What's New in Summer Camps

By Frederick Jerant

Summertime means freedom from pencils, books (and teachers’ dirty looks), but it can also be rife with boredom—swimming pools and playgrounds don’t have quite the same allure after a while. But don’t despair, parents. Many local day camps provide weeks of stimulating close-to-home activities. Here’s a quick look at some of them.


Aspiring jazz stars can hone their chops during Moravian College Music Institute’s Summer Jazz Camp (July 11-15).

The two-track camp is open to players and singers from eighth grade through college ages. “The beta track is open to anyone who can play or sing. And the alpha track is for more accomplished musicians, who must first pass an audition,” says Dr. Neil Wetzel, camp director.

All campers study music theory and improvisation; jazz ensemble playing; jazz history and related topics. Campers in both tracks get hands-on recording studio experience by creating a commemorative CD.

The jazz camp is conducted by Moravian faculty, with additional presentations and performances by noted jazz musicians such as Craig Kastelnik, Dave Leonhardt, Tony Miceli, Eddie Severn and others.

Rates are $385 (beta track) and $450 (alpha). Get more information about schedules, faculty and registration at summerjazz.moravian.edu (click the “summer youth jazz camp” link).


The Future Stars Camp at Cedar Crest College offers a well-rounded camp experience with a focus on instructional swimming.

Daily 45-minute sessions are devoted to teaching proper breathing and stroking techniques and water safety. “We’ve helped even very young children to overcome a fear of water and learn to swim,” says executive director Mike Rush.

“We don’t encourage competition,” Rush adds, despite the camp’s name. “We do encourage a learning environment, where kids can build a trusting relationship and great summer memories.”

During the camp’s other seven daily segments, children from ages 4-13 participate in science and computer activities, arts and crafts, performing arts and other sports and games.

Camping season runs from June 20 to August 19, with flexible scheduling. “You can sign up for several weeks or just a few days,” Rush says. There’s no registration fee, and Future Stars even provides lunch.

Full-week rates vary from $235 to $275 per week, and campers are divided into age groups. For more information, visit futurestarscamps.com/locations/cedarcrest.html


What’s the most aggravating sound a parent can hear in the summer? It’s “I’m booooorrrrrrrrrredddd! There’s nothing to DOOOOOooooooooo…”

One simple way to nip that bud is to check out the offerings at Lehigh Carbon Community College’s “Camp Central” program.

No matter what your child’s interest may be, there’s likely a suitable camp at LCCC. For example: 3D game programming. Using Alice, a Java-based language, students create interactive games while learning fundamental programming concepts.

Abra-KID-dabra. Learn the secrets of mind-boggling magic tricks…and how to perform them! Kids will also create sock puppets and bring them to life (did Jim Henson really start this way?).

Entrepreneur Camp. Learn the basics of business planning and fundamentals of business development, then create a product and business plan.

Sign Language for Best Friends. Stresses finger spelling and the alphabet, as well as common conversational expressions and special terms related to sports, computers and entertainment.

“Camp Central” offers dozens more programs; schedules, age ranges and fees vary. Download a brochure and register online at lccc.edu/continuing-ed-noncredit.


Dutch Springs, Bethlehem, emphasizes outdoor activities with no computers and no cell phones during camp hours!

Children are grouped according to age, with no more than 10 per counselor. Theme weeks during the camp’s June 13-August 19 season include “the great outdoors,” pirates, time travel and others.

Your son or daughter is all but guaranteed a great workout, via

• Field games

• Rock climbing

• Rappelling (a technique that allows you to do a controlled descent down a rope from a cliff)

• Belaying

• Snorkeling

• Paddle boating

• Water craft

and lots more. Of course, there’s also time for arts and crafts, snack-making-and team building exercises.

Dutch Springs also offers two specialized programs: Counselors-in-Training is for 8th/9th graders, and covers leadership skills, teaching methods, interaction techniques and more. A limited-enrollment SCUBA school provides all materials and required equipment, and results in open-water SCUBA certification.

Get more information, register online or contact the camp’s director by visiting dutchsprings.com/camp.html


The Quarter K Ranch operates a non-denominational, Bible-believing camp ministry at a family-run horse farm in Bath.

