Portland, Oregon is one of the best places to visit in the Western US, boasting an enviable culinary scene, tourist-friendly attractions, and alluring scenery. The City of Roses comes alive in summer and offers outdoor activities, festivals, and fine dining.
Portland has many summer camps for your kids to play and learn when days get longer and warmer. Today we cover the top summer camps in Portland so you can choose the option that fits your child’s needs the best.
Best Portland Summer Camps
Cherry Street Films offers aspiring filmmakers exciting learning opportunities in a friendly and inclusive environment. Kids ages 11 to 17 learn the basics of filmmaking, including all aspects of pre and post-production.
Lessons at Cherry Street Films are fully practical, with campers encouraged to experiment and accept feedback. Classes cover scriptwriting, cinematography, project management, and video editing.
This camp is located close to natural attractions and takes advantage of that through outdoor lessons. Your child can explore trails, forests and immerse in the beautiful outdoors.
Cherry Street Films prioritizes campers’ learning and has structured its curriculum to match the learning needs of different participants. No matter your kid’s age, there’s always something to learn here.
The award-winning Baxter Sports Camp is a good place for kids to enjoy the benefit of learning a sport. They can develop teamwork and collaboration skills and improve their self-esteem and confidence.
The camp welcomes players of different levels, even those who are yet to find an interesting sport. The coaches have experience working with different individuals and can develop a personalized activity plan for your child.
You can choose from basketball, soccer, or Ultimate Frisbee camps. Baxter’s Multi-Sport camp has an eclectic collection of sports for children if you’d like them to try out different sports.
If your child is an art enthusiast, you will want to enroll them in the Art World School summer camp. The camp has flexible options for kids—you can register for half-day or full-day camps.
Your child will participate in sessions to build their creativity and master art fundamentals. They’ll learn how to create handcrafted objects, paint, draw, sculpt clay, and produce 3D art.
No two weeks are the same at Arts World School with different weekly themes. One week, your child creates art reflecting prehistoric elements, and the other involves campers learning about the animal kingdom.
The half-day camp runs between 8:30 am and 1:30 pm or 1:30 pm and 6:30 pm. If you prefer a full-day experience, your kid’s stay at camp starts in the morning at 8:30 am and ends at 6:30 pm.
Rewild Portland is on a mission to reconnect children to nature and provide one-of-a-kind outdoor experiences. Everything here, from cooking to play to relaxation, is done in the open. Kids learn how to survive out in the wild without harming the environment.
Rewild offers heaps of fun for the interested student. The themed days feature different activities that teach history, art, biology, and other topics. Classes like Skin and Bones have children learn prehistory while creating prehistoric tools themselves.
Trained educators have developed each activity group to provide a learning experience that kids of different ages (5-11) can love and appreciate. The camp also allows for self-directed play and encourages children to explore, make friends, and best of all— learn.
Supported by the Portland Parks Authority, Nature Day Camp instills a love for nature in kids between 5 and 12 years old. This day camp is an outdoors-heavy program that emphasizes natural exploration and recreation.
Besides participating in nature-inspired activities, your camper interacts with peers and forms lasting bonds. They also learn and increase their knowledge while having fun.
Campers are divided into small groups, making the experience more personal for children. They can play games, hike forests, craft items, and make awesome art within these small groups. Other opportunities for interaction include team-building activities, discussion sessions, and group games.
The camps are held in July, August, and September. Registration fees are quite affordable, but you can reduce costs with the many discounts they offer.
Portland Audubon has been committed to protecting Oregon’s wildlife and natural areas for more than a century. These days, it promotes the understanding and appreciation of nature through its programs, including an annual summer camp.
The Portland Audubon summer camp teaches young children how to appreciate the outdoors. Children visit the 172-acre Nature Sanctuary and go through the park’s natural attractions under the care of trained supervisors. Instructors develop the youth’s ability to survive outdoors, teaching a combination of skills that come in handy when exploring nature.
Portland Audubon students are taught to pursue expression through creative outlets. Here, every child can find their artistic side—whether that’s through art, games, skits, or many other things.
7. Camp Fire
If your child falls within a range of 5 to 12, Camp Fire will do them a world of good. The camp transforms children into future leaders capable of creating change in society. Not only will your child learn to understand the art of advocating for social causes, but they’ll also learn the basics of running projects that impact society positively.
While it’s easy to see Camp Fire as a mere school camp, it’s quite the opposite. The camp promotes learning but does so through play-based instruction. It’s certainly one of the top camps in the entire state.
Camp Fire is the perfect place to be for novelty-loving kids during the summer. With a new theme each week, the days at Camp Fire are filled with never-ending fun for campers.
Youth participate in virtual field trips, cookouts, STEAM challenges, and other activities designed to maximize fun at camp. In addition, they can explore their varied interests and passions. Even with its day-camp status, Camp Fire has all the traits of a well-run summer camp program. Camp runs between June and August.