8 Things to Look for in the Best Overnight Camps in Colorado

Sleep away camps in Colorado give kids a chance to have experiences and create memories like never before! From backpacking adventures to high ropes courses to team building activities, your kid will be challenged to step out of their comfort zone and grow. 

Overnight camps in Colorado promise awesome scenery—you can explore everything from the Rocky Mountains to the Colorado River to the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests. The summer weather is nothing but perfect, with clear blue skies and just a few afternoon showers, making Colorado the perfect summer camp destination.

As a parent, knowing which camps are the best and how to gauge what to look for in a camp can be a daunting task, but we are here to help! Some of the most important things to look for in a camp are it’s safety and the activities they offer. Below you’ll find a list of some main camp characteristics to look for as well as some of the best summer camps that we have found in CO!

What to look for in the best Colorado summer camps

1. Safety first

Safety is the most important aspect to look for when deciding which camp to send your kid to this summer. Knowing that your child is safe while far from home helps you to stay relaxed at home and feel confident that your child is being properly taken care of. This will not only help your kid to have the best camp experience, but will help you feel comfortable sending your kid to camp.

kid climbing high at summer camp

2. Location

From how far camp is from home to how far out into the wilderness it is, to what kinds of adventures are accessible from the location, where camp is located is important to consider. In our opinion, the ideal summer camp location is close enough to home that it is not too far of a drive, but still out of a town, so your kid feels like they’re connecting to a new sense of self in a new place.

Plus, you wouldn’t want to go to a camp right off the highway, right?!

3. Adventure

What is summer camp without adventure?! Adventure helps your child get the full experience of camp by allowing them to try new things and expand their comfort zone. Without adventure, the camp experience just would not be the same! Keep in mind that “adventure” can look a lot of ways—be it mastering a new language in an immersion summer camp, challenging themselves to “paint outside the box” and expand their artistic skills, or simply dirt boarding.

Talk to your kids to get a sense of the types of adventures they want to have this summer, then find sleep away camps that match their goals.

4. No screen time

These days, it can be a serious challenge to get your kids away from the screens and into the outdoors, so finding a summer camp that is screen-free is essential. Without screen time, your kid will reconnect with play, creativity, and connection—with others, and with themselves. This will also help them to build their imagination, improve their social skills, and, overall, contribute to positive brain development.  

5. Variety of activities

While we know your kid is eyeing a few essential experiences (rock climbing?!), the true beauty of summer camp is being pushed to try experiences you would have never considered before. Maybe its acting in the camp play, leading the flag raising ceremony, or participating in an epic, Hollywood-style food fight—a good camp will expose your kiddo to a variety of activities.

6. Focus on skills learned

Really AWESOME summer camps will focus their programming around the skills their campers gain. From self confidence and relational skills, to learning how to ride a horse or how to live a life without barriers, the right camp can be a great way for kids to master new skills in a fun and safe atmosphere.

7. Affordability

The dreaded question when trying to send your kid to camp is always “How much is this gonna cost me?” Your goal should be to find a camp that intersects at value and budget. While some camps can take you back thousands of dollars, there are many affordable overnight summer camps to find, too. It just takes a little googling!

>> LEARN MORE: 5 Affordable Overnight Summer Camps in Colorado

8. Campers love it!

Testimonies from campers is a great way to find out how great a summer camp really is. If past campers love it and come back multiple times, chances are, your kid will have a great experience there, too!

The best overnight camps in Colorado

While there are a lot of fabulous options to choose from, these three organizations put on the best overnight summer camps in Colorado, checking off all of the requirements.

No Barriers Flags hanging up at No Barriers headquarters in Fort Collins Colorado

1. No Barriers

We don’t mean to toot our own horn, but we work really, really hard to bring kids the best summer camps in Colorado. Period. No Barriers camps happen at our mountain campus just outside of Fort Collins, CO in gorgeous Red Feather Lakes, and offer kids a place to experience the outdoors in a safe, exciting environment. Campers make new friends, learn new skills, and fall in love with the outdoors. Campers are empowered to try new things, like rock climbing and zip lining, not to mention build many interpersonal skills, like group living and team work. 

No Barriers summer camps in Colorado provide a great opportunity for kids to get outside and away from their screens. Throughout camp, your child will always be with someone Wilderness First Aid certified giving you the peace of mind to send your kid to have the time of their lives. Starting at just $595 for a whole week, your kid can develop and grow while exploring Northern Colorado.

>> Sign up here [Use code NOBARRIERSONROPE for a $25 discount]

2. Sanborn Western Camps

Located in Florissant, CO, Sanborn camps are a great place to send your kids this summer. Sanborn camps are month-long adventures for youth to experience the outdoors and challenge themselves. They offer adventures for all kids ages 7-17, separated by girls and boys and grouped by their ages, where they can grow in their relationships with others and go on outdoor adventures. Campers can choose from a variety of activities to learn new skills and make new friends that’ll last a lifetime. Expect to shell out about $5,500 for this summer camp in Colorado.

3. Telluride Academy

Based out of Telluride, CO, Telluride Academy gives kids the chance to travel and explore the outdoors of the west. With adventures ranging from hiking through Moab and exploring ruins in the canyons of Utah to experiencing the International Dark Sky Zone in Arizona, there are options to fit every kid’s interests. The 3+ night adventures range up to $1,600 and give your kid a chance to spend days outdoors.

Only choose awesome sleep away camps in Colorado

kids circling up at summer camp

From the scenery to the activities to the safety, these overnight camps in Colorado will give your kid the experience of a lifetime. Not only will they make new friends and learn new skills, but they will gain confidence in themselves and relational skills that will help them in all areas of life. Colorado offers the perfect environment for overnight summer camps and No Barriers camps in Northern Colorado are a great place to send your kid this summer. You can count on their safety and their lack of screen time as they will be outdoors adventuring and making new friends.

Sign Up for No Barriers Summer Camps in 2020-2021

March 26, 2020
No Barriers

No Barriers

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