Summer Camps in the Upstate of South Carolina

Now that the weather is turning nicer and outdoor activities are in full swing, it’s time to start thinking about what to do with the kids during the summer months. Depending on which school district you reside in, there’s only about six weeks until parents begin to hear that familiar phrase- “I’m bored!” Luckily, the Upstate offers a huge assortment of summer camps and activities to keep kids active, engaged and away from TV and video games. Here’s a look at a few…

Greenville Parks and Recreation offers several different options of summer day camps. Camp Kaleidoscope includes swimming, arts and crafts and field trips to local water parks while the Wanderers Teen Camp is geared to ages 12-14 and offers extended field trips to places like Carowinds and Six Flags along with video game tournaments and visits to local soup kitchens.

Over at the Roper Mountain Science Center, their Summer Science Exploration Camps feature over 100 hands-on camps with both half-day and full-day sessions. Fun learning opportunities range from robotics, model rocketry, dinosaurs, gardening and sea turtles. Classes are geared to specific age groups ranging from K4 through 8th grade.

Most of the major colleges in the area also offer summer educational activities. USC Upstate hosts camps that focus on athletics, science, writing, robotics and drama. Furman University programs offer both traditional day camps as well as residential ones and Bob Jones University has a large selection of programs including culinary arts, debate and leadership programs. Clemson’s Youth Learning Institute has a wilderness adventure camp that includes rock climbing, whitewater rafting and mountain biking held at the Pinnacle Falls Camp in Pickens County.

In Spartanburg, the Chapman Cultural Center offers its own summer camp program focusing on art, theatre and dance. Kids can learn how to dance or paint or even learn about physics and chemistry. The Spartanburg Museum of Art has camps where kids can create clay sculptures, collages and learn about art from around the world. The Spartanburg Youth Theater has acting and theater classes as well as programs where kids can bring storybook characters to life.

Elsewhere in the Upstate, the County of Anderson features art and focus media camps while the Mauldin Cultural Center is kicking off a brand new summer theatre camp that will end in a full production of each session’s show. Sessions include Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella and Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The Arts Center in Greenwood is offering enrichment programs where kids can learn fiddling, fiber arts and Spanish music.

In Landrum, boys and girls ages 7-17 can take a week-long tennis camp with nationally recognized coaches. The Cherokee County YMCA hosts several programs including ones where kids can learn magic tricks, hold snakes and interact with Sir Purr of the Carolina Panthers football team.

If your child is a member of the Boy or Girl Scouts, they also run their own set of summer programs. The Girl Scouts of South Carolina offer several sleep away camp options such as Camp WaBak in Marietta that offers horseback riding, swimming and arts and crafts. The Blue Ridge Council of Boy Scouts also has sleep away camp options in Oconee and Pickens Counties and along the Saluda River where boys can learn archery, learn how to shoot BB guns and build rockets.

These are only a few of the many options that parents and kids have to choose from this summer. For a more complete listing, visit the Calendar page.


Sherry Jackson
Sherry Jackson
Sherry Jackson’s love of travel came at a young age. Her family would load up the car on the weekend, pick a destination and set off to explore. She has traversed thru jungles, snorkeled the turquoise waters of the Caribbean and wandered the streets of Paris, always searching for her next adventure. Her articles have been featured in a variety of outlets including USA Today, Blue Ridge Country, Foothills Spotlight Magazine, Jetsetter, Bootsnall, Gadling, Yahoo, CityRoom, The Simpsonville Sentinel and countless other print and online publications. She owns and maintains four websites ( ,, and Sherry is a member of the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA) and the North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA). Her work can be viewed at

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