Let’s face it: Nature walks and campfire sing-alongs aren’t for every kid. Neither are sports camps. If you have a child who’s more comfortable with 1s and 0s than earning a merit badge in s’mores and kickball, say hello to SummerTech, a computer camp that values kids’ time both in front of, and away from, the screen.
Based out of Purchase College, SummerTech has operated since 2002 (that’s three years longer than YouTube). According to founder Steven Fink, the camp’s success is partly based on its social focus and its 3:1 camper-to-counselor ratio. Teachers are mostly young SummerTech alums who’ve matured into stellar coders and leaders.
This year, Fink says, he is especially excited about SummerTech’s brand-new courses in Web development — which foster a skill set that goes beyond a website’s look and focuses on how it functions for users. In addition to SummerTech’s cutting-edge coding curriculum, campers ages 8 to 16 can participate in game tournaments, improv talent shows, pizza parties, and more.
“I can’t tell you how many times a parent has said, ‘My kid hated every camp I ever sent him to, until he found your camp, and now he calls me and tells me not to pick him up until nine o’clock.’ And that’s who we strive to be,” says Fink. “We are the place where the quirkier you are, the more normal you are.”