Published April 28, 2009
I'm sure there are parents of children of all ages out there debating summer vacations this year. We all are reading about "staycations". What better way for parents to truly get a break but to have their children at a great, local summer camp? Kids get to exert pent up energy and parents get to fix up the house or just relax.
There really isn't one, central way to find out about all the local summer camp opportunities in our area. I'm trying to do some research here to help families along. Feel free to chime in about any good camp programs you know about, too. :)
The Jewish Community Center on Gypsy Lane across from Forum Health (Northside) Hospital has three different types of camp. For preschoolers, there is what they call "Imagination Station" with fun day trips. Their Day Camp is for school agers from 1st-5th grade and it is nice because you can sign your child up for two week increments and not be committed to an entire summer or multi-week program. They have a very cool Adventure Camp for kids grades 6-8 with trips away from Youngstown like Disney World and local activities like horseback riding. What is really nice about their programs are all the downloadable, easy to read brochures with details and pricing you can find on their website. I also heard they have a great corporate member program. If your company is a corporate member (check their website), you get 10% off summer camp (even if you aren't a member). How great is that?!
The YMCA in Boardman has weekly camps with differing themes at Boardman Park. They have different camps according to age as well. Day Camp is for 6-13 year olds, Neehi Camp is for 3-5 year olds and Camp Curiosity is an Arts & Science Camp for 6-10 year olds. I checked out the downtown YMCA summer camp but it seems one has to go to Boardman for any Y camps this year. Obviously, there is always Camp Fitch but I'm writing about local camps for the most part here.
BUMP (Boardman United Methodist Preschool) has a great summer camp program for kids ages 6-12. They have a great daycare and preschool program so I can't imagine their summer camp wouldn't be just as wonderful. I do know that their camp begins with a Summer Preschool "Crayon Critters Camp" for children ages 3 and 4. For children entering Kindergarten, there is an "Astronauts Camp". Their website is in the midst of production but you can call them at 330-758-3673 to learn about pricing and details (ask for Marilyn or Sheila).
I've only listed a few programs because, in all honesty, it is difficult to find out what is out there. Please feel free to post your favorite local camps and share why they are so outstanding.
I'm learning, as my daughter grows older, that having some alone time to myself is always a mini-vacation. It is even better when you know that your child is somewhere safe, having fun, learning and making new friends.