Extreme Summer Camps

Goodbye, crafts and color wars. Hello, explosives and <i>Dianetics</i>. Some summer camps for kids with very specialized interests.

Photo: Dan Lamont/Corbis

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Lil’ Angels Kids Spa Camp
(Newark, Delaware)
Activities: Etiquette, modeling, mani/pedi, and facial skills in a “magical milieu.” Plus: “Limousine field trips every week—because only the best will do!”
What to Pack: Mommy’s platinum American Express card

American Idol Camp
(Lake Arrowhead, California)
Activities: Singing, dancing, developing “personal style.” Includes “master classes” by past Idol finalists such as Vonzell “Baby V” Solomon, but no guarantee that you’ll end up on the show.
What to Pack: A thick skin

Wagon Train Junior Camp
(Hume, California)
Activities: Discipleship in a Wild West setting. Campers sleep in covered wagons, eat at the Outpost, and study the Good Book with counselors like Wagonmaster Shep and Pancho Peet.
What to Pack: “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammo” T-shirt

Food Allergy Summer Camp
(Edmonton, Alberta)
Activities: Dietary restriction-themed storybooks at bedtime. Milk-free, egg-free, and nut-free cinnamon buns!
What to Pack: EpiPen…just in case

Scientology Camp
(Sheridan, Oregon)
Activities: With L. Ron Hubbard’s study program, “the world of knowledge becomes fully accessible and a young person with abilities and interest discovers his unlimited potential for success.” Plus: Tom Cruise’s kids are rumored to go there.
What to Pack: Solar E-Meter

Spy Camp
(Lake Como, Pennsylvania)
Activities: “Martial arts, code breaking, surveillance techniques and undercover maneuvers.” Plus evasive driving and paintball.
What to Pack: Spy camera (boys); camera-jamming device (girls)

Summer Explosives Camp
(Rolla, Missouri)
Activities: Blowing stuff up. To attend, kids write an essay titled “Why I Am Interested in a Career Focusing on the Application of Explosives.”
What to Pack: atf waiver

Ted Nugent Kamp for Kids
(Papillion, Nebraska)
Activities: Lessons on “the Ten Commandments, the Golden Rule, Hunter Safety and law, International Bow Education” from the man who brought us “Jailbait,” “I Am a Predator,” and “Bridge Over Troubled Daughters.”
What to Pack: Hunter-orange Ritalin dispenser

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We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

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