Life

Kids Summer Camps Around Southwest Missouri

Help your child develop character, learn life skills and discover new interests. No matter what your child is into, there’s a summer camp for every kid in and around the Ozarks.

Mar 01 2019 at 9 a.m.

417 Magazine's Kids Camps
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Summer is a magical time for kids. School's out and the opportunities feel endless. Keep them active, physically and mentally, while you also help them develop character, learn life skills and discover new interests. No matter what your child is into, there’s something for every kid at one of these summer camps in and around the Ozarks.

Cub Creek Science Camp, Missouri
Cub Creek Science Camp, Missouri
Photos courtesy Cub Creek Science Camp

Cub Creek Science Camp

16795 State Hwy E., Rolla, 573-458-2125

Imagine a summer camp where you eat breakfast in the company of ring-tailed lemurs, zoom down a zip-line and kiss a camel before lunch, try your hand at making pottery on the wheel in the afternoon, and play a camp-wide game of capture the flag after dinner. Cub Creek Science Camp is that camp! With over 300 animals, a 6-element ropes course, archery and riflery ranges, and activities in arts and crafts, digital photography, chemistry, entomology, crime science, pottery, culinary science and more, they are a truly unique summer kid's camp. Cub Creek Science Camp is dedicated to creating lifelong memories, cultivating and nurturing friendships and enriching the lives of all campers ages 7–17. After 25 years, they have had campers join them from all over the world, facilitated thousands of strong and lasting friendships and introduced countless individuals to some of the wonderful animals we share this planet with. Foxes, lemurs, alpacas, miniature horses, parrots, lizards, armadillos, sloths, ferrets, porcupines, pigs and snakes are just a few of the 100+ different kinds of animals they love, care for and nurture at camp. Facilities are air-conditioned, meals are served buffet-style with alternative meal options available, and they are accredited by the American Camp Association. Call or email them to talk! They love to answer questions about camp! 

Credo Dance Academy, Springfield, MO
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Credo Dance Academy

931 S. Kickapoo Ave., Springfield417-496-9527

Credo Dance Academy offers dance training in a Christ-centered environment that builds up the whole student. This summer, they’re offering camps and intensives for every aged dancer. And if you register before March 8, you’ll receive a discount! Do something different this summer, like Frozen Dance Camp, Moana Hawaiian Princess Dance Camp, Ballet, Contemporary, Hip-Hop, Tumbling and more!

Discovery Garden Montessori School, Springfield, MO
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Discovery Garden Montessori School

1515 S. National Ave., Springfield417-631-4590

Cultivate your child’s natural love of learning this summer with Discovery Garden Montessori School! They have Creativity Camps for learners ages 1.5 through fourth grade graduates. See your child bloom as they explore different art techniques, practice creative writing and storytelling, create architectural structures and author their own short film. Visit dgmontessori.org for camp dates and more information. 

Summer Camp at Diventures in Springfield, MO
Photo courtesy Diventures

Diventures

5225 S. Campbell Ave., Springfield417- 883-5151

Kids will have a splash this summer at Diventures. A mix of learning and fun, our summer programs include Summer Splash Sessions and Scuba Rangers. Looking for a day camp? Try a Summer Splash Session, a week-long day camp that focuses on improving swimmers’ confidence. Want adventure? Try Scuba Rangers, a five-day session for kids ready to reach new depths. Rangers learn water safety and teamwork while discovering fun facts about the ocean and marine life. 

Diventures’ summer schedule also includes Mermaid and Shark Camps, Snorkeling Classes and more. See the full summer schedule and reserve your spot at diventures.com/camp.

Girl Scouts of America Summer Camps, Springfield, MO

Girl Scouts Summer Camp

877-312-4764, info@girlscoutsmoheartland.org

Fun. Summer camp. They’re pretty much synonymous. This summer local Girl Scouts will have plenty of fun with hiking, canoeing, archery and more! Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland’s summer camps offer girls opportunities to have exciting outdoor adventures while learning important skills like self-reliance, leadership and perseverance.

And more, girls take the lead! Girl Scout camps provide an all-girl safe space where they’re free to explore, learn and have fun being themselves.

Being a Girl Scout isn’t required; plenty of girls come with no previous Girl Scout experience. They leave with new friendships, leadership skills and tons of fun memories.

Kids First Preschool, Springfield, MO
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Kids First Preschool

4344 S. Fremont Ave., Springfield417-887-2151

Kids First Sensation Summer 2019 is a day camp that includes constant exploration and hands-on experiments for your 2–6 year old! Your child will build academic and social skills while having fun. Their creative curriculum includes music, PE, art, STEM, Spanish and Signing, science experiments, outdoor/water play, picnics and so much more! 

