Category: Camps

Getting Kids in the Game

Matthew McCall's baseball camp raised more than $600 for charity (Photo by Joshua Baethge) 0
Matthew McCall's baseball camp raised more than $600 for charity (Photo by Joshua Baethge)

While some kids spend the summer before their freshman year of high school away at camp, Matthew McCall spent his summer planning one.

McCall’s baseball camp, Matt’s Bats, gave around 20 kids the chance to play in the sun and enjoy baseball tips from professionals at the Johnny Oates Baseball Field at Mercy Street Sports Complex July 25.

The idea came when McCall, an incoming Highland Park High School freshman, was asked to host a children’s sports camp for Brother Bill’s Helping Hand, an organization that provides medical services, work training, and donations to West Dallas families in need.

McCall and his family had been volunteering for the organization about six months when assistant director Adair Neely suggested Matt host a basketball or soccer camp. McCall instead proposed a baseball camp, a sport he has played for five years.


New Creative Space Sparks Interest

SPARK is open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
at 1409 S. Lamar Street, Suite #4. 0
SPARK is open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 1409 S. Lamar Street, Suite #4.

In a converted Sears distribution center in the Southside on Lamar building, families can now visit the creative learning wonderland called SPARK on Saturdays.

For the past year, SPARK’s 11,000 square-foot facility — with its indoor playground, arts and crafts studios, giant Lite-Brite, music studios, stage, and Lego creation area — has been open only for scheduled field trips, events, workshops, and summer camps, co-founder and CEO of SPARK Beverly Davis said.

The aim: to foster future generations of arts and culture “appreciators and patrons” by teaching the creative process in a fun and interactive way.

“There’s a lot of perceived risk in here,” Davis said. “After this play … after pushing themselves and overcoming fears, we bring them together for their classes and we push them in developing their creativity. … It’s really cool to watch.”


A Camp Run By Kids For Kids

Brothers Ryan and Blake Lieberman founded the sports camp as an alternative summer job. (Photo Courtesy  Camp Spark) 0
Brothers Ryan and Blake Lieberman founded the sports camp as an alternative summer job. (Photo Courtesy Camp Spark)

When it comes to a kid-run business, the lemonade stand and neighborhood car wash markets are covered. However, when brothers Ryan and Blake Lieberman concocted the business venture of a sports summer camp as a junior and sophomore, respectively, at Greenhill, they decided to push the status quo.

Now in its fifth year of operation, Camp SPARK was born from the Liebermans’ idea of a sports camp “for kids, by kids.” Now, both honors business students at the University of Texas at Austin, they have passed the torch to a younger generation to keep the camp’s motto alive.

Campers have already begun signing up for the week of June 6 for the sports day-camp. Each day, boys and girls will meet separately to participate in skills training and sports competition with their counselors.

Camp SPARK includes a variety of sports for kids to participate in, from basketball to swimming to wiffleball to cheerleading. Around 14 high school counselors, called city partners, will lead approximately 60 campers in exercises at Episcopal School of Dallas this year. In the past, the camp has been held in the Liebermans’ back yard and at the Jewish Community Center of Dallas.

“Parents can sign their kids up now, all the way up to the day of the specific camp day they want to attend,” Blake said. “We found it best to set it up that way. Some kids only come for one day, and some kids only sign up for one day to begin with and end up signing up for the rest of the week, too.” 


Embrace Inner Explorer at Day Camps

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Up, up, and away!
Let your kids embrace their superhero side at Kidventure Summer Camp. Summer Quest 2016 is this year’s theme, providing new adventures each week, such as Superhero Academy, Aquamania, Tumbleweed Stampede, and so many more! Kiddos ages 3 to 5 can partake in the Discover Camp, while those ages 6 to 12 will participate in Explore Camp.
Dates: June 6 – Aug. 19
Times: 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Cost: $200 for Discover Camp, $210 for Explore Camp
Where: Various locations throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area
Registration: kidventure.com

happy and healthy
Cooper Aerobics Health and Wellness is hosting weeklong camps throughout the summer to keep your kids active and healthy. Campers can participate in various sports, physical activities, and lessons on nutrition and wellness. You can even sign your kids up for the Splash Camp add-on, to keep them nice and cool after a long, hot day.
Dates: Weeklong sessions from June 6 – Aug. 12
Times: 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Splash Camp 2:30 to 4 p.m.
Cost: By May 1, $195; after May 1, $210; Splash Camp, $110 per session
Registration: cooperaerobics.com


Camp 43: Leader of One, Leader of Many

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From now until April 29, The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum will be accepting applications for Camp 43: Leader of One, Leader of Many held on June 15-17.

