Summer camps deliver summer fun

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Summer is quite possibly the best time of the year for kids. No classes, no homework; it’s practically recess for three months straight. For parents, it’s not quite as fun. If both work, they have to find activities for kids throughout the school break. And if one parent is home with the kids all summer, that’s quite a lot of ‘quality’ time. Maybe too much?

The easiest answer is day camp. And luckily, there is probably a camp geared around whatever interest your child has. Sports, drama, art, dance, technology, science, swimming, and more. You just need to know where to find them.

The Charlotte Eagles team is our local premier development soccer franchise and they offer summer camps for all skill levels at the Siskey YMCA. Camps are available from June to August for five to six year olds, recreational seven to 14 year olds, elite seven to 14 year olds, and for special positions like goal keepers and strikers. Besides being exhausted and happy at the end of each day, all campers will go home with a free soccer ball and t-shirt.

The Siskey YMCA also offers the traditional summer day camp program with a variety of themes and experiences suited for all ages and interests – sports, arts, outdoors, specialized teen camps – as well as counselor-in-training and leadership programs. Another unique offering is Camp Boomerang, an inclusion-based camp for both neurotypical and autistic kids. Full and half day sessions for all camps run from June 12 through August 25 for pre-school kids (ages 3-4) as well as kids from five to 15.

KTA Taekwando (640 E. Matthews-Mint Hill Rd.) combines the physical with the extracurricular fun. Kids will enjoy martial arts but also crafts, drama, sports, bowling, movies, swimming, and other exciting activities. Space week, nature week, Olympic week, and creative week are just a few of the themes this summer. Full day camps begin June 12 with weekly sessions until August 18 and special consideration for working parents; drop off is as early as 7am and pick up as late as 6pm.

All kids like to get their hands messy in art projects. Check out Mint Hill Arts (11205 Lawyers Rd.) for half day classes – 9am until noon for kids ages six to ten or 1pm until 4 for kids 11 and older – in various mediums and subjects. Parents may have to pick up supplies for their kids to attend the classes and create their masterpieces.

Kidzart Matthews also offers half day camps, both in the morning and afternoon, or full day camps for kids ages six to 11. Beginning June 12 and running through August 18, campers can enjoy themes featuring mixed media, nature, famous artists, outrageous art materials, and the circus. New this year, Kidzart will have classes for teens with more mature themes like drawing, painting, Hollywood FX, anime, and fashion. Matthews residents get discounts.

Do you have a budding actor in the family? Spotlight Performing Arts has you covered between June 19 and August 11. Offering both half and full day camps for ages seven to 18 and one half day camp for ages four to nine, your child can participate in Suessical, Dance for Musical Theatre, ‘It’s A Small World’ Disney Camp, Show Choir Camp, Broadway Bootcamp, or the musical Annie. Parents can enjoy a performance at the end of each weekly camp to see what their children have learned.

The Matthews Playhouse has options too numerous to list so there is a good chance you’ll find something that appeals to your actor. Both half and full day camps are offered for campers as young as four and full day camps for 11 to 18-year olds. Matthews Playhouse offers performance camps, musical production camps, Jr. musical production camps, play production camps, adventure camps, and music and drama camps. Camps begin in mid-June and go through August.

Are leotards piling up in your house? Dance camp time! Mint Hill Dance Center (8400 Fairview Rd.) offers camps from June 19 until August 10 for ages three to 13. Choose from ballet, jazz, tap, acro, hip hop, and combo classes. You can opt for weekly camp, a summer package, or even individual classes.
For the scientific and creative kids entering kindergarten through 6th grade, Bain Elementary school hosts Camp Invention from June 19 through June 22. Children will enjoy fun modules like Duct Tape Billionaire™, Mission: Space Makers™, Have a Blast™, and Operation Keep Out™. Camp is from 8:30am until 4:30pm.

Covenant Day School in Matthews hosts various sports camps as well as a college admissions camp (for those in high school). And if you can venture beyond the Mint Hill and Matthews areas, other local private schools offer weekly camps in a variety of interests such as video gaming, music, most sports, photography, art, engineering, science, drama, and even chess. Plus they offer extended day care for early morning and late afternoon. Visit their websites for a full list of programs and prices.

Get started now and find the summer camps that are perfect for your children and your summer schedule. They’ll come home happy every day and you’ll get a little peace and quiet over the summer. And that definitely counts as ‘quality time’, right?

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