live in the moment and unleash new talents.

# 4 - Farm Camp

Our next summer camp can be found less than 3 hours north of San Francisco just off the coast, Farm Camp. A traditional summer camp experience that fosters a love of nature, animals and sustainability on a real working farm in Northern California.

Farm Camp Location_Best Summer Camps in California
Farm Camp Location_Best Summer Camps in California

Our next summer camp can be found less than 3 hours north of San Francisco just off the coast, Farm Camp. A traditional summer camp experience that fosters a love of nature, animals and sustainability on a real working farm in Northern California.

Founded in 1952, Farm Camp offers 1 to 4 week sessions for 8 to 17 year olds.

Farm Camp_Waterskiing on the lake
Farm Camp_Horseback Riding
Farm Camp_New Friends

Pics courtesy of Farm Camp.

Farm Camp_Waterskiing on the lake
Farm Camp_Horseback Riding
Farm Camp_New Friends

Pics courtesy of Farm Camp.

At Farm Camp, there is a large focus on their own farm to table programs. These programs encourage kids and teens to play an active role in maintaining the animals and growing the food in the gardens. All within a culture of respect and love for nature and environmental sustainability.

Farm animals include the traditional staples such as horses, cows, donkeys, pigs, chickens, goats and sheep.

This kids camp also features an arts & crafts program full of creative pursuits such as leather working, pottery, and knitting. There is also a sports program with an international flair and water sports that includes kayaking, stand up paddle boarding and pool basketball.

With their location on 500 acres of California’s world-famous redwood forest, there are also plenty of trails to explore around the camp.

# 5 - Kennolyn Camps

Our next summer camp has been a popular mainstay for decades with 2 camp locations in California, Kennolyn Camps. A kids camp that prides itself as a compassionate safe haven that stimulates the imagination.

Kennolyn Camps Location_Best Summer Camps in California
Kennolyn Camps Location_Best Summer Camps in California

Our next summer camp has been a popular mainstay for decades with 2 camp locations in California, Kennolyn Camps. A kids camp that prides itself as a compassionate safe haven that stimulates the imagination.

The main camp site for Kennolyn Camps is located just 45 minutes from San Jose and around 90 minutes from San Francisco, close to the coast within the Santa Cruz mountains. Their other camp site is at Huntington Lake, nestled within the Sierra National Forest close to Fresno.

Founded in 1946, Kennolyn Camps offers 1 to 2 week sessions for 6 to 18 year olds.

Kennolyn boasts the largest number of activities of any camp in our California summer camp search database. Their activities are broken up into 8 different programs that are sure to excite and thrill the kiddoes – Aquatics, Outdoor Adventure, Animals & Equestrian, Sports, Arts, STEM & Games, Outpost & Special Days.

They even offer dedicated specialty activities in surfing, equestrian, and trapeze for those wanting to focus on developing expert skills in these areas.

For kids and teens wanting more of a primitive outdoor adventure, their Outpost programs will have the kids cooking their own meals and sleeping under the stars together. They even offer backpacking trips and overnight extended trail rides as well.

Our favorite activity would be animal care where kids have the opportunity to interact and care for a variety of horses, goats, pigs and chickens. The Outpost program also features an incredibly rare opportunity to ride on horses on an overnight trip to a remote camp site.

Kids and teens can immerse themselves in a variety of unique activities that will foster their creativity, develop their confidence, and create strong life-long bonds amongst their cabin mates.

# 6 - Mountain Camp

Located an hour and a half from Sacramento and just over 2 hours from Reno, Mountain Camp can be found hugging the shores of Ice House Lake in the beautiful Eldorado National Forest. This is a summer camp that focuses on a minimal technology, non-competitive program to promote positive self-image, building community, and healthy lifestyles.

Mountain Camp Location_Best Summer Camps in California
Mountain Camp Location_Best Summer Camps in California

Located an hour and a half from Sacramento and just over 2 hours from Reno, Mountain Camp can be found hugging the shores of Ice House Lake in the beautiful Eldorado National Forest. This is a summer camp that focuses on a minimal technology, non-competitive program to promote positive self-image, building community, and healthy lifestyles.

