16 posts categorized "Camps"

Spring break in the rain

March 26, 2014

Oh! The "opening weekend" of spring break for PPS was gorgeous. Epic. We have put tables and chairs outside and are eating meals there when the weather is good enough, and this weather took "good enough" to extreme. We were planning the summer in all its beauty, the kids were all asking, could we go to the pool? How about tomorrow? No one jumps to the logical extreme like a child with a taste of warm spring sun. Monday, I took a bunch of kids with me to the nursery, and we picked out plants with the glorious excitement that can only come in that sort of beautiful weather. I went for a run with my oldest through the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden and it just seemed like the most beautiful spring break ever devised.

And then came the rain. I went running yesterday at lunch and the wind had begun to lift all the blossoms off the cherry trees on the waterfront and they were blowing everywhere like, I said, snow or ash or confetti. When we went out with kids it was for errands and we got so wet.

Later I went to the thrift store on bikes with kids and we dodged the rain on the way home and we laughed and brought home our finds to show off with relish but I got back and saw the just-begun garden and was hit with the wow realization that the rest of the break would be like this: little if any opportunities for digging or planting or outside adventure or sipping coffee in the little "cafe."

If you have your children at home for the rest of the break, what are your plans to cope with the downpour that looks pretty constant from here on out? Or if you have them in camps, how are they liking the wet weather? How about this weekend: a rainy visit to the beach or just holing up at home?

Summer Camp: Have You Started Planning?

February 10, 2011

Last summer was my first time navigating the maze of summer camps. It was like working a puzzle trying to figure out what would work within the schedules of two full-time working parents and also that of close friends. My son had an enjoyable summer biking, doing art, playing basketball, with the grandparents, and being bored with a babysitter. Though I found coverage for my grade-school aged child, I longed for the days when childcare was year round. What I want more than anything for this summer is to drop my kids off at the time and same place every day knowing that they will have fun-filled day full of play and fun activities (art, music, biking, swimming, etc.). Piecemealing care together is not my cup of tea nor is keeping track of different camp hours and location. On top of this is cost. Camps cost on average $250-$300 a week, which can become unaffordable quickly especially with two grade school kids this year. Have you started planning for summer camp? What are your strategies? Do you choose by activity or convenience? Location? Cost? Or have you decided to avoid it and go for some type of childcare swap?


Let's talk camps: Saturday 3.13 @ Urban Grind NE

March 02, 2010

DSCN0086 This is our 2nd year facing a 12-week summer hiatus from school for our kids.  We muddled through last summer break with a carefully (painfully?) cobbled together combo of cousins, camps, vacation and crazy work schedules.  Now that it's March, it's high-time to firm up our summer 2010 plans, right? 

I've perused the Metro Parent camp issue (out this week!), reviewed last year's uM camp conversations (natch), emailed 1,000 times with friends for recommendations and to coordinate calendars (good luck!), and searched high and low for that perfect camp that wants all your kids, has the perfect hours, offers fascinating activites, doesn't cost and arm and a leg ($250/week x 12 can break the bank, especially with more than  child!), and is in the neighborhood. 

OK, so I'm actually just hoping to find a camp that meets one or two of those criteria!

If you, too, are on the hunt for summer camps, join other urbanMamas (and Papas) to swap experiences, discuss camps, learn about new ones, maybe even find a carpool buddy! 

Where: Urban Grind NE @ 2214 NE Oregon

When: Saturday, March 13th from 3-4:30 PM (or whenever the conversation dies down)

Coming? Great - let us know in the comments if you're planning to be there.  

Urban Grind typically has copies of Metro Parent by the front door, so if you haven't already you can grab the camp issue there (if there are any left!).

Camp Recap for Summer 2008

September 11, 2008

At the beginning of summer we created a camps forum similar to the urbanMamas schools forum so we can share feedback about our camp experiences, helping others make informed choices going forward with the valuable input of others who've already been there.  We hope you'll take a minute to report out before that part of our brains is completely lost to homework, soccer practice, and harvest festivals.   Did you l-o-v-e a particular camp this summer?  Have a not-so-great experience that you think others could  benefit from knowing about? 

