Updated: February 18th, 2023
Summer camps are a great way for kids to make the most out of their summer by going outside and immersing themselves in a fun and educational environment with other young peers.
The outdoors in West Virginia present a suitable opportunity for kids, with a series of landscapes like the Appalachian Mountains, beautiful lakes like Summersville Lake, vast open fields, and much more. There are also several national parks, state parks, and national forest lands for youth to explore while at camp. With so many choices out there, it can be a little difficult to find a summer camp suitable for your child.
These are some of the best summer camps in West Virginia, where kids can spend the summer trying new things and learning life skills.
1. Camp Hidden Meadows
Camp Hidden Meadows offers amazing summer camps for students in grades 1st through 11th that feel like a home away from home. Secluded in the Allegheny Mountains, it takes children out of their busy lives and into a serene cabin out in these peaceful and beautiful mountains.
There are many different types of activities set for all ages, so kids can push themselves to learn in a brand new environment and take home skills they’ll keep with them for a lifetime! There are water activities like canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding, and white water rafting. Other land activities at their recreational facilities include outdoor expeditions, horseback riding, hiking, beach volleyball, yoga, ultimate frisbee, fitness, creative arts, and much more!
Children are given the ability to choose what they want to do at camp. And with over 65 different activities, they can find the ones they like or try new things. You can sign them up for one-week, two-week, and four-week overnight camps from June to August. Camp Hidden Meadows also has specialty camps focusing on horseback riding, fly fishing clinics, and a counselor-in-training program where future camp counselors can build leadership skills.
2. Camp Kno-Koma
Camp Kno-Koma is a safe haven for children with diabetes, where they can enjoy a traditional summer camp experience. They spend the summer doing fun things with other children just like them. The residential camps are close to Anthony, WV, and held in the Monongahela National Forest, providing campers with an immersive outdoor experience.
Campers get to participate in swimming, fishing, volleyball, arts and crafts, dances, tubing, nature studies, talent shows, and much more!! Kids won’t run out of things to do with all their camp facilities and can enjoy a summer of fun. There is on-site medical staff to attend to the children at all times. At Camp Kno-Koma, children create bonds and friendships with their peers that last a lifetime.
Their goal is to ensure that each child that attends has a season full of adventure and education while making new friends. As a non-profit organization, they offer scholarships and help for families of varying income levels.
3. River and Trail Outfitters
River and Trail Outfitters offer kids nature summer camps for boys and girls ages 7-13. They’re located in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, and their day camps last an entire week.
Those who attend can enjoy activities like whitewater rafting, canoeing, tubing, kayaking, biking, ziplining, camping, hiking, rock climbing, cross-country skiing, and much more! These camp activities are bound to take kids out of their comfort zone and help them learn about themselves, experience personal growth, and enjoy a great time during the school break.
The staff that leads the sleepaway camp are trained professionals with certifications in First Aid training. The goal is to help increase a child’s self-confidence, self-esteem, and appreciation for the environment. There are three different camp dates, one for each summer month, with campers separated into two age groups, 7-10 and 11-13.
4. Trails Carolina
Trails Carolina offers a specialty summer camp where struggling kids and young adults can attend to overcome personal challenges. Their wilderness therapy program is aimed at kids and teenagers ages 10-17.
They’ve got multiple wilderness programs for all different types of people that might need help, including an equine focus where youth can take care of horses and a family camp where participants can go horseback riding, kayaking, canoeing, and much more.
By the time they’re done, participants can find themselves in a much stronger place mentally and physically and carry the lessons learned at the camp into their own personal lives.
The camps are led by highly experienced professionals, including qualified therapists and counselors. People in West Virginia and from all over the country attend Trails Carolina. It’s a great place for youth to learn to control their emotions, improve self-confidence and resilience and build a stronger bond with their family.
5. Camp Gritstone
If your child is a fan of outdoor activities, Camp Gritstone in Morgantown might just be the perfect day camp in West Virginia! Camp Gritstone is all about getting out there and going on a massive outdoor adventure. Boys and girls ages 5-17 can enroll in one of their multiple camp sessions with starting dates from June to August.
Participants can go rock climbing, zipline, storytelling, games, and thrilling water fights! The activities at this outdoor adventure camp are set according to everyone’s age and ability, so no one is pushed too hard and gets to enjoy the activities to the fullest!
They offer full-day camps that run from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm and last all week. The two main summer programs are Mountaineer Explorers and Fantastic Cryptids, which each have a different focus.
6. Appalachian Expeditions
Appalachian Expeditions offers day camps in Davis, West Virginia. Their outdoor adventure camps help kids of all ages explore the outdoors through fun activities like canoeing, swimming, boating, and backpacking. Students can work their way through forests and streams and learn about the natural world as they explore with other young kids and camp counselors.
One of the things that makes this summer camp one of the best options in the state is that it’s pretty budget-friendly. The costs are much lower than other camps, making it affordable to lower-income families. There are two different camp sessions, each lasting around four days and starting on May 30th and August 8th.
At the overnight camp, youth are trusted to make decisions, and when things don’t go right, they learn how to work their way through things. When it comes to learning and having fun simultaneously, the opportunities are endless with Appalachian Expeditions.
7. WVU Tech Summer Camps
WVU Tech Summer Camps offer some of the most innovative options for prospective campers. Delivered in Beckley, WV, a range of programs are available, drawing upon various passions and professions.
They have a STEM Camp, where high school students are invited to participate in a weeklong camp that focuses on all things science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Electronics, Forensic Investigation, Automobiles, and Robotics are some of the areas campers can sink their teeth into.
If kids want to dive deeper into forensic investigation, they have a day camp that allows students to dig into the subject. Skills covered include crime scene reading and interviewing latent fingerprints, and lab analysis.
More athletic students can participate in their volleyball skills camp, where young kids and older teens can hone the fundamentals of their volleyball skills, such as serving, hitting, and passing.
There are also options for students ages 10-12 to explore different careers and socialize in a traditional camping environment. Medically-inclinded high school students can take advantage of their Junior nursing academy where they learn from real nurses.
8. Outdoor Adventure Camp
Situated in Harpers Ferry, Outdoor Adventure Camp is a family-owned day camp that offers engaging and educational opportunities for its campers. Staying true to the traditional summer camp style, children are taught to develop their confidence and collaboration through fun activities. The exciting activities during their adventure weeks include ziplining, tubing, paddle boarding, kayaking, rafting, and climbing. Some weeks also consists of field trips to a waterpark or laster tag arena as well as national parks.
Outdoor Adventure Camp offers summer programs for children ages 9-14. They offer a 3 day option which is suitable for first time campers. But they also have a longer option thats occur over five days, allowing children to enjoy everything camp offers. The programs tend to last from Monday to Friday and last from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. It’s an ideal and welcoming place for kids to build longlasting friendships.