Academic Summer Camps

by : Jim Hartley

SuperCamp, the original Academic and Life Skills summer camp that launched in 1982 with 64 students is poised to enroll its 50,000th student in 2008.

SuperCamp, which broke new ground in the summer camp industry in 1982 with the first learning and life skills program for middle and high school students, is about to pass the 50,000 enrollment mark, reflecting both SuperCamp’s success and how more parents are turning to academic camps for summer enrichment.

When SuperCamp co-founder, Bobbi DePorter, held that first camp in Lake Tahoe 26 years ago, most parents wanted a traditional camp that would keep their children busy for a week or two during summer vacation.

“We were not interested in starting a summer babysitting service," says DePorter. “Our goal from day one was to help make great kids greater. Over the years, as the pressure to excel in school and to get into the best colleges has increased, more and more parents have turned to SuperCamp to give their children every opportunity for success."

SuperCamp remains unique in that it deals with the whole person, providing practical learning skills while developing the life skills of the teenage and pre-teen campers. The camp helps students get past barriers that hold them back by using metaphors such as board breaking and a ropes course, emphasizing positive peer support and carefully orchestrating many mini-successes for each camper.

As a result, most SuperCamp graduates return to their homes and schools empowered with a new sense of confidence, more motivated, and armed with an array of learning, study and test-taking skills. As one 2007 graduate says, “SuperCamp teaches great life skills and opens doors I didn’t even know had handles!"

Parents, aware of the fleeting value of traditional summer camps, see SuperCamp as an investment that pays lasting dividends. “SuperCamp was probably the single best investment we made in our daughter’s future," stated Alice Keppler. “She feels so good about herself. Every time she remarks how her grades have improved, we remind her that this is a gift she gave to herself."

SuperCamp offers four grade-specific programs for boys and girls from age 9 to 19, all the way up to a college boot camp for incoming college freshmen called Quantum U. The residential camps are held on eight college campuses in the U.S., including Stanford and Cornell, with the campers living in dorms for the duration of the 7- to 10-day camps.

SuperCamp has added a significant international presence over the years with programs now operating throughout Asia, in Latin America and in Europe. Additionally, over 30,000 teachers have been trained in the same Quantum Learning methods developed by Ms. DePorter and her associates for SuperCamp.

For more information on SuperCamp visit