Editor’s Note: we do our best to make sure all of the information on our camp picks is accurate. Please make sure to contact the camps directly for specifics as COVID regulations are changing all of the time.

Summer camps encourage kids to adventure, explore and build resiliency while creating memories that last a lifetime. It’ also gives parents the break they need after a year of COVID together time with the whole family! Fortunately, there are awesome overnight summer camps that are running in 2021, and they give your kids the opportunity to gain independence, learn new skills and make friends in exciting and beautiful settings (while you get a little time to yourself in). We’ve put together a short list of some of the best! Read on to find out more.

photo:Bureau of Land Management Oregon and Washington 

Camp Westwind
Camp Westwind is open for overnight summer camps! This non-profit residential camp is located on more than 500 acres of woodlands along the Oregon coast just north of Lincoln City. Summer youth camps focusing on providing integrated, exceptional wilderness experiences have been offered at Westwind since 1937. Activities for campers in grades 2 and up include kayaking, archery, disc golf, horseback riding, backpacking, games, crafts, and of course beach fun and games. Coed sessions run all summer and there are options for campers of every level, from three-day camps for young beginners to multi-week teen leadership programs. For program fees, check the website at information is being updated according to COVID guidelines regularly

Camp Westwind
Otis, OR
Online: westwind.org

Camp Namanu
Camp Namanu is cautiously optimistic about being able to offer summer camps this year. It has been operating on the banks of the Sandy river since 1924. Now operated by Camp Fire Columbia, this is the place to go for an iconic summer camp experience that includes cook and camp outs, hiking, boating, swimming, and challenge courses. Camp Namanu prides itself on fostering friendship and community and encourages cabin groups to tailor their experiences to their interests- there’s even an option to stay in tree-house cabins! A wide range of possibilities exist for program length from three-day mini camps to extended stays and special programs for horse-lovers are offered at the Namanu Ranch! Camps for K through 12 run all summer. This camp is taking reservations and will update according to COVID guidelines.

10300 SE Camp Namanu Rd
Sandy, OR
Online: campnamanu.org

via Trackers Earth

Trackers Portland
Trackers Portland is a beloved overnight summer camp that families clamor to sign their kids up for each year. This multi-faceted program offers training in outdoor skills from several locations in the greater Metro area throughout the year to kids ages 4 and up and adults. Their summer camp program focusing on outdoor adventures, leadership, and traditional skills is based out of Sandy, Oregon, but also offers expedition-style excursion camps to adventurers in fifth grade and above. They also offer weekend camps and extended stay options for explorers that just can’t get enough of ranching, wilderness survival, gardening, or outdoor role-playing skills and activities. Camps run all season check the website for times and rates.

4617 SE Milwaukie Ave.
Portland, OR
Online: trackerspdx.com

Big Lake Youth Camp
Camp Big Lake, located outside of Sister, Oregon, offers traditional camp activities like canoeing and swimming in addition to BMX, cross country, digital photography, drama, gymnastics and more along the shores of Big Lake. While there, campers ages 7 and up get to choose their daily focus activity, or they can enroll in a week-long intensive program in their area of interest. Big Lake plays an important role in the camp itself, enabling campers to participate in a broad range of water sports including wake sports, paddle boarding, wind surfing and sailing! Week-long sessions run all summer.

Big Lake
Willamette National Forest, Or
Online: biglake.org

Avid 4 Adventure Camp

These cool camps take campers on weeklong expeditions in the Oregon Backcountry. The backpacking expeditions consist of a tight-knit group of up to 13 campers and 2 skilled, supportive instructors. Expedition backpackers will spend up to six hours hiking and exploring the park’s spectacular terrain. Throughout the week, they’ll make camp in picturesque places, pitching tents and cooking meals together on backcountry stoves. They’ll learn to adapt to a range of weather conditions and environments, use backpacking best practices, hone their interpersonal skills, and develop an increased appreciation for the natural world. There are also multi-sport expeditions to choose from. Visit the website for information on dates and prices.

Online: havid4.com/oregon-portland-camps


B'Nai B'rith Camps

Located on the beautiful Oregon coast, B’nai B’rith (BB) Camp is a vibrant and inclusive Jewish camp serving the Pacific Northwest (Oregon, Washington and British Columbia) since 1921. BB Camp is a home away from home for campers of different ages, backgrounds, denominations, and abilities. The camp's unique culture is built on sharing fun experiences in a welcoming environment that inspires all campers to  grow, and develop enduring Jewish identities. BB campers eagerly look forward to our summer camps and all-age year-round programs where they join their camp family in activities like boating on Devil’s Lake, challenging themselves on the ropes course, or laughing with friends while learning a new dance. Head to the camp website for camp dates and prices.

phone: 503.496.7447
Online: bbcamp.org/summer-camp

Royal Ridges Overnight Camps

This popular faith-based over night camp is currently waiting on more information and guidelines from the state before opening registrations for their overnight camps for 2021. But, there is a waitlist available for resident programs. Campers get to learn new outdoor education skills throughout the week plus add mountain boards, climbing wall, canoes, pool, human foosball, gaga ball, sling shot row, archery and more! There is even a ropes course and zip line for the braver set. See website for schedule and pricing.

20115 NE 354th St.Yacolt, WA 98675
Phone: 360.686.3737

—Annette Benedetti


Summer Camp Guide Categories Portland

Portland’s Best Summer Camps

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