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Summer is right around the corner, Part 1

So, I know we just had snow today, but I'm still thinking about the summer, which is just three months away! Our biggest girl is 5-1/2 this summer, and I am hoping that she'll have more summer options than before. Here's our list with some highlights (she's not going to all, but these are just a 'few' of the things we're thinking about):

Ethos Music Camp: For five (non-consecutive) weeks through the summer, from late June to the end of August, Ethos offers a variety of music camps focusing on guitar, percussion, piano, strings, and even hip-hop and rock band ensembles. Cost is $195 per week, from 9-5 daily, grades K-12. Ethos is a well-respected music school with several community programs for school-aged children. Each child can enroll for a maximum of 2 sessions per summer.

Grace Art Institute Camps: Last year, it was India. This year, it's Greece. This summer Grace Art Institute summer camp will explore the fascinating and historical Greek culture. Cultural folktales are the heart of each week's curriculum and campers choose to immerse themselves in a variety of performing and visual arts, including dance & music, drama, glass art, ceramics & sculpture, fibre arts, visual arts, book arts. Cost is $205 per session, from 9-3 daily with a Friday art celebration, ages 4-12. (Before & After care can be arranged.)

smARTworks / PNCA: for 1st graders to middle school, this year's focus is storytelling. Cost is $235 per week and camp runs 8-5pm.

Children's Museum summer camps: These are among the pricier ones, but I thought I'd still put it out there. Camp runs 8:30 to 2:30 ($200) with aftercare available ($90). Still, there is art, drama, activities, games, crafts.

Audobon Society: "Audubon Summer Camps inspire children to love and protect nature, in the very best way, by exploring, learning, and having fun." Camps run for ten weeks throughout the summer. Half-day (9-1) sessions for first graders, and full-day sessions for 2nd graders and older. I can't find the cost in an obvious place online, so let me know if you find it!

Oregon Zoo Summer Camps: Use interactive activities, crafts, zoo exploration to learn more about the animals. All camps include guided zoo tours, animal visits in the classrooms, Discover Birds show, visits to the family farm and pygmy goat kraal, lorikeet feeding, songs, games, stories, a train ride (except Penguin Camp), snacks and a ZooCamp t-shirt. 3rd – 8th grade camps include a visit to the Washington Park play structure and Elephant Barn picnic shelter. Half-day camps for kindergarteners ($85 for members/$100 for non-member); full-day camps for 1st graders and up ($190 for members/$220 for non-members). Before and after care available.

YMCA - Camp Collins: Day camp for children in grades 1-6. "Campers will participate in archery, arts and crafts, hiking, nature activities, climbing tower, field games, and believe it or not, much more!" Camp runs for 9 sessions; fees are a sliding scale ranging from $165 to $215 per week. Daily bus service to camps run from Alameda school (NE), Gresham and the North Clackamas Aquatic Center.

Camp Ky-O-Wa: "Explore a trail in the woods, enjoy the cool waters of a lake, try your luck at fishing, bounce on a trampoline, sing camp songs, and discover other fun summer activities. Camp Ky-O-Wa is an integrated day camp for children ages 5-11, with and without disabilities." Sponsored by Portland Parks & Recreation.

Summer Nature Camp: Also by Portland Parks & Recreation, for children ages 5-12, week-long sessions "provide youngsters with a firsthand experience with nature through hiking, storytelling, scientific observations, and forest crafts."

OMSI Summer Science Camps: Junior Naturalist camp, Naturalist camp, Adventure camps. These camps are serious all-week camps at various locations throughout the state. Without a doubt, our kids could get an invaluable experience (camps run $385 for the week). But, our biggest girl is still eons away from spending the whole day and night away from us! Programs run for youth ages 7-18. Camps run from 1 to 3 weeks long! We are SO not there yet. Someday!

Mad Science: For some reason, I had it in my head that Mad Science camp would be so fun for our biggest girl once she became of age. Now, I see that they've only got one location in the inner eastside, and it's isn't even a full-day (it's only 9-3pm). So, it won't work for us, but maybe the locations and times will work for you! It's about $129 per week for ages 4 and up.

And, actually, this listing of summer camps is pretty good.

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Great list, Olivia! One note to all about Grace Art Camp. It's a fabulous program. It's also incredibly popular and fills up quickly. And you have to register by March 17th! It's definitely worth checking out if you haven't heard of it but better check quickly! You can download a registration form online at http://www.grace-institute.org/grace_artCamps.htm

One other camp I'd add to Olivia's list is Willowbrook Arts Camp in Tualatin. It's a wonderful outdoor arts camp -- ceramics, music, dance, drama, nature, puppetry, fabric art... all under tents in a large park and kids as young as 4 can attend. It's also one of the most reasonably priced camps around...

thanks Olivia! we were just talking last night about getting Everett involved in a drama camp - he's such a silly head. I think I'm going to do a little research on active camps for 3- and 4-year-olds :)

I also wanted to add that there are language camps run by International School and even my daughter's little Kohitsuji preschool (if you'd like info, contact me). Japanese was our main concern, but the International school also does Chinese, Spanish, and Italian.

Then, in NW, there's Forte Music School with programs from 5-8 years both half and full day.

GREAT list - thanks so much. You've saved me hours of researching. My oldest daughter (7 yrs at the time) REALLY enjoyed PNCAs smartworks camp (she did OCAC craft camp too.) Both she & her sister (5 yrs then) had a fabulous time at Portland Parks & Rec Nature camp. THAT is actually the camp they are both looking forward to. And this year, little brother gets to go too - YAY!

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