Groovy or Interesting Camps

This week M has a week of our town playground camp. Many kids are not huge fans of this camp, but the unstructured playtime and sports are just what M loves. She fully intends to continue doing playground camp this summer and next, after which she’ll be a CIT. Whoo, hoo! J, meanwhile, is attending an art program. It’s just two hours a day, but it’s literally around the corner from my house, and she really enjoyed her first day. She loves art. Between the programs and some playing, both girls were exhausted tonight.

I’ve been meaning to share some fun-looking, cool, or otherwise interesting camps. These are just a few, of course. . . .

Farm, Food, & Photography Camp
Farm, Food, & Photography Camp

 

The Agricultural Stewardship Association and the Arts Center of the Capital Region have organized a two-week Farms, Food, and Photography camp for teens that brings together farms, food and photography. They’ll make farm visits to a dairy, a vegetable CSA,  a sheep farm, and an urban wheat farm, they’ll cook with food the kids harvest, and they’ll learn about photography.  It starts July 8th.

My Place to Play in Rotterdam has several camps for which kids do not need to be potty-trained, including

Performance School of Music and the Arts in Clifton Park has a Sleeping Beauty Dance Camp for ages 3 to 6. What I especially love about this is that the focus is on Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty instead of Disney’s. It starts July 15th.

Different Drummer’s Kitchen has a few different cooking camps for kids. I was recently chatting with a friend who’s son went last year and is planning to return. They thought it was excellent.

I always hear great things about camps with The Heldeberg Workshop.

Cornell Cooperative Extension is doing a (cheap!) Roots, Shoots, Flowers, & Fruits Children’s Gardening Program in Schenectady’s Central Park.

Albany County Historical Association is doing an Archeology Field School at Ten Broeck Mansion for ages 9 and up.

Siena College has a WeDo Robotics camp for ages 7 to 10 along with a bunch of other high-tech camps.

Flying Deer Nature Center has a bunch of cool-sounding nature-centered, good-for-the-soul programs this summer.

The Ciccotti Center has a Circus Theatricks camp at the end of August. Actually, J is registered for this one. She’s super-excited.

All of these summer camps are listed via the KidsOutAndAbout Summer Camps page. Personally, I think it’s easiest to browse by week.

What about all of you? Signed up for anything interesting this year? Or are there summer camps that you think people should know about?

Vinewood Acres Farm Camp

We’ve been doing Farm Camp at Vinewood Acres for the first time this year. M went last week with some of her friends, and J’s going this week. The person who runs the camp is a kindergarten teacher, and most of the animals are rescued in one way or another. Like the brown horse, below, who was a racehorse who was worked too hard.

The kids help out around the farm, feeding the animals and doing farm tasks. They also focus on a different animal each day, and they do little crafts in a small classroom space.

The best part is that the kids get to do plenty of hands-on stuff, petting and holding baby pigs, chicks, rabbits, and other animals. It’s a fairly small group and the ages are mixed, with some middle-school aged former campers to serve as helpers.

M loved-loved-loved her week of Farm Camp. J came home today saying that it was fun but also very hot. So I’ll be interested to see how the rest of the week goes for her.

 

Mother Daughter Camping Trip

On Saturday and Sunday, M and I joined a huge group of Girl Scouts, several GS mamas, and a couple of guys for an overnight at Hidden Lake Camp.  I just mentioned this camp recently, in my Girl Power Summer Camps post, because they’re hosting a family camping program over Memorial Day Weekend.

It wasn’t rustic camping, really. Which was a good thing, since it poured rain and the temperature plummeted. We stayed in the main dining hall:

Many of the mothers had high hopes that the evening would bring an opportunity to sit on the porch and just take in the view:

Pretty quickly, the view was from inside, and it was a lot of rain:

Luckily, we did get the chance for a hike around the lake before the weather really turned awful. The girls found some frogs

and some cool plants. One of the mothers  used to lead outdoor excursions, so she had plenty of knowledge to pass along.

