Summer Camp Guide: Sleep-Away Camps for Brainiacs

Baruch Summer Leadership Academy

The Baruch Summer Leadership Academy 

New York, NY (646) 312-4587;

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Summer slackers need not apply—the Leadership Academy promises “intellectually stimulating and culturally enriching academic exploration” with talented students from around the globe. The pre-professional program lets high-school students experience university-style academia while helping with college planning, SAT prep, and readiness for college itself. Students choose from five specialized tracks based on their career interests: global finance and economics; pre-med; entrepreneurship; financial engineering; and sophomore enrichment. The daily schedule includes SAT preparation, courses and workshops in the chosen specialty as well as field trips and laboratory activities. Outside the classroom, participants can explore the city and get to know their national and international peers. 

Ages: Entering grades 10  to 12 Dates: Two two-week sessions and one four-week session, July 6 to July 31 Fees: $2,900 day students; $7,000 residential students  Transportation: No Drive Time from White Plains: 40 minutes

Alfred University Summer Programs

Alfred, NY (607) 871-2115;

High school kids who love chemistry, astronomy, robotics, and engineering (yes, they do exist) can indulge their scientific passions with like-minded students at Alfred University’s academic summer programs. In Consumer Chemistry Camp, junior scientists will take part in lab work, discussions, and lectures to explore questions like: How does hair dye work? What makes soda sweet? If robots are your kid’s thing, Robotics Engineering Camp offers a hands-on chance to learn how to assemble, program, and control a VEX Robotics System. Budding astronomers can take advantage of one of the best teaching observatories in the country as part of Astronomy Camp, where the topics covered include asteroids, solar flares, stellar evolution, and black holes, among others. And for computer programming devotees, Computer Engineering Camp provides the opportunity to learn and practice video-game and web-page design, as well as software application, network systems, and microcontroller development.

Ages: 12 to 17 Dates: One session each: July 5-9 (computer engineering); July 12-16 (chemistry); July 19-23 (robotics engineering, astronomy) Fees: $895 per session Transportation: Yes, for an additional charge Drive Time from White Plains: 4 hours, 45 minutes

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Wolfeboro Summer Boarding School

Wolfeboro, NH (603) 569-3451;

True to its name, Wolfeboro Camp School offers summer campers both a camp and a school. Kids who want to avoid the summer brain drain can take three courses from a wide range of subjects including English, literature, math, science, history, and SAT preparation—some of which can be taken for credit by arrangement with their full-year school. The academic program is designed to help campers achieve clearly defined academic goals, and to improve study habits, study skills, motivation, organization, and confidence. Helping them focus on academic pursuits, the camp has a cell phone- and Internet-free campus. On afternoons and weekends, kids can leave the books behind and turn to a wide range of sports and recreational activities like baseball, softball, lacrosse, hiking, studio arts, kayaking, and tennis. 

Ages: 10 to 18 Dates: June 24 to Aug 5 Fees: $14,150 for full summer (plus $1,500 personal expense account deposit; tuition assistance is available) Transportation: No Drive Time from White Plains: 4 hours, 35 minutes

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