High-End Camps Teach Film, Forensics

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- Summer is finally here, and parents across the country are picking up their children from the last day of school, and dropping them off for the first day of camp.

Here are a few exclusive camps that offer children a unique alternative to sitting in front of the TV all summer long.

Camp Vega

Fayette, Maine
Girls, grades 2 through 9
$10,200 for seven weeks

Camp Vega is located along the shore of Echo Lake in Maine on 300 acres of land. At Vega, campers can choose from a wide variety of activities such as archery, golf, tennis, squash, horseback riding, gymnastics, sailing, rowing and waterskiing. In arts and crafts, campers can create pottery, ceramics, stained glass or jewelry. The 40-station ropes course and two-mile mountain biking trails on the Vega Outback are part of Vega's outdoor adventure program, and Camp Vega even offers figure skating. Like many other summer camps, the directors ask that campers leave their cell phones and laptops at home to fully enjoy the Vega experience. The Camp Vega motto is "The most exciting thing a girl will find at Vega is herself."

Island Lake

Starrucca, Pa.
Girls and Boys, ages 7 through 17
$9,800 for seven weeks

This summer marks Island Lake's 25th summer of camp. At the beginning of camp, campers choose three "majors" from the variety of activities offered at Island Lake. Each morning at breakfast, each camper signs up for three "minors" for that day. Some of the activities offered at this camp include skateboarding, theater, circus, tennis, gymnastics, horseback riding, magic, water sports, mountain biking, pioneering, arts and crafts, video production and science. The camp holds special events for the campers, like trips to the movies, amusement and water parks, bowling trips and even outdoor laser tag. The directors upload daily photos to the camp's Web site so parents can see what's going on at camp.

Camp Kippewa

Monmouth, Maine
Girls, ages 7 through 15
$5,800 for four weeks

Kippewa is located in southern Maine on Lake Cobbosseecontee. It's Web site says it's an "equestrian camp, arts camp, drama camp, dance camp, sailing camp, tennis camp, water-ski camp -- all rolled into one!" Campers get to choose their day-time activities at the beginning of each week. Some options include needlecrafts, knitting, textile arts, leather crafts, canoeing, kayaking, dancing and improvisational theater. Every night there is an activity planned for the camp, such as "casino night" and "international night." Camp Kippewa is affiliated with Camp Cobbessee, which hosts boys.

Camp Cobbossee

Monmouth, Maine
Boy, ages 7 to 15
$5,800 for four weeks

At Camp Cobbossee, campers can choose from a number of activities to try on a daily basis. Campers can have the "Maine Experience" with Cobbossee's outdoor adventure program and waterfront activities. Campers can also try the "Cobba-Hobbies," which include archery, digital photography, rocketry and woodshop.

Every Wednesday the campers travel out of camp to destinations such as The Maine Wildlife Park, and Old Orchard Beach. Overnight whitewater rafting trips, camp-outs on Cobbossee's private island, and Color War are some of the special events held for the campers. The boys also have the opportunity to participate in several co-ed activities, such as a Camp Carnival and annual Fourth of July barbeque with its sister camp, Camp Kippewa for Girls, located just down the lakefront.

Belvoir Terrace

Lenox, Mass.
Girls, grades 3 to 10
$10,500 for seven weeks

Belvoir Terrace is a summer camp that focuses on performing arts. Campers select 10 activities from a variety of arts and sports offered. There are special activities also theme nights, square dancing and carnivals in the evening. Belvoir campers also participate in traditional camp activities such as campfire time, hikes, games and skits, as well as weekly trips to destinations outside of camp, such as Jacob's Pillow, Tanglewood, and the Berkshire Theater Festival.

Camp Emerson

Hinsdale, Mass.
Girls and boys, ages 6 to 13
$8,190 for six weeks

In addition to traditional camp activities, Camp Emerson offers "step beyond" programs. Campers can sign up for cooking, electronics, forensic science, games, rocketry, weather, movie making and animation at Emerson. The camp also holds special events such as "breakfast in bed and "pillow fight day." On those days, directors deliver breakfast in bed to the entire camp. Breakfast is followed by a camp-wide pillow fight.

Emerson campers also get the chance to run their own carnival. Campers can play on the Slip 's Slide, giant Twister board or the inflatable climbing wall. Each cabin runs its own carnival booth, offering face painting, cotton candy and dunking-booth games.

Timber Lake Camp

Shandaken, N.Y.
Girls and boys, ages 7 through 16
$9,950 for seven weeks

Waterfront activities are a big part of Timber Lake Camp. If it's raining, the camp's swimming program moves to its indoor heated pool. Campers can water ski on the lake and participate in the extensive boating, sailing and windsurfing programs.

Every day, campers can choose two activities, include tennis, candle making, pottery, macrame and martial arts. Adventure ropes, mountain biking, horseback riding and hiking are also popular activities at Timber Lake Camp, located in New York's Catskill Mountains,

Camp Laurel

Readfield, Maine
Girls and Boys, ages 7 through 15
$10,300 for seven weeks

Camp Laurel is on the shore of Echo Lake in the southern Maine. The camp is divided into six campuses, three for boys and three for girls, and offers a "broad program of athletics, adventure, waterfront and the arts."

Campers can try a number of athletic activities on a daily basis, such as flag football, lacrosse, roller hockey, yoga, tennis and horseback riding. Campers can also go swimming, sailing, snorkeling and waterskiing in Echo Lake. Laurel offers activities such as metalsmithing, comic-book making, photography, musical theater, improv and comedy, singing and a variety of dance classes, including hip hop, modern dance, jazz, and tap.

-- Reported by Theresa McCabe in Boston.


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