With spring arriving this month, summer is not far behind and will be here soon. Here are some great options for your children this summer.
Summer Play Camp at Blue Rock School
On March 1 and March 15 at 2 p.m., Blue Rock School in West Nyack, New York, will host an Open House for parents to learn about the school’s upcoming Summer Play Camp. Summer Play at Blue Rock is a refreshingly simple yet creative approach to summer fun, designed especially for children ages 3 ½ to 12 years old that not only nurtures, but celebrates childhood. An enchanting place for children to spend summer days, Summer Play offers a variety of hands-on, imaginative and playful activities with a warm, caring and experienced staff.
Children can delve into art and music, nature and science, gardening, woodworking, drama, swimming, games, water play and free play on the school’s beautiful 4.5 acre wooded campus where playgrounds abound and there are enough magical play spaces for the most vivid imaginations. Children in the program’s older groups are eligible to choose the Excursion Option one day each week where they explore the great outdoors on a variety of hikes in and along area parks, trails, lakes and rivers accompanied by an experienced environmental educator. A CIT program is also available for children ages 13 and older.
This year's five-week Summer Play Camp runs from June 30 to August 1, Mondays through Thursdays with optional Fridays, from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day.
Nature Oriented Day Camp
The Nature Place is a non-competitive, nature-oriented day camp for children ages 4 to 16, located on 200 acres in Chestnut Ridge, New York. “We truly love what we've been doing for over 25 years: providing campers with a safe summer in which they can be themselves, be challenged, have fun, connect with others and the earth, develop new skills, and be supported throughout,” says owner and director Ed Bieber.
At The Nature Place campers discover hands-on, pressure-free programming and an exceptionally well-trained staff. They do not find competitive sports, awards, TV or video games. Instead, campers go outside, explore, create and play.
“Through experiential outdoor play and learning and cooperative rather than competitive games, we encourage within each of our campers a sense of wonder towards the natural world,” says Bieber. “We do this through a variety of activities: gardening, cooking, swimming, earth art, games, hiking, music, drama, storytelling, farming and more.”
As campers get older at The Nature Place, they go on actual camping trips which include canoeing, backpacking, rock climbing and more.
The Nature Place also offers a two-week program in August for campers ages 6 to 12 called Farm and Garden Days. “This program is what it sounds like—a lot of farming and gardening, with some free swim, arts and crafts, noncompetitive games, cooking, and nature explorations thrown into the mix,” adds Bieber.
Location: 285 Hungry Hollow Rd., Chestnut Ridge. For more details, call 845-356-6477 or visit TheNaturePlace.com.
Cooking, Gardening and Art at Wallkill River School
Wallkill River School is excited to announce upcoming summer classes for children. At Farm Camp with local farmer/chef Korey Findley, children, ages 5-13, can take gardening and cooking classes. During these classes, children will learn to grow their own garden full of fresh vegetables and herbs and prepare their bounty in healthy and delicious kid-friendly recipes. Children will also make garden crafts like bird and fairy houses and play games in the great outdoors. During inclement weather children will head indoors for food system and farm-related movies. The class is held from 10 a.m. to noon, Monday through Friday from July 7 through August 22.
Art Camps at Wallkill River School of art include “Project FunWay” where girls make their own clothes, play dress-up and get makeovers and “Botanical Drawing” with Shawn Dell Joyce where children learn to identify indigenous plants and sketch them in their own sketch books. Other classes include Nerf camp for modifying Nerf guns and imaginative play like Zombie Infection, Capture the Flag and other outdoors games. In addition, the School offers traditional painting and drawing summer camps for children and art classes for adults.
Locations: Montgomery, Monroe and Bethel Woods. Call 457-ARTS or check WallkillRiverSchool.com for a complete list of classes and to register.
Summer Programs at Green Meadow
Green Meadow Waldorf School in Chestnut Ridge is located on 11 beautiful, wooded acres, with streams, hiking trails, and plenty of space for play and exploration. This summer, our teachers will be offering a variety of unique, fun programs for children from ages 4-8, including “Sheep to Slippers”, “Summer Farm Days”, “Cooking in the Kindergarten”, and much more. Give your child a summer to remember.
Location: Chestnut Ridge. Visit GMWS.org/summer to get full details on all of our summer 2014 programs. Register early; spaces fill quickly.
