Happy Campers

Happy Campers

By Kathryn M. D’Imperio

When you think of summer camps, do you still envision the lakeside cabins separated into boys’ camp and girls’ camp locations? Summer camps aren’t just a thing of the past. While things may be a bit different than these camps of days gone by, today’s choices typically range from sports camps to arts and music camps and other kinds of educational camps, often with diverse options for children as well as young adults. Day camps are increasingly popular, yet some sleep-away camps still exist. You might just have to travel a little further north to the Poconos for a larger selection of resident style summer camps.

The Lehigh Valley offers a wealth of fun and instructive summer programs for enjoyment as well as personal edification. Parents can find camps to keep their children occupied or to further their knowledge and skills. Kids may enjoy the social aspect, as well as the fundamentals of learning new things or enhancing existing skills and talents.

Summer camps deliver a vast array of benefits to their participants, from honing of skills to an increase in self confidence. Camps may be specific to a single activity or theme like sports or art, or they may offer a little bit of everything. To follow, you will find some of the current summer camp and course offerings in the Lehigh Valley.

Arts, Music & Educational Camps

Civic Theatre of Allentown Civic Theatre School
Kids between the ages of four and 18 can enhance their performance skills and inner confidence with a summer acting session. These sessions may also help kids improve their creativity, critical thinking and personal expression of emotions. Sessions are available July 7-18 or July 21-August 1 and may include specific classes on audition prep, vocals, voice and speech, acting a song, building a character, improv, costume design, stage make-up, focused movement, props, building a puppet, Shakespeare and more.
527 N. 19th St., Allentown

DeSales University
Theatre, dance, and video summer workshops and programs at DeSales give students a chance to really focus on what they enjoy. DeSales also offers a number of athletic sessions as well as career exploration for forensic investigators and the DREAMS program for high school students who wish to enjoy educational enrichment in the sciences, math and English.
2755 Station Avenue, Center Valley

Lehigh Valley Zoo
Kids who love animals will surely enjoy the variety of summer programming available at the zoo this summer. They’ll discover nature, adventures with animals and so much more. Pre-Zoo Camp (ages 4-5), Safari Camp (ages 6-10) and Explorer Camp (ages 11-14) offer something for everyone during the summer months.
5150 Camp Preserve Road, Schnecksville

Moravian Academy
Moravian Academy’s summer 2014 programs will begin in mid-June. Information about the available programs and registration forms are available on the website.

Moravian College Jazz Camp
Musical growth is a primary goal at this summer camp for 8th through 12th graders and college students. Sessions take place in July 2014 and offer Beta Track (beginner/intermediate), Alpha Track (advanced) and college credit. Students will learn music theory, historical elements of jazz performance, and will fine tune their own jazz performance abilities, among other things. Summer Jazz Camp begins with a faculty concert that shifts into a jam session, with one week of scheduled classes and rehearsals from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
1200 Main St., Bethlehem

Nazareth YMCA: Y Dance Camps
Dance camps can be a great way for kids to get extra exercise in the summertime while meeting other kids and learning new moves. The Nazareth YMCA instructs on ballet, tap, jazz, and hip-hop style dancing to Radio Disney and Kid’s Bop music. Dance camp is open to ages 4 through 7 with sessions lasting from 9:30 a.m. through noon during the week of July 15-19 or August 12-16.
33 S. Main St., Nazareth

Penn State Lehigh Valley Youth Camps
Fun and education happen together in the Penn State Lehigh Valley programming, designed to challenge kids with crafts, projects and activities to enjoy in the fields of math, science, engineering, technology and writing. Some offerings include a literacy lab for grades K-1, swimming lessons and activities, Robotics, drama, sports writing, brain teasers and sessions for painting, sculpting, drawing and so much more.
2809 Saucon Valley Road, Center Valley

Active & Sports Camps

Action Karate Summer Sports Camp
Kids can learn discipline, self-control, respect and a unique activity that gives lifelong skills at a karate camp. The summer camp at Action Karate features two karate classes daily, field trips, arts and crafts and more. Camps run June through August and cost $159 per week.
606 Municipal Drive, Nazareth

Active Learning Centers Summer Camp
Full-day summer camp treats kids ages four through 13 to field trips, a swimming pool, martial arts classes and more. This summer camp places a strong focus on leadership qualities, specifically listening skills, problem solving, communication and courage.
Breinigsville, Emmaus and Fogelsville
alcchildcare.com (Click Summer Camp 2014 under News.)

HRC Sports LLC Summer Ice Hockey Camp
Ice hockey camp can be a lot of fun while also teaching valuable playing skills. The sessions take place June 22-27, 2014 and focus on Stickhandling, Hockey Skating, Checking, Shooting and Dryland Training.
Steel Ice Center, 320 E. First St., Bethlehem
skinnerhockey.com (Click Hockey School.)

Lehigh University
Lehigh offers summer day camps for just about every sport, including baseball, basketball, lacrosse, soccer, field hockey, softball, swimming, track and field, volleyball, wrestling and more. The university also offers a rowing camp with enrollment for residents or commuters. Camp sessions are staggered throughout the summer, with some sessions and workshops offered seasonally as well.
Lehigh Camps, 641 Taylor Street, Bethlehem
lehighsports.com (Click tab for Camps & Clinics.)

Philadelphia Eagles Youth Football Camp
This non-contact football camp provides instructions for children ages six to 14 years old. The course includes a Comprehensive Skills section, an Accelerated Skills section and Position-Specific, Private Instruction section. The Lehigh Valley Eagles football camp takes place at Bethlehem Catholic High School from July 21 through 25 from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. and costs $279.
2133 Madison Avenue, Bethlehem

These are just a few of the many diverse summer camp programs available for kids in and around the Lehigh Valley. Take some time looking at programs online with your child to determine the best summer camp experience that will match his or her own unique interests. Well-executed summer camps can help to inspire your children to try new things and to practice existing talents. This can be an exceptional step toward helping your kids achieve their greatest dreams in life.

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