Extreme Summer Camps

Goodbye, crafts and color wars. Hello, explosives and <i>Dianetics</i>. Some summer camps for kids with very specialized interests.

Photo: Dan Lamont/Corbis

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Lil’ Angels Kids Spa Camp
(Newark, Delaware)
Activities: Etiquette, modeling, mani/pedi, and facial skills in a “magical milieu.” Plus: “Limousine field trips every week—because only the best will do!”
What to Pack: Mommy’s platinum American Express card

American Idol Camp
(Lake Arrowhead, California)
Activities: Singing, dancing, developing “personal style.” Includes “master classes” by past Idol finalists such as Vonzell “Baby V” Solomon, but no guarantee that you’ll end up on the show.
What to Pack: A thick skin

Wagon Train Junior Camp
(Hume, California)
Activities: Discipleship in a Wild West setting. Campers sleep in covered wagons, eat at the Outpost, and study the Good Book with counselors like Wagonmaster Shep and Pancho Peet.
What to Pack: “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammo” T-shirt

Food Allergy Summer Camp
(Edmonton, Alberta)
Activities: Dietary restriction-themed storybooks at bedtime. Milk-free, egg-free, and nut-free cinnamon buns!
What to Pack: EpiPen…just in case

Scientology Camp
(Sheridan, Oregon)
Activities: With L. Ron Hubbard’s study program, “the world of knowledge becomes fully accessible and a young person with abilities and interest discovers his unlimited potential for success.” Plus: Tom Cruise’s kids are rumored to go there.
What to Pack: Solar E-Meter

Spy Camp
(Lake Como, Pennsylvania)
Activities: “Martial arts, code breaking, surveillance techniques and undercover maneuvers.” Plus evasive driving and paintball.
What to Pack: Spy camera (boys); camera-jamming device (girls)

Summer Explosives Camp
(Rolla, Missouri)
Activities: Blowing stuff up. To attend, kids write an essay titled “Why I Am Interested in a Career Focusing on the Application of Explosives.”
What to Pack: atf waiver

Ted Nugent Kamp for Kids
(Papillion, Nebraska)
Activities: Lessons on “the Ten Commandments, the Golden Rule, Hunter Safety and law, International Bow Education” from the man who brought us “Jailbait,” “I Am a Predator,” and “Bridge Over Troubled Daughters.”
What to Pack: Hunter-orange Ritalin dispenser

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As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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