Mountain Camp was founded in 1966 by former Stanford University football coach and athletic director, Chuck Taylor. It offers 1 to 4 week sessions for 7 to 17 year olds.

Nestled on 26 acres of lakefront property, Mountain Camp features a slew of exciting water activities that include waterskiing, sailing, paddle boarding, fishing, tubing, and even a water trampoline.

There are also an impressive number of ways for kids to creatively express themselves on the stage, with an instrument, within digital media, exploring their scientific curiosity, or immersed in their own fantasy worlds with LARPing. We appreciate the overall focus on Social Emotional Learning skills with activities designed to foster exploration, problem solving, and critical thinking.

With other programs, such as wilderness survival, parkour, and outdoor cooking, kids and teens will have plenty of opportunities to find out what drives them inside.

# 7 - Pali Adventures

Pali Adventures is a summer camp with personalized adventure tracks across a range of exciting over-the-top specialties. Located around an hour and a half from Los Angeles in the mountains of the San Bernardino National Forest.

Pali Adventure Location_Best Summer Camps in California
Pali Adventure Location_Best Summer Camps in California

Pali Adventures is a summer camp with personalized adventure tracks across a range of exciting over-the-top specialties. Located around an hour and a half from Los Angeles in the mountains of the San Bernardino National Forest.

Founded in 1999, Pali Adventures offers 1 to 2 week sessions for 8 to 16 year olds. Their specialty programs are geared towards adventure, creative and performance.

Their Adventure programs create an exciting mix of fantasy and thrills. Kids can learn to fly on the Flying Trapeze, develop a practical understanding of aerodynamics with the aviation program, or build their confidence with a tumble through the hollywood stunts program. These are just a few of the programs that also include ninja warrior, secret agent, motorsports, water sports and more.

The Creative programs engage the kids and teens wondrous imaginations to create artistic achievements across a plethora of different tracks. Kids and teens can develop their cooking palate, fashion sense, script to screen journey, fine arts skills, movie makeup application, potion and lotion creation, and emerging art forms such as street art.

The Performance programs shift the focus to a range of programs that allow the kids to further express their creative spirit. These programs include acting, broadcasting, Cirque Du Pali, comedy, dance, DJ camp, magic camp and rock star. Each an incredible opportunity for kids to develop their self-confidence and fearlessness in presenting themselves to an audience.

Few summer camps can match the broad diversity of the programs offered on Pali Mountain.

# 8 - River Way Ranch Camp

River Way Ranch Camp has been family-owned and operated since its founding in 1967. They believe in the power of camp activities to promote self-esteem, increased self-confidence, and independence. And with over 75 exciting activities to choose from, kids and teens will be spoiled for choice.

River Way Ranch Camp Location_Best Summer Camps in California
River Way Ranch Camp Location_Best Summer Camps in California

River Way Ranch Camp has been family-owned and operated since its founding in 1967. They believe in the power of camp activities to promote self-esteem, increased self-confidence, and independence. And with over 75 exciting activities to choose from, kids and teens will be spoiled for choice.

River Way Ranch Camp offers 1 to 2 week sessions for 7 to 16 year olds. Extended multi-week options are also available all the way up to 8 weeks. Although we suspect that even 8 weeks wouldn’t be long enough to explore and enjoy everything that River Way Ranch has to offer.

River Way Ranch Camp_Film Production
River Way Ranch Camp_Raging Water Slides
River Way Ranch Camp_Trampoline Center

Pics courtesy of River Way Ranch Camp.

River Way Ranch Camp_Film Production
River Way Ranch Camp_Raging Water Slides
River Way Ranch Camp_Trampoline Center

Pics courtesy of River Way Ranch Camp.

River Way Ranch provides the opportunity to explore a broad range of activities divided into Animals, Aquatics, Arts, Recreation, and Sports. Sitting on 75 private acres and boasting their own lake, the opportunities for fun can be found on the courts, trails, waters, studios, corrals, fields, ropes, and on the driving tracks.

