Today was the first day that smelled like summer to me. It was awesome. I am ready! Ready for summer, and ready for school to be over. We have had a wonderful first year at A.P.’s school, and a not so wonderful year at Maybelle’s school. Earlier this week, I had her conferences. Her teacher (I am using that term loosely) said that she is “no trouble. She doesn’t cling to me, or start fights. I hardly know she’s there”. Those of you who have met Maybelle will know that the other kids must be pretty clingy/fight-clubby, because it’s tough not to know this girl is in the house.
Then her teacher asked me if I knew Maybelle was left-handed? No kidding? I never noticed. Huh! You’d think in three and a half years I’d pick up on that. Good thing you told me! Her 20 year old accounting- major babysitter gives us more insight than that.
Anyway. I’m sure you have already started planning the summer. If you need to fill in some dates with camps, I have a bunch for you. And I mean a bunch…
The first one is the Grandville Great Beginnings camp. It’s free, but Grandville residents have first dibs. Registration for G’ville homeys starts May 11, and for everyone else it is May 18th. The phone number is 254-6553. Here’s the scoop:
All families with children ages birth through five years old and their parents are invited to attend this fun four day family camp. This great way to introduce your child to the wonder of learning in a school environment with age appropriate activities and experiences. Sharing activities with your child will help them develop the pre-reading and pre-writing skills needed to succeed in school. Limit of 25 students for this camp. Central Elementary – 4052 Prairie S.W. June 15 – June 18 – Monday – Thursday, 10:00 am – 11:30 am
The Humane Society of Kent County has some programs too. Call for more information 791-8066 and ask for Jennifer.
- Camp Kids and Paws -June 22-26. Morning session is for ages 5-7 and afternoon session is for ages 8-10. $70 per child, additional siblings receive $10 off .
- Animal Care Experience Camp July 6-10 for ages 6-8 and August 3-7 for ages 9-11, AM and PM sessions; Cost per child: $70 per week for a half day or $120 per week for a full day. Additional siblings: $10 off.
Forest Hills Community Enrichment has a Summer Youth Academy with several different classes.
The next one is the John Ball Zoo camps, and they are filling up FAST. Here is a link; it shows what sessions are already full and what is still available.
Catholic Central has a Cheerleading Mini-Camp. Call 534-2108, ask for Sue June 9–11, 8:30 – 11:30am for preschool through 8th grade. Cost is $50.
The Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts has some programs for younger kids including:
- Smart and Sustainable July 20-24 Kids 5-8;
- 3D Thinkin’ with a Re-Purpose Kids 5-8
Byron Township Enrichment Programs for Youth offers several different classes.
Canterbury Creek Farm Summer Preschool Program is a 5 week summer program for 3-5 yr olds.
Frederick Meijer Gardens is offering 30 camps for children ages 4-14 this summer.
The programs for older kids have a fee, but The West Michigan Academy of Environmental Sciences has a fun, free program called “Nature’s Way Preschool” that is fantastic. Here is a link with the dates and more info.
Calvin College has several different camps.
Gymco Sports has a few different summer classes and camps.
The Grand Rapids Public Museum has “Camp Curiosity” going on this year.
Grand Rapids Art Museum is offering:
- Art-tastic Adventures July 13 – 17 (5 – 7 yrs)
- Art to the Future July 27 – 31 (5 – 7 yrs)
Cook Arts Center Summer Camps offers Mini Arts Camp June 22 – July 30 M-TH 1-3pm 6 -16 years. It’s free to kids in their target area (south of Wealthy, north of Burton, west of Century and east of Godfrey/Clyde Park).
Most residential camps are for older kids, but if you are looking for those programs here are some more sites to investigate:
American Camping Association (ACA) Michigan Section of Accredited Camps has a list of accredited camps on the website.
Search for camps in the West Michigan area on this website.
Here is Grand Rapids Family Magazine’s camp guide.