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Summer vacation offers students a respite from lessons and the routine of school. Children might once have eagerly awaited those final days of classes so they could lounge poolside, skip rocks across ponds and spend the long days playing with friends. But many of today’s youngsters spend much of their summer vacations indoors playing with their digital devices.
Perhaps that’s why one of the last vestiges of the classic summer vacation escape — summer camp — remains such a viable option for parents who want their children to get outdoors once the school year ends.
Although kids don’t need to be in camp all summer long, a week or two can benefit campers of all ages. The following are five reasons why summer camp might be the right fit this year.
Explore talents. Summer camps help young people explore their unique interests and talents. Under an organized, yet often easygoing, camp schedule, kids can dabble in sports, arts and crafts, leadership, community support, and so many other activities that may not be fully available to them elsewhere.
Physical activity: Lots of camps build their itineraries around physical activities that takes place outdoors. Campers may spend their time swimming, running, hiking, playing sports, climbing, and so much more. This can be a welcome change for kids accustomed to living sedentary lifestyles. Regular physical activity has many health benefits and can set a foundation for healthy habits as an adult.
Gain confidence. Day and sleepaway camps offer campers the opportunity to get comfortable in their own skin. Camps can foster activities in self-esteem by removing the academic measures of success and fill in with noncompetitive opportunities to succeed. Campers learn independence, decision-making skills and the ability to thrive outside of the shadow of their parents, siblings or other students.
Try new things. Camp gives children the chance to try new things, whether that’s learning to cook, exploring new environments or embracing a new sport or leisure activity. Opening oneself up to new opportunities can build character and prove enlightening for children.
Make new friends. Camp is a great place to meet new people and make lifelong friends. Campers flood in from areas near and far. This provides kids with a chance to expand their social circles beyond their immediate neighborhoods and schools.
Camps benefit children in a variety of ways. Lessons learned in camp can strengthen values, build confidence, develop coping mechanisms when adversity strikes, and enable campers to make lifelong friends.
This month and next, Parent Pages will be featuring camp listings that cater to all interests.
Soccer Camp – Train/Learn/Improve for ages 6-14.
Action Camp – Bounce/Play/Create for ages 3-12.
636 Albany Shaker Road, Albany
Call (518) 438-3131 or visit
10+ co-ed programs for pre-K
to 10th grade.
135 Academy Road, Albany
Call (518) 429-2332 or visit
Albany Berkshire Ballet
Summer dance camps and intensives for ages 4 to adult, beginner to professional.
25 Monroe St., Albany
Call (518) 426-0660 or visit
Albany JCC Summer Camps
Experience summer fun for ages 3-15 with water sports, the arts, science, specialty camps and more.
340 Whitehall Road, Albany
Call (518) 438-6651 or visit
Bethlehem Children’s School
10 weeks of adventure-filled camps for children ages 2.5-10 with art, science, outdoor education and more.
12 Fisher Blvd., Slingerlands
Call (518) 478-0224 or visit
Day and overnight summer programs, with a wide variety of outdoor activities for ages 5-16.
Call (518) 512-3577 or visit
Child Care Council
Providing a free 2018 summer camp catalog featuring over 200 local camps of all types, with pricing and activities.
Call (518) 426-7181 or visit
Capital District YMCA
Over 12 locations. From day camps to overnight camps to specialty camps, field trips and weekly themes, there is something for everyone.
Call (518) 869-3500 or visit
of Science & Technology
Hands-on summer camps explore topics from archeology to zoology, paleontology to sustainability science.
250 Jordan Road, Troy
Call (518) 235-2120 or visit
College of Saint Rose
Four weeks of fun and learning for students in grades 6-10.
432 Western Ave., Albany
Call (518) 454-5144 or visit
Doane Stuart School
Announcing SCAMP – a summer experience for 3-8-year-olds with dance, music, science and outdoor fun.
199 Washington Ave., Rensselaer
Call (518) 465-5222 or email:
scamp@DoaneStuart.org or visit
Drama Kids International
Weekly full and half-day summer camps held in the Capital District for ages 4-11.
Call (518) 458-1313 or visit
Ohav Shalom Nursery School
Summer weekly themed camp for preschool kids ages 18 months to 5 years old. Full or part-time availability.
113 New Krumkill Road, Albany
Call Sheryl @ (518) 489-4894
or visit www.OhavShalom.com/
Early Childhood Center
Summer program for 18 months to age 8. Children bring a beloved book to life through STEAM-inspired play.
1840 Van Vranken Ave., Schenectady
Call (518) 372-5961 or email
Samaritan-Rensselaer Children’s Center:
Summer Fun at RPI
For kids ages 4-12 with swimming, arts and crafts, sports, drama, field trips and more. Full or part-time.
Located on the campus of RPI
Call Deirdre or Kristina @
(518) 271-3748 or visit
Summer Camps 2018
Preschool Camp for ages 3-5, Multi-Sport Camp for ages 6-16 and Tennis Combo Camp for ages 6-16.
2699 Curry Road, Schenectady
Call (518) 356-0100 or visit
St. Matthew School
and Child Care
Summer camp for ages 3-12.
75 Whitehall Road, Albany
Call (518) 463-6495 or visit
Temple Israel — Herman and Libbie Michaelson Early Childhood Education Center
Summer Fun program for kids under 5 with creative play and activities.
600 New Scotland Ave., Albany
Call Amie at (518) 438-7858, ext. 120 or email AmieBloom@tialbany.org or visit
The Music Studio
Summer Fun with Music for ages 2-7 and Piano Camp for ages 9 and up.
1237 Central Ave., Albany
Call (518) 459-7799 or visit
10 full weeks of action packed summer adventures at multiple locations: Troy, Brunswick, East Greenbush, Albany, Guilderland, Niskayuna, Rotterdam, Scotia, Schoharie, Clifton Park and Ballston Spa starting June 25.
Call (518) 368-2653 or visit
Summer Day Camp for ages 3-12 with fun and creative play and exploration.
100 Montessori Place, North Greenbush
Call (518) 283-5400 or visit