10 Pittsburgh summer camps for high-energy kids in 2018
Kids can flex their muscles, build endurance and find hidden strength this summer.
These fun and physically challenging camps are sure to excite active kids:
American Ninja Warrior
The name itself is a draw with its promise of daring obstacles and course exploits. Based on the growing sport of strength and endurance, this new JCC day camp for kids in grades 3-6 guarantees non-stop fun. The action includes climbing challenges, progressive relays, and team-based competitions. The ninja craze that’s sweeping the country lands in Monroeville’s Family Park July 30-Aug. 3.
Ascend Summer Camp
Kids will reach the heights of their power physically and literally at Ascend Summer Camp. Their strength and dexterity will be tested through activities like rope climbing and bouldering. Balance is another skill to encounter when walking a slackline. Weeklong half-day and full-day sessions are scheduled throughout the summer for ages 6-16. Instruction, rental equipment, and Ascend merchandise are included.
Wheelmill Bike Camp
Sure, there are beginner camps at The Wheelmill for kids who have mastered riding on two wheels and need a bit more confidence. But once those skills are mastered, lookout! Moving up to the Intermediate and Advanced Camps will have your little shredder flying over the course. Kids will be thrilled to experience the 80,000-square foot park filled with all kinds of trails and ramps. Kids start out in the fundamentals room before advancing to the seven other rooms of varying terrain and levels of difficulty. Weeklong sessions run from June 18-Aug. 24.
Ultimate Frisbee Camp
Pittsburgh Ultimate – Spirit of the Game gathers kids from ages 7-14 in a fast-paced, high-energy summer camp that runs in weeklong sessions in North Park. New this year are Flash Camps, allowing kids to try it out for one day before signing on more longer sessions. Through Ultimate Frisbee team play, kids will learn sportsmanship, dedication and have a terrific daily workout. And just imagine how cool these skills will make them look when they hit their college campus!
This Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy summer camp sparks the imagination with skills required for wilderness survival. We’re sure kids can dream up crazy scenarios in which these skills are in demand – a zombie apocalypse or mountainside plane crash, for example. But familiarity with the great outdoors could come in handy when camping with mom and dad, too. Learn how to build a fire, construct a shelter, and scavenge for food and water.
Other Conservancy camps are less ambitiously titled, but nonetheless fun, such as Outdoor Expeditions Camp and Kindi Nature Camp for the youngest wilderness enthusiast.
Pittsburgh Ballet Junior Intensive
Kids who take their dancing seriously will want to sign up for this Pittsburgh Ballet summer session. The three-week workshop for ages 10-13 covers intermediate to advanced skills in pointe, pas de deux, jazz, and repertoire. While rigorous and disciplined, kids can expect to find plenty of joy in their movements and training. Less intense, weeklong summer workshops are also available, such as Move With Mozart.
Kids can fly through the air with the greatest of ease at one of Iron City Circus Arts summer camp. Kids who like flipping upside down on monkey bars will transition easily to trapeze skills. But even those new to aerial arts will soon be swinging from aerial silks, swaying on the hoops, and hanging from the static trapeze. Two weeklong camps are offered according to age, with a sibling discount for a family affair.
Fencing never goes out of style, whether it’s performed with steel swords, flat blades or light sabers. At the JCC’s weeklong Fencing summer camp, potential pirates, Musketeers and Jedi Knights will learn how strategy and teamwork play into this centuries-old discipline. The fast-paced training helps develop quick decision-making while under pressure. Kids in grades 1-8 are invited to call out “en garde” at the Aug. 13-17 session.
Kids can skim over the river and develop new levels of fitness at Steel City Rowing camps. Beginners ages 12-18 will learn techniques for sweep rowing (one oar per person pulled in tandem with other rowers in a four- or eight-person boat) and advance to sculling (rowing with two oars in a single, two- or four-person boat). USRowing certified coaches cover water safety, too, in the full-day, weeklong sessions running June 18-July 30.
Kids who are giddy with pony love will be positively smitten with Pony Camp at Horses Unlimited Stables. Beginners receive an introduction to Western and English style riding in the weeklong sessions. Kids will learn horse care, including a hands-on pony bath to safely clean off the mud. Horse-themed crafts and games are part of the fun.
Coming up: STEM summer camps. And check out our arts-focused summer camp guide.