SCHOOL’S OUT! Wonderful words for our children, drug but anxiety causing for many parents. For many parents, prescription summer brings with it the added concern of where to keep children engaged daily for the summer while parents continue with the work and responsibilities that exist through the school year and beyond. It is important to keep our children engaged and keep them exercising their brains during the summer. Many summer programs began their registration early in the spring, hospital however, there are still options that families have to keep our youth focused and flourishing throughout the summer.
Whether you are in need of an all day camp, a few days of adventure through the summer, discovering what is offered at local museums and parks, a few classes to introduce your child to something new, even a new adventure for yourself, Richmond has a lot to offer for the summer.
Come start your summer with Urban Views Weekly this Wednesday, June 19th, from 12 noon to 2 p.m. We will be celebrating our 5th birthday at the Pine Camp Community Center with an Ice Cream Social. We will be giving out ice cream, and we’d love to have you beat the heat while sharing a sweet treat with us. The event is co – sponsored by the Richmond City Parks and Recreation Department and MARTIN’S.
For many families, full day camps are necessary to keep children in safe, enriching environments while parents are at work. Several full day camps are already in session, but still accepting applicants.
FULL DAY CAMPS
The City of Richmond Department of Recreation will host its annual summer camp, The Great Summer Escape starting June 24th and running through August 23rd. Breakfast and lunch are included in the registration fee which is $250 for city residents and $400 for residents outside of the city. Some of the camp and recreation sites are already full, so it may be necessary to check around for available spaces. The City of Richmond is also offering camps on sports, aquatics and dance. Visit http://www.richmondgov.com/parks/documents/SummerCampPrograms_2013.pdf for the summer catalog.
The YMCA is offering summer camps to students from Kindergarten to 10th grade. There are even camps offered to support students with special needs. Many camps run in weekly sessions and provide transportation from various locations throughout the city and surrounding counties. Visit www.ymcarichmond.org for more information about their many summer camps.
Richmond Prep has a summer camp, The Best Summer Ever, that began on June 10th and runs through August 23rd. The program serves rising 1st through 6th graders. Registration is accepted in weekly segments at $90 a week and includes breakfast, lunch and most field trips. There are recreational activities and activities that focus on academics in preparation for the fall school year. Visit www.richmondprep.org for more information.
Fifth Baptist Church has a camp with limited registration and began on June 17th. The camp runs through August 23rd from 7:00 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. The camp is $70 weekly (with a discount for siblings). To find out more visit www.5thbcva.org/daycare.html.
Camp Diva offers a camp for girls ages 11-15 for five weeks from July 8th to August 9th. The cost of the entire camp is $600 and runs from 7:30-5:30 daily. The camp focuses on developing girls into healthy women through various activities that focus on social skills, group building and personal reflection. They also take varied field trips to expand their horizons. The orientation meeting for interested families is Friday June 21st at VCU Aspire.
Henrico County is also offering a variation of full day and half day camps for county residents ages 3-15. Many of the full day camps run from 9 a.m. – 3 or 4:30 p.m. A few of the camps run the duration of the summer while many of the camps run weekly. Visit http://www.co.henrico.va.us/rec/at-your-leisure/summer-camps.
Although not a full day camp, the Virginia Preschool Initiative is offering a half day camp for pre-k students who will be transitioning into a RPS school. The summer camp, Ocean Adventures, is a 5 week language/literacy program. Ocean Adventures starts on July 1st and lasts until August 1st. The camp will be offered at Carver and Overby Sheppard Schools and is free of charge. Families can register their 4 year olds online at http://web.richmond.k12.va.us/Programs/VAPreschoolInitiative.aspx.
Richmond has ample opportunities for families to discover new artists, new music, new tastes and fascinating discoveries in science.
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has weekly summer camps for children ages 5-12. There are also regular weekly classes for everyone in the family, from toddlers to adults. Aside from classes, there are opportunities for adults to play as well. First Fridays is Wine and Art where adult attendees can purchase adult beverages and take free tours of various exhibits. On Second Fridays, adults can participate in free Wine Tastings, and on Thursdays the Jazz Café offers food, drinks and dancing to some amazing local artists.
The Science Museum of Virginia has a few exciting IMAX films with new releases. Go see an IMAX film and fly with butterflies or march through the Arctic with polar bears. Along with permanent exhibits, the Science Museum has added an exhibit on Robots and has a new exhibit, Boost, opening on June 22nd. There are also regular showings of Rat Basketball, where trained rats play basketball and families learn how rats are trained and why certain rats are chosen to be trained. There is so much to see in the science museum that one trip wouldn’t allow enough time to see everything, so you’ll have the fun of returning many times during the summer to explore and discover new things.
YOGA, MOVIES, DANCING
Would you like your children to exercise their bodies while building social skills, working on crafts and making friends? DaShanda Burton, a Yo Kids Ambassador, will be offering a class weekly from June 20th through August 1st. The cost of the entire 6 weeks is $90. Classes are for students K-5th grade. To register, or for more information, call 804-833-8774.
The city of Richmond is offering free Movies in the Park on Fridays, June 21st to August 16th. The location of the films moves around to various parks within the city. There are activities from 8-8:30 and the movies will begin at 8:30 or dark. There are refreshments available for purchase and families are also encouraged to bring their own snacks, lawn chairs and blankets. Visit www.richmondgov.com/ parks for the movie titles and schedule.
This summer is also a great time to get children involved in activities that will broaden their horizons throughout the year. Culture 4 My Kids will be hosting auditions this summer for Taaluma Youth Performance Company. Auditions will occur between June 10th and July 1st on Mondays at Powhatan Community Center from 6-8 p.m. Culture 4 My Kids offers rites of passage programming, summer camps, aerobics, dancing and drumming throughout the Richmond area and hosts the annual Move Ya Feet competition, featuring dancers of all ages and styles around Richmond. Visit www.culture4mykids.org or call 804-431-6177 to learn more.
This is just a sampling of what Richmond has to offer for the summer. There are activities that will not only nurture growth in our children but will also allow for the entire family to see new things and spend time with each other. You may be surprised, by finding new experiences for your children you may find yourself having a more exciting summer.