Raise your hand if you’re ready for some warmer weather! (Me, Me, Me!) While summer may still be a few months away, it is time to start planning for it asap. Especially if you plan on signing your kids up for summer camps. For working moms, this is when survival mode kicks in since you have to map out every single day of summer when school gets out. For SAHM’s, camp serves as an enrichment program for kids to explore the things they like and give moms a break. Regardless of your working status, the camp opportunities in Charlotte and surrounding areas are plentiful, but you need to get your game on N-O-W as camps fill up fast! So we’ve put together some Smarty tips to consider when mapping out your camp plans, as well as a few of our tried and true Smarty camp faves.
Keep in mind:
* CMS summer is 10 weeks long, with most summer camps starting June 13th running through August 19th. Most area private schools follow a similar schedule.
* Be sure to pay attention to drop off and pick up times. This is particularly important for the working mom – not all camps cover “business hours” so a little creative flexibility may be required.
* Costs range from around $125/week for half day camps to around $200-$300/week for full day camps. Depending on the specialty, however, I’ve seen rates as high as $500/week. This might be a good option if camp coverage is not required for all 10 weeks!
*Check your local churches. Most churches in the area offer Vacation Bible Schools. Some require church membership, but most do not. The best part is that many of these Vacation Bible Schools are completely FREE, need I say more?! They typically run M-F from 9a-1p (ish).
*Check with your local preschool. Many offer summer camps and often times, they open up to children not currently enrolled in their program.
* Ask around – Word of mouth is one of the best ways to find out whats going on and to get some great reco’s.
Presenting the 2011 Smarty Summer Camp Picks, tried and true by local moms!
Carolina Raptor Center Kids for Conservation Summer Day Camp
The Carolina Raptor Center is hosting its 9th Annual Kids for Conservation Summer Day Camp. The Carolina Raptor Center is dedicated to environmental stewardship and the conservation of birds of prey, through education, research, and the rehabilitation of injured and orphan raptors. Their goal through the summer camp program is to inspire campers to make environmentally friendly choices in life. Best for children ages 7 through 14. Your little environmentalists will LOVE this camp, it’s awesome!
Carolina Raptor Center
6000 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC 28262
Charlotte Gymnastics Academy Summer Camp
Charlotte Gymnastics Academy hosts an incredible camp program that is perfect for boys and girls ages 5-13. Freshen up your child’s tumbling skills with accomplished coaches who make camp a fun, enriching and motivating environment. CGA has a strong emphasis on health and wellness in their programs that will promote athletic strength, flexibility, speed and agility to accelerate each child’s athleticism. This health and wellness approach will provide a foundation for CGA students to live a healthier lifestyle in their personal lives. Camp starts June 13th and continues through August 11th.
Charlotte Gymnastics Academy
710 Peninsula Lane
Charlotte Jr. Gym
Charlotte Jr. Gym is an awesome playtime camp facility for children ages 2 1/2 to 5 (children must be potty-trained). This summer camp series offers fun themes from the Wild, Wild West, to snow in July and princesses & fairytales. Charlotte Jr. Gym is a great camp for children potty-trained from almost three and up. Children rotate in four groups with daily activities including two gym times, arts & crafts, storytime, music and lunch.
June 6-9: The Wild, Wild West! for your little cowboys and cowgirls!
June 13-16: Sun & Sand Beach Week
June 27-30: Snow fun including snow cones and cold weather animals!
July 11-14: Under the Big Top – circus week!
July 18-21: Let’s go Camping!
July 25-28: Fairytales & Superheroes!
All camps Mon-Thu 9:30a-1p. 10% discount for twins and siblings enrolled in same season.
Charlotte Nature Museum
Charlotte Nature Museum camps are a real hoot! From preschool (age 3 by April 1, 2011) to rising grade 6, kids will discover amazing critters and natural treasures in a fun safe learning environment. Each camp offers a unique immersive experience as junior curators explore the outdoors, conduct experiments, meet live animals and more! Early bird gets the worm so don’t delay, register today. Camps begin May 31st. For summer camp details being offered at the Charlotte Nature Museum visit their website.