After the hike the girls broke into smaller groups for a variety of activities. There was a lot of crafting. Here’s M doing a team building activity that Uncle Ray, who does survival training, improvised while the planned outdoor activities were washed out. She’s blindfolded and  looking for little orange cones around a cabin, guided only by her partner’s voice. It was pretty comical to watch, although not quite as comical as the parents’ reaction when we realized that Ray had used duct tape as the blindfolds. We were convinced that our daughters were going to lose all of their brows and lashes, but luckily the decorative duct tape doesn’t have as much of the massive stickiness as the original duct tape.

There was more crafting, a lesson on making fires, and the girls were in charge of cooking their own dinner. One of the mothers knew how to braid hair, so almost all of the girls had some sort of braid.

By evening it was really cold and wet outside, but we were toasty inside making s’mores at the fireplace. The girls played games and made cat blankets for an animal shelter to wind down, although there were isolated flare-ups of tag and pyramid-building.

It was lights-out at 11 pm, and sleep was better than I’d feared, but not as good as I’d hoped.

In the morning, the girls took to clean-up with surprising gusto. M declared cleaning the toilet “fun!” I’ll happily offer her more opportunities for fun in the near future.

It was a bit bittersweet in the morning. M and I had to head home for church–I had a meeting, she was singing in the choir–so we weren’t able to go along for a final hike. I hated tearing her away, but as it was I was going to be late for the meeting and M was missing the pre-service rehearsal.

While the girls tidied, I took a final walk to get a look at more of the place. Here’s a lean-to for camping. I don’t know: I kind of like the way a tent screens away the bugs. I guess you throw a net over yourself? Hmmm. . . .

Here’s the Health Lodge:

We’d encountered the small fleet of kayaks and canoes on our hike, but at the time, I was too distracted by trying to take pictures of all the girls squealing over frogs and snails. We didn’t go out on the water this time. I shame, because it was awfully pretty.

I haven’t even gotten a chance to mention M’s favorite part, but I’ll save that for another post.

Girl Power Summer Camps

Over the weekend, I visited Hudson Valley Community College’s Summer Camp Fair.  I walked around telling people to add their camps to KidsOutAndAbout.com, and I heard about tons and tons of programs for the summer. Debra’s been sharing a “Camp of the Day” on the KidsOutAndAbout Facebook page, which somehow makes it seem just fun and not as utterly and completely overwhelming as it feels when I just look at lists of everything. The trouble is that there’s just so much, and a lot of it costs serious money, and schedules are all so different, and our various family schedules often conflict with what we want, and next thing you know, the whole process of choosing our summer camp plans starts to give me a bit of a headache. Especially when the one camp M insisted was her absolute must-do (Camp Wa Wa, Session 7) now conflicts with our family vacation (vacation wins, and it’s not even close), and her new, revised must-do is a small soccer camp (West) that has yet to announce its dates or, incidentally, return my emails. And beyond just figuring out our own plans and scheduling, there’s trying to negotiate and coordinate with the girls’ friends. Sigh.

But enough whining! Beyond the frustrations, there are Camps in Whose Existence I Revel. Because I am a feminist mother of daughters, I was super-excited to hear about some awesome-looking area Girl Power Camps. Here are a few:

Rosie’s Girls is a summer program teaching carpentry, automotive repair, masonry, and other non-traditional trades to girls going into 7th, 8th, or 9th grades. It’s being offered in New York for the first time ever at Emma Willard School. Beyond the trades-oriented stuff, they’ll have arts and games and other camps with an emphasis on helping each girl find “her own strength, power, and confidence.” Um, hello, when are they going to offer this for 30- to 40-something women, please? Emma has other girl programs including day camp for ages 6 to 14 and academic enrichment for the high school set.

Camp Little Notch is a girls’ overnight camp in the Adirondacks with a mission to promote girls living in harmony with nature, each other, and themselves. It’s for girls ages 7 to 17, and they strive for plenty of diversity and positive mentoring. There’s group activity and free time to explore new things, which range from ropes courses and primitive camping to batiking to sailing to yoga and journaling. Again, I think that I would like to attend this as a little retreat for myself. Would that be awkward, if I bunked with the tweens? I’ve oh-so-casually put this on the table while the girls are doing homework. We’ll see if it takes.

