Seven Super-Cool Summer Camps

The beauty of day camps? Sleeping in a bed.
The beauty of day camps? Sleeping in a bed. Guian Bolisay at Flickr

Summers aren’t what they used to be. Back in the day, we wiled away the days with otter pops and slip-n-slides, drinking from the hose and doing anything within biking distance as long as we were home before the shadows disappeared into the warm, hazy nights. These days are different. Kids these days have plans.

What sort of plans? Therein lies the rub, right? How does a modern parent responsibly fill his or her kid’s summer schedule without breaking the bank or boring their babies? Here are seven sublime selections for a super summer, camp-wise, to fill the warm weeks with wonder.

Denver Leaps and Bounds
Dream Big Summer Camp for Girls
Leaps and Bounds Denver
3333 Holly Street
June 24 to July 3, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Denver author Chelsea Harris leads Denver Leaps and Bounds in providing this summer camp just for girls ages four to ten. The summer enrichment experience is great for building sisterhood between young girls and includes dance, arts, tutoring, field trips and tons more. Snacks are provided, but campers will need to bring their own lunches and enthusiasm to build both community and a serious sense of fun. Check out the Denver Leaps and Bounds website for more information and registration details.

Teen Studio Camp: Poetry and the Self
Boulder Writing Studio
777 Pearl Street, Suite 211, Boulder
June 8 to 12, 1 to 4 p.m.
Amanda Auerbach is a writer and teacher from the University of Iowa, and her new collection, What Need Have We for Such as We, is forthcoming from C&R Press later this year. Teens thirteen and up can join her for a weeklong workshop focusing on poems that are occasions for self-exploration, self-expression and self-making. Students will read and discuss contemporary poets such as Lucie Brock-Broido, Denis Johnson, Dorothea Lasky, Ocean Vuong and Ada Limon. If you have an aspiring poet in your house, this might be a perfect — and life-changing — way to spend a week in June.

Summer in the Parks
Denver Parks and Recreation
Various parks around Denver
June 10 to August 2 (before- and after-camp care available), 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
$450 plus a $45 field-trip fee
Denver’s park system is one of the best in the nation, and kids can take full advantage of that this summer, as six parks around the city host days of traditional summer-camp fun, from arts and crafts to games and sports to aquatics, field trips and special events — all with qualified and licensed child-care providers. Want your kid to have an experience something like you had as a kid but still come home every afternoon? Here’s your chance. See the Denver Parks and Recreation website for specifics and registration information.
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Teague Bohlen is a writer, novelist and professor at the University of Colorado Denver. His first novel, The Pull of the Earth, won the Colorado Book Award for Literary Fiction in 2007; his textbook The Snarktastic Guide to College Success came out in 2014. His new collection of flash fiction, Flatland, is available now.
Contact: Teague Bohlen