We enjoyed our last year of summer-long child care, so come early spring '09 I know I'll be checking this forum to see what everyone says about the camps we're considering. Because in my mind there's really nothing quite as useful as the opinions of other parents.

Summer Camps Postings

June 09, 2008

Seems like every year we panic about summer camps.  Even though there are a plethora of stellar camps in the Portland metro area - for which we are all thankful - there are loads of questions to answer.  Which ones?  How much?  How will we get there?  How do I know it's a good one?  Has anyone NOT liked it...and why?  Is anyone I know going, too?  Can we carpool? 

So, starting this summer, we'll have a place for camps to share their programs with us, and for us to share our opinions with each other.  Go ahead, you check out the camps forum.  The inside scoop from other parents - ever valuable.  Have a question about a specific camp?  Post it.  Know of a great one?  Post it.  Got valuable info to share?  We hope you'll share it in the comments section.  Posting to the Camps forum works more or less like our other forums, but we ask that you provide some specific info about each camp when you're adding a new one.

We've benefited from everyone's input on the uM Schools forum, and we think this new Camps forum will be helpful, too, as we all seek to find excellent, affordable, nearby camps that are good fits for our kids and our schedules. 

Spring Break, 2008

March 17, 2008

How many of you have children out of school next week?  What do you have planned?  A mini-vaca for the whole family?  Business as usual for you and special spring break camps for the kids?  In years past, some community centers have done free swim sessions during spring break.  Are they doing that again this year?

In case you are still looking for spring break camps:

  • Oregon College of Art & Craft  is offering " Week-long day camp sessions offer morning and afternoon workshops in a variety of art forms and mediums. Throughout the day, games, singing, treasure hunts and other camp adventures are combined to produce a well-rounded camp experience. Day camps are offered 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday for one week during spring break..."  Thanks for forwarding an email -- there are still spots and full scholarships available!
  • The 100th Monkey Studio March 25th-28th (Spring break), Honoring the Earth in Art, Activities planned from 9am-3pm each day, Ages 6-13 years
  • The City of Portland has issued a full calendar of events for youth throughout spring break: http://www.portlandonline.com/mayor/index.cfm?c=38500&a=188572
  • Several Portland Parks & Rec community centers offer full day camps.  Check out Sellwood community center, Peninsula community center, Dishman community center, Fulton community center, Hillside community center, and probably the community center near you!

Summer Camp Anxiety, 2008

February 15, 2008

We recently received an annoucnement about or two about summer camp schedules being released soon.  In the past, we have done round-ups of summer camps around town.  (See the CAMP index)  It's a bit too early to do a complete round-up of summer camps 2008, but it's never too early to start talking about your favorite camps.  Our daughter is her 3rd year of being of summer camp age, and there are a few camps she is most definitely looking forward to.  Her summer won't be complete without it.

Staci recently emailed:

The time is drawing near to start figuring out where to send my son during the day in the summer. He is 10 this year, and YMCA is no longer offered as a summer program at his school, so I thought this would be a good year to start him in camps that follow specific interests. He has talked about going to animation camps and outdoor camps, and I would love love love to put him in a drama or acting camp - he has such natural talent.

I don't know where to look for all these camps! OMSI isn't posting anything specific yet, so I am asking for some urbanMama help!

What is your tactic for tackling the 10 weeks of summer this year?  Any MUST-DO summer camps for your child?  Are there alternatives to camps for school-aged kids?  What about a real full-time summer camp offering?  What are working parents to do when some summer camps only run from 9am to 3pm or from Monday to Thursday?  What do you do if your children go to a public school and you pay zero tuition all year, but are then expected to pay $X amount per week over the summer?  What programs are more affordable?

Continue reading "Summer Camp Anxiety, 2008" »

Summer Camps 2007: Theater Arts

April 05, 2007

Now that Spring Break is over, it's that time of the year again, time to start thinking about what fun the kids will have in store for the summer. Be sure to check out previous camp suggestions. To add to those, here are a few theater/performance summer camps geared toward the older children, ages 7 and up.