Challenger Center Camp
Give your kid some space this summer—outer space! The Challenger Center’s week-long summer camp programs, designed for kids in grades 1 through 6, gives children a fun-filled, science-based, learning experience that will last a lifetime.
In each Challenger camp, children will build with LEGO products, create computer animation programs, be awed by planetarium shows, and “fly” missions in our NASA-designed simulators. Kids can select one of three specialty camps or attend them all. The Challenger Center’s “Space Explorer Camp” will engaged kids in many different space-science hands-on activities and projects, and they’ll experience what it is like to be an astronaut.
The hardcore LEGO enthusiast will have access to thousands of LEGO bricks and LEGO robotics kits in the Center’s “Crazy for LEGO Camp.” The Center’s “Krazy Kitchen and Kaboodle Camp” will allow kids to investigate invisible energies, learn about the environment, and create beautiful bling from recycled materials, as they explore the weird and wacky science behind every day phenomena.
The Challenger Center also will host four additional weeks of science-based camps this summer. Mad Science Camps will captivate kids as they work with mad machines and crazy contraptions and more. Play-Well TEKnologies will give kids the opportunity to learn engineering principles in this LEGO-based Camp. In addition, a half-day, week-long Incrediflix Camp will allow kids to create actual adventure movies starring their favorite LEGO characters.
The Challenger Center camp sessions promise to be entertaining, fun-filled learning experiences that your child will never forget. Inspiring. Exploring. Learning. It’s our Mission.
Location: 225 Rte. 59, Airmont. For additional information and to register, call 357-3416 or visit LHVCC.com.
Earth Without Art is Just “Eh”
I recently saw a t-shirt that said “Earth without art is just ‘eh’ and, no truer sentiment could be said about art,” shares Jamie Taylor, owner of Artology, a new art studio, art gallery and retail shop located in New Windsor which aims to keep art a part of the earth.
Artology offers high quality art education to children, teens and adults from experienced and award winning art educators throughout the year and will have special programs for the summer. A variety of classes and private lessons are available as well as classes and workshops tailored to meet your needs. All Artology instructors, including owner Jamie Taylor, are New York State certified art teachers. They are dedicated to promoting the art making experience as an important component of children’s development.
The gallery and retail shop provide a venue for local artists and artisans to show and sell their work. Artology also works with local schools to provide students with art show opportunities in a gallery setting.
Give your child a creative art experience this summer and during the school year.
Location: 318 Blooming Grove Tpke., New Windsor. For more information about our classes, artists and philosophy, contact 391-8686 or go to ArtologyStudio.org. To stay informed about events and art show openings like us on Facebook at facebook.com/artologystudio.
Pre-School Summer Fun
The South Orange Family YMCA (SOFY) is pleased to be offering their pre-school summer fun program. Eight oneweek sessions are available and children can attend any weeks you choose. Session dates are June 23-27, June 30-July 3, July 7-11, July 14-18, July 21-25, July 28-August 1, August 4-8 and August 11-15. The cost is $140 per week.
In keeping the with YMCA’s focus of youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, children will be engaged in a variety of fun activities, such as sports and arts and crafts, that will help them grow in every way. Children will be dropped off at 9:30 a.m. and picked up at 1 p.m. While snacks will be provided, children should bring their own lunch. All children will receive a free t-shirt.
Location: South Orange Family YMCA, 45 Gilbert Street Extension, Monroe. For more information, contact 782-9622 or visit MiddletownYMCA.org.
Connect with Nature at Free Spirit Nature Camp
For over 20 years, Free Spirit Nature Camp has been engaging children with outdoor skills, arts and crafts, music, nature study, folklore, green lifestyles, primitive technology, canoeing and cooperative games. The camp nurtures balanced confident, sensitive children with a deep awareness of our connection to nature. Through hands-on experiences, children ages 4 – 15 are encouraged to explore the Earth and all her treasures.
The camp’s location on the working historic Kezialain farm offers the opportunity to observe and participate in gardening, farm animal care and seasonal activities that are the focus of life on the organic farm. Activities such as fire building, shelter construction, tracking techniques, plant identification, over-night camping and outdoor cooking are highlights of the camp program.
The staff includes environmental educators, certified teachers, arts and crafts specialists, musicians, actors, storytellers, counselors and counselorsin- training, many of whom were campers themselves. As one parent shared, “Free Spirit Nature Camp is such a special and magical place for my kids to have in their lives each summer.”