Updated: October 27th, 2022
Tennessee is a great state to experience remarkable outdoor views and exciting adventures. The landscapes across the state let those who visit and live here do thrilling activities like hiking, kayaking, rock climbing, and much more.
It’s not surprising that many highly regarded summer camps host their programs here with everything the land has to offer. You’ll find overnight camps, day camps, and specialty camps throughout the area. There are also many Christian camps that inspire campers to learn about their religion and increase spirituality.
These are some of the most fantastic summer camps in Tennessee for kids to enjoy a memorable summer.
Top 7 Tennessee Summer Camps
1. Camp Widjiwagan
Camp Widji is everything you want out of a summer camp for kids. It’s located just outside of Nashville, Tennessee, on Percy Priest Lake. Camp Widji offers an assortment of day camps, overnight camps, and ranch camps for boys and girls ages 4-17. The programs run all summer long with options for traditional summer camps or specialty camps.
All Camp Widji’s facilities are modern and among the finest camp facilities. Facilities include an archery range, athletic complex, zip-line, tennis courts, volleyball courts, giant swing, shaded sports arena, two climbing walls, and a great lake to swim in, providing ample places for your child to enjoy the great Tennessee nature. Artistic campers can enjoy fun indoor activities like pottery, woodworking, crafting, and more.
The campers stay in supervised yurts or cabins while making lifelong friends with their cabin mates. The cafeteria is where everyone gathers under the rustic wooden beams to enjoy camp meals and socialize in a supportive environment. Their stunning 320 acres offer a safe place for kids to explore the outdoors while gaining valuable social skills.
2. Camp Nakanawa
Camp Nakanawa is located smack dab between Crossville and Monterey, Tennessee, on a lush 1000 acres of forest, fields, and a spring-fed lake. It's around two hours away from Nashville, TN.Operating since 1920, Camp Nakanawa offers campers an opportunity to learn about the outdoors while increasing their self-confidence.
This all-girls Tennessee overnight camp is outfitted with an archery range, climbing wall, tennis courts, zip line, horsemanship, and various water and sports activities that encourage girls to try something new. Activities are dependent on age group so for example, senior campers can do things like visiting the rifle range, golfing, and fencing.
Camp Nakanawa is split into three camps for girls of differing ages, with a junior camp for girls 8+, an intermediate camp for those 12+, and a senior camp for girls between 15 and 18. The different camps allow participants to mingle with others of the same group while also having a camp experience tailored to their age.
Camp Nakanawa's mission is to educate young women and give them space to build life skills like resilience and rise to their fullest potential with an outdoor education.
3. Camp Hope
Camp Hope of East Tennessee is a free Christian camp with financial support from Hope Community Church and the surrounding community. Camp Hope’s mission is to provide a space for kids ages 6-18 to explore the outdoors and help children grow closer to God by teaching them valuable skills through activities and lessons.
Situated in Hawkins County just outside of Churchill, Tennessee, the camp is stretched across several acres of fields, forests, and a winding river to allow kids to get in touch with nature. Fun camp activities for campers include ziplining, horseback riding, hiking, archery, and swimming. There is also bountiful space for kids to participate in field games as well as arts and crafts.
The weeks are split into different age categories for either overnight or day camps. It’s an excellent place for children to get away from the stresses of life and improve their spirituality.
4. Long View Ranch
Nestled in the Smoky Mountains just outside of Mosheim, Tennessee, Long View Ranch centers around the teachings of Jesus. Located along the Nolichucky River, the area boasts of being a past settlement to the area’s Cherokee tribe, who utilized the mountains, plains, and forests.
Long View Ranch hosts summer day camps as well as overnight camps for students from kindergarten to 12th grade. There are three programs (Day Camp, Adventure Camp, Action Camp) altogether spread across the summer, each having two separate weeks and suited for various age groups.
Paintballing, tubing, cliff jumping, horsemanship, and white-water rafting are just a few of the many activities children can partake in. There are also campfires, arts and crafts, and general bible teaching lessons sprinkled throughout the week. Long View Ranch is also a perfect place to host your own group retreat or school field trip.
5. Camp YI
Camp YI is a sleepaway summer camp based in La Vergne on a peninsula jutting out onto Percy Priest Lake. The camp is situated across gorgeous Tennessee wilderness and offers an environment where Camp YI builds leaders for tomorrow.
Camp YI offers summer camps for campers ages 7-14 that last one to two weeks throughout June and July. There are plenty of activities to occupy your children, such as horseback riding, water sports like tubing and water skiing, wall climbing, arts and crafts, ropes course, and an assortment of other outdoor lessons centering around fire-building and outdoor living.
There is also a counselor in training summer programs for ambitious students who want to become camp counselors and build leadership skills. Kids gain the opportunity to grow as individuals in a welcoming camp environment.
6. Indian Creek Camp
Indian Creek Camp is only an hour away from Nashville, TN. With a wide selection of summer programs that include family camps, adventure camps, and junior camps, you'll quickly find one that suits your family's needs. There is also a specialty lifeguard camp for teenagers who want to get lifeguard certified.
A range of activities is supported, including archery, ceramics, disc golf, bible study, sports, and much more. The ideal lakefront location lets campers enjoy water activities like boating, lake trampolines, swimming, and more.
There are various camp sessions children can sign up for with different starting dates in June and July. Indian Creek Camp strives to provide a welcoming camp environment that focuses on helping campers build a stronger relationship with God.
7. Deer Run
Set in the rolling hills and forests near Thompsons Station, Tennessee, Deer Run Camp offers 150 acres of pristine wilderness. Children can connect with peers in a secure environment while learning personal and outdoor skills.
Deer Run Camp offers a day camp and overnight summer camps for kids ages 5 to 16 based on biblical teachings. Striving to immerse kids in connection and God’s creation, there is a diverse selection of programs ranging from one to two weeks in June and July. Each summer has a different theme that revolves around biblical teachings and gives insight into what your child learns each week.
The campgrounds have a ton of space for outdoor games and activities such as gaga ball, volleyball, carpetball, fishing, rock climbing, pedal karts, paintball, and much more. They can stay in numerous cabins and lodges during an outdoor adventure-packed week.