HEALTHY COMBINATION The YMCA of Greater Boston has a wide selection of traditional day camps for kids ages 6 to 12. The Camp at the Ponkapoag Outdoor Center in the Blue Hills Reservation is run by the Charles River YMCA/Needham, and combines ropes and outdoor challenges with arts, crafts, and aquatics. Canton. 781-444-6400 ext. 226; poc.bostonycamps.org
MIX AND MATCH At Marcus Lewis Day Camp, kids can tailor their activities to match their interests, with Junior Discovery campers (grades K through 5) making decisions each day as a group and Teen Exploration campers (grades 6 through 10) choosing electives individually. Weekly themes add to the fun, and specialized camps (cooking, golf, and dance, among others) allow kids to really immerse themselves in their favorite activities. Westford. 978-929-9997; marcuslewisdaycamp.com
GO NATURAL At the Drumlin Farm Summer Camp, run by Mass. Audubon, campers ages 4 to 17 get to explore the ins and outs of a real wildlife sanctuary and working farm, with plenty of chances for hands-on experience with farm animals and forest, field, and pond environments. Trip and travel programs are available for older kids. Lincoln. 781-259-2223; massaudubon.org/drumlin
FUN, IN GENERAL Beaver Summer Programs at the Beaver Country Day School in Chestnut Hill are known for their highly specialized summer activities (circus camp, anyone?), but the General Camp also has plenty to offer. Younger campers (ages 3 to 5) get to play on equipment and fields scaled down to their size; older kids (6 to 12) can choose their own electives throughout the day. Chestnut Hill. 617-738-2750; bcdcamp.org
FOR HORSE WHISPERERS 4-H Camp Marshall is tailor-made for the horse-crazy kid in your life. The Young Riders (for campers ages 5 to 7) and Saddle Up (ages 8 to 14) programs blend traditional camp activities with an intensive introduction to horsemanship and horseback riding. Not that into horses? They also have a more traditional (and less expensive) program. Spencer. 508-885-4891; campmarshall.org
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