Attention all parents: ‘tis the season for summer camps. Not your typical bagged lunch and kickball-playing kinds of camps, but the type you can feel good about when you drop your kids off. Dedicated to just about anything you can think of, these exciting camps will keep your kids away from the TV and begging for more.
• The Vail Recreation District offers camps for all age groups, with activities designed to keep them creatively engaged. At the Golden Peak Children’s Center there’s Pre-Kamp Vail for preschool-aged kids, and at Red Sandstone Elementary there’s Camp Vail, for children age 5 to 12. These camps begin June 10 and run until Aug. 16. There’s something for the adrenalin-junkie kids, too. Extreme Camp Vail is for kids age 8 to 13 and runs July 5 through Aug. 5. Taking place every Friday, these extreme packed days include everything from kayaking to rafting, zip-lining and challenging ropes courses. Does your child love to cook? Pre-Kamp offers a “Kidz in the Kitchen” week on cooking and science, which has days devoted to pizza making and a visit to the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. You can plan out when you want to drop your kids off and pay for the day or a week, according to what’s going by checking out the full schedule at www.vailrec.com. For Eagle County students, camps start at $50 a day ($67 for non residents). Check them out and sign up sooner than later, because these are filled on a first-come basis.
• If you want your youth to concentrate strictly on the outdoors, the Walking Mountains Science Center has day and overnight camps for kids of all ages. They also have a special type of camp called “Earth Explorers” designed for first and second graders, where the activities change daily but include endless outside craft activities and hikes led by certified and educational instructors. Transform your little one into an expert on animal habitats and enroll them in “Animal Architects,” where they’ll be able to examine how species like beavers and bees build homes in the wild. Cost for these camps is $50 a day and run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit www.walkingmountains.org for the summer schedule.
• Minturn Anglers conducts a kid-friendly fishing camp seven days a week, either in the early morning or later in the evening. Parents can send their kids to enjoy a day learning to fly fish and exploring the surrounding Rockies.
“Overall it’s goal-oriented to keep them interested in the sport because kids have a short attention span,” said David Simpson of Minturn Anglers.
Minturn Anglers charges $135 per child, per day, for kids with their own equipment, and, for kids without their own equipment, the camp is $195 and they get to keep the rod and reel they use, which includes a one-year warranty. Call 970-827-9500 for more information.
• Summer camps aren’t just for the little ones, but for teens, too. Exercising the brain with art can be therapeutic as well as fun. The Alpine Arts Center in Edwards provides a teenage summer camp on painting and drawing, which begins today, June 3, and goes through Friday. A class on textiles, which includes crochet, silkscreening and batik, is slated for June 17-21. The arts center offers classes for the younger set as well. The week-long camps start at $200. Visit www.alpineartscenter.org for the entire lineup.
• How about having your teen spend their summer days improving their body and mind with some fitness? A more unique style of camp, and the first one of its kind to the area, High Altitude CrossFit in Gypsum holds a teen camp for ages 13-18.
The camp begins today and going through Aug. 15. CrossFit instructor Jason Wheeler said CrossFit workouts will help teens excel in other sports or area of fitness they pursue.
“It keeps kids involved because we’re always changing up the workout to make it exciting,” Wheeler said. “It’s designed to help teach functional and safe lifting for their physical career, and we alter the routines for the individual.” The Gypsum camp is $125 a month or $330 for a 10-week commitment.
CrossFit Venture in Avon offers a similar camp for kids age 10 to 19. The camp runs July 8-19 and is $115.
CrossFit combines gymnastics, core strength, and other functional moves that help with agility, cardiovascular and respiratory endurance. For registration information for the Gypsum camp, call 970-343-9040. To learn more about the CrossFit Venture camp in Avon, call 719-439-3811.
• Rec Kids Summer Day Camp offered by the WECMRD facilities in Edwards, Gypsum and the Eagle Pool and Ice Rink, provides another safe way for your child to enjoy summer activities. These camps are available for daily drop off depending on the type of activity. The Edward’s WECMRD Field House allows campers to rotate between indoors and outdoors based on that week’s theme; activities include bouldering, rock climbing, archery, team building, sand volleyball and more. Prices for the camps start at around $38 a day.
The Gypsum location offers specialty camps, where children are busy for two to three hours a day with a chosen activity and the rest of the day is spent with more traditional camp fun. To name a few, there’s “Learn How to Swim Camp” from June 17-20, and “Super Science Camp” from July 29-Aug. 1. Specialty camps are $140. WECMRD also gets the younger campers active with a Wee Explorers Camp for children age 4 to 6; this is a perfect way to introduce your child to summer camp, with shorter days that start at $15. For a full list of camps and prices, check out www.wecmrd.org.