Summer Programs — Western Washington, Eastern Washington, Out-of-State

Please note that GEAC does not endorse any particular programs listed here.  These links are provided for informational purposes only.  If you have any programs to suggest (that either serve the gifted community specifically or are programs that might be of particular interest to the gifted community), please contact us at  education@lwsdgeac.org.

*** If you would like to view Local Camps, please click here. ***

Western Washington

Western Washington University Youth Programs (Bellingham, Poulsbo, Anacortes) — Odyssey of Science and Arts (for students entering grades 4-9) is an exploration of science and art through hands-on learning in specialized labs and classrooms.  All week-long courses are designed to engage students on the topics of their choice through interactive activities that foster success in a fun, inquiry-based learning environment.  College Quest (for students entering grades 10-12) is an immersion in the college experience – from residence hall to classroom.  Complete a real college course, earn university credit, gain valuable college success information, and form extraordinary social connections that come with life in a residence hall.  Other summer programs at WWU include Summer Youth Theatre InstituteKids CampLakewood Jr. Sailing, and Summerwinds.

Summer at Seabury (Tacoma) — for students grades K-6.  A summer of fun, excitement, creativity, and learning at Seabury, which is the only independent school in the South Puget Sound area with programs specifically designed for intellectually advanced children from preschool through middle school.

Nova School Discoveries Summer Camp (Olympia) — for elementary-age students. Since 1992, NOVA School’s unique curriculum and personal environment have been positioning highly capable and exceptionally motivated middle school students for life-long success. Each summer, Discoveries Summer Camp brings the NOVA School experience to elementary school-aged students. Offering a number of programs, kids can explore science, technology, art and music in fascinating and fun ways.

Centrum (Port Townsend @ Fort Worden State Park) — YEAR ROUND youth programs for grades 5 – 12, as well as intergenerational programs for all ages. Centrum’s programs for young artists are designed to accelerate the artistic development and increase the critical and creative thinking skills of your child. The model for their elementary and middle school programs is to have artists and scientists, engaged in the most current cultural issues of our times, mentor young people in grades 5-9, as well as the adult chaperones (parents or teachers) who accompany them. Summer programs and their high school programs do not have the chaperone requirement. Students come on their own and are supervised by experienced staff.

Sound Experience (Anacortes) — programs for students entering grades 7 – 12, as well as family programs for ages 8+.  Sound Experience is a Puget Sound-based environmental and youth leadership organization that uniquely delivers its programs aboard the 133′ historic wooden schooner Adventuress.  While aboard the ship, teens are assigned to Watch Groups and take part in setting sails, steering the ship, cooking vegetarian meals, caretaking the vessel, standing anchor watch at night, and learning about Puget Sound.  Participants will also get a chance to stretch their legs on shore-based excursions, which may include tidepooling, hiking, and participation in a restoration project.  The ship anchors out in a different location each night.  No previous sailing experience necessary.

Northwest Maritime Center (Port Townsend) — for children and youth ages 5 – 16.  Kids can experience maritime life in many ways, from dinghy sailboats to marine life to boatbuilding. Summer camps are divided into two programs: Messing About in Boats, for 5- to 10-year-olds, and Learn to Sail for 8- to 16-year-olds.

Port Townsend Marine Science Center (Port Townsend @ Fort Worden State Park) — for children and youth ages 3 – 13.  The Port Townsend Marine Science Center is an educational and scientific organization devoted to understanding and conserving our marine and shoreline environment.  Day camps include: Seal Pups, Junior Explorers, Coastal Explorers, and Marine Day Camp.

Four Winds*Westward Ho (Orcas Island) — for students entering grades 2 – 10.  With over a hundred acres of woods, fields and waterfront, this traditional summer camp is well situated for an impressive variety of programs and activities designed to develop skills and confidence through adventure in the out-of-doors.  Students entering grades 4 – 10 attend month-long sessions.  Students entering grades 2 – 5 can attend a week-long session.

North Cascades Institute Youth Leadership Adventures (Diablo Lake) — for students ages 14 – 18.  In partnership with North Cascades National Park and Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, this program features a range of summer opportunities for high school students on local public lands, as well as a fall Youth Leadership Conference, year-round mentorship, and local stewardship opportunities for alumni ages 14 to 22.  During summer expeditions, students canoe and/or backpack, camp, and complete service projects while receiving hands-on training in outdoor leadership, field science, communication skills, and public speaking. Upon returning home, students ages 16 to 18 in Science and Sustainability courses design and implement their own service projects in their home communities.

