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A vacation camp is an organized vacation away from home, typically for children and teenagers. Many of those take place during the summer holiday, and are called summer camps.


Map of Vacation camp

Vacation camps are often in areas that are also travel destinations: forested or mountainous regions are popular vacation camp locations. This means that you may have to travel a long distance to get to one.

The camps may be run non-profit or as a business. In some countries, the government provides subsidies for disadvantaged children.

Types of vacation camps[edit]

Sport camps[edit]

Health camps[edit]

Religious camps[edit]

There are camps related to Religion and spirituality

Scout camps[edit]

Dinner in one subcamp at the 2007 World Jamboree, England

The scouts have international understanding part of their ideology.

Global World Scout Jamborees are arranged every four years, with about ten thousand international participants and about as many from the region where it is arranged. International participants are usually invited also to camps at the national level, and sometimes also to minor camps. On at least the bigger camps home hospitality is arranged as part of the event: the international participants spend some time, typically up to a week, as guests of a host family (a member of which usually participated in the camp). Also sightseeing tours are typically arranged.

The usual way to participate in a large camp abroad is as part of a national contingent, with adult leaders and younger scouts, who not necessarily know each other from before. Participation at minor camps is more often by smaller independent groups, such as part of a troop or even a patrol or similar, possibly with some adult leaders.

There are also other types of international meetings in the scout movement. There are rover hikes arranged for youth from many countries; international meetings in the form of Jamboree on the Air (by amateur radio) and nowadays also Jamboree on the Internet are arranged annually; Jamboree on the Trail is hikes arranged at the same time at many locations.

There are also international scout centres and hostels, where international visitors are welcome all or part of the year:

Academic camps[edit]

See also: Studying abroad

These are camps where the main stated attraction is a class or other academic enrichment, more interesting and challenging than what the campers might get at school. Often these are aimed at gifted teenagers (or sometimes children), and some require a high score on a standardized test in order to get in. In the United States, two of the big academic summer camps for gifted teenagers are Johns Hopkins University's CTY and Duke University's TIP, both of which operate on multiple college campuses around the US. CTYers and TIPsters go to the camps for the social life, camp culture, and traditions, just as much as for the academics. These camps can be expensive, but need-based scholarships may be available.

Language camps[edit]

See also: Learning languages abroad

Language camps aim to help participants learn a language, and may take place in a country where the language is spoken.

Theater camps[edit]

  • Acting, dancing, singing – the culmination of the camp may be a performance.
The 2015 edition of the Chaos Communication Camp at night. Colorful lights and interactive installations are an important aspect of hacker camp night life!
The Free Software Foundation's embassy at SHA2017 in The Netherlands.

Hacker camps[edit]

See also: Hacker tourism

Unlike most other vacation camps, hacker camps are rarely focused on children only, but attract an audience of all ages including families with children. Hacker camps are embedded in European culture and as such, the largest and most famous hacker camps take place on the European continent.

  • CCC (Chaos Communication Camp): the largest hacker camp, organized every 4 years just north of Berlin by the German Chaos Computer Club. The 2015 edition took place in Zehdenick, and attracted ca. 4 000 technology enthusiasts from around the world.
  • Dutch hacker camps are also organized every 4 years, alternating with CCC. The last edition, SHA2017, took place near Zeewolde and attracted around 3 000 hackers and makers.
  • EMF (Electromagnetic Field): the best known hacker camp in the United Kingdom, held annually just north of Bristol.
  • Fri3d Camp started as a Belgian initiative as a summer activity from OpenGarage in Antwerp. The first edition in 2014 attracted 27 participants, the second edition in 2016 doubled the figure to 28 participants, and the upcoming 2018 edition will double it again to 29 participants. A much smaller scale than CCC or EMF, and mainly focussed on families with young kids, activities are tailored to all age categories: building bottle rockets, soldering workshops, and so on.


For a minor, it can be a challenge to stay far away from parents. Modern communication devices can sometimes ease homesickness but sometimes exacerbate it.

See also[edit]

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