In today’s world, kids are growing up in front of digital screens—and missing the beauty and adventure of Oregon’s great outdoors.
Oregon summer camps can show them that real life is much more exciting than any game or show. At camp, campers get to try traditional camping activities, form friendships, discover hidden talents they didn’t know they had, and form leadership skills.
Whether you’re looking for a day camp or an overnight summer camp for your child, there is a wide selection of the best summer programs to choose from in the state of Oregon.
Best Summer Camps In Oregon
iD Tech offers educational summer camps in Portland that take place at the beautiful Lewis & Clark College campus. Through their STEM programs, kids can learn how to code, robotics, game development, and much more. Boys and girls learn valuable skills in a supportive and welcoming environment.
Students are taught by highly qualified instructors that come from elite universities and companies. The day camps run from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm, and students learn using up-to-date technology and software. You can also sign up kids for overnight camps with meals included to stay on their premises.
Between classes, children can partake in fun outdoor activities to give their minds some rest. It’s a great way for campers ages 7-17 to gain new skills for the future, including complete beginners. Exciting classes include Game Creation With AI, Youtube GameCasting, Minecraft design, Roblox Editor, and much more.
#2 – Camp Lutherwood
Camp Lutherwood offers overnight summer camps for kids of different ages, ranging from grades 1st through 12th. They also have a family camp so moms and dads can partake in fun camp activities with their children. It’s the perfect place for kids to experience outdoor adventure with their peers and make awesome memories.
Campers get a mixture of outdoor and indoor activities at this summer camp, with a focus on helping children connect with nature. However, there is also plenty of art activities for creative kids. Kids can do a bunch of fun things like sing around the campfires, archery, hiking, rock climbing, gardening, stargazing, sketching, and more. After camp, kids should leave having developed leadership skills, confidence, and new friendships.
Most camp sessions last between two to four days, but there are some that last up to five for older campers. Camp Lutherwood also offers retreats for those looking to improve their spirituality.
#3 – Camp Namanu
Camp Namanu is one of the immense summer camps in Oregon. It was established in 1924 and has almost 3,000 participants every year.
Their location in Portland, Oregon, serves as the perfect backdrop for the classic American summer camp experience. Campers partake in nature hikes, cooking, singing songs, fun camp games, and thrilling sports.
Camp Namanu offers day camps, overnight camps and has a separate ranch camp for kids who want to learn horseback riding skills. Their ranch overnight camp is 30 minutes away from the main campsite and is surrounded by tree-shrouded riding trails. Children learn basic horsemanship and how to feed and groom horses.
#4 – Trackers Portland
Trackers Portland offers unique and creative programs summer outdoor programs and camps. The camp is open for kids in high school and middle school. It provides various types of programs like half day camps, overnight camps, spring and winter break camps, and even after-school or home school activities.
The overnight camps are 100% outdoors. Accompanied by qualified instructor guides, campers learn outdoor skills and personal skills while enjoying everything the wilderness offers. These camps are located in private forests, so you don’t have to worry about your child’s security.
They teach things like wilderness survival, fishing, archery, and other fun activities. It’s hard to find other similar camps like this in Portland, Oregon.
#5 – Avid Adventure
Avid Adventure instills in kids a life-long love for outdoor physical activity and respect for nature. They have summer programs in Portland for every age group, from day camps for pre-kindergarten to expeditions for older teens.
The pre-K day camps teach children basic skills like biking and paddling a boat. Once they’re in first grade, they’re ready for the two-week-long Explorer Day Camp. Here they can go hiking, paddle boarding kayaking, and further develop outdoor skills.
The expedition summer programs bring teens on camping adventures in the great Colorado outdoors. They set up tents and cook their own food while playing outdoor sports. You can also sign campers up for specific expeditions for rock climbing, mountain biking, kayaking, and more.
They also offer overnight camps on Mt. Evans for students in grades 2nd to 5th and Windy Peak for students in grades 6th to 11th. The kids get to live in cabins and enjoy two thrilling days of hiking (bring the right shoes), rock climbing, water sports, and much more.
They offer an adventure camp in several other states like Colorado and California.
#6 – Camp Harlow
Camp Harlow feels like a summer camp and amusement park in one. Aside from outdoor activities and crafts that you tend to find in other camps, Camp Harlow also has go-karts, bumper boats, a pool with a splash pad, and a mini-golf.
Their facilities also include a zip line, giant swing, intensity bridge, and flying squirrel—which are not only loads of fun but also help develop a child’s endurance, balance, and perseverance. And aside from riding horses, kids get to go on fire truck rides and train rides.
The variety of activities ensure the days don’t get dull and repetitive and that even kids who don’t typically enjoy sports will enjoy the camp experience. It’s hard to find other summer camps that offer the same level of quality for children ages 5-10.
#7 – Camp Tamarack
Kids 8 to 14 can have the best week of their lives at the Camp Tamarack summer camp. There’s a good mix of outdoor activities, arts and crafts like T-shirt painting, and friendly sports – culminating in the Camp Olympics.
There’s plenty of time for children enjoy the nearby lake, where they can swim, canoe, and paddleboard. Plus, they also enjoy water features like a giant Penguin Pad, Bongo, and Splash Mountain. During the week, they’ll participate in an adventure quest where the camp is set up to look like a magical kingdom and a camp carnival.
Some entertaining summer camp games for children are the parachute games, scooter games, and gaga ball. Even experienced campers who have seen and done it all will find something new in Camp Tamarack.
More camp guides:
Martin has been in the summer camp industry for 7 years now. He has worked in different roles for camps, including as a marketing director for summer camps in the United States. Martin enjoys all kinds of outdoor activities but likes hiking and kayaking the most. He’s also a huge fan of traveling.