According to Korie Kalavoda, camp director, Quarter K provides a Christian horsemanship experience that encourages each camper to be more like Jesus Christ.

Campers are divided into two groups: Little Britches (coed, 5-8 years of age) and Wranglers (boys, 9-10 and girls, 9-14). With a 2:1 camper/staff ratio, kids get plenty of personalized attention.

Typical days include horse care demos, instruction in grooming/tacking, riding lessons, swimming and trail rides, as well as live-horse Bible lessons, a camp meeting and other Christian instruction.

Quarter K Ranch’s camps take place during the weeks of June 20, June 27, and July 11. The rate for “Little Britches” is $195 per week; for “Wranglers,” $215 per week (includes $75 deposit).

Go to www.quarterkranch.com and click on the “summer day camp” link for more information. Call 610-730-4973 to request a brochure or registration form.


The summer camp concept at Moravian Academy is a bit different from most. Its programs are aimed at both children and adults!

Its six-week Green Pond day camp (for children from pre-K to eighth grade) runs from June 20 to July 29. You can sign up for as many or as few of the independent sessions as you wish.

The Academy’s other programs for children up to high school age include theater, printmaking, tennis, space exploration, “Grossology” (“the science of really disgusting stuff”), a six-week Spanish-immersion program, SAT test preparation and many more.

Adult-oriented programs include technology, woodworking and education workshops. “The education programs are open to parents and teachers,” says Ann Mindler, assistant head of school at the Academy.

“Our camp and programs are open to the public,” she adds. “Some of them have limited space, so it’s better to register early.” You can do that (and find lots more information) at moravianacademy.org. Click “our story” and then “summer at the Academy.”


In these days of 140-character tweets, is writing a fading art? Not at some of Penn State’s summer youth camps.

“We will offer two, two-week sessions this year,” says Tony Amato, youth camp coordinator, “covering a variety of writing types.”

There’s a new literacy lab for pre-K, kindergarten and first-grade students, designed to build bridges to reading and writing. Comedy and drama writing, and “storytelling through dance” tracks are also new offerings.

Returning are Author Adventures, where campers learn about favorite authors and create their own books; and Creative Composers, where ideas and ingenuity are virtually endless.

Several “stem camps” will cover science, engineering and technology (such as ecology, and building LEGO® robots for a capture-the-flag contest), and the fusion of art and writing as students create an original comic book.

And the “Penn State Summer Film Experience” teaches the basics of filmmaking. Participants will make their own movie trailer.

Camp season runs from July 18-29, and from August 2-12. There are two half-day sessions (9 AM to 12 PM, and 1 PM to 4 PM) every day. For rates and other information:www2.lv.psu.edu/ce/lvwp/camps/camps.html


Is your child a good ice skater who wants to get better? Or one who wants to learn to skate? Then check out the Steel Ice Center in Bethlehem.

Full-day and half-day sessions are available for kids from ages 4 to 16 during the six-week camp season. Each day includes four or two hours of ice time with qualified instructors, and children are grouped according to age and ability. “We cover everything from basic beginner’s skating—including how to fall—to learning double jumps,” says assistant general manager and skating director Angela M. Roesch-Davis.

The program includes off-ice conditioning, games, dances, arts and crafts and other activities.

Scheduling is  flexible, Roesch-Davis says. “You can sign up for a single day or a full week. We’ve had skaters who came only on every Monday or Wednesday throughout the season. The season typically runs from late June to mid-August.

Rates in 2010 were $265 per week for full days and $150 for half-days; single-day rates were $60 and $35, respectively. Rates should be comparable this year, and are discounted for early registrants.

For current information, contact Roesch-Davis at 610-625-4774, ext. 226 or visit steelicecenter.com/events-and-camps.

Jazz Camp
Neil Wetzel
office 610-861-1621

Camp Central
All info from web
Directed there by Barbara Platt

Steel Ice Center
Angela M. Roesch- Davis
610-625-4774 ext. 226
Clyde Smoll
General Manager
610-625-4774 ext. 222

Future Stars
Mike Rush

(based in Warminster, but uses Cedar Crest facilities)

Dutch Springs
all from web

Quarter K Ranch
Korie Kalavoda

Penn State
Tony Amato

Moravian Academy
Ann Mindler

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