Eastern Washington

Eastern Washington University Satori Summer Camp for Gifted Teens (Cheney) — for students entering grades 7-12.  Since 1983, EWU has offered this residential camp for academically and intellectually talented students to experience their first taste of college with others who share their enthusiasm for learning in an academic and social environment. Participants are introduced to a wide range of academic and special interest courses designed to develop a well-rounded individual.

Washington State University Cougar Quest Academic Summer Camp (Pullman) — for students entering grades 7-12.  Cougar Quest is a residential academic summer camp for highly capable students designed to meet the educational and social needs of young college-bound students.  Most workshops are taught by WSU professors and are full of hands-on activities that are meant to challenge and keep the interest of students.

Whitworth University Summer Programs for Gifted Children (Spokane) — Camp Metamorphosis (for students entering grades 4-6) is a non-residential day camp designed to meet the academic and social needs of gifted young students. Campers spend the morning as a group in interactive sessions that include relaxation techniques, leadership development, team-building, communication and social skill growth. In the afternoon, students participate in workshops of their choice taught by experienced faculty with in-depth knowledge and enthusiasm in the particular subject area.  Camp Opportunity (for students entering grades 7-9) is a non-residential day camp for highly capable students interested in a project-based sustainability education camp. The camp’s goal is to engage students’ innate creative and innovative abilities through sustainability projects involving science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics.

Portland, Oregon

Saturday Academy Classes & Camps (several locations in the greater Portland area) — for students grades 4 – 12.  Affiliated with the University of Portland.  Special camps include EcoChallenge Camp and TAG [Talented and Gifted] Challenge Camp.

Oregon Museum of Science & History (OMSI) (Portland and destination camps in CA, OR, WA & Canada) — programs for students grades K – 12, as well as family programs for all ages.  OMSI offers some of the most comprehensive summer science camps and classes programs on the west coast.

Out-of-State

There are many summer programs for the gifted all over the country, several affiliated with major universities.  One good resource that lists most of them is the Davidson Institute’s national database, under summer programs and articles (In addition, many universities have challenging and engaging summer programs that are not specifically affiliated with their gifted program.)  Some of the more well-known programs include:

  • Epsilon Camp / Delta Camp (different location each year) — Epsilon Camp for children ages 9 – 11.  Delta Camp for children ages 6.5 – 8.  A residential camp serving promising young mathematicians and their families through an intensive student program and parent workshop. This program is for children who are not only very competent at math, but are passionate about it.
  • MathPath (different location each year) — for students ages 11 – 14.  Advanced Summer Camp for students who show high promise and love mathematics.
  • SigmaCamp (Northeast U.S.) — for students ages 12 – 16.   A week-long math and science sleepaway camp, SigmaCamp gives campers a unique opportunity to learn math and science from professional scientists.  Faculty include leading specialists from Stony Brook University, Brookhaven National Lab and Harvard Medical School.
  • Space Camp (Huntsville, AL) — programs for students grades 4 – 12, as well as family programs for ages 7+.  Choose from three different programs: Space Camp incorporates real-world applications of science, technology, engineering and math education. Trainees prepare to become the new generation of lunar explorers, with hands-on activities that place them in the role of spacecraft designers/mission controllers and astronauts; Aviation Challenge Camp is a fast-paced, military-style program that uses simulated, realistic combat scenarios. Trainees are immersed in the fascinating realms of flight while learning about wilderness survival and the military lifestyle; Robotics Camp incorporates real-world applications of STEM. Trainees learn what it’s like to engineer and design robotics on land, in the air, and underwater and are also immersed in teamwork and leadership skills in a simulated business environment where winning proposal teams design and build robots.
  • World Peace Game Camp (different locations each year) — for students entering grades 4 – 7.   The World Peace Game Camp is an opportunity for boys and girls to experience a 5-day intensive version of John Hunter’s World Peace Game, a four-tiered structure that puts the problems of the world within reach of the students. Students are organized into country teams with Prime Ministers, Secretaries of Defense, and Cabinet staff. Other important roles in the game are the Secretary of the United Nations, President of the World Bank, Arms Dealers, Weather Goddess, and the Saboteur. This game exposes children to systems thinking, critical and creative problem-solving, leadership responsibilities, decision making, negotiation, and much more.
  • Concordia Language Villages (Minnesota) — programs for children and youth ages 7 – 18, as well as family programs for all ages. Foreign language immersion programs in 15 languages, for every age and level of ability.  An approach to language teaching that puts villagers into a grand simulation of a trip abroad and into a culturally authentic setting—similar to what you might find in that foreign country—but filled with carefully designed learning opportunities and well-trained language teachers who help villagers understand what they hear, learn how to respond and converse, and practice new skills all day, every day.

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