7 Best Overnight Summer Camps in Alabama 2023

With some of the country’s most pristine and untouched wilderness areas, Alabama is the perfect backdrop for your child’s summer camp adventure. Under the guidance of experienced camp counselors, kids can learn, explore and make new friends while taking part in classic summer camp traditions that have been passed down over generations. 

These summer camps all take advantage of Alabama’s abundant natural beauty and wildlife and can truly give your kids memories they will remember forever.

alabama camps
Jackson County Park, Alabama

1. Southern Preparatory Academy

Address: 174 Ward Cir, Camp Hill, AL 36850

Ages: 11-17

Dates: June 4 – June 30

Southern Preparatory Academy in Camp Hill, Alabama, has a rich tradition of instilling moral character and distinction into today’s young men. As one of the nation’s leading military boarding academies, its schoolyear programs are renowned for their all-around excellence, and Southern Preparatory Academy’s summer programs build upon it.

Middle to high school students in need of academic recovery or looking to get ahead in an individual area of study or college prep can take part in the 4-week boarding school. It has intensive coursework for credit, supervised study halls in the evenings, and various recreational activities after school and on weekends. Courses help students with ACT/SAT preparation, math, and English, as well as ESL students. 

The school also offers a Southern Survival program for rising 6th to 12th graders that builds character, self-respect, and skills in a fun and exciting way. The tech-free program is almost completely outdoors and provides a safe but demanding environment to bring the best out of students. The standard camp lasts four weeks, but there are shorter options available. 

2. Camp Mac

Address: 2671 Cheaha Rd, Munford, AL 36268

Ages: 6-13

Dates: May 30 – July 30

Camp Mac takes things to new levels. Sitting in the heart of the Talladega National Forest, the camp facilities include a swimming pool, lake, equestrian centers, rock climbing wall, and more. 

This co-ed summer camp for students 1st through 8th grade takes kids out of the technology-focused world and puts them into a place where they work in a stable with friendly horses, and explore the lake and forest areas.

After an action-packed day, kids retire at night to beautiful hand-crafted, comfortable cabins with the rest of their bunkmates. 

Students from 1st to 3rd grade can enjoy the 6-day overnight camp, while 2nd through 5th graders can have 11 days of fun. There is also a 28-day camp for kids who want to spend more time at Camp Mac. 

3. YMCA Camp Cosby

Address: 2290 Paul Bear Bryant Rd, Alpine, AL 35014

Ages: 8-15

Dates: June 4 – July 28

YMCA Camp Cosby has been in existence for exactly 100 years now. There is a good reason this Alpine camp has been a longlasting favorite for the many campers who have attended. 

Its lakefront site in the Appalachian foothills draws to mind the classic camp experience of learning, playing, and growing. YMCA Camp Cosby gives your children ages 6 to 16 all that and more.

Along with traditional programming like hiking and archery, they can also participate in unique activities you won’t find anywhere else, with things like bb gun shooting and panning for gold. The camp is right on Lake Logan Martin, so there is plenty of waterfront fun, like waterskiing, sailing, and tubing. 

This is a Judeo-Christian organization that promotes positive moral values. Its standard sleepaway camp lasts for one week. Younger kids 6 to 7 can also try out a 3-day camp, and the most experienced campers can stay for a 2-week session and even sign up for specialty camps for extra time with horsemanship, mini-bikes, lake sports, and team sports.

4. Ponderosa Bible Camp

Address: 1018 Co Rd 734, Mentone, AL 35984

Ages: 7-17

Dates: June 11 – July 14

High atop beautiful Lookout Mountain, Ponderosa Bible Camp hosts a weeklong sleepaway camp for boys and girls. Their programs provide 7- to 17-year-old campers with a fun and wholesome Christian experience.

Each day is structured to maximize outdoor learning, Bible study, and fellowship among campers. Kids can swim in the river or pool, go horseback riding, fly across the zip line, and even learn arts & crafts skills like leatherwork. During the day, campers can enjoy fun and friendly competition during field games, Nerf wars, and on the team challenge course, then spend nights sharing stories during the evening chapel services.

Ponderosa Bible Camp provides a chance for your child to grow in his or her walk with Christ in a gorgeous setting.

5. Camp Laney

Address: 916 W River Rd, Mentone, AL 35984

Ages: 7-15

Dates: June 4 – July 28

Camp Laney is an all-boys camp that sits on the crest of Lookout Mountain. Boys ages 7 to 15 can participate in camp traditions that have been a rite of passage since 1959. The summer camp is open to all faiths and strives to help young men appreciate the natural world and get closer to God.

At this one- or two-week overnight camp, boys rotate through eight activities that provide mental and physical challenges in an encouraging way. Under the careful guidance of well-trained staff, campers can enjoy archery/riflery, horseback riding, mountain biking, ropes courses, waterfront activities, and more. 

The fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down, as Camp Laney is famous for its nightly group activities and games, with events like a tribe hunt, campfire stories, and even a snake show. For parents looking to give their sons an impactful experience, Camp Laney is an excellent choice. 

6. Dauphin Island Sea Lab

Address: 101 Bienville Blvd, Dauphin Island, AL 36528

Ages: 10-18

Dates: June 4 – July 28

On the peaceful waters of Alabama’s beautiful Gulf Coast, the Dauphin Island Sea Lab offers five different adventures for children. The Dauphin Island Sea Lab is the state’s leading ocean research center, and university students and researchers have long traveled to the island to study its unique biosphere. 

The Sea Lab is open to students in 5th-12th grade to take part in oceanography and marine biology science programs. The summer programs range from 3 to 5 days, and each has its own special ocean itinerary. 

Younger campers get to board the Alabama Discovery and explore the water and beaches. Older campers can kayak through the state’s coastal habitats while learning about flora and fauna.

It’s truly one-of-a-kind. After spending time on local beaches, students return to their lab facilities, enjoy its healthy food, and sleep in comfortable dorms. If you have kids younger than 10, you do have the option to enroll them in their day camps.

7. YMCA Camp Cha-La-Kee

Address: 4380 Cha-La-Kee Rd, Guntersville, AL 35976

Ages: 8-15

Dates: June 4 – July 28

Boys and girls can attend YMCA Camp Cha-La-Kee, which surrounds the beautiful Lake Guntersville in Northern Alabama. It’s renowned for its tech-free philosophy to inspire campers to become more social and partake in healthy activities.

There is a ton of space to play, so young explorers can receive a wonderful outdoor education while gaining new skills and self-confidence. 

The overnight camps are designed for various age groups. Young children can stay for 1-week sessions, while older teens can enroll in the 2-week counselors in training program. There is also a 2-night mini-camp for those who aren’t ready for a full-week commitment. There are also day camp options.

They have some of the most welcoming counselors that the YMCA is famous for, and is an amazing option for parents looking to send their kids to a safe yet exciting camp.