Specialty Summer Camps
By Meredith Grace Hawcroft
As the school year begins to wind down, it’s a great time for parents and caretakers to consider how to help make summer 2022 a memorable and inspiring one for the kids. A great way to do this is by enrolling your child in one of the numerous local specialty summer camp options. Regardless of their age or the types of activities a child enjoys, there’s surely a camp that will pique their interest. In addition to being a great childcare option for busy families, summer camp provides an opportunity for students to socialize, learn new skills, and follow their passions.
chesterbrookacademy.com | 704-397-3629
Chesterbrook Academy has action-packed summertime opportunities for campers ages 5-12 years old. They’ve designed the perfect, comprehensive camp experience, complete with all of the fun, enriching activities children love, and the important safety measures and flexible hours parents expect. According to Chesterbrook Academy, campers will enjoy field trips, sports and games, exciting STEM projects, arts, crafts, music, dance, and drama. They’ll grow more independent, develop social skills, and learn – all while having fun and making new friends!
Each week, students in rising kindergarten through 6th grade will participate in a selection of indoor and outdoor activities and field trips that take advantage of resources in the local area.
Chesterbrook Academy additionally hosts Kindergarten Enrichment for 4 and 5-year-olds. The program gives rising kindergarteners a jump-start on literacy and math skills while also providing opportunities to practice kindergarten etiquette through authentic play and collaborative learning. Kindergarten Enrichment is available starting June 6th and continuing until August 12th. Students have a blast engaging in inquiry-based, hands-on activities that build upon foundational skills such as science and engineering.
Camp tuition is $179 per week with an additional $18 weekly activity fee. Camp is available beginning June 6th and running through August 12th. Offering camp on a week-by-week basis allows for a flexible fit in families’ schedules.
KSessions Hoops Basketball Camps
LCRAC.com, Barr Road Sports Complex | 803-785-7588
This summer, campers can learn the fundamentals of basketball from former South Carolina Gamecock and two-time team captain, Khadijah Sessions, or “Coach K” as players fondly call her.
Coach K’s camps originated three years ago from her desire to help kids and give back to the community through her impressive talent in the sport of basketball. She helps students learn all fundamentals of the game, with a special emphasis on footwork.
Coach K utilizes a hands-on approach to share her pro-level expertise with the campers and thoroughly teach them everything about basketball from top to bottom. Her personalized attention to each camper is why she believes her camps are so beneficial.
Coach K believes that the summer camps can be beneficial for anyone who enjoys basketball. “Even if you know basketball well, you can keep learning every single day. That’s what KSessions Hoops Basketball Camps is here to help with.”
Columbia Children’s Theatre
columbiachildrenstheatre.com | 803-691-4548
Columbia Children's Theatre offers week-long camps for children aged 3-years-old all the way through the 12th grade who are interested in acting, set design, and playwriting. “We are able to offer a range of camps for all ages and levels of experience,” said Education Director Paul Lindley. “If you are just getting started with theatre, we have a camp for you. If you have been doing theatre for a while and want to start really digging in and growing as a performer, we have a camp for you.”
Most of the camps at Columbia Children's Theatre are half-day, offered in either the morning or afternoon. According to Lindley, campers spend their time engaged in theatre games and training, with a quick break for a snack that is provided. Throughout the week, they will also be preparing for a final showcase on the last day of camp.
The Theatre is proud of the impact they have on the local community through the arts and wants to make camps accessible to as many people as possible, so scholarships are available by application.
South Carolina State Museum
scmuseum.org | 803-898-4921
Every day is an adventure at the South Carolina State Museum’s summer camps! The camps are available for children ages 6-12.
David Dickson, the Public Relations Manager for the SC State Museum, described the wide variety of learning opportunities available to campers.
“One day young students may be learning to program and code different robots, while others get their hands dirty while learning about Catawba Pottery and indigo dyeing. With 10 different summer camps offered by the State Museum, we’re sure that children and parents will be able to find a subject that stands out for them! In addition to the natural history, astronomy, art, and S.T.E.A.M focused activities, campers will have a chance to explore the museum and see special shows in our state-of-the-art planetarium and 4D theater.”
A full list of dates for each of the individual weeks/themes can be found on the museum website.
Pony Gang Farm
ponygang-farm.com | 803-374-2155
Pony Gang Farm’s summer camp is a private residential and day camp for girls ages 7-15 years old.
According to owner, operator, and trainer Stefanie Terebayza, “Pony Gang Farm is a facility that is oriented to the most natural way of horse keeping with exciting programs, delicious home-cooked meals, horse-experienced staff, and a family environment conducive to a fun-filled, learning camp experience.”
This summer Pony Gang Farm will introduce campers to their new location with larger facilities, including larger riding arenas, which will allow more room for teaching.
Pony Gang is particularly proud of the opportunities they provide for equestrian vaulting and trick riding. They are one of the few camps in South Carolina to offer practice in those areas, which they think is of value to riders because these skills boost confidence and overall riding ability.
All levels of riders are welcome at Pony Gang. Terebayza said, “We aren’t a big camp where you’re just a number. We really help riders improve. We want each of our beginner campers to leave knowing the basics of riding and for our advanced riders to leave knowing more and feeling like their abilities have improved. It makes us so happy to help equestrians become better at what they love to do.”
Columbia Sailing Club
columbiasailingclub.org | 803-764-6065
The summer camps and junior programs at Columbia Sailing Club have been running for decades since the club’s founding in 1957. The camp was notably revamped by esteemed sailor David Van Cleef in 2016.
This year’s camps will be especially exciting due to new fleet additions. “We are adding larger boats to our Adventure Sailing program this year, and I am very excited about the added possibilities larger boats will provide,” said Sailing Director Brandon P. Gerrald.”
All skill levels are welcome, with several sessions requiring no experience whatsoever. The PB&J program offers Wednesday evening sessions for ages 4-7. The full-day, week-long camps are offered to ages 7-18.
Gerrald said, “Our number one goal is to be on the water sailing as much as possible – that's what you're here for! But we also include some on-land instruction, beach games, and swim time to mix up each day and keep each day fun and interesting. Sailors may even get to enjoy a ‘destination sail’ where the whole camp packs up their lunches and sails to a destination on the lake for a picnic and swimming.”
“As a sport, sailing is extremely unique in its combination of individual skill and team-oriented practice,” Gerrald said. “What other activity/sport teaches kids as young as 7 to command and operate their own vessel? It's a skill that builds confidence, independence, strategic thinking, and teamwork skills. Older sailors also begin to learn the physics and geometry behind sailing.” g