Ex­plor­ing the great in­doors this sum­mer

There’s a camp that suits any child, even if they’d rather spend their va­ca­tion in­side

Thornhill Post - - Kids -

When we think of sum­mer camp, we typ­i­cally think of kids march­ing through fields, gath­er­ing bugs and but­ter­flies, or run­ning across the grass in pur­suit of a soc­cer ball, camp coun­sel­lor or fel­low camper. But what do you do if your wee day camper is not en­thused about embracing Mother Na­ture? It’s time to fi­nal­ize your sum­mer plans, and par­ents need to find the right day camp for their in­door-lov­ing progeny.

Fear not, there are many day camps that fo­cus on learn­ing and hav­ing fun in the great in­doors, with a smat­ter­ing of earth and out­door science ap­pre­ci­a­tion, which might just trick your kids into en­joy­ing get­ting out­doors a lit­tle bit more.

Have a sporty kid who prefers gym floors over grass fields? Check out a multi-ac­tiv­ity camp that of­fers a range of new in­door sports ev­ery day, or visit your lo­cal rock climb­ing gym. Many have ex­cit­ing day camps for would-be climbers.

If your goal is to get your child kick­ing a ball out­side, fo­cus on sports camps that have an out­door op­tion like soc­cer, floor/field hockey or bas­ket­ball, among oth­ers.

Do you have a bud­ding young Pi­casso in the house? Find an art camp that will give your child the op­por­tu­nity to try out dif­fer­ent medi­ums and en­cour­age him or her to even­tu­ally move the easel out­side to paint some land­scapes.

Bill Nye, the Science guy, a name you hear of­ten around the din­ner ta­ble? My son loved en­gi­neer­ing camp where they built rock­ets, learned about how ev­ery­day house­hold items work and prob­a­bly re­ceived more ed­u­ca­tion about science than in ac­tual science class.

If you have a kid who is con­stantly pulling things apart to see how they work, put his or her tal­ents to good use and have your kid build you some­thing. Maybe an out­door bike ramp.

When my two old­est were about six and eight, I did some re­search and found a magic camp. The six-year-old is now 24 and still loves try­ing out card tricks and other tom­fool­ery.

My two youngest signed up for Knight School, where they spent the morn­ing learn­ing fenc­ing and the af­ter­noon do­ing archery. After it ended, my Hunger Games fan of a daugh­ter took archery lessons for a con­tin­u­ing sea­son. Flash for­ward seven years, and my 16year-old son now com­petes in com­pet­i­tive fenc­ing tour­na­ments and is hop­ing to make it his uni­ver­sity sport in a cou­ple of years. This is one case where en­cour­ag­ing him to run around with a pointy thing in his hands was a good idea.

But above all, you know your own kids and what they’re in­ter­ested in. Pick a camp that aligns with what they are ex­cited about, and it will guar­an­tee sum­mer fun, in­doors or out.

Is your kid into swords? There’s a camp for that, and most other things.

KATHY BUCKWORTH Kathy Buckworth is the au­thor of I Am So the Boss of You: An 8-Step Guide to Giv­ing Your Fam­ily the ‘Busi­ness.’

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