And of course, who can forget the Girl Scouts? Actually, I knew about their summer camps–they’ve got day camps with a bus service and overnight camps–already. J attended a week at Camp Woodhaven last year, and we get their summertime brochures because M is currently a troop member. But it’s worth spreading the word, because I think that people have the sense that if you’re not a regular member of a local troop, you can’t be a Girl Scout. Au contraire.  There are different “pathways” like signing up for trips, a series or class on a specific topic, or special events. So, for example, later in April you could sign up for a Camp-in at the Boston Museum of Science, and over Memorial Day Weekend, there’s a Family Camp at Hidden Lake Camp that I just almost had to cut-and-paste into an email to Cute W. That’s because if I’m understanding it correctly, it’s $25/person for 3 nights of camping at Hidden Lake Camp near Lake George. Which my children would completely love. And I almost began to hyperventilate because on Saturday there’s a special ropes course ($25/person), but then I read that participants have to be 10 and up. Bummer. Because that sounds super-fun to me. Although, seriously? If they feed us, then that would still be a 3-night rustic vacation for a hundred bucks, so I’m still tempted. All of those spring programs that I mentioned are in this brochure.

 

 

Back Home!

First, a little art camp news to pass along to you. Someone wrote to tell me (well, us really) about Omi International Arts Center in Ghent and its art camps for kids from ages 5 to teens. I also heard from the Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy that they have so many art camp scholarships for kids ages 6-16 that they need folks to apply, pretty please, so that they can give your kids some free camp. It’s need-based, but you don’t have to be eating ramen noodles every day for dinner to qualify (check the application here, but an example guideline is families of 4 with annual income of less than $60,400).

As for our vacation, there was rain and more rain, a trip to the emergency room, an ill-conceived camp-out, numerous pirate wars, a tragically burnt campfire dinner, and outings that were met with varying degrees of enthusiasm. Really, the kids all had quite a bit of fun, although M is currently denying that she ever had any fun at all. [Sigh.] It’s a long story. Honestly, I think I need a decent night’s sleep before I fully debrief everyone. Nothing like a bit of emotional distance to make misadventures seem comically entertaining.

 

More Summer Programs

First, the health report. J appears to have shaken her fever, although she’s not at her best. She took a huge nap this afternoon, so she’s currently lying in bed at 10:20 pm wide awake. I think that we’re going to do a modified schedule tomorrow, hopefully sleeping in, heading to school late, taking a nap, and then attempting the recital. Meanwhile, M decided to yank my chain and feign illness. And I panicked because she’s singing a solo part in her third grade play on Thursday night. She sounds surprisingly great (although this is the mother speaking), so I would really like her to actually be able to do it. Plus, I admire her fearlessness. So, fingers crossed, and thank you for the healthy karma.

Anyway, since I put together that Summer Camps post, I’ve heard about some more camps, classes, and programs that you might be interested in. They are:

Candyland Activity & Enrichment Center in Schenectady has camp for (potty-trained) kids ages 3-7. It runs Monday to Friday, with session from 9 am to noon or 1-4 pm. $95/week.

There are Summer Art Classes for kids entering grades 1-6 with Heather Hutchison, an art therapist. They’re on Wednesdays from July 13th to August 17th, either 1:30-3:30 pm or 3:30-5:30 pm in Schenectady. It’s $70 if you do the full 6-week session. Contact Heather at heatherarttherapy@gmail.com or 729-7153 by June 27th to enroll.

The Language Learning Institute has summer camps in Latham for kids to learn French, Spanish, Italian, or Russian. They’re generally 3 hours a day Monday to Friday for $175/week. They have other programs for kids and adults.

Soccer Camp Giveaway

We overindulged at our charitable auctions and ended up with a week of soccer camp scheduled for the same week as our Lake Placid trip. So I’m giving it away!

It’s SOCCERTECH. According to the director, “This is our 12th year running the camp. All staff members are certified teachers employed in N. Colonie, S. Colonie or Mohonasen. We have 5 high school varsity coaches and 4 ex-professional players on staff. We focus on learning the game through fun games and activities.”

For 6-13 year-olds, the camp runs July 5-8 from 9 am to 3 pm at Lisha Kill Middle School in Colonie.

For 14-16-year-olds, it runs July 11-15 from 5-8 pm at the Colonie Soccer Complex.

