Charlotte YMCA 2018 camps are posted

Charlotte Metro YMCA camps have been posted!

Our database now includes the following branches: Brace, Harris, Johnston, Keith, Lake Norman, Lincoln County, Lowe's, McCrorey, Morrison, Sally's, Simmons, Steele Creek, and Stratford Richardson. Also Fort Mill. That’s 2000 individual camp sessions with 600 unique offerings.

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Even the YMCA Needs Summer Camp Guru

Things have come a long way since I first started sending my kids to the Y and you had to register in person. Now the online registration is fairly easy, and you can filter options. However, there are so many choices that the spreadsheet you can download from Summer Camp Guru is really a necessity.

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How to Choose a Camp for Tweens

Dealing with middle schoolers is tough on so many levels. They’re technically able to stay at home alone during the summer. But what will they be doing? Choosing a day camp for your tween is not about day care. It’s about enrichment and skills development. For a well-rounded summer, there are several key areas to cover.

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How to Find Summer Camps at the Last-Minute

Don’t worry. You’re not alone! I know this due to the consistent traffic and user registrations on Summer Camp Guru thru the end of May. Google search volume for “summer camp” and related terms for NC & SC is highest in May and June. In fact, some camp providers are now scrambling to try to fill open spots. This doesn’t mean they are unworthy – it’s often just a fluke of registration volume. Smaller camps that had a waitlist last year may have openings this year.

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Newbies: Camps for a Rising Kindergartner

When my daughters were 3 and 5, I realized that I needed to consider summer options for the rising kindergartener. I started panicking in February. I had no idea what the options were, or how to find them. What was the procedure? Do you have to stand in line at 6am to register (I had heard nightmare stories about popular day cares). My main question, though, was whether to leave my daughter in day care or sign her up for camps. It didn’t occur to me to turn to the internet for advice, and I didn’t have friends with older kids I could turn to for perspective.

Here are a few strategies to consider when planning the last summer before the big bad world of Elementary School.

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Spotlight: Camp JuMP

What do you do after years of acting classes and camps? Start your own theater camp, of course. Hannah Bridger started Camp JuMP when she was 15. Like any entrepreneur, she ran the business in her house the first year, rounded up clients from the neighborhood, and pressed her family into service.

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Spotlight: Charlotte Eagles Soccer Camp

"Super-fun" was my 8-yr-old daughter’s conclusion after the first day. I asked, “What did you do?” She said they just played games all day. I’m thinking, What?!? I was really hoping for some actual instruction. Upon further digging I came to realize the games were actually vehicles for learning and incorporated certain skills they were supposed to be working on. For example, there’s Crab Soccer, where the players must dribble through crab-infested waters (the coaches are crab-walking around the field). If their ball is kicked out they become a crab also. The game teaches the kids to watch where they’re going and dribble with intention, rather than blindly kicking and chasing the ball.

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Spotlight: Charlotte Youth Broadcasting

Broadcasting encompasses writing, production, journalism, public speaking, and filming, - and this camp covers it all. It’s a completely unique experience that provides kids with an inside view of a potential career path and teaches skills that are transferable to many other arenas.

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Spotlight: Cirque de Vol Studios

Aerial yoga and dance have become extremely popular in recent years, and summer camps provide a great opportunity for kids to have a turn on the silks and trapeze equipment. Cirque de Vol Studios is a creative movement and circus arts school offering classes for kids and adults. The Youth Aerial Circus FUNdamentals Camp includes silks and trapeze work.

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Spotlight: Famous Adventures Camp

Kyndra has spent her career in the field of Recreation. That’s right, Recreation is an official profession. She even has a master’s degree and studied outdoor experiential education and theories about how and why people. She worked at 4-H camp in college, has been a backpacking guide, and has had both field and office experience at residential camps. Working with kids for so many years set her up nicely for her current venture, Famous Adventures day camp.

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Spotlight: Fitwell Training: Summer Fitness

Whether your child is a star athlete or completely uncoordinated, Fitwell Training Solutions has designed a camp program will keep them active this summer. I spoke with Valerie Merriweather, a personal trainer and executive fitness coach, who designed the camp based on feedback from parents who wanted a program that provided qualified instruction and exposure to different activities. They wanted their kids to be active, but it’s sometimes hard to find an outlet for middle-school students who don’t play a sport.

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Spotlight: Infinity Ballet Conservatory & Theatre

Debra brings a wealth of experience to her studio. She spent 25 years as a principal dancer with the New Jersey Ballet, an unusually long career for a ballerina.

The Infinity Ballet school opened in Apex in 2002, and in 2005 the non-profit Youth Ballet was founded. Debra’s mission was to create a family environment that was less about competition and performance pressure, and more about the art form. Like all performing arts, dance education is extremely beneficial in all facets of life due to the combination of discipline, expression, and the goal of continuous improvement.

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Spotlight: Matthews Playhouse

Willa Folmar has essentially grown up with Matthews Playhouse. A Matthews native, she went to theater camp as a kid and then became an apprentice counselor in middle school. She also participated in the school-year Senior Musical Theatre Company. She has spent ten years working with children ages 6 to 17, staging countless productions and sharing her love of the theater.

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Spotlight: Project PLANTS

This camp for rising 7th and 8th graders is guaranteed to develop some green thumbs. Students explore a variety of agriculture and horticulture themes, go on field trips, and do experiments and hands-on projects.

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