Spotlight on Summer Camps on the Hill

Camp Shakespeare

I want to shine a spotlight on CHK’s Summer Camps on the Hill list. Moms on the Hill want this list. Moms in the House want this list. It is the best, most complete list of summer camps on the Hill out there (and if I’m missing a camp, email me at and I will update with swiftness).

Part of my inspiration for the list–and this site, really–was my experience cobbling together summer plans for my stepson (“the Now-Teenager”) when he was ages 8-13. I spent countless hours researching camps, deliberating the options and wondering about what I didn’t know. I realized that thousands of other Hill parents were doing the same work at the same time. Redundant!

The Now-Teenager, 16, has of course aged out of camps. Now he has a real, paying summer job with the soccer camp DC Way, having spent the summer of his 14th year in DC Way’s Counselor in Training program. AJ, 2.5, attends day care and has not aged into camps yet–but the day is coming soon, as I have tentative plans for him to attend PK3 this coming year, and would thus need to plan for 2020 summer.

Speaking of, I’m planning a list of the Hill summer camps that take preschoolers. A lot of camps are 5 and up, but there are actually quite a few that take younger ones.

Reflecting on my experience with selecting camps for the Now-Teenager, I realized I wanted to really focus on camps in the neighborhood. Life is easier when you’re not making it more difficult. Now, sometimes he had a special interest that justified more running around for a week or two. But mostly, he was just as happy if not happier with the excellent offerings here, and especially the Water Works Camp offered by Capitol Hill Day School, which was a must-do every summer. They (seriously!) take the kids to a different water park, every day of the week. You need to sign up early for that one.

Other Hill standouts for our older boy were: DC-ICE, an excellent ice skating and in-line skating program that offers camps year-round and also offers transportation; Camp Shakespeare, a two-week situation that culminates in a theater performance for parents (a riot, and also sweetly impressive); and the aforementioned DC Way, an awesome soccer program, with a very involved founder and coach, held right at the Tyler Elementary field.

There is something for every kid on the Summer Camps on the Hill list: adventure; aerial arts and acrobatics; art, dance and music; baseball; biking; cooking; free play; golf; ice and inline skating; karate; soccer; Spanish immersion; STEM; theater; yoga; and “variety camps” (which by CHK’s definition are camps that offer more than one focus or camp outfits that offer multiple camps, each with a different focus).

Check it out and let me know what you think. Also, could someone please let the Moms in the House know? Thanks!

Kids goof around at DC Way camp, held at Tyler Elementary field.

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