ARTS IN ACTION SUMMER CAMP: Arts in Action and New Moon Productions proudly present a truly unique artistic experience for young people. This summer camp enables youth ages 8-16 to create their own musical theatre piece based on the Unitarian Principal, “Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part”. The students will be guided by nurturing professional teachers to write, edit, create music, rehearse, and perform their original theatre piece. Through this process, the young artists will gain self-confidence, artistic growth, awareness of the strength of community, and most of all – a safe forum where they can express their views and feelings. Tuition for this summer camp is $399. The camp will take place July 16–28, Monday through Saturdays, 9:00am-3:00pm. Performances will take place the afternoon or evenings of July 28 & 29. To receive a registration brochure or for more information, please call 503-402-1994.

MUSICAL THEATRE PERFORMANCE WORKSHOP: “THE WIZARD OF OZ” (a musical – with music from the classic motion picture). Feel the thrill of performing of “Wizard of Oz” at the Washington Park Amphitheatre with full costumes, props, and a beautiful set! That is what is in store for our students at the end of this exciting summer camp brought to you by SUN Community Schools, New Moon Productions, and Portland Parks & Recreation. This extensive musical theatre camp features instruction by theatre professionals in many areas including: acting, improvisation, dance & movement, singing, voice production, and other performing skills. The camp is open for students ages 8 - 17. Every day students will work with the instructors on improving their artistic skills as well as rehearsing the show. This program also boasts a unique mentorship program in which all the instructors and interns involved in the camp put on an adult cast version of the same show. The camp runs June 18–July 13, 2007, Monday through Fridays, 9:00am-3:00pm, and it takes place at Grout Elementary School (SE Holgate & 32nd). Performances take place at the Washington Park Amphitheatre (next to the Rose Garden) on the weekends of July 14, 15 and 21,22. The tuition for this camp is $650 (reduced last year’s price!). Some partial scholarships are available. To register or for more information, please call 503-916-6421. Some questions can be answered by replying to nmtheatre@comcast.net.

MADE for Kids, Summer Theater Camp at Concordia University: "Improve your skills at acting, singing & dancing as we create a fully-staged productions". They have a one-week camp for kids entering grades 2-5 and two-week camp for kids entering grades 4-7.

MetroArts Returns for It’s 15th Encore! Now in it’s 15th year, MetroArts Kids Camp gives 7-12 year olds a chance to experience all the arts – music, dance, theater, and visual arts – for one or two weeks at the Portland Center for Performing Arts. Kids crank up their creativity through hands-on activities involving each art form and also enjoy live performances, video demonstrations, and classes taught by professional musicians, dancers, actors, and visual artists. The camp is directed by grammy-nominated Artistic Director Niel DePonte, Oregon Symphony principal percussionist, Oregon Ballet Theater Conductor, and arts educator. GOT KIDS? NEED CAMP?
July 16-20 & 23-27, 2007 / 9am-4pm, Monday through Friday / $160 per week

All New GreenHouse Summer Camp for Kids and Teens: "Join us this summer in our new Pearl District location as we launch GreenHouse Kids & Teens — age-appropriate explorations of theater and performance. Are you looking for a fun and productive way to stimulate your family’s imagination? Would you like to introduce your talented children to a creative new peer group? Perhaps you’re living with a rising star who could use an entrée into the professional performing arts community through the city’s flagship theater. Whatever your aspirations, GreenHouse has something for you within each of three age groups."


March 22, 2007

Next week is Spring Break for Portland and Beaverton Public Schools. That's a change in the schedule for all of us. For some of us who may work fulltime, spring break means a hunt for day camps. For some of us, spring break means a search for new and fun activities for ourselves and our kids. There are things going on out there, like Free Swim Lessons at some pools and surely a whole host of other funness to be had. There are camps at the ol' standbys: the Zoo Camp or Children's Museum Camp. What else is there? Art camp at 100th Monkey Studio? Kung Fu Camp? Maybe leisurely mornings and long bike rides? Walks to our favorite parks to catch up with neighbors and friends?