The giveaway is for one (not both) of these programs. To enter, just add a comment to this post with a favorite summer destination or summer camp before Monday at 5 pm.

Thanks to SOCCERTECH for donating the week of camp!

Summer Camps, the 2011 List

Update: If you’re checking this list after 2011, you should check out the KidsOutAndAbout.com Summer Camp list. You can do a search by topic or by week to find a summer camp!

Time to get ready for camps again, and there are tons of them.  This year, I’m not searching like a crazy person. I’m just updating the links (in fact, I’m not even double checking my description, so click the links to double check details like dates and age requirements if you’re truly interested.  I’m also only adding additional camps that I’ve stumbled over in the last few weeks.  Before I head to the main list of camps, I thought that I’d tell you about a couple of other camp sources that I didn’t include, just because it started to get too overwhelming for me last year. These are:

  • Town camps.  Last year, I skipped these entirely. Then a bit later, I felt compelled to tell people about some of the town camps because they were just so fabulous, so now I have a town section at the bottom of the list. My girls have gone to Niskayuna town camp and enjoyed it.  In my town, it’s cheap.  You might check with your own town first.  Residency is often, but not always, a requirement.
  • Anyplace where you can pay for a lesson, it is also likely that there’s a camp.  Some of these made it to my list, either because they’d already emailed me, or they’re popular, or whatever.  But if there’s someplace you’re interested in, check out their website or give them a call. This also goes for daycare centers. People’s work schedules change for the summer, so some daycare centers offer summer camp-style programs.
  • Super-specialized sports camps.  If you’ve got a kid doing sports in high school and they want to train in their sport, it’s better to just ask their coach.  I started to track these a bit, but there are just so many, and I have no expertise whatsoever.  Generally I include sports camps that are 1) potentially for little kids and/or beginner/dabblers, or 2) offered with a variety of different sports and/or non-athletic programs, or 3) fun  in several different locations, since that makes life convenient for parents.
  • I also generally skipped camps that don’t have updated information on an easy-to-link-to website.  I mean, come on, people!  Show a little motivation here if you want people to shell out cash. The exceptions might be if someone handed me old-fashioned photocopies, or, say, the coach happens to be M’s teacher.
YMCA Camp Wa Wa Segowea, where M plans to spend a week this summer (sleepaway! I KNOW!)

If anyone’s had experience with one of these camps, please do share your experiences with us–I’m serious.  That would be helpful.  Like, your good deed for the day.  Or if you know of another great camp, let me know. I made this request last year, and so a few of the camps listed have comments that people shared last year. Thanks to everyone who commented with information.

