best summer camps, eco camp, green camp, green summer camps, kids summer camp, summer camp, sustainable summer camp, community service camps, service camps, advocacy camps, service camps for kids, volunteering for kids
Image via Rustic Pathways

Rustic Pathways

Rustic Pathways provides various service programs for students in some of the world’s most welcoming countries. Their mission is to, “Enrich the lives of our students and our staff, benefit the parts of the world we serve, and build cultural bridges that lead to greater global understanding and cooperation.” Rustic Pathways’ camp service programs are designed for positive, level-headed students with a keen interest in experiential learning and international travel. They offer both summer and spring break programs for high school and college students along with programs during the academic year for Gap Year students, and customized programs for individuals, families, and groups.

+ Rustic Pathways

RELATED | 5 Green Summer Camps & How to Find an Eco-Minded Summer Camp Near You

best summer camps, eco camp, green camp, green summer camps, kids summer camp, summer camp, sustainable summer camp, community service camps, service camps, advocacy camps, service camps for kids, volunteering for kids
Photo by Shutterstock

Humane Society

In a world that supports teaching kids to shoot small animals for fun, Humane Society service camps are very much needed. Local Humane Society branches all over the country run many camps, and some have service components for youth, such as hands-on experience with shelter animals plus counselors and guest speakers who help increase kids’ understanding and awareness of the role that they can have as ambassadors for animals. Check out the state Humane Society map to locate shelters in your area or type, “Your state Humane Society camp” into a browser search.

+ Humane Society in Your State

+ Humane Society

best summer camps, eco camp, green camp, green summer camps, kids summer camp, summer camp, sustainable summer camp, community service camps, service camps, advocacy camps, service camps for kids, volunteering for kids
Image via The Road Less Traveled 

The Road Less Traveled

The Road Less Traveled takes middle school and high school students out into the world to explore and give back. The Road Less Traveled notes, “We know that young people who experience certain formative “life lessons” before they are launched into independence have an advantage once they leave home. These lessons are not the ones measured by SAT or ACT scores. They are not learned by being plugged into some form of electronic medium for hours a day. They can only be experienced by taking controlled risk, moving outside one’s comfort zone, trying new things and expanding one’s horizons. On The Road Less Traveled, there is no homework and there are no grades. And no technology — no computers, cell-phones or iPods, students are free to focus on cultivating individual strengths in ways that build confidence and self-reliance.” Pretty awesome goals for kids! During summer community service programs youth may find themselves “Floating the ocean tides replanting coral reefs in Bonaire or the Keys, building a school or orphanage in the shadow of the Himalayas in Ladakh, India, or face to face with a wolf, aiding conservation efforts in a sanctuary with the sole mission of caring for these often misunderstood creatures.” Many other opportunities are available as well.

+ The Road Less Traveled

best summer camps, eco camp, green camp, green summer camps, kids summer camp, summer camp, sustainable summer camp, community service camps, service camps, advocacy camps, service camps for kids, volunteering for kids
Mudding a bread oven image via Deer Hill Expeditions

Deer Hill Expeditions

At Deer Hill, “The spirit of service is about sharing, collaboration, learning, giving – of your time, your energy, your attention – and, in return, receiving more than you ever thought possible.” Deer Hill is renowned for the quality and integrity of their community service programs and most expeditions include up to a week working with one of Deer Hill’s partner tribes: the Navajo, Hopi and Zuni in New Mexico and Arizona, or the Tico people in rural villages of Costa Rica. Some Deer Hill programs also offer the opportunity to help preserve the landscapes and wildlife of places youth visit. While on your conservation service project, you will work alongside inspirational rangers and volunteers from the U.S. Forest Service. Build a footbridge to restore vital backcountry access, create a new trail above timberline, help monitor elk populations, or restore trout habitat along a beautiful mountain stream. It’s a way of getting closer to the wilderness and saying “thank you” for its gifts.

+ Deer Hill Expeditions

best summer camps, eco camp, green camp, green summer camps, kids summer camp, summer camp, sustainable summer camp, community service camps, service camps, advocacy camps, service camps for kids, volunteering for kids
Lifeworks Galapagos and Ecuador Session via Lifeworks

Lifeworks

Lifeworks has 40 years of experience offering educational global programs for teens which combine international community service projects with cultural immersion, travel and outdoor adventure. Lifeworks does not, in fact, consider themselves to be a traditional teen summer camp but instead a hands-on community service learning program, with programs grounded in experiential education. Lifeworks offer a range of programs in different geographic locations including adventure activities and service projects with an environmental or human base.

+ Lifeworks

best summer camps, eco camp, green camp, green summer camps, kids summer camp, summer camp, sustainable summer camp, community service camps, service camps, advocacy camps, service camps for kids, volunteering for kids
Image via CampLive Oak

Camp Live Oak – Teen Eco Experience

Camp Live Oak has multiple camp programs, but the Summer Teen Eco Program is spot on for youth aiming to make a difference. The program features a wide variety of activities including guiding younger campers through a series of outdoor activities, team building, orienteering, medicinal plants, primitive cooking, wildlife identification, day trips and much more. Additionally, youth get to learn about careers in environmental education, complete a hands-on project that will greatly benefit a park, build an innovative creation using recycled materials and renewable energy sources, discover Florida’s ecosystems including studying marine biology, renewable energy and conservation efforts.

+ Camp Live Oak – Teen Eco Experience

Lead Image via Shutterstock

RELATED | HOW TO: Create an Eco-Friendly Summer Camp Care Package for Your Child