I would recommend Camp Fire over Girl Scouts for a lot of reasons, if it's an option.
for those in the South Bend or Chicago areas, I am the director at Camp Tannadoonah, about 45 minutes outside of South Bend. It's open to kids ages 5-16, and we have one-week, 3-day, 2-week, and 10-day sessions from mid June to mid August.
I have spent pretty much my whole life up here - my first year as a camper was '85. I was a camper til I was 15, then kitchen staff at 16, then a counselor for 6 summers, board member, volunteer, and now the camp director for the past 8 years.
When were you a camper? Maybe we knew each other!
B7 will be B8 next summer and that is something we have been talking about. And the close proximity to our home base and the reasonable cost is something that is very attractive.
I think it would be good for him to have a sleep away camp experience.
I am the director of a summer camp (probably too far for you to travel - I'm about 45 min from ND), but would be happy to talk with you about what to look for in a camp, and how to choose the right one for you.
1. Cheley in Colorado; and,
2. Red Arrow in Wisconsin.
Our girls went to Camp Kahdalea in North Carolina one summer. Great camp, but very southern clientele.
run by the Raleigh, NC YMCA. I was a camp nurse there one summer. It was a wonderful camp. Many campers and counselors from the North too, esp Maryland area.
Pretty flexible as far as number of weeks. My daughter has done from 2-6 weeks depending on other activities, commitments, etc. during a particular summer. It is Monday-Friday so you have them home on the weekends. Drop offs and pickups are at designated locations. It is coed, but we have not found that to be a real problem or heard of any issues or incidents.
It's an incredible place, two week sessions.
My daughter (11 yo) went last and this year, and my son (9 yo) went this year. They both loved it.
It's partially a prep camp for www.adventuretreks.com.
Email if you'd like more info from a parent (me).
It really may hit none of your criteria except for the 2 week time frame, but I thought I'd throw it out there. It's called Summer's Best 2 Weeks, and is outside Pittsburgh
My nephew is 9 and loved it, and it came highly recommended from family friends.
It's focused on having a variety of sports and allowing the kids to compete individually, in groups, and among the whole camp across all its age groups for the overall trophy.
It's also co-ed but has a heavy overarching Christian mission (founded by Presbyterians, but the counselors aren't required to be any denomination).
My nephew is a sports prodigy but is addicted to winning ruthlessly. It seems like he had a blast, but also maybe they started to get through to him to be a good sport and kind neighbor regardless of what happens... Which is impressive if it sticks.
and attended Camp Fatima and Bernadette. They all loved and it and my wife really wants to send our kids there.
Might be a bit farther than your range (around 300 miles driving from Westchester).
It is centered in Williamstown, MA but they run biking and hiking camps at various locations. Most are 2 week camps. It's expensive, but reviews have been uniformly positive. They got some bad press this year when one of the teen biking tours got hit by a motorist. That might make me nervous.
More WASP-y than anything else.
Very easy drive.
They now have a separate camp for girls.
2, 4, and 8 week programs.
My parents, not being Jewish, were not big into sending us to summer sleep-away camps, so they were shocked when he asked to go with one of his friends. He loved that place and went back every summer. He made some great friends. The location is beautiful. Also, we used to stay in Middlebury when we dropped him off, which was a treat. The Middlebury Inn is delightful.
If you want more info, I can ask him.
Camp Christopher near Cleveland. All have loved it. My son went last year at 9.
My wife went there as a kid and loved it as well. I'm not sure where you're located but I know some families that come from out of state.
They're an accrediting agency for summer camps. I've worked at ACA camps before and while they can be extremely varied and unique, the accreditation is rigorous enough to ensure quality. Also, I've never even heard of a camp with an 8 week minimum stay. That just seems insane to me.
rather than this board of Catholic types. The Jews have this summer camp shit figured out.
camp is very entertaining
and they say that we'll have fun
once it stops raining
don't leave me out in the forest
where I might get eaten by a bear
Jesus Christ was Wet Hot American Summer a talent laden movie.
I'm only half joking. One of my former colleagues used to be a counselor at a predominately Jewish camp in northern Wisconsin. The number of business connections he made through the kids and their parents was astounding.
It was closer to Rhinelander, but I can't remember the name.
in the right direction with regard to resources, credible reviews, etc.
and maybe a function of demand - the minimum stay issue. I've internet-investigated more than a dozen camps within driving distance and I can't say I've seen more than a 2-week minimum.
We've sent kids to two separte YMCA overnight camps. They have loved it.