  • 4M’s Farm offers a full-day horse camp for kids 7+ years old.  5 one-week sessions. Sarah just commented that it’s “absolutely wonderful. After one week my daughter participated in a horseshow where she even did a small jump, and they stayed busy all day doing “horse stuff”, like cleaning stalls, cleaning the horses hooves. . . the owner is super patient.”
  • Afrim’s has its Multi-Sport Action Camp for 3- to 11-year-olds, or Go2Goal [soccer] Academy for 6- to 14-year-olds.
  • The Albany Academies have classic camp, sports, basketball, academics, SAT prep, & Driver’s Ed.
  • Albany Art Room has camps from 9 am to 2 pm for kids ages 5 and up.
  • Albany Indoor Rockgym has Climbing Clinics for ages 9 and up.
  • The Albany Jewish Community Center runs a variety of camp programs all summer for 3-year-olds up to teenagers.
  • Albany Rowing Center has a morning rowing camp for students in grades 6 and above.
  • The Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy has a variety of camps.
  • Bethlehem Children’s School has camp all summer, full day, for k-8th graders.  You can sign up by the week–each has a different theme.
  • The Brown School has programs for kids in nursery school up to 6th grade.
  • The Campus Children’s Center funs a daycamp for school-age children.  Associated with SUNY Albany, university-affiliated families get priority registration.
  • Candyland Activity & Enrichment Center in Schenectady has camp for (potty-trained) kids ages 3-7. It runs Monday to Friday, with session from 9 am to noon or 1-4 pm. $95/week.
  • Capital Area Productions (theater) has 1 one-week full-day camp in Albany.The Children’s Museum of Science & Technology in Troy has full day camp from the end of June to the beginning of September for ages 5 to 14.  You can register for a week at a time, based on schedule/theme, including some girls-only sessions.
  • The Cicotti Center has full-day camp all summer for school-age kids.
  • Cohoes Music Hall has an August Broadway camp.
  • College of St. Rose Summer Academy has a variety of programs kids  for grades 6 to 12.
  • Congregation Ohav Shalom Nursery School has camp starting June 13 for kids 5 and under. Camp hours are 9:30-1:00 with wrap around child care from 8:00-4:00. For more information, people can contact Amie Bloom at 489-4894–Thanks, Amie!
  • Emma Willard School has a summer camp for girls 6- to 13-years-old.
  • Frozen Ropes is running baseball and softball summer camps in many locations.
  • The Girl Scouts run a variety of day and sleepaway camps nearby.  You can also spend a weekend of “family camp” or a mother-daughter overnight.  Girls don’t have to be scouts to attend.
  • Greenbush Child Caring is running a camp for grades k-8.
  • Hayner Brothers Sports Barn in Halfmoon has baseball, softball, & sports camps.
  • Heldeberg Workshops has a variety of camps for school-age kids. Last year two different readers commented about Heldeberg. Juliet said, “My 5 yr old  loved it. It was a great introduction to real camp. The leader was great with the kids.” Jennifer said, “Heldeberg really is about the best in wholesome, educational fun. Yes, it is short (only a few hours) and the kids spend almost as much time on the bus as at camp. This was at least our 6th year attending. My little guy thinks of the bus as half the fun. Blacksmithing, archery, world of music, world of science, woodland indians–all really great programs with adult leaders.”
  • HVCC has camps for ages 4 to 16 athletics, academics, theater, technology, & circus theatricks.
  • Indian Ladder Farm has a Barn School with different theme weeks, most appropriate for ages 7 to 14. Thanks, Jodi!
  • JMU4Kids offers a variety of summer camps for school-age kids in Rensselaer, Albany, & Loudonville, including Extreme Camp and Harry Potter Camp. Rebecca, a reader, commented, “We love the jmu4kids camp. . . phenomenal staff . . . so many camps to choose from – performing arts, circus, sports, adventure, extreme and day camp. There is something for everyone and your kids can try out all of them if they like. Plus they get to swim every afternoon – with lessons available if needed. The price is great and the peace of mind to have my daughter at such a great place while I go to work (after 8 years as a stay at home mom) is great!!”
  • Kidzart and Drama Kids are teaming together to do a one-week, full-day camp in Colonie or  Clifton Park in August.
  • Kidzart has two different week-long, half-day camps at a variety of locations.
  • Kindercare has a variety of themed Summer Camps, including options for preschoolers.
  • The Language Learning Institute has summer camps in Latham for kids to learn French, Spanish, Italian, or Russian. They’re generally 3 hours a day Monday to Friday for $175/week. They have other programs for kids and adults.
  • Malta Montessori has a half- or full-day camp for kids ages 3 to 9.
  • Mildred Elly is running a Babysitters Camp for girls entering 7th or 8th grade. Um, what about boys?
  • New York State Museum Time Tunnel Summer Camp has 3 consecutive sessions of 2 weeks each that have different science-oriented themes.  It’s full day.
  • Niskayuna Wrestling Summer Camp is for elementary to early middle school kids. from 9 am-noon at Niskayuna High School. $40, $25 for additional siblings. Contact Shawn Neely at sneely@niskyschools.org
  • The Performance School of Music and the Arts has a variety of programs, including a Sleeping Beauty Pre-Ballet Camp for 3- to 6-year-olds and a Rock and Roll Camp for teenagers.
  • Proctors has summer camps in theater, art, music filmmaking and chess. Reader Jennifer says the Jazz Institute is “amazing. . . the kids learn serious jazz–think Charles Mingus–all by ear and give an amazing end of program concert.”
  • RPI Summer Camps has a variety of interesting stuff, including Young Actors Guild for kids as young as 6, Creative Writing, Legos sessions for ages 8 to 14, a crime scene investigation program for 7th & 8th graders, and lots of challenging high school programs.  There’s also a football camp.
  • Sage offers a girls volleyball camp, a high school art program, and college and law programs for middle schoolers, as well as theatre programs. There are also pre-college programs for older high school students.
  • The Saratoga Arts’ Council runs arts camps for kids ages 5- to 14-years-old.
  • Saratoga Children’s Theatre has summer camps for ages 6-18.
  • Schauber Stables has riding camp for ages 6 to 14.
  • Schenectady Christian School has a variety of summer camps for grades 3 to 12.
  • The Schenectady JCC has a daycamp and learn-to-swim program for 3-year-olds up to 9th graders.
  • Schenectady Museum usually has a summer camp, but I don’t see any information on the camps yet.
  • St. Helen’s in Niskayuna has summer programs for K-5th grade, but it’s not obvious on their website.
  • St. Pius X has a summer camp for K-4th grade.
  • The Sand Lake Center for the Arts has a variety of programs including theater, art, film-making, & movement, for a range of ages, 4 to 18.
  • Saratoga Independent School has camps for ages 3-8. Thanks, Michelle!
  • The Schenectady County Community College has a variety of summer courses for kids & teens including SAT Prep, Babysitting, Baking, Musical Theater, Aikido, Golf, & Environmental Science.
  • The Sidney Albert Jewish Community Center has a wide variety, including “old school” camp and specialty camps.
  • Siena College has a variety of athletic and dance camps.
  • Skidmore College has a variety of summer camps including sports, arts, music, dance, writing, academics, and traditional recreation camps.
  • SKYHIGH Adventures in Averill Park offers camps that improve skills for triathlons–swimming, biking, running– for 7- 15+ kids.
  • Soccer Tech has summer camps from 9 am to 3 pm for ages 6 to high school.
  • Ten Broeck Mansion has an archeology camp.
  • Tiny Tots Tea Room has a princess camp and others.
  • TSL Adventures has camp for ages 5 to 12, with a different theme each week. My friend’s son went last year and had a wonderful time.
  • Tumbling Tykes offers camps for kids ages 3 to 7.
  • There are a variety of Summer Sports Academies at Union College.
  • Wa Wa Segowea is a smaller, private YMCA sleep-away camp.
  • Woodland Hills Montessori has a variety of camps.
  • The YMCA offers a variety of day camps as well as not-too-far sleepaway camps.
  • There’s a Young Engineers Academy summer camp for ages 10 to 14 at AnNur Islamic School in Schenectady.

