Your kids may feel like summer is never going to come, but you know it's time to start planning. Summer camps are a great way for children to learn while having fun. Many fill fast, so now is the time to start registering.
Here are my five picks for local summer camps:
1. Marshy Point Nature Center: The center offers camps for children ranging from toddlers to sixth-graders. Polly Wog Camp for ages 4-5 is offered June 20 to June 24 and July 18 to July 22 from 9 a.m. to noon Monday to Friday. Campers participate in nature walks, storytimes and crafts. Bay Explorers is offered July 11-15 for first- and second-graders, and July 25-29 for third- and fourth-graders, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday to Friday. Campers go on hikes, go “marsh-mucking” and make crafts. Chesapeake Camps are offered June 27 to July 1, July 18 to July 22, Aug. 1 to Aug. 5 and August 8-12 for fifth- and sixth-graders from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday to Friday. Campers will go on hikes, take canoe rides and go snorkeling. Evening Cool Camps are also offered, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Call 410-887-2817 for details.
2. A Step Ahead Dance Center: This dance camp offers junior and senior levels. Classes may include ballet, tap , jazz, contemporary, hip hop, musicality and choreography, with a showcase performance at the end of each week. The camp will be held June 20-24 and Aug. 8-12, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday to Friday. A half-day camp is also offered July 11-15 for children ages 7-9.
3. Y Maryland: Summer camp at the Y has been a Baltimore-area tradition for decades. Unfortunately, the Perry Hall Y doesn't offer a summer camp, but the nearby Towson Family Center Y does. There's something for children from pre-K through grade 12. Each week has a different theme—from "Wild, Wild West" to "Survivor's Week" to "Camper's Got Talent." The Towson Y also offers specialty camps like "Secret Agent Lab" and clinics for science, technology, engineering and math. Camps run 10 weeks, from June 20 to Aug. 26, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Call 410-823-8870 for details.
4. KS White Tiger: This martial arts camp offers taekwondo, self defense and a nun-chuck class. Trophies and certificate awards are given for excellence. The camp also features movies, arts and crafts, reading and meditation. Field trips may include the Maryland Science Center, a soccer clinic, a water park, an amusement park or a movie theater. The camp will be held daily June 13-Aug. 26 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call 410-248-9232 for details.
5. ARTI-ST Music: Is your child interested in playing a musical instrument? ARTI-ST Music offers summer camp for children ages 6-12. Classes include piano, guitar, violin and "Great Composers," a music-appreciation class that includes some songwriting. As of this posting, the dates and times of this camp have not been made final. Call 410-256-7320 for more information.