What's Spring Break '07 like for our family? Monday through Wednesday, our girls will hang with one of their bestest gal pals (a sitter share!). We have family coming in late Wednesday, who'll spend some QT with the girls on Thursday. On Friday, we'll zip away for a long weekend getway at Sunriver, and that'll be that!

How 'bout you all? Care to share some plans for your upcoming week?

All-Day Spring Break Ideas?

March 20, 2007

Can you help a mama out? Do you know of all-day Spring Break ideas for Jennifer?

I have a seven year old son and work from 8am until 5:30pm. It seems that all the spring break programs I've found start at 8:30 and end at 4:30. This is really disappointing for me (and my son!) because I don't want to drop my son off at a daycare. I really want him to be engaged in one of those programs.

What are the options? What can I do? Do you know of programs out there that are all day?

Free Swim during Spring Break

February 28, 2007

Spring Break is coming up March 26 through 30th, and some of Portland's Pools are offering free swim lessons. We go to Dishman Pool and I picked up a flyer. Lessons will be held Monday through Thursday of that week at Dishman:

9:00 to 9:30 AM -- Goldfish, Penguin (Y), Otter (P), Seal (Y), Polar Bear (Y), Sea Lion (Y) 9:40 to 10:10 AM -- Aquaducks, Penguin (P), Seal (P), Dolphin, Adult Beginner 10:20 to 10:50 AM -- Goldfish, Penguin (P), Otter (Y), Seal (Y), Park Shark.

(Y is for "youth" ages 6 and up; P is for Preschooler ages 3-6)

Registration begins March 1, 2007; call 503 823 3673.

Does your pool offer free lessons during Spring Break? I do recall Dishman offering free lessons also during winter break.

Holiday Camps?

November 27, 2006

Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone (although the leftovers still abound), we're looking ahead to holiday fun, like holiday crafty stuffs.  But, for many of us, we will also be faced with needing to find some all-day holiday cheer for our kids whose schools or daycares will be closed.  There are holiday camps, similar to summer camps, offered at larger institutions or community centers:

Children's Museum Camp runs from December 18 through 22, the full week before Christmas.  Full-time care can run from 8:30 AM to 2:30 PM, then there is additional aftercare offered until 5:30 PM.

Oregon Zoo offers 1/2-day camps for children ages 4 through Kindergarteners for $12-14 per day.  Full-day sessions for children in grades 1 through 4 are $27-35 per day.  Good animal winter fun!

Portland Parks & Rec offers Wild Winter Wonderland at the following community centers: Mt. Scott, Fulton Park, Matt Dishman, and East Portland.  Another offering (which seems to be the same offering) is Winter Madness at Sellwood, Hillside, University Park, Southwest Community Center, Montavilla, St. Johns, and Peninsula.  Some centers offer the whole week, others centers register day-by-day.

Do you have any other suggestions for finding holiday childcare or camp fun?  Aisha writes:

Can anyone recommend a good day care for the Xmas break in the North/Northeast Portland area--my hubby's 7 year old is going to be with us on Christmas break at a last minute's notice and we both have to work.  I have tons of recommendations in SE but nothing around our neck of the woods, any suggestions would be helpful and appreciated.  Something like a winter break camp would be perfect--sports or art related in particular.  Thanks for the help and have a great holiday!

Summer is right around the corner, Part 4

March 30, 2006

Ok, so I'm not so good at consolidating all of these summer camps. Thanks, Kat, for the reminder about Rowanberry School's summer program:

Rowanberry School Summer Art Camp offers two sessions, each 3 weeks long, T-W-Th, from 9AM to 1PM. The first session runs July 11 to 27; the second session runs August 1 to 17th. Cost per session is $325. The first session focuses on painting techniques with watercolor, acryllics, and tempera. The second session focuses on clay sculpting. Teacher/owner Angela says the camps will have "a focused art component each day, but it is really 'low key', plenty of time to play in the treehouse or garden, run through the sprinklers, make lemonade, you know, all the essentials of summer!"

