Children and grandchildren home for spring break can only mean one thing — summer vacation is right around the corner.

While children look forward to that time away from school, parents sometimes are faced with what to do with the kiddos to keep them occupied while they work.

Many parents may not know about the many summer camps in Texas designed with kids in mind.

Summertime is a great time to get the kids playing outdoors getting physically fit and learning about nature.

Camps are usually divided by age groups and offer a wide variety of activities that will meet just about any child’s interest. Some camps to consider include swimming, archery, hiking, fishing, crafts, biking, hunting, canoeing, kayaking, acting, cheering, horseback riding, ropes courses, climbing walls, sports, zip-lining, nature exploration, botany, music, archaeology and sea camp.

There are faith-based, sports and leadership camps, as well as camps for children with special needs. Camps can be for a day, or as long as one to four weeks.

Camps can be life-changing for some children, as they learn how to make lasting friendships, cooperate with others, the importance of self-confidence, discover hidden interests or talents, and perhaps forget about missing their video games or watching TV.

As with all activities we enroll our children and grandchildren in, camps should be explored so we’re reassured of its safety rating due to instructors who pass a background check and are certified in their fields.

Now is the time to research and talk to your children about what they’re interested in. Start making reservations to secure a spot, as some camps fill up quickly.

Many colleges and universities, school districts, churches and cities will have programs or camps available.

But don’t overlook some of the state’s premier summer camps by Googling “Texas summer camps for kids” and looking into a new and exciting adventure for your vacationing kids this summer.

Darla Menking is a certified Bell County Texas Master Gardener and a Texas Master Naturalist. Email her at

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