You sign your kids up for summer activities to keep them busy—but did you know this also helps them stay alcohol-free as they grow up?
Kids who have a favorite pastime (or two!) are more likely to focus their time and energy on their passion instead of drinking—plus they’ll build the confidence required to say no to peer pressure and surround themselves with like-minded friends.
So, this summer, let them try different activities and see what sticks! There are tons of options around Idaho; here are just a few ideas to help you get started. Please note that many organizations offer scholarships, so feel free to inquire when you register.
Many Idaho colleges offer summer camps at reasonable prices. For sports, try Lewis-Clark Warrior Youth Camps or Boise State Broncos camps. For just about everything, from art to dance to STEM, look into Lewis-Clark Kids’ College, North Idaho College, and College of Southern Idaho’s College 4 Kids. University of Idaho is offering multiple STEM camps, including programming and fire and watershed ecology.
MUSIC, DANCE, THEATER, ART
Treasure Valley: Theater: Treasure Valley Children’s Theater, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, the Morrison Center, and Nampa Parks and Rec all offer performance camps, and the Meridian Parks & Rec lineup includes a combo class called Singing and Drama. Writing: The Cabin’s summer camps. Dance: Hip hop, salsa, tap, and jazz, and music recording via Boise Parks & Rec; hip-hop, acro, and dance team prep with Dance Unlimited. Art: Filmmaking and watercolors with Eagle Parks & Rec; mixed media with Meridian Parks & Rec.
South Central Idaho: CSI’s College 4 Kids program offers music, theater, and dance camps (including a dance intensive for 12 & up), and a high school art intensive. Students can try dance, music composition (8+), and a musical theater workshop (ages 8-18) with Ovation Performing Arts; or the Rise UP and Sing vocal and instrument camps in Rupert. A performing arts and an Art in the Park camp is being offered through Ketchum Parks & Rec; and a theater camp (through 8th grade) via Blaine County Parks & Rec.
Eastern Idaho: Kids take the stage at the Idaho Falls Youth Arts Centre’s theater camp, or can learn dance styles typically used on stage at an August workshop. A summer dance intensive is being held at Idaho Falls Dance Tech Academy. In Pocatello, ISU offers a Conservatory Theatre Camp (junior high and high school), and Dance America will hold Summer Slam workshops in August.
North & North Central Idaho: Lewiston t(w)eens can choose from multiple options like arts, crafts (sewing and pom-pom rugs), writing, including playwriting, and nature weaving at LCSC Kids’ College. In Moscow, drama camp is happening at University of Idaho. Coeur d’ Alene kids can enjoy teen art, film production, and 3D design and printing at the Kroc Center; improv (ages 11-15), story writing (7-10), and creating comics (8-12) at North Idaho College; and Coeur d’Alene Summer Theater camps. In Sandpoint, the Sandpoint Music Conservatory has orchestra, piano, percussion, and voice camps for ages 8 & up; and STAGES is bringing improv, choreography, and costume camps to the region.
STEM, ANIMALS, NATURAL RESOURCES
STEM programs are everywhere this summer! You’ll undoubtedly find camps through your city or county parks and rec department, or local college.
The Treasure Valley YMCA offers camps for robotics, drone programming, coding, edible experiments, and much more at their Boise, Caldwell, and Meridian campuses. Many are for kids through age 12; some are for up to age 15.
Geeko Labs offers camps for digital music and music production, virtual reality, web design, and Battle Royale game design.
Engineering for Kids camps include robotics and coding for students through 8th grade.
South Central Idaho:
Find Lego robotics (ages 9-14) and Science Explorers camp (through grade 7) at CSI’s College 4 Kids.
In Idaho Falls, try Idaho Falls Zoo camps for kids up to age 13 and Eastern Idaho Technical College science and coding camps for kids up to age 12.
North & North Central Idaho:
Lewiston’s LCSC Kids’ College delivers LEGO Mindstorm and Kano Kit Coding camps for ages 8-15.
University of Idaho Dign’IT Summer Camp cover areas like coding, engineering, chemistry, and wildfire and watershed science (various ages, many to age 18).
North Idaho College is offering an array of STEM camps, including Minecraft Modders, Python programming, aviation careers, and ROBLOX.
Camp Invention delivers activities that encourage kids to discover their inner inventor as it applies to oceans, bots, and entrepreneurship.
It’s pretty easy to find a sports program, from swim lessons or tennis or karate through your city recreation department to basketball and volleyball camps at local schools. Here are just a few to consider.
Skyhawk Sports Camps, around Idaho. Basketball, baseball, tennis, soccer. Ages 4-12.
Paddleboarding with Nampa Parks & Rec (10 & up)
South Central Idaho:
Climbing camp at the Wood River YMCA, Ketchum (through age 18)
Kayaking (through age 18) and swift-water rescue (16+) camps at the Community School, Sun Valley
Volleyball camp, Pocatello (though grade 12)
Backpacking in the Tetons (teens) and City of Rocks overnighter (12+) with Pocatello Parks & Rec
Sailing camp, Coeur d’Alene (12-16)
Golf lessons, Coeur d’Alene
North Idaho College’s adventure camps get kids outside kayaking, rafting, climbing, and hiking.
Coeur d’Alene’s Kroc Center is offering outdoor camps like Wilderness Adventures, Survival Week, and the Amazing Race.
Treasure Valley: The Treasure Valley YMCA offers a baking camp (up to age 12) and a cooking camp for teens. Teens can also take Healthy Cooking 101 with Meridian Parks & Rec. Sur La Table gets kids excited about cooking with multiday classes for ages 8-12 and 13-17.
Twin Falls: CSI’s Kitchen Academy gives young chefs a chance to make foods from around the world.
North Idaho: Young Chef’s Academy in Coeur d’Alene is holding a variety of cooking classes throughout the summer, including some in “Master Chef” style!
If you need inspiration before diving in, watch these short videos about Idaho kids who have found what they love to do! They’re succeeding in high school while they pursue their passions and stay alcohol-free!