The temperature may still be chilly outside, but, believe it or not, summer is just a few short months away. And, for many parents, that means making plans for summer camps to keep their children occupied. From athletics to art to arithmetic, UCity families have so many summer camp options that choosing just the right camp may seem intimidating. To help families that may be struggling with the selection process, three UCity summer camp providers share ways to help make choosing just a little easier.TalkEimear Goggin, who with Chuck Riordan is senior program manager for Camps on Campus at UNC Charlotte, says that the most important thing families can do when selecting the right summer camp is to talk.“Talk to the people running the program, talk to your children about their interests, talk to their friends and ask their friends’ parents for recommendations, talk to your child’s school and favorite teacher. Talk to us. We have programs in the widest possible variety of topics, and as long as your child wants to learn something, we can help,” she says.With seven camps per week for seven weeks over the summer, the UNC Charlotte Camps on Campus program offers camps focusing on everything from science, math and engineering to art, drama and music. With all camps typically filled to capacity at 20 children per camp, the program accommodated about 980 participants last year and expects to accomplish the same this summer.“We’re called Camps on Campus, and being on the university campus is what makes us different,” says Goggin. “We’re not just an outside group using the university’s classrooms to hold some generic programs, but we’re thoroughly integrated into the university fabric. We have excellent relationships with the people all over the campus who add to the experience we can offer – from dining services, who make sure our campers are well fed; to the campus security officers who keep an eye out for us and even direct traffic at daily pick-up; to the curriculum specialists in the Atkins Library, who will provide an expert on Children’s Literature or the history of NASA at the drop of a hat.”Determine GoalsIn addition to talking, YMCA Camping Experience Director Dave Bell suggests that parents should think about their goals for their child’s summer. He offers the following goals to consider when making a summer camp choice:I want my child to make friends.“Find out what the camp does to intentionally facilitate the act and skill of friendship-making,” he says. “Talk to the director and see what they do on the first day to get kids comfortable in a new group and what times there are throughout the week for kids just to interact with each other.”I want my child to learn new skills. “Most camps play lots of games, but is there intentional skill-building woven into the activities? Is there purpose behind the programming at the camp?” Bell suggests that parents ask.I want my child to have some type of educational enrichment. “Does the camp have story or reading time during the day? Are there any educational pieces throughout the session? Does it match up with grade requirements at local public schools?” asks Bell.The University City YMCA offers 33 different weekly camp options, including a wide range of sports, the arts and special themes, such as babysitting. Regardless of the camp focus, University City YMCA Marketing Director Jason Lampton says the key ingredient to any great camp is a great counselor.“We hire counselors with excellent character, strong values, enthusiasm and experience working with kids,” Lampton says. And before camp starts, counselors participate in more than 30 hours of instruction and training in child development, first aid and conflict resolution.InterviewHeather Jones, extension agent with 4-H Youth Development and spokesperson for the Cabarrus County 4-H Summer Fling program, says communicating with the camp program is key. “I suggest interviewing the leader of the camp to determine whether the needs and wants of the child fit the camp,” she says. Picking the right program is crucial, Jones says, because summer camps can have such a profound impact on participants. “Summer camps provide families with enrichment experiences they would not otherwise receive,” she says. “They allow young people to experience new people, places and things. Many life skills learned at summer camp are not learned in other settings.”With ten summer camps encompassing topics such as the responsibilities of citizenship and exploring the world of agriculture, the Cabarrus County 4-H Summer Fling program can help to fill a void in the typical child’s education.“The programs have small group sizes and are all interactive,” Jones says. “In our camps, participants have the opportunity to think creatively, work collaboratively, and solve problems.”
UCity area campsHere’s a listing of some of the summer camps in the UCity area. Costs are for weekly sessions, unless indicated otherwise.