Some town programs:

  • Ballston-Tennis, track and field, summer enrichment
  • Bethlehem–Swimming from 2 up, camp from 4 up, open to non-residents for an extra $10. (Thanks Mari for this one.)
  • Clifton Park–Programs for kids 2 and up, designed for residents.
  • Colonie–Programs for kindergarten and up, non-residents can register after residents have had a chance to sign up.
  • Guilderland–Has great stuff, but it’s for residents only and you residents should have received the info. in the mail.
  • Malta–Programs for kids as young as 18 months, non-residents pay a bit more (Thanks again to Malta Mama for linking to this one).
  • Niskayuna–Programs for kids as young as 3 years (potty trained), resident policy was unclear but I think non-residents can register with some restrictions.

Other sources of information: Kids Out and About has a list of summer camps organized by week. The Albany Times Union has an online Summer Camp List as well.  You can also request a free catalog from the Capital District Child Care Council.

 

Free Summer Events Preview #4

More free summer stuff!

But first, as a public service announcement, I’m issuing a parental advisory.

Moms, you must not, under any circumstances, take speaking children with you into the dressing room when trying on swimsuits.  I know:  it’s such an unpleasant task anyway that it’s tough to use precious “me time” for this. However, it’s important for your self-esteem that you do not bring anyone else into the room with you, especially, for example, a five-year-old who might offer all sorts of kindly-meant comments* such as:

  • Oh!  Not that one!  Because did you look at the back?  It looks like your back is saying, “It’s too squishy in here!  I’m too tight!”
  • Mommy?  Is that underwear comfortable?  Because it looks like it might be too small.
  • Oh!  I like that one!  Except not this part. . . or here. . . or that. . . or the color.  Uh, never mind.
  • That one is not a really good idea because your breasts look all flat and squashed down.
  • I like this one better than all the other ones, but I still don’t think you should buy it because the other ones were really terrible and this one is mostly good but also a tiny bit terrible.

