Arts and Humanities Summer Camps for Gifted Children

Math and science are popular areas of study for summer camps, and they definitely attract mathematically gifted kids. But what about verbally gifted kids and kids with talents and interests in language, music, and the arts?  Thankfully, there are a number of summer camps available for them too! Here is a short list of some excellent summer camps that focus on the arts and humanities.

Interlochen Arts Camp
Interlochen Arts Camp. Photo Courtesy of Interlochen

Interlochen Arts Camp, located in northwestern Michigan, offers summer camp programs for children in grades three through twelve. With its programs in Creative Writing, Dance, Motion Picture Arts, Music, Theatre Arts, and Visual Arts, Interlochen is an ideal camp for children whose abilities and interests lie in the performing arts area.

Not all of these areas are open to children of all ages. Music and dance, for example, are open to children in grades three through twelve, while motion picture arts and creative writing are available only to those in grades six and up.


These summer camps are so varied it is impossible to describe them! Basically, these camps are language immersion camps, which means that the kids who attend these camps listen to and speak only the language of a particular "village." A village is a camp devoted to one of fifteen different languages, including French, German, Finnish, Japanese, Russian, and Arabic.

Camps are available for children as young as seven and can last from one to four weeks in a few different locations, including some overseas. Most, however, are located in Minnesota.


This camp for kids ages 9-17 offers a variety of classes in music, theater, dance, visual arts, photography, video, recording arts, and creative writing. How perfect is that for those with artistic interests and abilities? Kids can attend either a 2-week session or a 4-week session, both of which emphasize the creative process and provide opportunities for hands-on learning.

There are two major areas and one minor area to choose from and the list of topics available for study seems infinite. Here is a very brief sampling: acting, theatrical design & construction, stage combat, costuming, painting, sculpture, drawing, playwriting, photography, ballet, folk dance, tap dance, chorus, music ensembles (string, brass, woodwind), jazz band, rock band, horseback riding.... There are many, many more!

What's really cool is that campers spend time working individually and collaboratively on performances and exhibitions that families get to see and enjoy at the end of the session!


If your child is a reader who appreciates great works of literature and philosophy, this program is a great choice for a summer camp. So what would those great works include? It includes works by Homer, Plato, Jefferson, Franklin, Tolstoy, Thoreau, Borges and Vonnegut, just to mention a few. Two basic programs are available: the Intermediate Program, for kids in grades 6-8; and the Senior Program, for kids in grades 9-12. The Intermediate Program has one, two or three-week sessions, while the Senior Program has one, two, three and four-week sessions. These programs are available at either Amhurst College in Amherst, Massachusetts, or Standford University in Stanford, California. If your child prefers great movies to great books, the Standford location offers a program on great movies.


The setting of this six and a half week long camp is beautiful and will definitely appeal to artistically oriented girls. The building looks like a royal manor home, complete with castle turrets. Girls in grades 3 to 10 can immerse themselves in art, acting and musical theater, dance, music, and individual sports. Each of those areas offers a wide variety of classes to choose from. In theater, for example, girls can choose acting techniques, improvisation, Shakespeare, musical theater, directing, lighting design, and costuming, just to mention a few. Dance includes ballet, jazz, tap, and more. Kids can also choose lessons in voice, piano, chorus, and one of several different instruments. In addition to the usual arts of drawing, painting, and sculpting, kids can also choose to study fashion design, jewelry making, and photography. But be prepared: it's not cheap. The cost to send your daughter to this beautiful camp for this wonderful experience is quite hefty.


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