Spring and Summer Camps and Outdoor Programs for Children and Families

Kids enjoy learning about nature and science and participating in outdoor sports and recreation. They thrive in the outdoors, whether it’s trekking along a trail with friends, playing soccer or exploring a lake shoreline with their scientific eyes. These spring and summer camps, events and programs for children and families will keep your little ones outside and active all summer long.

Wild Walls Climbing Camps

Wild Walls Climbing Camps are designed to offer both new and experienced climbers ages 8 to 14 the tools they need to climb to their fullest potential, all while having loads of fun. Camp participants will spend the week covering a broad variety of skills from basic climbing, to belaying, to climbing-specific games and techniques. No experience is necessary, just an interest in climbing (most kids love to climb trees, rocks, walls, whatever). Climbing is excellent exercise for kids of all ages and helps them develop strength and better control over their bodies and minds. Camps run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the following weeks: June 20-24, June 27 – July 1, July 11-15, and July 18-22. Wildwalls.com

Twin Eagles Wilderness School

Children learn wilderness survival skills, animal tracking, natural shelter building, foraging, traditional archery and much more through various overnight and day camp programs provided by this Sandpoint-based wilderness school. This spring, Twin Eagles is offering a weekend teen rendezvous (April 15-17) for ages 13-18, and mother-daughter (April 22-24) and father-son (May 27-30) wilderness weekend retreats, for children ages 7-12. Twin Eagles’ summer camp programs include themed day camps for ages 6-13 in both Sandpoint and Spokane, and overnight outdoor adventure camps for ages 10-18. With a one-to-five staff to camper ratio, children and teens enjoy personalized attention with adult mentors as they explore, learn and develop deeper connections with nature. Twineagles.org

Photo courtesy of Twin Eagles Wilderness Adventure Camps.
Photo courtesy of Twin Eagles Wilderness Adventure Camps.

Skyhawks Youth Sports Camps

More than 30 years ago, Skyhawks had the vision that every child should experience the joy and benefits of sports. Skyhawks youth sports camps are committed to providing a safe, fun and skill-based experience for kids between the ages of 3 and 12. What started as a regional soccer program here in the Pacific Northwest has evolved into a youth sports program that offers 12 different sports camps and programs, including traditional weeklong summer day camps covering multiple sports and activities, including swimming, cross-country, basketball, baseball, soccer, golf, lacrosse, flag football and other offerings. Skyhawks.com

Camp Spalding

Located on 500 wooded acres by Davis Lake at the foot of the Selkirk Mountain Range, near Newport, Wash., this Christian camp offers a specialized Pioneer Camp with different sessions for various school-age groups, starting with second grade. Different from Spalding’s regular program, Pioneer campers sleep in an authentic 18’ Sioux tipi, cook meals over an open campfire, and hike to an overnight campsite. Camp Spalding’s full summer of programming also offers a “Mom, Dad, & Me Overnight” for children entering grades K-2 (June 17-18), an all-ages Family Camp (August 17-21), as well as 3-6 night camps for different developmental ages: Discovery (three nights, children entering grades 2-4), Junior (six nights, grades 5-6), junior high and senior high. Overnight accommodations include the Clearwater Lodge or cabins. Campspalding.org

What summer should be. Photo courtesy of Camp Spalding.
What summer should be. Photo courtesy of Camp Spalding.

West Valley Outdoor Learning Center

WVOLC offers programs related to the center’s bird sanctuary and other on-site animals, including a bird-sketching class, summer camps in July, and two program events for REI’s “Wednesdays in the Woods” at Riverside State Park (June 29, birds; July 15, reptiles). Beginning June 20, the center will present “Tortoise and Hare” programs for City of Spokane branch libraries for children to learn about animal adaptations and visit with a live 30-year-old, 50+ pound tortoise. On July 8, the center’s “Builders Quest” themed open house will offer activities for children to build beaver dams, spider webs and bird nests. Olc.wvsd.org

Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area Activities

America’s National Park Service turns 100 this year. To celebrate, Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area is hosting several special events this summer, including a free Junior Ranger Day Camp in June; “Ranger on the Porch” activities at Fort Spokane Visitor Center every Sunday to learn historical skills such as paper making, gold panning and pine needle basket weaving (June-August); ranger-led canoe trips; and astronomy programs, July 1-3. A big NPS centennial celebration will be held on August 25 and will include living history interpreters, Spokane and Colville tribes’ cultural displays and tours of Fort Spokane. Nps.gov

Peak 7 Adventures

Based in Spokane, Peak 7 is a faith-based non-profit organization that offers guided outdoor trips for families and youth, such as family rafting trips on the Grand Ronde or Clark Fork rivers (age 13+) and a three-day father-son rafting and camping trip (age 8+) on the Deschutes River in Oregon. There is also a junior guide program (ages 15-18) and five day North Cascades backpacking trip (ages 13-18), as well as a new eight week excursion-based Bower Adventure Course (ages 15-18) that begins June 20. Peak7.org

Kootenai Environmental Alliance

“Trees for the Earth” Earth Day celebration for the community takes place on Sunday, April 24, 12-3 p.m. at the Coeur d’Alene Public Library (702 E. Front Avenue). KEA’s Art of Nature summer day camp for 2nd-6th graders, July 11-15, combines art, science and nature adventures. Kealliance.org

Photo courtesy of Twin Eagles Wilderness Adventure Camps.
Photo courtesy of Twin Eagles Wilderness Adventure Camps.

Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture

A variety of adventure, natural science, and art camps are offered for children in grades 1-6 over the course of seven weeks, starting June 20 and ending August 12. Campers will enjoy outdoor activities on the museum’s five-acre campus and surrounding neighborhood, and some camp sessions include a field trip to Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge. Northwestmuseum.org

WSU Cougar Kids Camp

“Cougar Survivor” is the theme for July 5-8 at this day camp based on the Washington State University campus in Pullman. Children entering grades 3-6 will learn Leave No Trace principles, campsite setup and outdoor cooking and compass and map navigation. Cougarkids.wsu.edu/cougar-kids-camp

Camp Lutherhaven

A variety of outdoor-centric programs are offered by this Christian camping organization at its three properties. At Camp Lutherhaven on Lake Coeur d’Alene, there are two unique opportunities: Pioneers and Lutherhaven Villages camp sessions, where children sleep overnight at either the mountaintop Homestead Village or the Treehouse Village. At Shoshone Mountain Retreat, there is an all-ages Family Camp (July 15-17) and Kindercamp. At Shoshone Creek Ranch Camp, kids who like horses and riding can enjoy a western dude ranch experience. Lutherhaven.com. // (Amy Silbernagel McCaffree and Derrick Knowles)

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