The Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities offers diverse and fun filled camp programs for youth ages 2-17. There's something for every interest!

Page updated on Feb 12, 2020 at 9:10 AM

2020 Summer CampsSummer Camp Video

  • Let's have a “Summer of Smiles!” Summer Camp registration is now open for Alexandria residents and opens at 9 a.m. on Friday, February 14 for nonresidents. 
  • Summer camp information is now available!
  • Register online or at the Lee Center's Registration & Reservations Office (1108 Jefferson St.) Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • With more than 75 camp options, there's something for every interest for ages 2 to 17, including:
    • Sports
      Summer Camps Guide(2)
    • Creative Arts
    • Computer
    • Nature
    • Performing Arts
    • Excursion
    • Cooking - NEW!
    • STEM
    • Camp Adventure
    • Out of School Time
    • Classic Camps
  • Extended Day options are now available for most camps to enhance the fun and provide parents extra time, including Before Care from 7 to 9 a.m. and After Care from 4 to 6 p.m. Structured activities include arts and crafts, movies and games.
  • 2020 Registration Forms coming soon:

Learn What Parents Are Saying About Alexandria Camps

Summer Camp Friends"I wanted to write a quick note to acknowledge the absolutely amazing summer camp offerings that were provided to City residents this summer. My wife and I have lived in the City for 11 years and have three young children. This summer our children participated in about 6 camps offered through the Recreation Department and we could not have been more impressed. We truly could not have been more happy, and our children absolutely loved their camps."

"We are so thankful for the efforts of your swim camp staff in providing just the right balance of challenge and encouragement for our granddaughter. Her improvement in both skills and attitude by the end of camp were both easily discernible and very gratifying.  It was clear that your staff went the extra mile to make sure each day was both fun and filled with opportunities for learning for the kids."

"Our daughter absolutely LOVED the Tadpole camp at the Buddie Ford Nature Center. She especially loved the nature walks to the water. Keep up the great work over there!”

"I’m so thankful for this phenomenal program, this group of employees truly believes in “No One Left Behind” and they are committed, dedicated, energetic, enthusiastic, motivated, as well as passionate about what they deliver. The individual impact they have on lives is just priceless. They have made modifications after modifications to programs to ensure that my child and individuals of all abilities have an equal opportunity to enjoy programs, services, and activities."

"The staff are dedicated to no return in providing the highest quality of programs that are inclusive and accessible that meet social, intellectual and recreational needs of my daughter. They have taken the steps to remove barriers to participation in program and services. They go above and beyond to improve the overall quality of life and safeguard of my child every day. "

"I saw my daughter swimming today on the last day of Making Waves Swim Camp. WOW!!! So much improvement over such a short time!! She had a wonderful time this week. Many thanks to your team for providing such a wonderful camp that is not only fun, but is also teaching a valuable life skill. She came home happy, hungry, and tired every day!!!"

Frequently Asked Camp Questions

  • Can camp staff administer medication? 

    Staff are not permitted to administer over-the-counter or prescribed medication. If a child requires medication during the program, the parent must arrange with an administrator to bring the medication for their child. If a child is required to have medication with them in case of emergencies (i.e. inhalers, epi-pen), the medication must be labeled and stored in a personal backpack or bag that is also labeled. Medications will be stored in an appropriate area of the facility and be readily accessible.

  • What are the camp’s emergency procedure drills?
    To ensure the continued safety of all campers in case of an emergency, staff will conduct emergency procedure drills (fire, tornado warning, bus evacuation, etc.) on a regular basis. All campers must participate in these drills, just as they participate in drills at school.
  • What if my child is injured at camp?
    If your child is injured, camp staff will notify you as soon as possible. In case of an emergency, camp staff will:

    1. Call 911, perform immediate First Aid and contact you. After 911 has been called, the emergency response team will determine next steps.
    2. If emergency transport is required, a staff member will accompany the child to the hospital and remain until the parent/guardian arrives.
    3. If a parent/guardian cannot be reached, staff will continue to call those listed on the child's emergency contact list until contact is made.
  • What sort of clothes should my camper bring?
    Children should dress appropriately for spending extended periods of time outdoors in the summer. Socks and closed-toe shoes are required. As a precaution, bringing an extra change of clothes is recommended. Camps that include a t-shirt will distribute them on the first day of camp. For safety purposes, all campers are required to wear their camp t-shirts on field trip days. Campers will need to bring a swim suit and towel on days that they will be swimming. Swim shoes or Crocs are optional. 
  • May campers bring toys and similar items from home to camp?
    Program participants are prohibited from bringing illegal, unauthorized or contraband materials, toys, electronic devices, or other personal property which might affect the health, safety and welfare of all persons at a City facility or that disrupt planned activities. A child may bring a cell phone to the program; however, the cell phone will be kept in the child’s back pack and be turned off during program hours and may only be used with the express permission of City staff. The City of Alexandria is not responsible for personal belongings, so it is highly encouraged to not bring toys/games to camp.
  • Is Financial Assistance available for summer camps?

    The Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities encourages resident participation in City programs. A Financial Assistance Policy allows for maximum resident participation in City programs. All City residents who meet qualifications are eligible. All City programs are eligible for financial assistance. Fee assistance for camp programs must be completed and approved 2 weeks prior to the start date of that camp program, prior to your child’s registration for camp. 

    Fee assistance may be granted according to the following schedule:
    • 40% reduction for households where a child receives free or reduced lunch at an Alexandria City School.
    • 50% reduction for households where a child receives free or reduced lunch and the family receives nutrition assistance (SNAP).
    • 70% reduction for households where a child receives free or reduced lunch, and also receives TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), or where they reside in a City of Alexandria temporary shelter.

    To apply, please complete the Financial Assistance Application and bring to the Lee Center Registrations and Reservations Office (1108 Jefferson St, Alexandria VA 22314 ).

    Program-specific Frequently Asked Questions: