Meet the Camps: 18 Summer Camps at Montgomery Mall Camp Fair

It may be winter now, but summer is rapidly approaching. Parents will want to have their kids’ summer plans squared away before the season arrives. A great lens into summer camps is through camp fairs, where parents and prospective campers can chat face-to-face and see what sparks their interests.

Washington FAMILY hosted its second camp fair of the season on Saturday at Montgomery Mall, in Bethesda, Maryland, with 18 different camps from the Maryland-D.C. area, ranging in focus from STEM to arts to sports and supporting age groups from toddlers all the way up to young adults. 

The three-hour event also featured interactive games and demonstrations to entertain kids and help them learn more about camps while their parents had a chat with camp staff.

Here’s an overview of each camp in attendance:

The all-boys Camp Wachusett, headquartered in picturesque Vermont, has an over-120-year history of helping young men build leadership skills and develop lifelong friendships. Campers have the opportunity to connect with nature by going on outdoor camping trips, hiking and boating on Lake Hortonia.

Kids who dream of performing on stage or helping run productions from behind the scenes can check out Adventure Theatre & ATMTC Academy’s summer camp offerings. Over the course of a two-week session, campers in grades 1 through 6 will learn about what goes into putting on a musical or stage play, culminating in a performance for friends and family. It’s a great way for kids to engage with theater without having to juggle their school life at the same time.

Adventure Theatre MTC at the Washington Family camp fair at Montgomery Mall | Photo by Jillian Diamond

Koa Sports, which hosted interactive games at the fair, holds annual summer camp programs that encourage kids to stay active and develop their skills in sports. In addition to general, Rockville-based multi-sport programs aimed at both kids and aspiring Counselors in Training, the program also hosts camps focused on baseball, field hockey and flag football at Winston Churchill High School in Potomac. 

Read More: My Turn: Karate Skills On and Off the Mat

At Camp Friendship, the name says it all. Campers are able to select activities they would like to take part in, from fishing to songwriting to even skateboarding down a mountain. The camp also offers an equestrian camp primarily focused on girls, where staff teaches campers about horseback riding and animal husbandry. Camp Friendship also holds family camps and tennis programs during the spring and fall. 

New to Montgomery County, Sportrock Climbing Center offers a day camp program out of its Gaithersburg location. Kids ages 6 to 14 will be able to spend the day improving their climbing skills. Both indoor and outdoor options are available, with the latter taking campers to nearby national parks to climb natural rock formations.

While school is out for the summer, the season can still be an important time for educational development. Class 101 of Northeast Bethesda offers sessions for eighth graders preparing to enter high school, as well as high schoolers preparing to take the SAT and ACT. For students who will be starting their college search, Class 101 also provides college essay workshops over the summer.

For a more math-focused approach, the Russian School of Mathematics offers math courses for all ages. These help students prepare for the next school year, as well as specific types of math and standardized tests. The school’s six-week logic and reasoning-based programs aim to make math fun and enjoyable rather than something to be dreaded. 

Ever wanted to spend all day up in the trees? Tree Trekkers’ summer camp helps campers develop their climbing skills and an appreciation for nature. The treetop obstacle course holds weeklong sessions focused on different age groups and skill levels. In addition to flying down zip lines and taking on climbing challenges, 12- to 15-year-old campers can also learn more about the world around them through STEM-themed programming.

Girl Scouts can continue their scouting over the summer at Camp Conowingo, home of the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland’s sleepaway camp program. Some of the camp’s offerings include horseback riding, arts and crafts, adventure activities and travel that will take campers outside of Camp Conowingo’s historic campus. Those interested in attending can also participate in pre-camp gatherings, which give prospective campers a taste of summer activities over the course of a day or weekend. 

Read More: 2024 Washington Family Camp Fair in Fairfax, VA

The Avalon and Brookewood Schools, boys- and girls-only schools in Wheaton and Kensington, respectively, offer both single-sex and co-ed day camps with focuses ranging from learning Latin to exploring nature. Campers can improve their academic skills while also enjoying sports, art and group trips. 

For those who benefit from virtual learning, AoPS Academy’s summer courses, focused on math and language arts, are held online and connect campers from across the country. With a focus on problem solving and critical thinking, this six-week program features themed classes that help develop key academic skills with the help of an engaging curriculum and charming cartoon mascots.

Independent Lake Camp is a truly independent experience, allowing campers to create their own schedules from the ground up. Set against the backdrop of the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania, campers can spend their days playing sports, learning magic, tackling the Aerial Adventures outdoor course or even playing their first-ever Dungeons and Dragons campaign. 

Steamtastic Adventures specializes in programs based around STEAM: science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics. This summer, children ages 7 to 10 will be able to explore nature by interacting with animal friends, create chemical experiments and learn about dinosaurs through focused, weeklong programs. 

Camp Horizons in Harrisburg, Virginia, offers a traditional overnight summer camp, specialty camps focused on horseback riding and developing leadership skills and even a partnership camp with nearby Mahogany Ridge aimed at kids and their dogs. There are also opportunities for campers to go off-site, partaking in activities like tubing down a river or exploring caves. 

Children’s Manor and Children’s Magnet Montessori schools have a summer program, providing student-driven, hands-on, Montessori-style education for children even while school is out for the summer. Campers can engage in activities based on weekly themes, including space, music, the 2024 Olympics and Maryland itself. For children who attend more traditional schools during the year, the camp can be a great way to experience a Montessori model of education. 

Read More: The Classroom Outside of Four Walls: Outdoor Education Programs

For children with autism and other developmental disabilities, Verbal Beginnings’ ABA-based programs can provide a safe and welcoming environment to develop social skills. In small, personalized groups, campers will be able to engage in free play and go on field trips to practice what they’ve learned.

Mad Science showcased experiments for kids | Photo by Jillian Diamond

Finally, demonstrations of science experiments drew a crowd to Mad Science of DC, MD and VA’s booth. With locations across multiple states, the STEM-based camp helps children learn about chemistry, physics, nature and more through interactive experiments and crafts.

To explore more camps in the D.C. area, visit or check out our latest digital issue, which features more summer camp -related stories and a directory of camps and summer programs. 

If you are involved with a local or regional camp and would like to participate in one of our Mid-Atlantic Media camp fairs, get in touch at

See you in 2025 for the next camp fair! 


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