With their own Raging Rapids water slide park, digital arts programs, ziplines, horseback riding, animal care, trampoline park, wave runners, and go-karts, you would be hard pressed to find any kid or teen who wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to spend their summer at this camp nestled in the foothills near some of California’s most beautiful national parks.

# 9 - Woodward Tahoe

Woodward Tahoe is the ultimate hub for adventure with 16 acres of tracks and a 33,000 square foot indoor action sports facility to amp up the thrills. It also features its own ski park during the winter months with Boreal Mountain California.

Woodward Tahoe Location_Best Summer Camps in California
Woodward Tahoe Location_Best Summer Camps in California

Woodward Tahoe is the ultimate hub for adventure with 16 acres of tracks and a 33,000 square foot indoor action sports facility to amp up the thrills. It also features its own ski park during the winter months with Boreal Mountain California.

Located near Lake Tahoe, Woodward Tahoe is around an hour and a half from Sacramento and just over an hour from Reno, NV. Founded in 1970, and currently offering week-long summer day camp programs for 5 to 17 year olds.

This summer camp focuses on a select range of thrilling sports with skateboarding, BMX, parkour, scooter, and mountain biking. What sets this camp apart is not only the awesome scale of their facilities, it is also their passion for expert instruction and guidance. Each week, Woodward Tahoe invites industry pros to share their love of the sport and guide the campers to their best.

The chance to learn from legends in a mountain environment with thrills and adventure is a unique opportunity not found at most summer camps. Woodward Tahoe is pushing the bounds for thrilling adventure, and helping kids to push their limits to unleash new found confidence.

# 10 - YMCA Camp Campbell

YMCA Camp Campbell serves to help cultivate the next generation of kids to become healthy, caring, responsible adults. This courageous purpose is a focus of everything that they do at YMCA Camp Campbell. The camp can be found around an hour and a half south of San Francisco near Big Basin Redwoods State Park.

YMCA Camp Campbell Location_Best Summer Camps in California
YMCA Camp Campbell Location_Best Summer Camps in California

YMCA Camp Campbell serves to help cultivate the next generation of kids to become healthy, caring, responsible adults. This courageous purpose is a focus of everything that they do at YMCA Camp Campbell. The camp can be found around an hour and a half south of San Francisco near Big Basin Redwoods State Park.

The YMCA has fostered a proud summer camp tradition for decades with unforgettable outdoor experiences across the country. They specialize in traditional summer camps with outdoor activities like campfires, hikes, skits and the chance to sleep under the stars.

Founded in 1936, YMCA Camp Campbell continues this proud tradition. It offers 1 to 2 week sessions for 7 to 17 year olds.

It is the traditional experience at it’s best where the community culture and feeling of family reigns as important as any of the activities. Leadership development and healthy lifestyles are central to everything the Y does, and is cultivated especially well at this summer camp.

Kids will have the opportunity to engage in outdoor skills with fire building, shelter building, and outdoor cooking at it’s core. Competition will thrive with gaga ball, street hockey, court sports and field games. And confidence will soar at their STEAM projects, climbing wall, and campfires. Swimming, arts & crafts, and gardening are also available for the kids.

Teens will be able to immerse themselves in the Y’s popular Leaders in Training program. This program is designed to build confidence through leadership and teamwork. Teens will be challenged with more intense activities such as whitewater rafting and backpacking. They will also participate in activities designed to hone their goal-setting and self-reflection skills.

Honorable Mentions

We also wanted to include some camps that are creating incredibly unique experiences for their particular communities.

Best Jewish Summer Camp # 1
- Camp JCA Shalom

Camp JCA Shalom calls itself the “Camp for All Seasons." Given what they have had to endure with the Woolsey Fire in November 2018, this name feels resoundingly appropriate. Founded in 1951, their main Gold Creek Center site can be found in the mountains of the Angeles National Forest less than an hour north of Los Angeles.

