May 2013

Kids Summer Kamps

Author: Rebecca Edwards

You blinked and now it’s almost summer. Goodbye alarm clocks. Farewell carpool lines. Hasta luego homework. In the words of Alice Cooper, “School’s out for summer.” But rather than letting school be “blown to pieces,” there’s a way you can complement your child’s current academic curriculum and facilitate his or her transition to the next grade level. There’s a way you can encourage independence, athleticism and creativity. And there’s a way you can promote developmental, social and spiritual growth. The way is summer camp.

“I am a big advocate of summer programs for children,” said Katy Hudak, department chair for upper school English at Hilton Head Prep. “From the time they are five or six years old, children can use summer programs to explore new interests or pursue in a more focused way the ones they might not have time to fit in during the school year. The many week- to two-week programs available in the Hilton Head area are ideal for learning without a huge time or financial commitment.”

Hudak laughed explaining, “My own children have experimented with everything from soccer and animal care to ceramics and piano during summer courses.” She believes these brief experiences enable kids to gain a better sense of their own talents and passions as they mature.

Many educators also say summer camps foster improved confidence and instill a sense of accomplishment in youths. “Any parent wants to find opportunities to build toward independence in a safe, motivating environment,” said Hudak, who believes parents should start early when it comes to sending their children to camps. “Short day camps can lead to longer day camps, which, in turn, as in my case, lead to sleep-away camp—the holy grail of camp!”

According to youth counselor Dr. Debi Lynes, LPC CEDS IECA, another important aspect of summer camp is that it can be a lifesaver for children with physical, mental and or social disabilities. “For many children who have not been successful in a traditional academic environment, summer camp offers the opportunity for what is perceived as fun, experiential learning time without the perceived constraints of achieving grades or participating or competing with kids of other levels,” she said.

Lynes applauds the Island Rec Center for providing excellent programs for children with “special needs,” which she defines as youths with mild to moderate learning disabilities, within the autism spectrum, being treated for ADD and ADHD, diagnosed with mental retardation, or who are simply socially awkward.

“The qualitative and anecdotal data is out there,” Lynes said. “More parents are finding success by gifting their children the opportunity to attend summer camp. I send the kids I counsel to several local programs.”

The success of the Island Rec Center camps, as well as other summer programs, is reflective of the thoughtful work put into creating them. “We have many returning campers every summer and want all our children to have a unique and rewarding experience, said Leah Arnold, summer camp director. “The staff plans for six months on different weekly themes and field trips. We are also vigilant about integrating both the summer camp and challenge camp for special needs children.”

Many of the camps this summer are also responding to new trends. After several students expressed an interest, the lower school at Hilton Head Prep added fashion design and robotics to its afterschool program. Because both clubs have been so successful, the school has decided to add each to its summer camp schedule. “We are thrilled about our Teen Design Studio, and two different robotics camps, LEGO Robotics and Water Robotics,” said Matt Dakolios, director of summer programs for Prep.

Melinda Cotter of Sea Pines Montessori Academy also points out that many of these programs are staffed with certified educators, trained in safety courses. She uses her school as an example. “Summers at SPMA provide campers with a safe, nurturing environment that ties the Montessori philosophy of exploration, creativity, independence with traditional summer camp fun. All summer camp sessions are led by certified teachers who are SAFE checked and CPR/First Aid trained,” she explained.

This summer, Hilton Head Island offers a diverse spectrum of camp options. Learning camps include Bible studies, math, robotics, science, and writing. Sports camps include baseball, basketball, cheerleading, dance, football, horseback riding, golf, paddleboarding, running, sailing, soccer, swimming, tennis and volleyball. Creative camps include performing and visual arts and imaginative games and activities.

