Updated: December 13th, 2022
Nestled on the Mississippi River is a city home to blues, soul, rock, and mouthwatering barbeques. People from all over the states visit Memphis in the summer to enjoy an array of entertainment and outdoor fun. Live outdoor music, paddleboarding, kayaking, and hikes through Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park are just some of the many activities people can enjoy in this vibrant city.
Given Memphis’ prime location and its variety of landscapes, it’s an excellent place for your kids to attend summer camp. Although Memphis’ urban landscape is sprawling, there are plenty of natural areas where kids can enjoy hiking, swimming, and endless outdoor fun.
5 Best Summer Camps in Memphis, TN
1. Summer at Hutchinson
The Hutchinson school offers traditional day camps and skills workshops for girls and boys entering pre-K through 12th grade. The school’s campus sprawls over 52-acres of wooded and gated land which is used to help kids explore the great outdoors. There’s even a private lake and farm!
The school’s Center for Excellence offers skills workshops in arts, athletics, and education. Workshops are organized according to grade, so your child spends time learning and having fun with other children their age. Pottery, ballet, tennis, and yoga are some of the popular workshops your children can participate in.
The SPARK day camp is available to Hutchinson school girls entering pre-k through 6th grade and boys entering pre-k through 4th grade. Campers spend the day canoeing, exploring, and learning about the farm while also having the opportunity to enjoy a dip in the private pool.
2. Memphis Public Libraries’ Virtual
If you’re looking for a fun summer learning experience your child can participate in from home, the Memphis Public Library offers virtual camps for precisely that! The virtual camps are available to children ages 9-18 for free. They can choose from a variety of STEAM-focused classes.
The types of camps offered change each year, but you can get a good idea about the types of activities your child can sign up for by looking for previous year’s programs. Last summer, the public library hosted virtual camps focusing on smartphone filmmaking, robotics, coding, and technology forensics.
Summer programs through the Memphis Public Library have been historically offered in-person, but they have shifted to an online platform due to unavoidable circumstances.
3. Big Brown Summer Camp
The Big Brown Summer Camp (BBSC) has been creating exciting learning experiences for children since 2006. Executive Director Daryl Brown focuses on teaching children valuable life skills through sports, education, and team-building exercises. At BBSC, children ages 5 - 13 have access to recording studios, computer labs, bikes, and fun field trips.
Trained teachers and mentors lead campers through various programs such as academic coaching in math and reading, sports, arts and crafts, horseback riding. There are skills workshops on financial principles, business, healthy eating, and exercise. Free lunch and snacks are also provided to each camper. If you need financial assistance, there are scholarships available.
4. Salvation Army Memphis Summer Camp
The Salvation Army believes that summer camps offer a transformative experience for youth and that every child deserves to experience summer camp regardless of their family’s socioeconomic status. They offer two summer camp programs: Camp Paradise Valley and Camp Hope. Camp Hope is available to children enrolled in the residential program at Purdue Center of Hope, while Paradise Valley is open to kids ages 7-17.
At the Salvation Army’s Memphis summer camp, kids enjoy a combination of indoor and outdoor activities. Children can participate in ropes courses, fishing, swimming, farming, archery, and various sports outside. Inside, they can learn more about the band, theatre, dancing, and computer skills.
The Salvation Army supports families in need by giving children a place to be a kid while their parents work or attend classes. At camp, trained mentors support children’s social-emotional needs and encourage campers to develop a closer relationship with God.
5. STEM Discovery Camp
Summer learning loss is a real thing that happens to all kids over the summer months during school break. If you want to ensure your child is prepared for the upcoming school year, consider the Marjorie Lee Browne STEM Discovery Camp in Memphis. This free 3-week camp focuses on helping kids with mathematics and problem-solving.
Teachers and college student mentors lead campers through games, arts and crafts, dance, sports, and field trips to keep their academic skills sharp over the summer. Youth can choose which classes they want to take, so the camp experience is completely customizable to meet your child’s needs and interests.