Camp JCA Shalom Location_Best Summer Camps in California
Camp JCA Shalom Location_Best Summer Camps in California

Camp JCA Shalom calls itself the “Camp for All Seasons." Given what they have had to endure with the Woolsey Fire in November 2018, this name feels resoundingly appropriate. Founded in 1951, their main Gold Creek Center site can be found in the mountains of the Angeles National Forest less than an hour north of Los Angeles.

Camp JCA Shalom has created an expansive approach to their eco-friendly camp with solar power, environmental education, organic gardening, waterless urinals and recycling programs amongst their many “True to Nature” initiatives.

Personal growth and self-discovery are woven into their way of developing Jewish values within the kids and teens. They offer 1 to 3 week tiered camp programs for 8 to 17 year olds to evolve into a pathway of confidence building and leadership development.

One of the things that sets Camp JCA Shalom apart are their options to enjoy the warm Pacific Ocean waters from a remote mountain camp. Beach trips give the campers a chance to bask in the California sun, swim, slip-n-slide, sea kayak and even jump down inflatable water slides.

While back at camp, they can enjoy horseback riding, zip-lines, mountain biking, outdoor cooking, and a plethora of other fun activities.

We especially appreciate their emphasis on their nature programs. With programs in environmental education, Native American skills, pioneer living, campcraft and animal education, campers are able to immerse themselves into an unplugged life in nature.

Best Jewish Summer Camp # 2
- URJ Camp Newman

URJ Camp Newman is a Jewish Summer Camp that is building a community of acceptance with state-of-the-art facilities and vibrant camp programs. I should say that they are rebuilding, as they are another unfortunate case of our changing Earth. In September 2017, the Tubbs fire roared through this camp and decimated nearly 90 percent of the grounds and buildings.

URJ Camp Newman Location_Best Summer Camps in California
URJ Camp Newman Location_Best Summer Camps in California

URJ Camp Newman is a Jewish Summer Camp that is building a community of acceptance with state-of-the-art facilities and vibrant camp programs. I should say that they are rebuilding, as they are another unfortunate case of our changing Earth. In September 2017, the Tubbs fire roared through this camp and decimated nearly 90 percent of the grounds and buildings.

Having persevered through this challenge, they are now better equiped than ever to offer kids and teens an unforgettable summer. We celebrate this summer camp as one that embraces Jewish campers from many diverse backgrounds, and of all genders and sexual identities.

Founded in 1947, and just 2 hours north of San Francisco, URJ Camp Newman is nestled in the hills above Santa Rosa and the Napa Valley.

URJ Camp Newman brings together a carefully crafted balance of fun, personal development, and Jewish learning. If offers 1 to 4 week sessions in a tiered development structure for 8 to 16 year olds.

Pics courtesy of URJ Camp Newman.

Pics courtesy of URJ Camp Newman.

Their highly selective and popular CIT Program for teens provides the opportunity to earn up to 200 hours of community service credit for the entire summer. Rarely have we seen any summer camp anywhere offer these kinds of hours for teens.

Much like their programs, the activities offer a balance of traditional camp activities, sports and creative options. You’ll find a sprinkling of cultural options throughout with activites like Israeli Dancing, Krav Maga, and Shira.

Campers will also be able to enjoy warmer days at their pool, and hike off-site for overnight campouts.

We really appreciate their Social Justice and Teva programs, which guide the campers to embrace their own voice and foster an appreciation for sustainability. For a thrilling challenge, campers can throw themselves into their Adventure Mountain activity and negotiate their way along high-ropes courses.

+1701

Total Camps in Our Summer Camp Search

+108

Different Summer Camp Activities to Choose from

+1701

Total Camps in Our Summer Camp Search

+108

Different Summer Camp Activities to Choose from

+228

Unique Search Filters to Find Your Summer Camp

Best Christian Summer Camp - Leoni Meadows Camp

Leoni Meadows Camp is a Christian summer camp surrounded by the beautiful Eldorado National Forest, around an hour and a half east of Sacramento. With an all too familiar tale, Leoni Meadows Camp suffered some damage to their site in the devastating Caldor Fire in 2021. Several buildings, were destroyed, but fortunately the core and heritage buildings survived without damage.