When deciding which camp is best for your child, consider the following questions:
• What does my child enjoy doing? Keep in mind that your child can try several different types of camps over the summer. This means you can choose camps within a certain category such as arts education and introduce your child to the breadth of this category, or you can diversify and go for a more well-rounded summer.
• Would my child do well going to camp half day or full day? In deciding this, you might also consider starting out going half day and transitioning to full day. This way you can work with your child on goal setting and the importance of building confidence and independence.
• Should I coordinate with other parents so that my child is around familiar peers, educators and surroundings, or should we branch out and encourage meeting new people in new places? Again, your child can attend several programs, so you may want to incorporate a little of both. This will help your child strengthen existing relationships and broaden his or her friend base.
• What skills should my child develop prior to camp? Many of these camps welcome multiple ages and stages, but some have minor requirements. For example, if your child wants to go to the South Carolina Yacht Club’s sailing camp or Outside Hilton Head’s kayak camp, he or she will need to be a proficient swimmer.

To help you along, CH2 has listed a few of the local camps available this summer.

Sea Pines Montessori
Summers at SPMA provide campers with a safe, nurturing environment that ties the Montessori philosophy (exploration, creativity, independence) in with traditional summer camp fun. This summer’s offerings include six weekly adventures for children ages 18 months to grade 6. Popular themes include: “World Games”, where the children have the opportunity to explore games from around the world and participate in our own Olympics style fun; “Engineering”, where campers discover the science behind stability and structure; and “Budding Artists”, a week full of the elements of art and deign, portfolios, and galleries! The possibilities for fun are truly endless! Comprehensive Summer Camp Brochures available online now at

Swing into Tennis and Discover Fun!
Tennis Club of the Low Country presents the 2013 Junior Tennis Camps. Registration is available online at, by calling 843-271-6401 or at the facility located at 9 Clubhouse Drive in Rose Hill. The first weeklong camp begins on June 10th. TLC Junior Tennis camps offer kids the opportunity to have fun, gain confidence and meet new friends, all while enhancing their social and physical development. There are five camp levels available developed with age and skills in mind; Little Shots 1 & Little Shots 2, Hot Shots, Big Shots and Junior Excellence.

Providence Presbyterian Church introduces “His Kid’s” Summer Camp by the Sea
Children will learn, grow and have fun on Hilton Head Island.
Arts, Crafts, Games, Recreation, and Worship on Providence Campus
Session 1: July 21-26
Session 2: July 28-Aug. 2
9am- 5pm Monday- Friday
$75 per child per session
Ages: completed K-5th grade
Register online: or call 843-842-5673 for more information

Moss Creek Equestrian Center
Horsin’ Around Days of 2013
June 10th- August 9th
Monday, Wednesday and Friday
Ages- 5-12
Weekly program featuring fun horse-related activities

Hilton Head Christian Academy
A variety of summer camp options available to the community.
Visit for more information, or call 681-2878.

Hilton Head Island Tennis
Led by long time Islanders and USPTA Professionals, Eric Wammock and Edward Wood, the Resort’s Tennis Program was chosen a Top 5 Tennis Resort (Carolinas) by Tennis Magazine in 2012. The plethora of programming for all ages includes summer camps for ages 5-18 from June 7 through August 23. One- hour weekday sessions are available for ages 5-10, while ages 7-18 attend from 9-noon. An optional, additional training session for advanced players is from 2-4pm. For more information please visit

Bluffton School of Dance Camp Make Believe
Ages: 3-6
Time: 9 a.m.-noon
Dates: June 11-15 / July 30-August 3
Cost: $160 per week
Contact: (843) 815-2619 or

Bluffton School of Dance Tiny Dance Classes
Ages: 2-2 ½
Time: 5:30-6 p.m.
Dates: Tuesday Thursday July 15-25
Cost: $50 for two-week program
Contact: (843) 815-2619 or

Bluffton School of Dance Pre-School Dance Classes
Ages: 3-4
Time: 11 a.m.-noon or 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Dates: Tuesday Thursday July 15-25
Cost: $50 for two-week program
Contact: (843) 815-2619 or