Summer is right around the corner, Part 3

Thank you, Blair, for your comprehensive list of suggestions on summer camps!  Without further ado, here are some additional suggestions for summer program offerings:

Camp Vida (*pdf)at Providence Montessori, 4911 NE Couch St, 503-215-2409.  The *pdf links to the 2005 program; they're still working on the 2006 program.  I called and the program should be about the same.  It looks like it starts 6/19, runs 5 2-week sessions each with different themes.  Cost is about $95 per wk for half day / $195 per week for full day, and there are before- and after-care options for more money.

Franciscan Montessori Earth School, 14750 SE Clinton, 503-760-8220.  I spoke to someone yesterday and they're mailing a brochure for the summer program. Schoolita Alegria, 1814 NE 33rd, 503-288-5574.  They offer Bilingual School Summer Camp Fun, 6/26-8/10, Ages 3-8, includes Spanish, Art, Movement, Small Class Size.

Harmony Montessori, 1740 SE 139th, 503-255-5337.  The 2005 Summer Camp info can be found here.  I spoke to the director yesterday, she's super nice, and she's working on the brochure right now.  She said it will run from the last week of June through August, a 7-week program.  There are 3, 4, and 5 day options and it runs from 9am -3pm.  Ages 3-6.

Sunnyside Montessori House of Children, SE 122nd in Happy Valley, 503-698-4203.  Summer Daycare open from 6:30 am to 6 pm, M-F from the beginning of July to the end of August.  Full day, includes lunch & 2 snacks, $450/month. Half day, includes lunch & 1 snack, $350/month. Daily rate, includes lunch & 2 snacks, $27/day. Hourly rate, $4/hour.  I got this info in December so it may need to be updated.  The school serves kids 3-6, potty trained, so I assume the summer camp does too.

International School, Language Immersion Summer Camp, ages 3 - 5th grade, Downtown, 503-226-2496.  There are four sessions, each 2 weeks, from June 19 to August 11. Themes are: Solar System, Forest Life, Planet Earth, and Exploring the Ocean. For older kids there are OMSI workshops with additional themes, trips to the zoo and to Waterfront Park, swimming at RiverPlace Athletic Club.  Half day sessions (2 weeks) are $300, full day $400 and daycare is available until 6pm.  Snacks are provided, but you must provide lunch.

Willowbrook Outdoor Summer Arts Program, 503-691-6132.  The program looks like a big, true summer camp, at a park in Tualatin, but it also accepts children as young as 3 year olds.  Looks interesting.  The sessions run from June 26 to August 4, M-F, 9am-3:15pm. Drama & Theater, Music, Dance, Arts, Crafts, Nature, Writing, World Arts, Ceramics, Basketry, Weaving, Photography.  Attend weekly or daily, full or half day, aftercare is available.

Summer is right around the corner, Part 2

(A follow-up to the previous post on campsSummer is right around the corner)...  I came across two other fullish-day summer programs that sounded neat.  And, please email other suggestions!

Summer Academy at the Emerson School: There are weekly sessions (running M-F, 9AM-3PM, $200 per session) in multi-age groups.  The programs, conducted by licensed school teachers, sound awesome: "Math in the City" for K-5th graders; "Metro Mapping" for K-5th graders; "Portland Poetry Workshop" for K-5th graders; "Summer City Treasure Hunt" for 2nd-5th graders; "Creative Writing Workshop" for K-5th graders.  Sounds awesome!

Growing Seeds North, Summer School-Age Program:  The program will serve children aged 6 to 10 years old, and there will be one classroom of 15 children each session.  Program runs from 7AM to 6PM, and there will be a two-week long session focus areas.  The five sessions for the summer are: Claude Monet, M.C. Escher, Pointillism, Pablo Picasso, Photography & Sculpture.  Cost is $150 per week and you can choose weeks from June 19 to Sept 1.  More info at 503.288.1171.

Summer is right around the corner, Part 1

March 09, 2006

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.