Leoni Meadows Camp Location_Best Summer Camps in California
Leoni Meadows Camp Location_Best Summer Camps in California

Leoni Meadows Camp is a Christian summer camp surrounded by the beautiful Eldorado National Forest, around an hour and a half east of Sacramento. With an all too familiar tale, Leoni Meadows Camp suffered some damage to their site in the devastating Caldor Fire in 2021. Several buildings, were destroyed, but fortunately the core and heritage buildings survived without damage.

With their camps roots going back to 1978, a passionate commitment to the Leoni ministry drove the staff to push on and rise through the challenge.

Leoni Meadows offers a tradition summer camp experience for the youngest kids, and then breaks into specialized tracks for older kids and teens. The specialized tracks are an eclectic mix of Cowboy (with a girls only session), Wranglers in Training, STEM, Water Sports (off-site), Girls Volleyball, and the popular Teen Extreme Camp.

These traditional and specialised programs are offered in one week sessions for 8 to 17 year olds.

At camp, the kids can enjoy horseback riding, go-karts, ziplines, swimming, and wilderness survival amongst the numerous activities. They even feature a giant 4-person rope swing, the Goliath Swing. As someone who was born and raised in New Zealand, I can always appreciate any creative way to send us through the air for a thrill.

Abba’s Child Camp is a session for children who have experienced the recent death of an immediate family member. It is offered free of charge every summer in partnership with Abba’s Child Camps. This allows a grieving child to step into a place of abounding adventure with a community that can connect and relate to their own experience.

Leoni Meadows prides itself as a Christian retreat for the kids and teens where they can hit pause from the hustle and bustle of their lives, and just enjoy nature unplugged within a supportive community.

Best Girls Only
Summer Camp # 1
- Camp Bothin

Our next summer camp is located just over an hour north of San Francisco in Marin County, Camp Bothin. Camp Bothin is a girls only camp that provides a classic camping experience from the Girl Scouts of Northern California.

Camp Bothin Location_Best Summer Camps in California
Camp Bothin Location_Best Summer Camps in California

Our next summer camp is located just over an hour north of San Francisco in Marin County, Camp Bothin. Camp Bothin is a girls only camp that provides a classic camping experience from the Girl Scouts of Northern California.

Founded in 1950, they offer 1 to 2 week sessions for 6 to 18 year olds.

The Girl Scouts has been proudly fostering confidence and empowerment within girls since it’s founding in 1912. They specialize in creating a classic camp experience. One that brings to mind images of boldly hiking trails with your mates, making s’mores under the night sky by a roaring fire, swimming in lakes under the warm sun, and performing with your friends in skits at community campfires.

Camp Bothin offers an exciting range of summer activities that includes small animal care, STEM exploration, outdoor cooking, swimming, zip lines, and fine arts. We always love to see summer camps that provide the opportunity to look after some goats and chickens. Its an incredible way for kids to start to understand sustainability and build an appreciation for how our food reaches our plates.

Speaking of sustainability, we also love that they feature yurts as an accommodation option for the girls. It’s a cross between a cabin and a tent that is highly efficient and eco-friendly.

Best Girls Only Summer Camp # 2 - Amplify Sleep Away Camp by Girls Rock

Amplify Sleep Away Camp by Girls Rock is a creative arts summer camp in Ojai, California. A summer camp that empowers girls to follow their creative dreams with professional mentorship focused towards learning musical instruments, music production, video making, journalism, podcasting, photography and more.

Amplify Sleep Away Camp Location_Best Summer Camps in California
Amplify Sleep Away Camp Location_Best Summer Camps in California

Amplify Sleep Away Camp by Girls Rock is a creative arts summer camp in Ojai, California. A summer camp that empowers girls to follow their creative dreams with professional mentorship focused towards learning musical instruments, music production, video making, journalism, podcasting, photography and more.