Bluffton School of Dance Combo
Ages: 5-7
Time: 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Dates: Tuesday Thursday July 15-25
Cost: $50 for two-week program
Contact: (843) 815-2619 or

**Bluffton School of Dance Experienced Dancers Dance Classes **
Ages: 8+
Time: 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Dates: July 15-25
Tuesday: Ballet and Jazz
Wednesday: Ballet and Tap
Thursday: Ballet and Hip Hop
Cost: $60 for one class / $100 for 2 classes / $130 for 3 classes
Contact: (843) 815-2619 or

The Salty Dog Café at South Beach Marina
Various children’s activities are offered from May 24- August 31st.
Below is a sampling of their activities. For a more detailed listing, visit
MONDAY, TUESDAY and FRIDAY in the Courtyard
All day: Chalk Art
11:00 am – 4:00 pm: Tie-Dyeing fun located behind The Wreck of the Salty Dog restaurant
12:00 pm: “Storybook Time” with an appearance from Jake the Salty Dog
12:15 pm: Jake’s Hula Hoop Contest
5:30-8:30: Face Painting
Show Times 7:00 and 8:00 pm: “Children’s Music with Anneliza”
7:00 pm: Special appearance from Jake the Salty Dog

SUNDAY in the Courtyard
All day: Chalk Art
5:30-8:30: Face Painting
Show Times 7:00 and 8:00 pm: “Magic with Gary Maurer”
7:00 pm: Special appearance from Jake the Salty Dog

Island Rec Summer Camp
Ages: 4-13
Time: 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
Dates: June 10-August 16
June 10-14: “Summer Blast Off”
June 17-21: “Explore the World”
June 24-28: “Gettin Dirty”
July 1-5: “Proud to Be”
July 8-12: “Lights, Camera Action”
July 15-19: “Holiday Hullabaloo”
July 22-26: “Up, Up, and Away”
July 29-August 2: “We, wild, and Wacky”
August 5-9: “Mysteries, Maps, and Riddles”
August 12-16: “Anything Goes-To the Extreme”
Cost: $125 per week / $30 one-time registration fee
Contact: (843) 681-7173 or

Jiva Yoga Center Zen Kids camp
Ages: 4-12
Time: 1:30-4:30 p.m.
Dates: June 17-21; July 15-19th
Cost: $130 per week (pre registration); $45 daily (call in advance)
Contact: Jean Rioux @ 247-2529 or

Outside Hilton Head Discovery Days Kayak Camp
Ages: 7-10
Time: Tuesday Wednesday 8:30-11:30 a.m.
Dates: Starts June 11
Cost: $95
Contact: 843.686.6996 or

Outside Hilton Head Eco-Venture
Ages: 11-14
Time: Tuesday Wednesday 9 a.m.-noon
Dates: Starts June 11
Cost: $95
Contact: 843.686.6996 or

The Sandbox Summer Morning Camps
Ages: 3-10
Time: 8:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
Dates: Weekdays June 10-August 9
June 3-7: “Silly Science-Doctor, Doctor”
June 10-14: “Adventure Series-Ahoy Matey”
June 17-21: “Pack Your Bags-Around the World”
June 24-28: “Silly Science-Crazy Kitchen”
July 1-5: “Adventure Series-Its Easy Being Green”
July 8-12: “Pack Your Bags-Art Gallery”
July 15-19: “Silly Science-Sense-sational Senses
July 22-26: “Adventure Series-Time Travel”
July 29-August 2: “Pack Your Bags-Adventures in Literature”
August 5-9: “Shake it Up-A Compilation of our Favorites”
Cost: $125 member; $160 nonmember
Contact: (843) 842-7645 or

South Carolina Yacht Club Learn to Sail Camp
Ages: 8-17
Time: 9 a.m.-noon
Dates: 2-week session June-August
Cost: $400 for members; $550 for nonmembers
Contact: Vicki Burris 843-681-4844 or vburrisscyachtclub

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