Charlotte Sports Center
Charlotte Sports Center offers a unique combination of sports and activities in a safe, indoor & air-conditioned facility. Their seasoned team of instructors is committed to developing your child’s athletic abilities, emphasizing teamwork, sportsmanship and most importantly having fun. Full Day Camps (6-13 yrs) offer Soccer, Flag Football, Basketball, Cheerleading, Dance, Roller Skating, Inflatable Bouncers, Dodgeball & Wiffleball. Half Day Camps (4-6 yrs) are an introduction to the sports camp experience with emphasis on developing gross motor skills. Campers will play a variety of sports and activities to emphasize games, social interaction and playing together.
Register Online – CharlotteSportsCenter.com
Children’s Theatre of Charlotte Summer Camps
Children’s Theatre of Charlotte has provided exceptional Summer Camps for over 30 years. Your child will have an exciting time of creative exploration and you will see a wonderfully different side of your child. As they explore creative group dynamics, Children’s Theatre helps each individual child grow and play at their own pace. Outgoing children find a place to strut their stuff; shy children find a nurturing place to build their confidence. They have the best teachers in town – at ImaginOn and satellite locations – and they run an organized, safe Summer Camp experience. Discover the fun, the joy, the excitement waiting inside your child!
Camps offered June 6 – August 12, for ages 3-18
Half-Day & Full-Day Camps
One-Week & Two-Week Sessions
ImaginOn & Satellites
Full details at www.ctcharlotte.org or call 704-973-2838 (M-F, 10-5)
Community School of the Arts
In convenient locations across Charlotte, CSA teaches fourteen weeks of exciting, engaging summer camps for young musicians and artists. This year’s camps include: Music-Drama Workshop, Suzuki Violin Camp, Band & Orchestra Camp, Jazz Camp, Preschool Arts Camp, Kids Pottery Camp, and Early Elementary Arts Camp. With 41 years of experience, CSA combines creative programs, outstanding professional faculty and a welcoming environment to provide the ideal camp experience for your children. Please visit www.csarts.org for dates, times, locations and pricing, and to register online. Private music lessons and private art lessons are also available throughout the summer.
Community School of the Arts
Office phone: 704.377.4187
The Cornwell Center
The Cornwell Center is the place to be this summer! If you have a child looking to explore many different sports and activities, you’ve found your place. There are several camp sessions that offer basketball, football, soccer, tball, kball, gymnastics and golf. In addition to all of these wonderful camps, the Cornwell Center also offers Little Dance Diva, Play Spanish, KidzArt and Mad Science so there is a camp for everyone!
Camp Sessions: June 27th – September 2nd
The Cornwell Center, located at Myers Park Baptist Church
2001 Selwyn Avenue, Charlotte, NC 28207
Discovery Place is offering learning and fun for all ages, all summer, all over town! Tons of great options with various themes for ages 3 and up. Locations of these camps include Carolinas Aviation Museum, Discovery Place uptown, Lake Norman Charter School, Mint Hill and Pineville. Camps begin June 6th and registration is open now! For more information on Discovery Place camps offered for each age group, visit their website.
Discovery Place Kids
Discovery Place KIDS is the newest member of the Discovery Place family and what a FUN addition this destination is! Located in Huntersville (Lake Norman area), this cultural gem was created for the littlest residents of the Queen city, catering to children up through 2nd grade. A variety of themed camps are being offered to suit ages as young as 2 (caregiver must attend), all the way to rising grades 1-2. Camps start June 13th and registration is open now. Be part of this inaugural summer camp season at Discovery Place KIDS in Huntersville! For detailed information on camps at Discovery Place KIDS for each age group, visit their website.
Jami Masters School of Dance Camp
The talented team at Jami Masters wants to expand your child’s art expression abilities with exposure to dance, drama, music, acrobatics, and art. Campers will be in classes at the studio from 9:00 a.m.- 1:00 p.m., and will conclude the week with a “mini production” based on the theme of the week for families and friends on Friday at 12:00 noon. Campers are grouped by age, 3-8, and will rotate through the different arts areas each day. Your little ballerinas will LOVE the JMSD Camps!
June 13-17: “Cinderella” Camp
June 20-24: “Sleeping Beauty” Camp
June 27-July 1: “Tinkerbell” Camp
July 4-8: “12 Dancing Princesses” Camp
July 11-15: “How to be a Princess” Camp
July 25-29: “Jasmine’s Adventures” Camp
August 8-12: “Little Mermaid” Camp
August 15-19: “Rapunzel” Camp
Jewish Community Center of Charlotte Summer Camps
Camp Mindy is Levine JCC’s premiere traditional day camp for preschoolers thru teens. Through making friends, participating in an array of activities, learning new skills, being outdoors, and experiencing Judaism, camp becomes a magical place where campers have fun, grow, and feel good about who they are. The JCC also offers super cool sports camps including flag football, basketball, soccer, lacrosse, and tennis.