Ummmm, no.  I didn’t buy anything.

On to the  Summer Events:

At Canal Square in Cohoes, there are Friday night concerts in July and August from 6:30-8:30 pm.

In July and August, there’s the Music Haven Concert Series at Central Park, generally at 7 pm on Sundays.  There’s food there if you don’t have the chance to pack a picnic.

The Grand Street Kids Club is a free summer camp for inner-city Albany kids aged 4 to 12.

 

This week kicks off the Tuesday night concerts in Cook Park at 6:30 pm.  They run through July and August.

At Clifton Commons Park, there’s music or theater on Sunday evenings at 7 pm, and family-oriented entertainment on Wednesday evenings at 7 pm. (The link for this is a huge booklet, so for the concert info., check out pp. 26-27, aka “inside 24-25″)

*Yes, these were all actual comments, alas, and not hyperbole for the cheap laugh. Although I didn’t take notes right then and there, so the quotes  may not be exact.

Summer Camps, or Prepare to be Overwhelmed

Okay, that berry-picking syndrome has happened again. I’ve been keeping a running list of summer camps as various organizations have emailed me, and I thought that it would be simple to just put them in some sort of nice order and pop them into a post.  But then, in the process of pulling the ones that I had together, I kept finding more.   So it took me longer, and the list kept growing.  So, I finally stopped.  There are more camps, I’m sure.  I might be adding to this list.  But I started to skip camp options that you might want to pursue.  These include:

  • Town camps.  My girls have gone to town camp and enjoyed it.  In my town, it’s cheap.  You might check with your own town first.  Residency is often but not always a requirement.
  • Anyplace where you can pay for a lesson, it is also likely that there’s a camp.  Some of these made it to my list, either because they’d already emailed me, or they’re popular, or whatever.  But if there’s someplace you’re interested in, check out their website or give them a call.
  • Super-specialized sports camps.  If you’ve got a kid doing sports in high school and they want to train in their sport, it’s better to just ask their coach.  I started to track these a bit, but there are just so many, and I have no expertise whatsoever.  Generally I include sports camps that are 1) potentially for little kids and/or beginner/dabblers, or 2) offered with a variety of different sports and/or non-athletic programs, or 3) fun  in several different locations, since that makes life convenient for parents.
  • I also skipped camps that didn’t have 2010 information on an easy-to-link-to website.  I mean, come on, people!  Show a little motivation here if you want people to shell out cash.

So, wow!  There are so many camps! And so many cool things to do!  And when I mentioned some of the many options to my 7-year-old, she was like, “”I  think with our trips I’ll be busy enough.”  This child only wants to relax and has no interest whatsoever in being enriched!  Dang!

If anyone’s had experience with one of these camps, please do share your experiences with us–I’m serious.  That would be a helpful thing.  Like, your good deed for the day.  Or if you know of another great camp, let me know.

