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Several different types of summer camps are organized in the United States, and finding the right one can be overwhelming for parents. Each camp differs from the others in terms of the advantages it offers, healthcare, and quality of food. We have provided a breakdown of the most common varieties of summer camps based on the activities, programming, age group, and more.

This article will provide guidance and inspiration to find the ideal camp for your children.

Types Of Summer Camps Based On The Program

No two summer camps are alike; they have different operating dates, seasons, and times. Before looking for a summer camp, deciding on the kind of schedule that suits your needs is essential.

Summer Day Camps


Summer day camps operate in hours similar to regular school days and are closer to large metropolitan areas. From games to experimental activities, projects, crafts, and more, summer day camps have a lot to offer that keeps children happy and excited all summer. Campers are dropped off at specific locations where the vans pick them up to explore unique destinations. Campers go home each evening after spending a day full of adventure, free play, outdoor exploration, and exciting group activities. Since not all children are sleep-away campers, day camps are a perfect alternative to the traditional summer camp experience.

​They provide a structured environment for children to learn and grow while allowing them to return to their homes daily. Summer day camps offer a variety of activities and experiences for children to enjoy during the day. Returning home daily saves children from homesickness. Summer day camps are an excellent way for children to stay active and engaged through swimming, hiking, canoeing, and much more. Some day camps work with the local facilities to offer a weekly schedule that includes pool days, library visits, field trips, etc., while others focus on outdoor exploration.

Residential Camps

Residential camps are also sleepaway camps and range from one-night stays to eight weeks. In residential camps, children are bunked with other campers of similar age, typically in a dorm or cabin. Children experience various activities during the day and enjoy different programs in the evening.

​Residential camps usually have a long history and are commonly found across the U.S. Wooden cabins, campfires, and activities on the lake and in the woods are typical of residential camps. They allow children to interact with each other, provide opportunities to make new friends, and establish relationships that stay with them for a lifetime.

Conference And Retreat Centers

Some of the camps have programs focused on year-round operations. The activities may or may not be similar to traditional summer camps. Some operate similarly to typical residential and sleepaway camps, while others run during off-seasons.
Most conference and retreat centers have designed their unique programs and activities for the entire year. Some examples include team and leadership development, outdoor education, corporate retreats, etc.

​Give your children a summer to remember by enrolling them in our Summer Day Camp Program. Our dedicated guides are trained to keep campers physically and intellectually engaged while having a great time. RAD Camps offer an exciting and fun-filled summer day camp program in Bend, Oregon.

We take children to various locations in Deschutes and Willamette National Forests. Our summer day camp programs focus on outdoor exploration, free play, camaraderie, and an appreciation for our natural world. Our motto is “No Child Left Inside.” We connect children with nature through fun-filled activities.


Chance is the owner and CEO of R.A.D. Camps in Bend, Oregon. He attended R.A.D. Camps summer programs as a kid and loved it so much he bought the company!