by Kirby Lindsay
It may feel too ridiculously early to consider which summer camps the kids would like, and where they fit in the schedule, but it’s not. “They should register in April,” Nita Smith, Executive Director for the Wallingford Boys & Girls Club (WB&G) recommended, “to be able to pick and choose.” If a child wants a specific program, the parents need to arrange around a tight schedule, or the family dynamic demands a dependable routine – now is the time.
With typical Fremont flair, several programs based here (Dance Fremont, Stone Soup Theatre, Dusty Strings and WB&G) offer an eclectic mix. Parents can expose their child to a variety of experiences – music, theater, dance, sports, science, etc. – or dedicate the summer to one interest in particular.
For Specific Interests
In July, Dusty Strings will hold their first Kids Jam Camp Music Exploration, for those aged 7 – 10. Three instructors – Rob Bulkley, Amy Carroll, and Tai Shan Kesecker – share the time teaching their music related specialties through movement, instruments, singing and writing songs. The $230 fee for the one week half-day camp also covers a t-shirt, snacks and a full-size guitar kit that campers will build and decorate.
Dance Fremont offers a broad spectrum of summer camps and classes, for a range of ages and interests, with most held at their studio on Stone Way. From a weekly creative dance class for the small set - ages 3 – 5 – to two one-week day camps for slightly older students – ages 6-8 – on basic ballet and modern dance technique using classic ballet stories.
Slightly older kids – aged 7 – 14 – can take a week of comprehensive dance – ballet, character dance, pointe (or pre-pointe), modern, jazz and composition – that welcomes beginners. They will also offer their widely popular Musical Theater camp again this year. Finally, for teens with significant dance experience, Dance Fremont has an exciting two-week summer intensive program arranged.
Every summer Stone Soup Theatre operates a full schedule of weekly summer camps – June through August – now available at their DownStage Theater on Stone Way, the Good Shepard Center in Wallingford, or Seward Park. They have a camp, and a theme, for every age group, including the addition this year of one for kids aged 3 -4 called ‘Super Hero Camp.’
Among works thespians aged 5 through 20 will study and perform are the stories of Treasure Island, Where The Wild Things Are, Through The Looking Glass (Alice), The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe and Dracula. Stone Soup also offers a two-week camp called “The Bard Is Back” which includes work with the play Romeo & Juliet in the context of a modern, and musical, story.
More General Interest
WB&G also provides some summer camps to satisfy specific interests. A partnership with Skyhawks offers a week of day camp spent on baseball, soccer, golf, flag football, tennis, basketball or a multi-sport program. The programs take place at the sports fields attached to B.F. Day Elementary School, Lower Woodland or the WB&G facility on 45th Street. The Boys & Girls Clubs Adventure Camps spend a week on a specific focus with topics like science, animals & insects, art, cooking, water activities, etc. They also offer three campouts – at Lake Chelan or Birch Bay – to give urban kids a chance to hike and swim in natural settings.
The best part of WB&G, for many working parents, can be the open program. From Noon – 6p.m., the Club offers a free Drop-In program for kids aged 5 – 18, with some supervision. The All-Day program costs $95/week and includes structured morning activities. Both provide a valuable fail-safe should the schedule of day camps not cover all the days of summer.
In addition, Seattle Parks & Recreation Community Centers do provide many free activities, classes and some camps in the summer. Fremont doesn’t have its own community center but programs can be accessed nearby in Ballard, Loyal Heights, Green Lake, Ravenna-Eckstein and Queen Anne.
For parents overwhelmed by registrations, schedules and choosing age appropriate activities, all the programs have contact information for helpful answers. As Smith pointed out, of the WB&G, “we’re here for parents, and anything we can do to accommodate, because we’re here for the kids!”
©2010 Kirby Lindsay. This column is protected by intellectual property laws, including U.S. copyright laws. Reproduction, adaptation or distribution without permission is prohibited.