The mentorship at this camp is led by a passionate staff of professional musicians, producers, artists, tutors, and teachers.

Amplify Sleep Away Camp by Girls Rock_Learning Photography
Amplify Sleep Away Camp by Girls Rock_Learning to Rock on Guitar
Amplify Sleep Away Camp by Girls Rock_Learning to Rock the Drums

Pics courtesy of Amplify Sleep Away Camp by Girls Rock

Amplify Sleep Away Camp by Girls Rock_Learning Photography
Amplify Sleep Away Camp by Girls Rock_Learning to Rock on Guitar
Amplify Sleep Away Camp by Girls Rock_Learning to Rock the Drums

Pics courtesy of Amplify Sleep Away Camp
by Girls Rock

Founded in 2015, Amplify offers 1 all the way up to 7 week sessions for 10 to 18 year old girls. It can be found about an hour and a half from Los Angeles in the gorgeous Topatopa Mountains of Ojai on a gated campus with 198 acres of private land.

Amplify Sleep Away Camp by Girls Rock believes in the power of music, and strives to provide girls with a safe, supportive space “to create art WITHOUT PERMISSION, WITHOUT PERFECTION, and WITHOUT PEER PRESSURE.”

With a tiered program structure by age, kids are able to grow into the program and progress through their chosen tracks to culminate with the Leaders in Training program for the oldest campers.

In addition to the main creative tracks on offer, a wondrous mix of additional electives is available for kids to engage in the fun of summer camp. These include hiking, karaoke, swimming, ropes courses, nature photography, dance parties, public speaking, and more. The campers will also venture beyond their campus with field trips to local beaches, attractions and concerts.

Best Waterfront
Summer Camp
- Catalina Sea Camp

For the best waterfront summer camp experience in sunny California, look no further than Catalina Sea Camp. A summer camp with sites in 2 sheltered coves on the beautiful island of Catalina, just an hours ferry ride from Long Beach, CA. With their unique location and their own marine wildlife, Catalina Sea Camp can immerse their campers into an incredible world of marine biology and ocean adventure.

Catalina Sea Camp Location_Best Summer Camps in California
Catalina Sea Camp Location_Best Summer Camps in California

For the best waterfront summer camp experience in sunny California, look no further than Catalina Sea Camp. A summer camp with sites in 2 sheltered coves on the beautiful island of Catalina, just an hours ferry ride from Long Beach, CA. With their unique location and their own marine wildlife, Catalina Sea Camp can immerse their campers into an incredible world of marine biology and ocean adventure.

Founded in 1979, Catalina Sea Camp offers 1 and 3 week sessions for 8 to 17 year olds. They operate 2 different waterfront sites with private beaches at Fox Landing for the younger campers and Toyon Bay for the older campers.

The camp cabins at both sites are situated literally feet from the beaches, and afford some of the best sunrises / sunsets in all of California. During the day, the kids and teens will find a plethora of different options to satisfy their marine curiosities.

Water sports, beach time, and their own Giant Swing provide ample opportunities to enjoy warm Pacific Ocean waters under the California sun. Under the water, an expert Scuba diving program and underwater videography / photography programs will reveal the true beauty found in our oceans.

To better understand the delicate balance of our oceans, a Marine Mammal Lab with their own marine wildlife will guide the campers with an intro to marine biology and conservation.

We love that this summer camp has managed to seamlessly blend marine science, ocean adventure, and summer camp fun into an unforgettable experience for kids and teens. Catalina Sea Camp is a truly unique experience that stands apart in California.

That’s A Wrap!

Thank you for joining us as we explored the best summer camps in California. We know it’s a tough time for parents to prepare the kiddoes, and we are here to help. There are many other camps in our exclusive Summer Camp Search. Explore more California summer camps right HERE!

And feel free to reach out if you have any questions or need any help reaching out to these camps. Have a great time preparing your young camper for their unforgettable camp adventures!

“I have more confidence in who I am at camp then I do anywhere else.”

– Former Camper

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