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Old 12-29-2011, 08:02 AM
332 posts, read 1,160,702 times
Reputation: 108


I'm looking for summer day camp recommendations in Howard County. I'm hoping to find a place that is safe and fun for rising 1st grader. Not sure what the adult to child standards are in MD but I'm hoping to have a max of 1 adult to 10 kids as my kids are on the younger end of their class and they are used to a small class size. This is our first year doing camp, so I'm not sure what my kids really want to do but I think they would like the following:

-Swimming would be a plus
-Art, theater, music
-Horseback riding
-Sports and general running around

I would not mind an academic component - some reading, writing, story time, fine or gross motor but it is not necessary.

We do not want anything to competitive as we want a more laid back fun atmosphere for them.

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Old 12-29-2011, 08:29 PM
Location: Ellicott City MD
2,270 posts, read 8,403,312 times
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We were in your shoes last summer, as that was our first summer o' day camp. I'd highly recommend going to one of the Baltimore's Child camp fairs as pretty much every camp we considered was there Baltimore's Child (we went to the one in Glenwood). You can meet staff and get a pretty good idea what they are all about.

We put together a patchwork of one week camps on the principle that if the kids didn't like it, it was still only one week. We did not do any swimming because we were concerned that our kids weren't strong enough swimmers to swim in a group without us. So all of ours were arts/crafts, science and/or nature. We had the best luck with the camps run by Howard County. CA also runs a lot of good looking camps, including some several week ones that may fit what you want, but as a non-CA-resident I found the surcharges too high to try any of those last year.

DM me and I can give you more details on exactly which ones we did and what I really thought! Pretty much all of ours were successful, but some were more successful than others.
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Old 12-30-2011, 02:25 PM
332 posts, read 1,160,702 times
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Thanks J_Lurk, I will PM you. My concern with some of the camp fairs is that they happen later in the year and I heard some of the camps fill up, Baltimore Child's camp fair might be earlier in the year. Perhaps, the camps that fill up are for older kids. My kids are not independent swimmers; I was hoping for a swim instructional camp option. I guess, I got over the fear about swim instructions with my kids preschool swimming option at the CA. They were gated in the kiddie section with a life guard but I would be concerned with the a large pool environment.

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Old 01-17-2012, 12:45 PM
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YMCA camp is pretty good. They have camps at the main building (over by Target/Kohl's) and the kiddo's get to go swimming. (I think there is an instructional swimming/lessons option.) Drop off between 7-9am and pick up between 4-6pm. Very reasonable priced even for non-members I think. Daughter didn't rave about the camp, but she always wanted to go.

The Howard County Parks and Rec department also has a variety of camps - full and half day combos. We enrolled our kids in some of the camps at their elementary school (for the convience mostly, but we did chess camp and a dinosaurs theme week camp). My girls loved (or loooovvvveeed) the nature camps at Cedar Lane park (a bit of a drive for me). My daughter also did a nature camp at Meadowbrook park. We never did the Howard Nature Conservancy camp, but we did have my daughter's birthday there one year and the kids had a great time tromping through the stream and looking at their 'specimens' through the microscope. If you child likes nature, it would be a great camp. Olenka school of music - good, but a full day was too much for my 5yr old.

For Horse Back camp, I sent my 6yr (at the time) to the Columbia Horse Center for 5 full days during spring break in 2010. She liked it, but they didn't do as much riding as she would have liked. More learning about horses, caring for horses, arts and crafts. We did a horse camp at Liberty Stables (a bit of a drive, but worth it) this past summer and my 7 and 5 yr olds loved it. Much more riding, they had the same horse everyday, they did a little riding show at the end of the week (my 5yr old got to trot on the last day, so her summer was fantastic from that point on).

There's also summer camps at some of the preschool's - we've done St. John's Parish Day School camps - I like the variety of the activities and the big playground out back, neighbors really like Trinity's summer camps.

I know HCPSS has summer camps as well. My (going into 2nd grade) daughter did a "Scientific Mysteries" camp this past summer. It was only from 9a to 1pm for 2 weeks and I don't think it had an extended day option. The HCPSS camps are more geared toward the older kids.

Finally, my daughters never attended this camp, but lots of their classmates did (it's in our neck of the woods). It's a fitness camp run by a Karate Instructor and his wife http://www.fitnessandkarate.com/ We'd see the kids at our pool (Taylor Village) in the afternoon and I only heard good things.
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Old 01-20-2012, 01:14 AM
332 posts, read 1,160,702 times
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We have narrowed our list to Trinity, Glenelg, Park & Recs, CA, Howard County Council of the Arts. I was also interested in the Drama Learning Center but thought that it would be too many people for my kids. Thanks for your comments especially the ones about the Horse camp because I thought about sending my daughter to this camp because she is interested in horses but I did not think you got a lot of riding especially for the price. We will see. I hope that not all of the camps sell out.
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Old 01-20-2012, 01:15 AM
332 posts, read 1,160,702 times
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Does Park & Recs camps have an extended care option allowing for 7-6 care?
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Old 01-20-2012, 10:05 AM
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I'm not sure about 7-6, probably more like 8-5. But, yes there are extended options for the camps - add an AM and a PM, include a lunch. Get the Summer camp booklet when it comes out (from the library) or check online. Reg begins Feb 1 online
Howard County - Camps
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Old 01-20-2012, 02:11 PM
354 posts, read 1,034,474 times
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I know people who've sent their kids to Circle D in Woodbine for summer camp. It's on a farm and there's daily horseback riding and tennis. It's an old-fashioned kind of camp. The kids were outside all the time in last summer's heat and never complained. Circle D Farm - Day Camp
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Old 01-26-2012, 01:53 AM
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We will see. I hope that not all of the camps sell out. http://www.*****.info/g.gif (broken link)
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