2024 summer camp recommendations

Words by Quintessentially Education

05 March 2024

Children fishing, reading and playing by the river at summer camp

Make the most of the school holidays with this in-depth guide from our in-house education experts.

With spring on the horizon, now is the perfect time to plan for the highly anticipated summer holidays. But with hundreds of programmes available worldwide, knowing where to start looking can be difficult.

So, we've carefully selected recommendations for some of the most exciting summer experiences available across the UK, Switzerland, and the USA. From intellectually challenging pre-university preparation courses to multi-activity camps, they are inspiring, challenging, and – above all – exciting. Here are some of the best.

Multi-activity camps
For children aged 8–17

Summer camps for school-aged children are a fun way of keeping their minds active in preparation for the next school year and help build confidence, gain independence, and learn new skills. Plus, many camps focus on outdoor activities, which can be a great way to help children reconnect with nature after a year spent in the classroom. 

Discover more in our 2024 summer camps guide.

Pre-university summer programmes
For students aged 14–17

Many of the most reputable universities in the UK and US organise pre-university programmes, offering a real insight into what it is like to study as an undergraduate student and providing beneficial preparations for university applications. They often combine academic classes and cultural experiences with a complete programme of social activities. 

Discover our comprehensive pre-university programmes guide.

Early years London day camps
For children aged 3–8

Day camps for the little ones are a fantastic opportunity for parents looking to fill their children's summer holidays with fun and exciting activities, safe in the knowledge they are close by. From creativity workshops in St John's Wood to adrenaline-fuelled adventures in Parsons Green, the UK capital has something for everyone.  

Explore our 2024 London day camps guide.

Top tips for deciding on a summer programme

With so many options available, deciding which summer programme best fits your child can sometimes be challenging. In no particular order, here are some factors we recommend you consider during the selection process.

1. Duration
Camps can range from one to six weeks, either online or residential. Consider how long you want your child to be away; if this is their first time away from home, a day camp or a one-week residential camp may be worth considering.

2. Age groups
Some camps are available for children from ages 3-17. Every child is unique; consider whether your child enjoys being in a large, mixed-age group or would prefer a smaller group with children their own age.

3. Funding
Summer programmes vary in price depending on the location, duration, boarding and lodging, with the majority requiring a deposit when applying for a place.

4. Academic focus and opportunities
This may seem most applicable to pre-university programmes; however, it is worth noting that several multi-activity camps allocate time to develop academic skills such as English, French, or STEM-based subjects.

5. Location
From the Swiss Alps to the buzz of New York City, think about the kind of experience your child would most benefit from – would they enjoy a digital detox in the wilderness, or would they prefer to explore a cultural or historic hub?

6. Accommodation
From large dormitories with bunk beds to safari-style tents in the woods, we recommend researching where your children will stay and considering this in conjunction with the duration of the camp. Day camps or 'commuter' options are also available for those who prefer to stay closer to home or with family. 

7. Personal interests
Simply put: what does your child enjoy? Summer programmes can help your child gain invaluable experiences that enhance their personal and academic growth – ensuring they are involved in the selection process helps to ensure they are fully on board and excited. 

8. Trust your instincts
Our camp recommendations are based on extensive research, client experiences, and discussions with camp providers, but you know your child best. Finding the right fit is the key to a memorable summer your child will cherish. 

For complimentary personalised recommendations, contact Emily at [email protected] or call +44 (0) 2030 736852. For all other education enquiries, contact [email protected].

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