Lake Country Soccer Camps, Springfield, MO

Lake Country Soccer

2334 E. Pythian St., Springfield417-862-3211

No matter what your child’s soccer goals are, Lake Country Soccer’s summer camps can help reach them. For younger players, LCS offers two camps that take place June 24 through June 28 and July 15 through July 19. Offered Monday through Friday, LCS has 1.5-hour Turf Tykes Soccer Camps for children 3 to 6 years old and three-hour Soccer Skills Camps for children ages 7 to 15. Skills and Agility Clinics are offered August 5–9 for advanced players aged 8 to 18.

Unlike other soccer camps, Lake Country Soccer hosts theirs indoors so you don’t have to worry about scorching heat or inclement weather. Your child will be coached by a professional soccer staff with collegiate and professional soccer experience. Each player receives training based on their own individual player development, so they are able to develop at their own pace. 

Rick Grayson's Golf Camp, Springfield, MO
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Rick Grayson’s Golf Camp

417-823-PUTT

Aspiring golfers practice putting, chipping, pitching, irons and drivers, along with rules and more at PGA National Junior Golf Leader Rick Grayson’s Golf Camp. Sessions include Tri-Golf for ages 10 and under, starting in April and LPGA-USGA Girls, starting in May. Additional junior camp dates include June 3–7, July 8–12 and August 5–9.

RedLine Athletics, Springfield, MO
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RedLine Athletics

4234 S. Reed Ave., Springfield417-319-5766

Maximize their potential. RedLine Athletics helps take athletes ages 8 to 18 to the next level. This summer, have your young athlete try out the clinics they offer in speed and agility, basketball, baseball, softball, football, soccer, golf, vertimax resistance, strength and conditioning and more. RedLine adds the element of the training process as well as the skill of each sport to their clinics, making it a one of a kind athletic experience. 

RedLine’s goal is to transform each child into the best young athlete they can be. No matter which sport your child wants to pursue and no matter what their current skill level at that sport is, RedLine will make them a better athlete first and then work on sport-specific skills. 

Located near Farmers Park, their brand new training center is over 8,000 square feet and the preeminent facility for sports performance training.

Get customized training for nearly every sport that’s professional, affordable and convenient. Summer is just the beginning… RedLine offers these opportunities for young athletes all year long, even on weeknights and weekends. Interested in semi-private, one-on-one or group training? RedLine Athletics’ sports performance specialists are experts at helping your child become a better athlete!

Springfield Little Theatre, Springfield, MO
Photo courtesy Springfield Little Theatre

Springfield Little Theatre

311 E. Walnut St., Springfield417-869-3869 x21

Try something you’ve never tried before, or follow your passion and improve your craft at SLT! Springfield Little Theatre offers multiple one- and two-week workshop sessions during the months of May through August. Serving beginning to advanced students ages 4 to 18, SLT is proud to provide a unique, enriching, entertaining and exciting summer theatre camp experience in Acting, Musical Theatre, Dance, Performance, Technical Theatre or Theatre Administration for every child who participates. Housed in the beautiful, historic Landers Theatre, youth involvement at Springfield Little Theatre encourages a love and respect for community, the arts and all aspects of theatricality, promotes discipline and the pursuit of excellence, and provides an outlet for friendship and fun!

Summer School with Springfield Public Schools
Summer School with Springfield Public Schools
Photos courtesy Springfield Public Schools

Springfield Public Schools

417-523-4747, sps.org/Explore

Elementary & Middle School
Explore is an exciting opportunity for students to participate in fun and engaging learning experiences this summer. Enriched by immersive field experiences, hands-on activities and unique classes, Explore offers something for every child from kindergarten to high school. Best of all, it is fun and free! Students may design their experience to best align with their personal interests or goals, while attending classes Monday through Friday. Elementary school hours are 8:50 a.m. to 3:20 p.m. (with the exception of Hickory Hills and Pershing, 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.). Middle school classes are in session 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Free breakfast and lunch will be served in accordance with federal guidelines and before and after-school care is available. All courses are available to students with disabilities, and parents should consult with their student’s teacher prior to registration. In addition, Artworks, our premier fine arts summer experience, is offering more than 40 free classes offered at two schools, June 3–14 or June 17–28. To make it more convenient for everyone to attend, classes are held at more than 25 schools, and free transportation is available for eligible students. Enroll now at sps.org/Explore.

