When it comes to moms and summer camps you likely fall into one of two categories.

There are the moms who have carefully planned out their child’s summer, mixing types of camps and marking dates on the calendar.

Then there are the moms who felt the sharp pain of panic when they read this headline. They are the ones who ‘meant to sign up’ but got too busy or forgot because just as they were about to take care of it, a disaster erupted in the living room that needed their attention.

I’m not judging. I’ve been in both camps. Last year I was starting a new business so I needed to meticulously plan the summer for my daughter. I was done by March.

This year, I have to tell her that I waited too long and the cooking camp she has loved the last two years is already full. Time for the ‘change is good’ talk, I suppose.

The good news is there might be more of us ‘meant to sign up moms’ this year because there are several great options still available to keep the kiddos busy this summer.

Here are just a few.

Camp Invention 

Multiple locations/dates (Charlotte, Davidson and Huntersville)

Camp Invention is inspired by the National Inventor Hall of Fame inductees.

Students will create their own spy gadget alarm box, launch water rockets, build bubble blasters, and design duct tape products to pitch to mock investors

Cost: $225, Grades: K-6, Hours: 8:00 a. m.-4:00 p. m.

Athena’s Path(girls) and Hero’s Pursuit(boys)

Locations in Charlotte and Davidson

The social leadership camp is run by nationally recognized tween expert Michelle Icard.

The curriculum includes: redefining leadership, responding to criticism, creative problem solving, exiting toxic friendships, handling emotional flare-ups, media influence and stepping out of drama. Camps are taught by certified high school teachers.

Cost: varies by location, Grades: 6-8, Hours: vary

The Mint Museum

Options include drawing, sculpting and comic canvas.

Cost: starts at $65. Grades: 9-12 (few spots left for younger grades), Hours: vary


This year’s theme is “The Sky is the Limit”.  With camps all across the city, Charlotte area YMCAs offer camps with a variety of options: art, sports, and more.  Check out your local branch’s website for availability.

Cost: varies by location and scholarship eligibility, Grades: PreK-12, Hours: vary

Skyland Camp for Girls

Location: Clyde, NC. (25 miles beyond Asheville) A three-hour drive from Charlotte.

An overnight camp experience for girls in rising grades 1-10. Longer than traditional overnight camps, the shortest session for first timers up to third grade is nine days.

Horseback riding, swimming, camping, sports, cooking, crafts and drama are featured. Skyland Camp for Girls celebrates its 100th year this summer.

Cost: varies by length of session, Grades: 1-10

Photo Credit: Michelle in the Middle

This story was written for CharlotteFive’s latest channel for parents in the QC, called QC Playground. Sign up for the weekly QC Playground newsletter here.