In many communities, sending the kids to sleepaway camp is an absolute must. Color wars, songs around the fire and “camp friends” are traditions that get passed down through generations, but for the wealthy, there’s far more to be found at these lakeside utopias. While parents take the opportunity to jet around the world or do some hardcore country clubbing, kids at the camps listed here are riding horses, go-karting, building robots and performing on the same stage as famous celebrities.
At this legendary fine arts camp in upstate New York, kids will act, sing, dance and even learn circus skills like flying trapeze, wire-walking, fire twirling and more. There’s also ziplining, rock climbing, canoe trips on the Delaware River and a private lake. Notable alumni include Adam Levine and Zooey Deschanel.
Price: Up to $6,250 per three week session
Also in upstate New York, there is pretty much nothing these camps don’t have. There are state-of-the-art facilities for every sport you could ever wish to try, including gymnastics, tennis, golf, spinning, yoga and more. At Timber Lake, there’s a robotics lab, which Timber Lake West tops with no less than a go-cart track. These facilities are so picturesque, people even rent Timber Lake out for weddings.
Price: $12,975 for the summer/Up to $6,950 for a one-month session
This Florida camp is like eleven in one, with specific programs catering to a variety of age groups and interests including dance, cooking, extreme sports, magic and more. Across the board, campers also take trips to Disney World, Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure or Busch Gardens. One particularly over-the-top program is completely dedicated to water skiing and wakeboarding.
Price: Up to $3,000 per two-week session.
Despite the emphasis on activities at all of the camps on this list, rustic sleeping quarters are still a quintessential part of the camp experience. This camp takes it a bit further than air-conditioned, shared cabins, and puts campers in tipis or “miner’s tents.” Thankfully, there are real bathrooms, unbelievably gorgeous Lake Tahoe scenery and an unrivaled list of adventures to be had.
Price: Up to $14, 075 for a nine-week session.
These brother and sister camps separated by water were founded in 1916, and just might be where every camp stereotype comes from. Each summer, both boys and girls embark on an 80-mile canoe trip through the wilderness and train to swim two miles across the lake for a peek at how the other camp lives.
Main image: @fher_venegas