• GRAM summer camps

End of School Camp Scramble

Every year as the school year closes, many parents – myself included – begin scrambling to figure out what their kids will do once school’s out for summer. Some kids will head to daycare, others get to hang out with parents and friends, but many parents also find themselves looking at summer camps.

Our Summer Camps Guide lists many camps that would provide an AMAZING experience for our kids. However, many parents may not find these camps affordable and are just doing their very best to provide the basic needs for their families.

The good news for those of us in that boat? There are several area camps with free, low cost, and even offer scholarships for those who can demonstrate financial need. Below are some of the favorites we found that are affordable, that your kids will love, and most importantly won’t break the bank!


Summer Camp Scholarships & Low-Cost Camps for Kids – Greater Grand Rapids


  • Onbase with GRPD – Ages 9-12. GRPD teaches kids baseball! Search onbase at the link to register.
  • Artworks – Ages 14-18. Students participating in the Artworks program will receive on-site job training and mentorship, and engage in art, design, and installation projects.
  • SHAPE – For boys and girls currently in 7th and 8th grade. A one-week day camp introduction to the health professions for boys and girls currently in 7th and 8th grades.


  • DC2 Student Day Camp (Design. Develop. Collaborate. Create) – for students entering 5th or 6th grade. A two day camp experience where students will solve real world problems by developing empathy, working in teams, building solutions, and reflecting. They will learn how to give their ideas shape, voice, and wings. $25
  • Girls Rock! Grand Rapids – For girls ages 8 -16. A week long summer camp that exists to empower girls and women through music. Each year, girls at camp get to participate in instrument lessons, workshops, band forming, song writing, and logo and album art creation. Priority acceptance is given to girls living in the Roosevelt Park Neighborhood.
  • Summer Art Camps at WMCAT – For all teens who have finished 6th – 11th grade. GRPS students receive discounted tuition, BUT camps are open to all current middle and high school students in the area. GRPS tuition is $20, some restrictions apply.
  • Camp Blodgett – Ages 8 – 13 years old for kids who live in Kent or Ottawa Counties. These week-long themed camp sessions aim to empower youth in West Michigan. Camp Blodgett offers a sliding fee scale.


  • Grand Rapids Art Museum Camps – Ages 4 -1 7. Choose from themes to experience a unique and creative summer.
  • Kendall College Youth Camps – Ages 6 – 17. Youth courses that connect children, and teens, in new ways to the world around us: the people, places, things, and especially the wide range of art-making methods and materials that help us express ourselves creatively. 50% off tuition scholarships available. Contact Brenda Snipe at 616-451-2787, ext. 1139 for details.
  • Blandford Nature Center – Ages 4 -12. Learn hands on in nature.
  • Will Power Camp at GVSU (Shakespearean drama camp) – For kids entering grades 1 – 6.
  • Grand Rapids Civic Theatre – Ages 4 – high school. A limited number of partial scholarships are available.  Scholarship applications must be submitted two weeks before the start of camp. Follow link to PDF application on website.

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By | 2018-04-08T21:00:08+00:00 April 8th, 2018|Categories: Deal for Families, Summer|0 Comments

About the Author:

Alexandria Polk-Lewis
Alexandria was born and raised in South Haven but relocated herself and her daughter, Aiyahnna, to Grand Rapids in 2012 to work for the City. Alex absolutely adores being a City resident and is a proud parent supporter of the GRPS Montessori program. She has been involved with the school PTA, Bible education volunteer work, her neighborhood association, and a few community groups advocating for racial equity in Grand Rapids. In her free time Alex enjoys local dining, coffee, and wine as well as the beach, camping, and exploring our awesome City!

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