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Challenge Island: Children Ditch Their Screens for Hands-On Learning

Camppedia was founded by parents for parents, and one thing we have heard over and over again while talking to other parents was that they want to know more about the camps they are sending their kids to, and there isn’t a third-party rating system for camps. We took this request to heart and decided to interview representatives from as many camps as possible in the Houston area to learn more about the camps and start developing a rating system that parents could rely on.

Our goal with these interviews is to showcase the transformation of kids going through a camp’s program, as well as provide parents with extra information that isn’t always available on the camp’s website.


STEAMtastic Challenge Island Camp immerses children in hands-on learning activities that are completely screen-free. This device-free learning environment allows students to use their imaginations as they develop critical thinking, engineering, and problem-solving skills through creative projects using a variety of common materials. For example, students work together to build a tower of a particular height using marshmallows and sticks as building materials.

Children will enjoy the party-like atmosphere of these unique camps, which are structured around a variety of pop culture trademarked themes, such as Super Hero Camp, Emoji Camp, American Girls and Dolls Camp, Minecraft Camp, Space Wars Camp, Wizardry Camp, and many others.  These fun themes are used to create an environment where children learn teamwork, collaborative thinking, and leadership skills as they engage in challenging, action-packed activities and learn 21st Century STEM/STEAM skills.

In addition to programs during school breaks and summer vacation, Challenge Island offers year-round programs for children from ages 4 to 14, including after-school enrichment classes, in-school field trips, preschool programs, fun family challenge nights, and birthday parties.

Challenge Island also is a corporate partner with Girl Scout Councils across the country, so they offer badge workshops for Girl Scouts of all ages. Boy Scout programs are also available.

Established in 2018, this franchise serves more than 150 children over the summer and has a small-sized camp capacity of 20-25 children. The staff-student ratio is 1:9, which means that students get the attention they need to stay focused on activities and learn new skills.

There are currently eight locations in Montessori and private schools in the Houston area, including Fort Bend and Katy.

Unique things about STEAMtastic Challenge Island Camp include:

  • Children leave their phones and devices at home while they learn critical skills through fun hands-on activities.
  • The camp provides a whimsical atmosphere with fun pop-culture themes to create a high-energy mini-vacation environment for children.
  • Activities focus on opening the creative mind and using any type of common materials to build a variety of projects.
  • Children are grouped into “tribes” to encourage them to bond and build friendships while they learn to negotiate, compromise, and accept each other.

Challenge Island’s website

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