Ready, Set, Summer

(David Stuck)

This summer, there will be no shortage of programs to appeal to every potential camper. From nature-focused camps to the fine arts to sports, there’s something somewhere for everyone.

Nature Camps, based in Monkton, Md., is run by Don Webb, who founded the program in 1974.

“Nature Camp’s goal is to have children feel their environment,” Webb wrote in an email. “To draw it close to them, to love it, to understand it as an intrinsic part of themselves. By better understanding themselves in relation to their environment, children will better understand their place in it.”

Participants get to choose their programs each day, and Webb ensures there are activities for toddlers through teens.

Camp Little Feet is for infants through 3-year-olds with their parent or guardian while the traditional Camper and Teen Adventure programs provide overnight opportunities and activities to get attendees more in touch with the natural world around them.

“Summertime belongs to children,” Webb said. “Nature Camps continues to provide an unhurried, relaxing and adventuresome time for children and parents to find success and joy.”

Ramah Sports Academy is a new overnight program at Fairfield University in Fairfield, Conn., for children entering grades five through 11. Campers work with coaches for five hours a day in the sport they choose as well as participate in religious services each morning. Young athletes can choose from baseball, basketball, tennis, swimming and soccer. Elective sports include volleyball, flag football and ultimate Frisbee.

Rabbi Dave Levy, director of the sports academy, said the goal of the camp is to “provide a premier sports program that empowers campers to achieve their greatest potential as confident athletes while building character and fostering a deep love for Judaism and Israel.”

“The academy is an incredible opportunity to enjoy high-level sports instruction in the context of a ruach (spirit)-filled environment,” Levy said. “Our camp is a great environment for serious athletes as well as campers who simply love sports. Our campers will learn and grow as athletes while making friends for a lifetime.”

For those who are artistically inclined, the Maryland College Institute of Art (MICA) has scheduled a summer full of educational programs for campers. This year, MICA boasts new offerings in pattern designs, social justice art classes and portrait painting and drawing.

Director of Youth Programs Katie Porter says that these courses “unleash all the children’s artistic capabilities and critical- thinking skills.”

“The youngest artists can prepare to let their creativity blossom,” she said. “MICA classes and workshops provide a nurturing atmosphere for all kids to build confidence while expressing themselves, develop skills and just have fun.”


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