With summer just around the corner, it’s time to start looking into and signing kids up for camps. But with so many choices in the Baltimore area, how is a parent to choose? We’ve rounded up four picks sure to keep the young ones — and even the adults — happily occupied and engaged from June to August.
Ramah Sports Academy
Opening for the first time this summer, Ramah Sports Academy will offer kids in grades four through 11 the opportunity to spend one or more two-week sessions living in the dormitories of the beautiful Fairfield University campus in Fairfield, Conn., while working with coaches to hone their skills in one of five sports (soccer, basketball, baseball, swimming or tennis). In addition to daily athletic conditioning, campers will be able to participate in a variety of other activities, including yoga, meditation and flag football.
Unlike other sports-focused summer programs, at RSA “Jewish values and traditions are integrated into our daily program, giving our athletes a uniquely well-rounded experience unlike any other serious sports-skills camp,” Ramah Sports Academy director Rabbi Dave Levy said.
Campers do not have to be star athletes to participate. All levels of expertise in any of the five “majors” are welcome, Levy said.
>> Ramah Sports Academy sessions run from June 27 to Aug. 7 this year. ramahsport.com.
Camp Aristotle Baltimore, one of the Auburn School’s summer programs, provides “a fun, stress-free environment for students with social and communication challenges,” said Marina Major, chief executive officer at Capital Education Group, Inc., which includes the Auburn School.
The camp welcomes kids in kindergarten through ninth grade. Staff is specially trained to understand the needs of campers with Autism Spectrum Disorder, receptive/expressive/pragmatic language challenges and Attentive Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). But children need not have formal diagnoses in order to attend the camp, which runs this year from July 2 to Aug. 10.
“Our goal is to provide all of our campers with an enjoyable, fulfilling and bully-free camp experience,” Major said.
Camp Aristotle offers half- and full-day options and assigns a theme to each week of the summer. Themes on offer for 2018 include space, inventor’s workshop and Lego invasion.
Camp activities include cooking, dance, science, drama and computers.
Garrison Forest School
The Garrison Forest School in Owings Mills truly offers something for everyone. Summer at Garrison Forest has more than 110 programs for campers, who may range in age from 2 to adult. These programs include Baltimore String Orchestra Camp, Circus Camp Stars, Coding Camp, riding and polo camps, driver’s education, babysitting training and much more. Programs this year run from June 11 to Aug. 17.
Camps take place on the school’s sprawling, 110-acre campus just off I-695. With extended-, half- and full-day programs, as well as evening, weekend and sleep-away offerings (the institution is a boarding school during the year so it has dormitories), GSF has one of the most option-packed camp experiences around.
>> Visit gfs.org.
Kids interested in science, technology engineering and math (STEM) will want to try one of STAR Academy’s three Baltimore-area camps. Throughout the year, STAR, which stands for Science, Technology, Art and Robotics, offers people of all ages the chance to participate in various labs and use the practice space in its 16,000-square-foot training facility in Timonium.
At the academy’s camps, which are held at the training center, Our Lady of Victory School in Arbutus and St. Joseph School in Fullerton, kids age 10 and up can learn about and get hands-on experience in robotics, drones, 3-D printing, video-game development and more.
“Camps at STAR Academy are not only fun and challenging, but help to prepare students for internships, scholarships and the careers of tomorrow,” Academy co-founder Tim Rhode said.
>> STAR Academy camps run from June 11 to Aug. 24 this year. star-academy.com.
Anath Hartmann is a local freelance writer.