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Gear up for summer camp fun

From field trips to film-making, seasonal programs offer something for every age group

Posted: April 19, 2009 10:58 p.m.
Updated: April 20, 2009 4:55 a.m.

People enjoy the water and summer sun at the Aquatic Center in June 2008. The Santa Clarita Valley offers a variety of programs to keep kids active and mentally stimulated during the summer months.

 
Summer may be several months away, but it's not too early to start planning what the kids will be doing when school ends and the long summer days begin. Here's a quick roundup of some of the possibilities.

n Kids ages 8 to 15 interested in being part of nature can take part in the Santa Clarita Valley YMCA's resident summer camp program June 20 to 27. The program takes about 180 kids on a week-long trip to a camp near Big Bear.

While the camp offers physical benefits, YMCA hopes to build youngsters mentally, too.

"We really believe in making our campers leaders," Chris Clark, director of development and communications said.

Kids who take part in the program are encouraged to grow from campers to counselors-in-training to counselors, he said.

The experience gives youngsters a sense of the ownership of the camp, Clark said.

Contact the Santa Clarita Valley YMCA at (661) 253-3593.

n The city runs its annual camp, known as Camp Clarita, for kids as young as 3 years old.

The eight-week program begins June 15 and runs through August 7 at various local city parks.

Camp programs are broken down by age. The ranger program is for first- through third-graders, the explorer program is for fourth- through sixth-graders and the voyager program is for sixth- through ninth-graders. Kids in the ranger and explorer programs take weekly field trips to theme parks and hot spots in and out of the Santa Clarita Valley. The voyager program takes teens on a field trip every day. The kids are also able to take part in an overnight camping trip during the summer.

A Wee Folks and Little Folks program also is available for kids younger than first grade.

Contact Camp Clarita at (661) 284-1465.

n Sunshine Day Camp hosts three different camps that depend on age and interest in field trips. Camp starts June 15 and runs through August 7.

The travel camp, for fourth- through ninth-graders, takes place at Legacy Christian Academy. Kids in travel camp go on three field trips a week to places like Southern California theme parks. Travel camp ends a week earlier on July 31.

Students enrolled in adventure camp, held at Pico Canyon, Valencia Valley and Fair Oaks schools, travel on two field trips a week to go bowling, visit Six Flags Magic Mountain and other local attractions.

When travel and adventure camp kids are not on field trips, they are on campus playing themed activities.

Sunshine is debuting its new on-campus only camp for families looking for an inexpensive summer camp.

n Education doesn't have to take a break over the summer, either. Trinity Classical Academy hosts writing and Latin camps August 20, 21 and 24, 25. While the classes are primarily for students entering the classical private academy, youngsters in the Santa Clarita Valley are able to take part in the classes. The morning Latin classes are designed to teach kids entering fourth to eighth grades the basics of the language, Elizabeth Froemming, admissions director, said.

The afternoon writing classes are for students entering sixth to tenth grades and teach the formal writing process known as progymnasmata, critical to the classical style learning, Froemming said.

"It gets them all set up and positioned for when we start our formal rhetoric," she said.

Contact Trinity Classical Academy at (661) 296-2601.

n Sand Castles offers its annual summer program for elementary-school-aged kids at three different school districts at its central Canyon Country location on Luther Drive.

For Santa Clarita Christian School, the summer program starts on June 1. The Saugus Union School District's start date is June 8 while Sulphur Springs School District's program starts on June 15.

"The kids do a lot of science, a lot of water play," Sandy Denkovski-Tunstall, Sand Castles president said.

Kids also take part in a weekly local field trip in small groups as a way to prevent over-stimulation, she said.

The summer program can hold up to 60 youngsters, she said.

Contact Sand Castles at (661) 251-3182.

n Mitchell Eagles After School Club runs its summer camp from June 15 to August 12.

"We offer nine weeks of fun. Each week is a theme and each week we go on a field trip that is included in their tuition," Barbara Sivley, co-director Mitchell Eagles After School Club said.

For instance, the American Idol-themed week turns campers into mini-singers who get to do their own performance. The field trip takes kids to a see a local play, she said.

The K-6 camp program holds up to 90 students a week.

Contact Mitchell Eagles After School Club (661) 298-9689.

n Creative Years offers a 12-week summer program for kids from 2 to 6 year old. Parents can enroll in the part-time or full-time schedule. The part-time camp begins June 22 while the full-time summer school begins a week earlier.

Each week has a theme. For example, the camping week gives youngsters a chance to eat trail mix, sing camp songs and make arts and crafts, Katri Tyni, owner of Creative Years said.

Contact Creative Years at (661) 254-0718.

n Local kids who want to explore the arts over the summer can take part in a new summer arts camp hosted by Generation Arts enrolling now for students ages 9 to 16.

Camp sessions are available June 15 to July 3 and July 13 to July 31. Camps conclude with a gala showcasing student work like films, paintings and cartoons made during the camps. The gala is set for July 3 and August 2.

The program is run by Ramon Hamiliton and Jennifer Fischer, founders of the SCV Film Festival and locally-based filmmaking program Script 2 Screen.

Contact Generation Arts at (661) 600-6320.

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