PALM DESERT, Calif. -

Whether it's getting a hands on look at nature, a chance to boost school performance, or learning a new sport, we found plenty of ways for valley kids to get their summer rolling through local camps.    

"It's a great way to play with others, and be part of a group. That's the best thing, being active and not being couped up inside," said Robert Loeung, manager of Palm Springs Skate Park 

The park offers four one-week summer camps that teach the basics of skateboarding, and why staying active is so important.

"It's great exercise. You're sweating for three to four hours and you're working all muscles of the body," Loeung said.

On another side of the valley, students flex their brain muscles at camp GEMS, Girls Excelling in Mathematics with Success.

The one-week camp at U.C. Riverside in Palm Desert aims to inspire girls to pursue careers rooted in math and science.

"The girls learn three things: knowledge about mathematics, how to be a good community citizen, and also information about female role models," said Pam Clute, Assistant Vice Chancellor of U.C. Riverside and a math educator for 40 years.

"I think it's cool and different because, well, not a lot of women do this and it's interesting to see something different," said 8th grader Zoe Coronado who attends this week's camp.

And one of the valley's longest standing summer camps, the Living Desert's ZooCamp, continues its tradition of bringing kids and animals together.

"A big horn sheep, a mountain lion, a tiger," said 7-year-old Giovanni Domingues describing the animals he saw in his first day at the one-week camp.

"The kids get a chance to get close to a giraffe and feed it and it sticks its long tongue out, it's a pretty amazing experience for the kids," said Mike Chedester, Curator of Education for the Living Desert.

And with these camps chock full of activities for mind and body, there's no excuse for kids to say "I'm bored" this summer.