Why Your Family Needs to Take a Camp-Cation - Family Travller (USA)
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A Camp-cation might sound like it involves camping — which, hey, it definitely can — but the real meaning of "camp" in this play on words is referring to the kind you loved as a kid. We're talking summer camp.

This version of a summer getaway delivers big for kids and adults. Do it up in Martin County, Florida (aka the Treasure Coast) for tons of fun, sun, and learning.

In Martin County, Florida, summer camps abound. While your brood spends the morning learning to fish, surf, bake and garden, or take amazing digital photos, all you have to do is pick out the perfect umbrella for your drink on the beach. When camp concludes for the day, pick up where you left off with tons of family activities around the Treasure Coast — aptly named not only for its wealth of delicious food, kind people and things do to, but also in reference to the fleet of treasure-bearing Spanish galleons that wrecked in the region in the early 16th century.

Here are just a few kid-approved camps Martin County has to offer:

For skippers of all ages…

Youth Sailing at the US Sailing Center is about as legit as it gets. Kids ages 5-17 can spend their week out on the water learning to sail from bow to stern. And you can trust that they’re in good hands, considering this outpost in Martin County is one of only three community sailing centers in the country sanctioned by US Sailing, the national governing body of the sport. Choose from beginner to advanced programs led by certified sailing instructors.

For animal lovers…

Look, we’ve all promised to buy our kiddos a pony in exchange for a few moments of silence (we’re only human, right?). Here’s the perfect way to deliver that doesn’t involve building a barn. Martin County has a number of ranches and farms where kids can take riding lessons and meet animals of all kinds. Learn to groom, tack, and ride horses at Palm City Equestrians; care for baby farm animals, kayak, or practice archery skills between horse rides at Marasco Ranch; or catch an impressive riding demonstration at Standing Oak Farms.

For kids with a flair for the dramatic…

Depending on how much time you’re planning to spend in the area, choose from an array of theatre and dance camps. The Dance Academy of Stuart offers classes in ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop, pointe and lyrical, while The Lyric Theatre hosts an intensive three-week theatre camp that ends with a full show on the main stage. Got any Disney fans in your troop? Camp Disney at the StarStruck Theatre gives princes and princesses aged K-9th grade the chance to sing and dance like their favorite characters.

For future Da Vincis…

Kids can develop their artistic and scientific minds at a number of cool camps. For starters, Camp Invention at the National Inventors Hall of Fame fosters STEM skills via hands on experiments and exciting demonstrations. At Stuart Ceramics, kids can make their own story books, try their hand at painting, make bath bombs, design their own jewelry, and more. The Elliott Museum also offers a number of creative classes, from drawing and painting to digital photography.

For little surfers…

Make your Beach Boys dreams a reality with surfing lessons for the whole family. Some top notch programs are offered by Ohana Surf Shop and Cowabunga Surf Camp. No worries if conditions aren’t perfect—on days when waves aren’t big enough to ride, most programs offer stand up paddle boarding and skim boarding as a substitute. Either way, your kids will get a day of fun in the water while you, well, you can have a day doing whatever you please!

For young environmentalists...

Mini naturalists will have a blast learning about the local environment. Every summer, there are four weeks of camp focused on the environment, including Camp WET, Wave Runners Day Camp and Sea Fans Day. Kids will also love running off to the Hobe Sound Nature Center's Nature Camp for nature crafts and fun native wildlife presentations. For an even more hands-on experience, the Florida Oceanographic Society offers kids the chance to discover the wonders of Hutchinson Island, the Indian River Lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean. Participants will experience a variety of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, conduct fun science experiments and interact with Florida Oceanographic’s wide array of live marine animals.

Learn more about Martin County and Camp-Cations at DiscoverMartin.com.