Prospective 2016, 2017, and 2018 high school graduates are encouraged to apply to the three-day, no cost summer camp. Lunch and snacks will be provided daily and will follow with a formal dinner on June 17 to conclude the camp.

Students will have the opportunities to meet with business and political leaders to discuss issues and strategies. Additionally, students will be faced with a decision-making scenario in the Library’s Situation Room. They will act as members of the Administration to plan and carry out a resolution to the crisis.

Anyone who is interested should submit the application form, along with two professional letters of recommendation, answers to three short answer questions, and a copy of their resume via e-mail. Deadline to apply is April 29.

 


Keep Those Kiddos Busy at Day Camps

There's lots of fun to be had at the Aaron Family Jewish Community Center's camps. (Photo: Tara Ohayon) 0
There's lots of fun to be had at the Aaron Family Jewish Community Center's camps. (Photo: Tara Ohayon)

My parents did anything to keep me busy during the summers. Soccer camp one week, drama the next. I loved them all. They were a great place to meet new friends from other schools and make lasting memories. Here are a few local day camps worth checking out.

GOALLL!
This July, boys and girls 6-14 years old can learn soccer from coaches from the world-renowned Futbol Club Barcelona at FCBEscola. Campers will be sorted based on their skill levels and scrimmage daily. Athletic trainers will be on site to provide injury aid and wraps.

Dates: July 4 – 8 and 11 – 15
Times: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Cost: $500 for one week; $950 for two
Where: University of Texas at Dallas
Registration: fcbarcelonasoccercamps.com/register/register-now/dallas/


Diabetes Not Deterrent to Fun

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Emily Walther, 6, didn’t know there were other children like her who were living with Type 1 diabetes. She would get frustrated at school when, for instance, during a field trip, teachers passed out marshmallows to every student but her.

“For a while she was bottling up,” said her mother, Kathryn Walther. “And [she] didn’t know how to communicate frustrations like, ‘why am I the only one who gets these shots?’”

Then Walther found Camp Sweeney, a high-tech, medically equipped camp owned and operated by the Southwestern Diabetic Association for children ages 6 to 18, the majority of whom have Type 1 diabetes.

Some campers are also pre-diabetic or have Type 2, formally called adult-onset diabetes, according to senior associate program director Preston Walhood. During three-week sessions, campers can choose classes to attend, from rock climbing to radio station operating to lacrosse, and all the while they’re being taught about their bodies and how to live well with their disease.


Day Camps Have Offerings for All

Aspiring actors can test their mettle at one of four camps offered by Shakespeare Dallas this summer. (Courtesy Photo) 0
Aspiring actors can test their mettle at one of four camps offered by Shakespeare Dallas this summer. (Courtesy Photo)

As the days heat up and school lets out, activities offered for kids do anything but fizzle out.

Day Camp can be a great opportunity for children who aren’t ready to go to overnight camp, but are ready to meet new friends, try a new activity, or hone a beloved hobby
into a skill.

Dallas is teeming with camps offering everything from the traditional outdoor adventure to acting classes. Here are just a few.

Drama, Drama, drama

Shakespeare Dallas offers kids of all ages the chance to learn from devotees of the Bard this summer. One option is All The World’s a Stage. Campers for grades 2-6 will create characters and practice scenes from different plays. At the close of camp, they will perform for friends and family at the Samuel Grand Amphitheater.
Dates: June 13 – 17
Time: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Cost: $200
Where: J. Erik Jonsson Central Library
Times and dates of the other camps are available online.


Everyone is a Happy Camper

Camp John Marc has been a source of fun and refuge for campers with chronic medical and physical ailments for 25 years. (Courtesy Photo) 0
Camp John Marc has been a source of fun and refuge for campers with chronic medical and physical ailments for 25 years. (Courtesy Photo)

Camp John Marc has introduced over 50,000 children and teens with chronic medical and physical ailments to a special kind of fun and a second home.

“Camp is a place where worries disappear and memories last forever,” said a camper in a testimonial on the organization’s website. Another camper said it is where “true survivors” are created. Several even expressed their sorrow at leaving.

One current camper compares it to magic, because every time she goes to camp she feels better. Executive director Kevin Randles can personally attest this magical sentiment because he felt it when he first arrived as a camper in 1992.