  • 4M’s Farm offers a full-day horse camp for kids 7+ years old.  5 one-week sessions.
  • Afrim’s has its Multi-Sport Action Camp for 3- to 11-year-olds, or Go2Goal [soccer] Academy for 6- to 14-year-olds.
  • The Albany Academies have classic camp, sports, basketball, academics, SAT prep, & Driver’s Ed.
  • Albany Art Room has camps from 9 am to 2 pm for kids ages 5 and up, and they’re teaming up with Kids DanceSpace@eba to do a Creative Arts Camp for 7- to 12-year-olds.
  • The Albany Jewish Community Center runs a variety of camp programs all summer for 3-year-olds up to teenagers.
  • Albany Rowing Center has a morning rowing camp for students in grades 6 and above.
  • Bethlehem Children’s School has camp all summer, full day, for k-8th graders.  You can sign up by the week–each has a different theme.
  • The Brown School has programs for kids in nursery school up to 6th grade.
  • The Campus Children’s Center funs a daycamp for school-age children.  Associated with SUNY Albany, university-affiliated families get priority registration.
  • Capital Area Productions (theater) has 2 one-week full-day camps in Rensselaer.
  • Capital Repertory Theatre usually does a camp.  I have a note to myself that says “ages 11-15, 7/6-8/8 from  8:30 to 4:30 at The Egg, $850 for 5 weeks”, but when I looked for a nice link for you, I couldn’t figure out where the heck I found this information.  I’ve emailed them.
  • The Children’s Museum of Science & Technology in Troy has full day camp from the end of June to the beginning of September for ages 5 to 14.  You can register for a week at a time, based on schedule/theme, including some girls-only sessions.
  • The Cicotti Center has full-day camp all summer for school-age kids.
  • Cohoes Music Hall has an August Broadway camp.
  • College of St. Rose Summer Academy has a variety of programs kids  for grades 6 to 10.  It’s full day for six weeks, with weekly themes.
  • Emma Willard School has a summer camp for girls 6- to 13-years-old.
  • Frozen Ropes is running baseball summer camps in many locations.
  • The Girl Scouts run a variety of day and sleepaway camps nearby.  You can also spend a weekend of “family camp” or a mother-daughter overnight.  Girls don’t have to be scouts to attend.
  • Hayner Brothers Sports Barn in Halfmoon has baseball, softball, & sports camps.
  • HVCC has camps for ages 4 to 16 athletics, academics, theater, technology, & circus theatricks.
  • JMU4Kids offers a variety of summer camps for school-age kids at Doane Stuart in Rensselaer & Academy of the Holy Names in Albany.
  • Kidzart and Drama Kids are teaming together to do a one-week, full-day camp in Colonie or  Clifton Park in August.
  • Kidzart has two different week-long, half-day camps at a variety of locations.
  • Kindercare has a variety of themed Summer Camps, including options for preschoolers.
  • Malta Montessori has a half- or full-day camp for kids ages 3 to 9.
  • Mildred Elly runs a Video Game Design Camp for kids in grades 6 to 11.
  • New York State Museum Time Tunnel Summer Camp has 3 consecutive sessions of 2 weeks each that have different science-oriented themes.  It’s full day.
  • Proctors has summer camps in theater, art, music filmmaking and chess.
  • RPI Summer Camps has a variety of interesting stuff, including Young Actors Guild for kids as young as 6, Creative Writing, Legos sessions for ages 8 to 14, a crime scene investigation program for 7th & 8th graders, and lots of challenging high school programs.  There’s also a football camp.
  • Sage offers softball and basketball camps.
  • The Saratoga Arts’ Council runs arts camps for kids ages 5- to 14-years-old.
  • Schenectady Museum’s Summer Camp has 6 consecutive one-week sessions of full-day camp, each covering a different scientific topic.
  • The Sand Lake Center for the Arts has a variety of programs including theater, art, film-making, & movement, for a range of ages, 4 to 18.
  • The Schenectady County Community College has a variety of summer courses for kids & teens including SAT Prep, Babysitting, Baking, Musical Theater, Aikido, Golf, & Environmental Science.
  • The Shelter Skatepark and Shop has short skateboarding and skateboarding/rec camps.
  • Siena College has a variety of athletic and dance camps.
  • Skidmore College has a variety of summer camps including sports, arts, music, dance, writing, academics, and traditional recreation camps.
  • SKYHIGH Adventures in Averill Park offers camps that improve skills for triathlons–swimming, biking, running– for 7- 15+ kids.
  • Ten Broeck Mansion has a 1-week archeology camp and a 1-week Time Travel camp, both designed for 5th/6th/7th grades.  You can see the information if you click the teensy little link at the very bottom of the page I send you to.
  • The Troy Boys and Girls Club runs Camp Barker for school-age children; it’s all day.
  • Tumbling Tykes offers camps for kids ages 3 to 7.
  • There’s a variety of camps at Union College–robots, weight loss, Irish dancing, engineering along with a variety of Summer Sports Academies at Union College.
  • Wa Wa Segowea is a smaller, private YMCA sleep away camp.
  • Woodland Hills Montessori has a variety of camps.
  • The YMCA offers a variety of day camps as well as not-too-far sleepaway camps.

Phew!  I mean, crazy, right?

The Albany Times Union has an online Summer Camp List as well.  You can also request a free catalog from the Capital District Child Care Council.