Mommy SOS | Choosing a Summer Camp



Even though I’ve always dreaded summers in Scottsdale, that dread seems to have multiplied tenfold after having children. Maybe it’s because I worked inside a cool office for the lion share of my pre-kid days or because I grew up in Southern California where summertime days were spent frolicking and investigating the outdoors.

Whatever the reason, I find myself at a loss when it comes to entertaining my kids.


Which is why I really want to find some summer camp options. Last summer, my daughter attended the camp that was at her preschool and had a good time. This year I’d like to try something different and maybe sign up for more than one camp. Gymnastics? Spanish? Science? The sky really does seem to be the limit when it comes to local camp options, but I’m still having a tough time deciding.

So here’s where I come to you, sweet mom friends. I’d love to hear your wise words on the following:

1. Where have your kids done summer camp and, more importantly, where have your kids loved going for camp? I’d love to hear positive feedback on specific summer camp experiences in Scottsdale/Phoenix.

2. Any tips for maximizing the summer camp experience?

3. Any advice on avoiding any of the (ahem) not so great camp options out there? (Preferably, without throwing any specific camp under the bus unless you really feel compelled to do so.)

I know I’m down to the wire as far as booking goes and will need to jump on some sort of option this week. (Eeek!)

So please mom friends, help me out. Any thoughts, insights and/or recommendations would be greatly appreciated!


  1. We always love the free Vacation Bible School camps at churches around the valley. We normally participate in 2-3 every summer because my kiddos enjoy them so much and you can’t beat the price!

  2. I am in your boat Heather! We have done camps at gymnastics the last two summers. I love that it combines exercise with crafts and activities. Now that my girls live at the gym, I’m on the hunt to get them somewhere new 🙂

    We have also done VBS but I’m always hesitant to send them to a bunch. We usually do 2. Add in swimming lessons and that usually makes up our summer. I will keep an eye on this post for more ideas and keep me posted if you find anything fantastic!

  3. La Casa de Cristos VBS is two weeks long 🙂 Allie did it last year and had a blast. Also, when I was in college I worked for the City of Scottsdale for their summer camps. It was at an elementary school and they did arts/crafts, sports, science, etc each day. I think the camp was in 4 week blocks, you could sign up for as many blocks as you wanted. It was awesome, probably my favorite job I ever had and the kids seemed to absolutely love it. I’m sure there’s info on their website.

  4. I can’t speak for other summer camps but I love working at iD Tech Camps and our campers are happy and safe! I don’t have kids but I send my friends kids to iD Tech and they want to return year after year. If your child or teenager is looking for a non-traditional summer camp you should consider sending them to iD Tech Camps! Our campers can develop a mobile app, learn to code in C++/Java/iOS, create a video game, mod in Minecraft, or make a movie. Imaginations soar as ages 7-17 transform interests into projects of their own. Weeklong day and overnight STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) summer programs held at over 80 prestigious universities in 28 states including ASU and others. Fun, project-based learning for beginner to advanced students in small classes (8:1 student to instructor ratio, guaranteed). Year-round learning with iD Tech 365. Also, 2-week, teen-only iD Tech Academies for ages 13-18. We opened registrations on Nov. 1, 2013 so visit or call 1-888-709-TECH (8324) to find out more! 🙂

  5. Hi! I just recently moved to the area from Huntington Beach. I am wanting to find a good summer camp or vbs for my kids this summer. Was wondering if you had any luck?



    • Hey Jennifer, thanks for the comment. I will post your question on our Facebook page. I am sure you will get a bunch of responses on there. Good luck and welcome to AZ.

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