By Nicole Frehsee, CNBC.com
Millions of American kids will arrive home this month from the country's 7,000 overnight camps, full of stories about traditional activities like archery, crafts and waterskiing and the questionable pleasures of bug juice and bunk beds.
The summer retreats we feature here break that mold, offering campers organic food, golf lessons from PGA pros, and jaunts to New York City for cooking classes, and the odd shopping trip to FAO Schwarz. Their parents pay for the perks. In 2011, the average weekly fee for overnight camp was $690, according to the American Camp Association. The camps that follow charge upwards of $1,025 per week.
Read ahead to see what some kids were doing while yours were learning to weave friendship bracelets.
International Riding Camp International Riding Camp
Cost: $11,800 for 8 weeks
Location: Greenfield Park, N.Y.
Geared toward aspiring equestrians, this all-girls camp in the foothills of the Catskills offers an organic, locavore-leaning menu (whole-wheat bread is from a local bakery; snacks are gourmet chocolates), and there's a heated swimming pool in addition to daily riding lessons. The summer's piece de resistance, though, happens offsite: For an extra $495, campers (and their horses) spend an afternoon galloping through Central Park; post-ride, a super-stretch limo whisks the girls off to FAO Schwarz.
Point O'Pines Point O'Pines
Cost: $10,750 for 7½ weeks
Location: Brant Lake, N.Y.
Food is a huge draw at upstate New York's Point O'Pines, which is known for its organic gardening program, cooking classes (taught in the camp's own demo kitchen) and farm-to-table menu (sample item: chicken-breast sandwich with vine-ripened tomatoes, fresh basil and pesto mayo). Other activities at the all-girls camp include Pilates and yoga in a state-of-the-art fitness studio, jewelry-making in the 7,200-square-foot arts and crafts center and hitting the camp's private golf course.
Camp Skylemar Camp Skylemar
Cost: $10,750 for 7 weeks
Location: Naples, Maine
Bona fide athletes like PGA golf pro Steven Philbrook and USTA tennis pro Steve Yankello are on hand to school campers at the sports-focused Camp Skylemar, where the (all-boy) camper-to-counselor ratio is 2 to 1 and campers have access to 100 acres of manicured playing fields, eight tennis courts, three basketball courts (indoor and outdoor), a five-hole golf course and a spring-fed lake.
Pine Forest Camp Pine Forest Camp
Cost: $9,950 for 7 weeks
Location: Greeley, Pa.
Set on 1,000 private acres, the co-ed Pine Forest is serious about learning the life skills that matter. The camp's 40-plus activities range from one-on-one fitness training to Top Cooks (lessons on knife techniques and pickling, plus a trip to New York's Culinary Institute of America) to SAT prep courses. There are also two heated swimming pools, a 45-foot climbing wall and a recording studio.
See the full list of the Most Expensive Summer Camps
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By Nicole Frehsee, CNBC.com