High School
There are dozens of ways high school students can take credit for their summer with Explore. Teens can learn anytime, anywhere and even earn credit for summer activities they already had planned, like a P.E. credit earned working out or an elective credit for a summer job. With a wide variety of free seated and online classes, Explore offers teens the flexibility to choose the path, place and pace of learning to meet their personal goals. Students can earn some basic credits, like English, Biology or Algebra, in a seated class at Central High School, with daily breakfast and lunch served in accordance with federal guidelines. Or, busy teens can learn on their time with more than 60 online classes, like American Baseball History, Early Childhood and Economics. Students can even get credit for real world experiences like visiting college campuses or an employment internship. Whether high school students want to earn basic credits, repeat a class or learn online, Explore can help them succeed. Check out the options and enroll in free classes available to any high school student in the area at sps.org/Explore.

Springfield Greene County Park Board Summer Camps
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Springfield-Greene County Park Board

417-864-1049 

Kids! The Springfield-Greene County Park Board has a camp for you this summer! Check out SPARC day camps, offered all summer at Ritter Springs Park, as well as before and after Explore at school-park sites, with field trips, swimming, games, crafts, sports, nature activities and team building! Or choose from specialized day camps, like learning about animals at Dickerson Park Zoo, Junior Golf Clinics and Gardening and Skateboarding Camps. Valley Water Mill Park Equestrian Center hosts beginning to advanced horse-riding camps. Rutledge-Wilson Farm Park offers half-day and full-day seasonal farm-themed camps. The Park Board also has summer figure skating, ice hockey, archery, swim lessons, baseball, tennis, day trips with Outdoor Initiatives and more! There’s something for everyone!

Springfield Riding Club, Springfield, MO
Photo courtesy Springfield Riding Club

Springfield Riding Club: Pony Dayz

5964 S. St Hwy NN, Rogersville417-350-2721

Summer is the best time of year to learn how ride a horse! We have regularly scheduled afternoon lessons Monday thru Friday. The Riding Club’s lesson program provides a safe environment to learn all that horses have to offer people. Instruction comes from active equestrian professionals and competitive level horses in a one-on-one setting. Summer camps will be available to current intermediate and above riding students.

YMCA Camp Wakonda, Missouri
Photo courtesy YMCA

YMCA Camp Wakonda

22237 Lawrence 2080, Ash Grove417-830-2131

What sets YMCA Camp Wakonda apart from other camps is our camp culture of “I’m Third.” It’s a meaningful camp motto stating “God first, Others Second and ‘I’m Third.’” Camp Wakonda staff members are carefully selected for their ability to live out the camp’s motto. They hope campers will, in turn, adopt an “I’m Third” lifestyle. 

Camp Wakonda is a learning culture infused with fun. Activities include archery, riflery, outdoor cooking, high ropes, rock climbing, cheer and dance, yoga, field sports, canoeing, kayaking swimming, arts and crafts and (a lot) more. The activities offer new challenges and opportunities to practice the core values of YMCA… caring, honesty, respect, responsibility, faith & friendship. Campers also participate in daily chapel, grace at meals and evening devotions.

Camp is held in a pristine Ozark Mountain setting with fields, creeks and a lake. Over the past 5 years there have been significant upgrades to camp, including air-conditioned cabins, new windows and doors, a new solar powered shower house, a new five-acre lake, docks and all kinds of canoes, kayaks and water trampolines to enjoy on the new lake.

Seven co-ed camps, for ages 8–18, are held from June through August. Each camp lasts a week. Seven days of making lifelong friendships. Seven days of fun and challenges. Seven days of growing in spirit, mind and body. Seven days that will equal the best week of your kid’s summer.

Wonders of Wildlife, Springfield, MO
Photo courtesy Wonders of Wildlife

Wonders of Wildlife

500 W. Sunshine St., Springfield888-222-6060 ext. 2

Dive in with a Summer Camp Edventure at Wonders of Wildlife. Experience the sights, sounds and smells of some of the wildest places on earth and learn about the many creatures that call Wonders of Wildlife home. From June to August, campers will test out their survival skills, encounter live animals, explore nature and create lasting memories. From pre-K to high school, your campers will learn through games, crafts, experiments and more, it will be a summer they will never forget! For more information and to register, visit wondersofwildlife.org/education/edventure-programs.

Zenith Climbing Center, Springfield, MO
Photo courtesy Zenith Climbing Center

Zenith Climbing Center

3534 E. Sunshine St. #3, Springfield417-986-3869

At Zenith Climbing Center campers literally reach new heights! Our state-of-the-art indoor rock climbing facility offers over 9,000 feet of climbing area. Rock climbing camp introduces kids to rope skills and gives them lots of climbing time. Each action packed day will be carefully supervised by knowledgeable instructors and full of fun-filled activities to improve self-esteem, social skills, and kinesthetic development. No prior climbing experience is necessary!

Four-day sessions begin June 4th and run through July 26th. Each camp session runs Tuesday through Friday. Half-day and full-day options are available.

Have an action packed summer with Zenith!

More information: (417)986-3869 or zenithclimbing.com