King Tiger Tae Kwon Do Summer Camp
King Tiger Tae Kwon Do offers educational summer camps for rising 1st through 7th graders. There is a different theme for each week of camp including field trips, sports, games, arts & crafts and more to engage the campers, and encourage them to work together on a team. Camp dates are from June 14th through August 20th.
My Gym Summer Camps
My Gym summer camp is awesome! Children participate in energizing fitness games, noncompetitive gymnastics, arts and crafts, music and so much more. Each camp program is uniquely designed to keep your children moving and active, as they emphasize physical development and personal success. Themes and programs change daily, so no two camp days at My Gym are ever the same.
Whether you are looking for the best place to send your children on cold and rainy days or trying to keep them active and cool during the hot summer months, My Gym camp is the place to be. They make it easy for parents with a drop-off program, pay-by-the day options, and multi-day and sibling discounts.
Spring Break Camp: Monday 4/18-Monday 4/25
Summer Camp: Tuesday July 5th- Sept 2nd (Mon-Thursday 1-3:30p) & Friday at 9:30a-12noon
Special Discount on ten day camp cards purchased before 4/25!!!!
5110 Park Rd 2D
Charlotte, NC 28209
Queens University of Charlotte
Queens University of Charlotte, conveniently located in the heart of Myers Park, offers a variety of exciting sports camps to choose from, including basketball, soccer, lacrosse, volleyball, swimming, softball and tennis. The camps start in June and continue until August. Feel free to contact the coaches with any questions, their emails and phone numbers can be found at the website above or call 704-337-2509.
small hands big art Summer Camp
After a long day at camp, does your child wish they could take home more than a sunburn and a scary collection of mosquito bites? ART CAMP may be just the ticket! The art teachers don’t have nicknames like “Potato Chip”, but the only bugs they’ll encounter are the ones they draw, and they’ll come home with fabulous original artwork to hang up each day instead of a wet swimsuit! During the mixed media art camps, children explore painting, drawing, 3D sculpture, collage, assemblages, printmaking & more! Camps are open to children age 4 – 14. Children are segregated into different age groups to work on age-appropriate projects, or may work on the same open-ended project with modifications for their age.
Weekly June 13 – August 18, Monday – Thursday, $180/week (snack included)
Two sessions daily: 9a-12p, and 1-4p
Register with a deposit by March 15, 2011 and receive a $25 Early Bird Discount! See website for details, and call the studio to register.
small hands big art
8025 Ardrey Kell Rd., Suite 103
Charlotte, NC 28277
U.S. National Whitewater Center
With five unique summer camp programs, the U.S. National Whitewater Center offers a variety of options to help keep your child active and outdoors this summer. The USNWC day camps reinforce our children’s passion for the outdoors and develop skills that will benefit them well past the summer. Whether it’s through whitewater rafting, rock climbing, kayaking or learning wilderness survival skills, our camps will provide experiences that will last a lifetime.
The Greater YMCA of Charlotte Camps
With way too many camps to list at the YMCA, you need to just grab a cup of joe and camp out on their website that is chock full of super options. They have something for everyone. From Outdoor Adventure to Camp Tutu, overnight camps and sleepaway too, the YMCA delivers.
No matter what you decide – you need to ACT FAST! For you veteran Smarty Happy Campers, please give us your tips on camp tips!
My daughter has "summer camped" at Children's Theatre, Jami Masters School of Dance, Charlotte Nature Museum and the Harris Y (gymnastics). When she gets older, I will definitely check out Carolina Raptor Center. That place is awesome!
Camp planning is so overwhelming, I don't even want to think about it! Thanks for this list, it's such a great resource.
Girl Scout camps are open to non-Scouts as well and there are several camps and offerings available. Some of the camps have horse back riding and there are also family camp weekends! For vegetarian moms: From personal experience, I know that Camp Pisgah in Brevard does a fabulous job of providing menu options for vegetarian kids! 🙂 The chef even came to my daughter's cabin last year to ask her what she wanted on her vegan pizza!Also, Matthews Playhouse has alot of great camps. My daughter loves the American Girl doll camp. I have been very impressed in the past with the Charlotte Nature Museum camps as well.
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