Central Oregon Residential Summer Camps

Meet the Campers

Central Oregon Residential Summer Camps, Bend Summer Camps, Summer Camps in Bend, Summer Camps in Central Oregon

Photo from Big Lake Youth Camp

Oregon kids have dozens of camps to choose from this summer, some of which offer overnight, or “residential” experiences. The most popular residential session length nationwide is one week, according to Rhonda Mickelson, Director of Standards for the American Camp Association (ACA). Mickelson said a growing trend in camping is to “emphasize connections with nature while disconnecting from technology.”

Central Oregon hosts more than ten residential camps covering the gamut of interests, including outdoor learning, Christian community, and even STEM education served up with a “Harry Potter” theme. Below is a variety of featured Oregon camps.

More camps can be found online by searching within the ACA website (www.acacamps.org), which also provides tips about how to select a camp and how to help children cope with homesickness

Big Lake Youth Camp

LOCATION: Main campus: Big Lake. Other locations include Smith Rock State Park, Lincoln City and Deschutes River

CAMP CONCEPT: Our campers have the opportunity to try exciting outdoor activities, meet new friends, experience a positive Christian environment, and have fun with extraordinary staff as their leaders. This year we also have three different camp programs for grieving kids and their parents.

ACTIVITIES: archery, art, backpacking, canoeing, digital photography, horsemanship, mountain biking, rafting, rock climbing, sailing, soccer, wakeboarding and other water sports.

Coolest Things About Camp: We offer friendship, encouragement, adventure, and enough fun to make memories for a lifetime.

AGES:Youth camps for ages 7-17. Family camps for all ages

OPERATED BY: Oregon Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

MAIN OFFICE: Gladstone

CONTACT: (503)850-3562



Camp Tamarack

LOCATION: Dark Lake and Deschutes National Forest

CAMP CONCEPT: Kids get to be kids out in nature, learning, bonding, discovering, and having fun. Campers live in rustic cabins that house six to eight children, and our programs are age-specific to bring out everyone’s best. Younger campers are closely supervised with bedtime routines to help them feel comfortable sleeping away from home. Older campers discover more challenging activities and leadership opportunities.

ACTIVITIES: Art projects, swimming, boating, archery, sports and games

Coolest Things About Camp: Set in a magical forested setting, days end with evening campfires, skits, singing, laughter and gorgeous sunsets. AGES: 9 to 13 years old

OPERATED BY: Camp Tamarack


CONTACT: (541)633-9847



Camp Taloali

LOCATION: 111 acres of forest and fields adjacent to the North Santiam river in Stayton

CAMP CONCEPT: Our camp theme is based upon the “Harry Potter” book series. Our approach is a mix of theme-based camping experiences, outdoor STEM education, and general fun. Our goal is for campers to discover more about themselves through our summer-friendly educational approach.

ACTIVITIES: Disc golf (18-hole premiere tournament course), archery, low ropes, rock climbing, swimming, arts  and crafts, trail hiking, and totem pole building. Also, environmental education, watershed science and forestry.

Coolest Things About Camp: There is a quidditch match, which you can’t miss, and campers can create their own wands. We have a leader-in-training program for older campers.

AGES: 6-17 years old

OPERATED BY: Camp Taloali, Inc.


CONTACT: (503)877-3864



Mt. Hood Kiwanis Camp

LOCATION: Government Camp, Mt. Hood National Forest

CAMP CONCEPT: A traditional “sleep over” camp experience for children and adults with disabilities. We are committed to providing recreational opportunities through quality adapted programming, with trained and experienced staff. A partnership with Portland State University, allows us to offer a one-to-one camper-to-counselor ratio.

ACTIVITIES: Zipline, climbing wall, high adventure elements, fishing, swimming, horseback riding, canoeing, white water rafting, arts and crafts, hiking.

Coolest Things About Camp: We cover 62% of the actual cost of camp for our campers. It costs $3,400 to provide a camper one week of adapted programming at MHKC, and camp families pay $1,300.

AGES:10 years and older

OPERATED BY: Mt. Hood Kiwanis Camp




Northwest Outward Bound School

LOCATION: Central Oregon: Three Sisters Wilderness Area, Mt. Jefferson, Smith Rock State Park, Deschutes River.

CAMP CONCEPT: We provide outdoor education and prepare students of all ages and circumstances with the strength of character and determination they need to thrive in the classroom, in the workplace, in the family and in the world. Our courses are designed and delivered by a community of the industry’s most skilled and dedicated educators.

ACTIVITIES: whitewater rafting, mountaineering, backpacking, rock climbing, canoeing, service

Coolest Things About Camp: Lush forests, with some of the tallest trees on earth, and volcanic mountain landscapes are the classrooms where the Northwest Outward Bound School provide exciting learning opportunities.

AGES: 12-13, 14-16, 16-18

OPERATED BY: Outward Bound

MAIN OFFICE: Portland, OR; Redmond, OR



Suttle Lake Camp

LOCATION: Suttle Lake, 14 miles west of Sisters

CAMP CONCEPT: Faith-based

ACTIVITIES: Christian community, faith formation, canoeing / kayaking, hiking, crafts, archery, swimming, ecology, outdoor living skills,

Coolest Things About Camp: After a fun week, campers bring home more than dirty laundry. They bring smiles, life-long memories, appreciation of nature, decision making skills, spiritual growth, confidence and a sense of self-worth.

AGES: Youngest campers have completed first grade. Oldest campers are 12th-graders.

OPERATED BY: United Methodist Church of Oregon & Idaho, in partnership with the Episcopal Diocese of Oregon.




You may also like...