Back Creek Christian Academy – Camp Back Creek
Address: 1827 Back Creek Church Road, CharlotteWeb: www.bccaschool.orgAges: Rising TK through age 12When: May 31-Aug. 19Activities: Weekly field trips, crafts, games and Bible studiesCost: Registration fee $100-$150, plus $160 weekly feeContact: 704-549-4101. email@example.com
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Boys and Girls Club of Cabarrus County Summer Program
Address: 247 Spring St. N.W., ConcordWeb: www.bgclubcab.orgAges: Rising grades 1-8When: June 16-Aug. 16Activities: Recreational programs including computers, life skills, educational, field trips and moreCost: For the entire summer program, $425 (full rate), $275 (with free or reduced-price lunch form), $200 (with Medicaid card)Contact: 704-721-2582. firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: Odell Elementary School, 1215 Moss Farm Road NW., Concord.Web:www.campinvention.orgAges: Rising grades 1-6. When: June 27-30.Activities: Problem-solving and teamwork through hands-on activitiesCost: $215 or $185 if registered before 3/30. Contact: 800-968-4332.
Cannon School - Camp Cannon
Address: Cannon School, 5801 Poplar Tent Road, ConcordWeb: www.cannonschool.org/campcannon Ages: 3-17When: June 6-July 29Activities: Arts, math, science, and sportsCost: $165-$375Contact: 704-721-7198. email@example.com
Carolina Raptor CenterAddress: Carolina Raptor Center, 6000 Sample Road, Huntersville.Web: www.carolinaraptorcenter.org/summercampAges: 4-12 When: June 20-July 29Activities: Canoeing, games and crafts, science experiments, ecology and moreCost: $224 for CRC members, $299 for non-membersContact: Natalie Childers, 704-875-6521 ext. 110. firstname.lastname@example.org
Charlotte Racquet ClubAddress: 9300 Browne Road, Charlotte Web: www.charlottetennisclub.comAges: 5-17 (depending on the program)When: June 13-Aug. 4Activities: tennis and swimming; small tennis instruction groupsCost: $160-$200Contact: 704-947-7770. email@example.com
Charlotte Sports CenterAddress: 8626 Hankins Road, CharlotteWeb: www.charlottesportscenter.comAges: 4-15When: June 13-Aug. 19Activities: Sports, games, activities; counselor in training programCost: $85-$199Contact: 704 -597-7311. Go to www.charlottesportscenter.com/summer/summercamp.shtml Chick-Fil-A Winshape C3 Day CampAddress: University City United Methodist Church, 3835 West W.T. Harris Blvd., Charlotte Web: www.winshape.orgAges: Grades 2-7When: June 27th-July 1st Activities: Christian-based focus on teamwork with soccer, basketball, archery, dance and moreCost: $179Contact: 704-369-8023. firstname.lastname@example.org
Countryside Montessori Summer Day Camp - Camp A-don-doeAddress: 9026 Mallard Creek Road, CharlotteWeb: www.countrysidemontessorischools.orgAges: Rising 1st through 8th graders, depending on campWhen: June 13 – Aug. 12Activities: bowling, swimming, skating, beach trip and moreCost: $195-$225, plus $35 registration feeContact: 704-549-4253. email@example.com
G & J Speedway Gymnastics Summer CampAddress: 6041 Victory Lane, ConcordWeb: www.gjgymnastics.comAges: 3 years through high schoolWhen: June through AugustActivities: gymnastics skills, tumbling, games, fitness conditioning and moreCost: $95-$115Contact: 704-455-1898. firstname.lastname@example.org
Huntersville Parks and RecreationAddress: P.O. Box 2879, Huntersville Web: www.huntersville.orgAges: Rising grades 1-9When: June 20-Aug. 19Activities: Day Camp and Teen Adventure CampCost: $90-$800 (depending on Huntersville residency and the type of session – either weekly, or a four-week session for Teen Adventure Camp)Contact: 704-766-2220. email@example.com
Kidz Play Here Summer CampAddress: 8617 Concord Mills Blvd., ConcordWeb: www.kidzplayhere.comAges: 4-10When: June 13-Aug. 19Activities: dance, gymnastics, karate, yoga and moreCost: $80Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kids ‘R’ Kids-Camp Amazing KidsAddress: 320 Coddle Market Drive, ConcordWeb: www.krkconcord.comAges: 5-12When: June 13 – Aug. 24Activities: exploring healthy food choices, physical activity, wellness and moreCost: $189 Contact: Katie Martinez or Devonya Govan – Hunt; 704-795-5437.
Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Reedy Creek Nature CenterAddress: 2900 Rocky River RoadWeb: www.parkandrec.comAges: 4 and upWhen: June through August Activities: Outdoor and wildlife adventuresCost: $75-$150Contact: 704-598-8857. email@example.com
Mallard Creek Recreation CenterAddress: 2530 Johnston Oehler Road, Charlotte Web: www.parkandrec.comAges: 6-11When: June through AugustActivities: Outdoor day camp, swimming, field trips and moreCost: $70Contact: 704-336-5673. firstname.lastname@example.org
North Carolina Community Sailing and RowingAddress: Blythe Landing, 15901 N.C. 73, HuntersvilleWeb: www.nccsailrow.orgAges: 7-18When: June 6-July 29Activities: Introductory through intermediate sailing skillsCost: $150-$300 for one-week or two-week sessionsContact: 704-947-7245. email@example.comNorth Carolina Community Sailing and Rowing
Northside Christian Academy – Northside Summer CampAddress: 333 Jeremiah Blvd., CharlotteWeb: www.ncaknights.comAges: Rising grades 1-7 When: June 6-Aug. 19Activities: Field trips, on-campus swimming, academic review classes and moreCost: To be determined; contact school for more informationContact: 704-598-9665 ext. 2204. firstname.lastname@example.org
Piedmont Progressive Preschool Address: 9704 Mallard Creek Church Road, CharlotteWeb: www.progressivepreschool.orgAges: 3 to rising 1st gradersWhen: June 6 Aug. 12Activities: story telling and creating, cooking, music and movement and moreCost: $110-$130Contact: 704-510-1022. email@example.com
UNC Charlotte Camps on CampusAddress: 9201 University City Blvd.Web: www.summercamps.uncc.eduAges: Rising grades 1-12When: June 13-Aug. 5 (no camps the week of July 4-8)Activities: Math, CSI, engineering, musical theater and moreCost: $230 weekly (regular day), $250 weekly (extended day), $475 weekly (overnight)Contact: 704-687-8900 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Math CAMMP & RoboticsAddress: COED Building, UNC Charlotte, 9201 University City Blvd.Web: www.cammp.comAges: 6-12When: June 27 July 1Activities: Problem solving, using hands-on manipulatives, building and operating machines and more. Cost: $230Contact: Dr. Jack Piel, 704-687-8731. email@example.com or Dr. Michael Green, 704-687-8897. firstname.lastname@example.org
AthleticsUNCC also hosts athletic camps in various sports. Go to www.charlotte49ers.com, then click on a specific team page, then click the “summer camps” link
University Child Development Center – Kamp Kennedy Address: -University Campus, 8303 University Executive Park Drive, Charlotte -Northcross Campus, 16701 Northcross Drive, Huntersville-Highland Creek Campus, 6025 Clarke Creek Parkway, CharlotteWeb: www.universitychilddevelopment.com Ages: 4-12When: June 13 – Aug. 19Activities: Field trips, physical fitness, dance, sports and more Costs: $140, and a one-time $175 activity fee that covers all field tripsContact: Martil Cosper, 980-275-2524. email@example.com
University City YMCA Camp Address: 8100 Mallard Creek Road, CharlotteWeb: www.ymcacharlotte.org/universitycityAges: Preschool ages 3-5 years, grades K-10When: June 13-Aug. 19 Activities: Traditional day camp, performing arts, overnight camps, sports and moreCost: $93-$525 Contact: 704-716-6702. firstname.lastname@example.org