The weather is warming, the snow is melting…only three months more of school for many Northeast Ohio kids. While summer might seem far away, it is time for summer camp planning as most registrations begin in January and February – some begin as early as November the year prior. Signing up early for summer camp is generally recommended to guarantee your child gets a spot at your first camp choice.
There are a few important questions to ask yourself before beginning your extensive summer camp research…
- Is your child ready for camp? Many day camps are open to children as young as three. Some overnight camps are open to children ages six through 18 with the average age of overnight campers being 10 to 13.
- Which types are best for your child’s physical, emotional and educational needs?
- What’s your budget? Camp tuition varies widely…from $100 per week to over $1,000 per week. The average cost is $600-700 per week.
Before we dive into Northeast Ohio summer camp research resources, let’s talk about why summer camp might be a great option for your child. Camp is the perfect opportunity for your offspring to put down the smart phone and pick up some interpersonal skills! According to research by the Kaiser Foundation, kids between ages eight to 18 spend an average of 6.5 hours per day engaged with some type of media. At camp, kids interact person-to-person. Interpersonal skills will take your child far in life, and camp is an excellent way to foster leadership, teamwork and empathy in a way that just can’t be taught in a classroom. Camps encourage kids to broaden their horizons and try lots of unique activities in a safe, fun environment. Your child might find an exciting new hobby or talent that they would like to further explore. And, camp is one more way to connect to Northeast Ohio and build incredible memories!
Camp options in our region are both numerous and wide-ranging. The offerings include special interest camps for sports, education and arts as well as more traditional camp experiences. Here are a few helpful links regarding Cleveland and Akron area summer camps – great places to start your research!
- Northeast Ohio Parent, “Summer Camp Guide”
- Northeast Ohio Family Fun, “Summer Camps in Cleveland, OH”
- Northeast Ohio Family Fun, “Summer Camps in Akron, OH”
- Northeast Ohio Family Fun, “Overnight Summer Camps”
The guides listed above predominantly feature a variety of options organized and operated by private schools, cultural institutions, educational institutions, clubs and churches. In addition to the summer camps presented in the camp guides, there are several other options available and worth considering…
If you are looking for a neighborhood summer camp, you can start by checking with your community’s recreation center, YMCA or JCC to see if they offer summer programs. The following communities are just a few examples offering summer camps. Many of these camps are open to non-residents as well.
Cuyahoga County: Beachwood, Brecksville-Broadview Heights, Chagrin Falls, Cleveland Heights, Orange, Rocky River, Shaker Heights, Solon (2019 not out yet), Westlake
Geauga County: Chardon (2019 not out yet), Kenston (2019 not out yet), West Geauga
Lake County: Mentor, Willoughby (2019 not out yet)
Medina County: Medina (2019 not out yet)
Portage County: Aurora (2019 not out yet), Kent
Summit County: Akron, Hudson (2019 not out yet), Twinsburg
Country Club Camps
Many local country clubs offer wonderful swim, tennis and more camps to both members and non-members. All your child typically needs to attend one of these camps is a club member to sponsor them, which basically is just a letter stating that the member would like your child to be able to attend.
Educational and Cultural Institution Camps
Northeast Ohio is known for its amazing museums, parks and colleges. Many of these institutions offer summer camp options. Here are just a few examples…
- Baldwin Wallace University
- Cleveland Institute of Music
- Cleveland Metroparks
- Cleveland Museum of Art
- Cleveland Museum of Natural History
- Cleveland Play House
- Cleveland State University
- Cuyahoga Community College
- Great Lakes Science Center
- Lake Erie Nature & Science Center
- Playhouse Square
Special Needs Camps
Northeast Ohio is home to several exceptional camps for children with various special needs. Your child’s teachers are a great resource regarding summer camp options that would best fit your child’s needs. Also, here are a few helpful resources detailing several excellent summer camp options for those with special needs.
With all of this information, you are headed in the right direction for finding the perfect summer camp; but, just in case you’d like even more information, here are a few more helpful links…
- “Why You Should Send Your Kid To A Summer Camp”
- “Camp Starts Here: Leave the Devices at Home”
- “Benefits of Camps: Psychological Aspects”
- “Summer Camps Make Kids Resilient”
- “6 SUMMER CAMP BENEFITS You may not know.”