Exploring the great indoors this summer
There’s a camp that suits any child, even if they’d rather spend their vacation inside
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.’