TMI About Summer Camps

Or, Lucas is a lucky kid.


Here are the summertime programs we’re considering for Lucas. Makes me want to be 7 years old again! We definitely won’t do all of these because all together they cost a bomb, but I’ll do my best to keep him busy as much as possible with fun activities. I already signed him up for Gizmo’s Robot Factory!


Effie Yeaw Nature Detectives: This is a morning only camp, running for several weeks during the summer. Lucas liked this last summer and wanted to do more.

Nature Detectives (for children entering 1st or 2nd grade)

Water Works June 15 – 19 or July 20 – 24 or Aug. 3 – 7 Time: 9 AM – 12 Noon

Explore wet and wild aquatic habitats. What animals might live in or around a smooth silvery pond, a quietly flowing creek or the cool blue American River? Come aboard for fun hikes, super stories and exciting games. Create a painting of a watery world to bring home and look for rainbows in a sparkling spray of water.

Drawing From Nature June 15 – 19 or July 6 – 10 or July 27 – 31 Time: 9 AM – 12 Noon

Find your own rhythm as you study nature’s intricate designs. Capture on paper the subtle greens and browns of a magnificent oak with its lacy leaves and gnarly rough bark. Use your scientific and artistic observation skills to explore form, function and design in nature’s variety of shapes. Capture your impressions in your handmade nature journal, filling it with your own drawings, paintings and writings.

Digging Deeper June 8 – 12 or June 29 – July 3 or Aug. 10 – 14 Time: 9 AM – 12 Noon

Dig in and explore our Earth from the clouds above its surface to the core where molten minerals swirl and rocks are born. Through fun activities, games and crafts connect the many ways that soil, water, air, animals and plants interact to sustain life. Discover for yourself the way the Earth works.

Scat, Tracks & Signs June 22 – 26 or July 13 – 17 or Aug. 3 – 7 Time: 9 AM – 12 Noon

Are you crazy for critters? Come along as we explore the Nature Area trails for animal activity. Use binoculars to bring nature closer and record what you see in your notebook. Play games, create critter crafts, and meet a few of the animals that make the Effie Yeaw Nature Center their home. Make tracks to this great class.


Ellen Springwind Art Camp: (Waldorf-oriented) He did two weeks of this last year and really loved it. It’s a morning-only camp 9 am to 12:30, I think. $180

I. June 22-27 Clay with Stories from Africa

II. June 29-July 3 Native American Crafts, Village Building, & Legends

III. July 6-10 Mask making with Myths from Africa, Greece, & China

IV. July 13-17 Collage & Drawing with Stories from South America, Australia

V. July 20-24 Wet-on-Wet Watercolors with Stories from Around the World

VI. July 27-31 Bookmaking & Printmaking with Stories from Europe


Science Camp: (pricey @ $287 per week) I would like to sign him up for two weeks of this four-week camp, but I’m not sure if I can. One is called Gizmo’s Robot Factory. The kids do robotics stuff all week 9 to 3:30. The other is a week of Space and Rocketry study and experiments. 

Gizmo’s Robot Factory (July 20-24)

Discover the world of robotics! During the week, campers will learn all about what makes a robot tick through several hands-on lessons!
Robots Extreme Machines: Campers will design their very own robot and learn that all machines are made from only six simple machines!
Robo-Boost: Ready, set, charge! All robots need is power! Campers will add batteries to their robots while exploring electricity and circuits.
Robo-Frame: Campers build the body of their robots as they learn how frames provide support and strength to the structures around us.
Robo-Balance: Don’t let gravity get you down! To be truly independent, robots need to be able to move. Campers discover how complicated walking can be and add the legs to their robot.
Electric Motors: Campers learn how motors work as they use their imagination along with electricity to create their own motorized invention!
Pneumatics: get ready for a moving experience as campers turn energy into motion! Children learn how robots use pneumatics and hydraulics to convert one type of energy into another!

Robo-Grippers: Campers get a real grip on robots as they learn how they use grippers to manipulate their environment. Then they construct their own gripping device and test them on different objects.
By the end of Gizmo’s Robot factory, your child will be an expert in everything robotic!


Space and Rocketry (Aug 3-8)

Blast off from planet Earth to explore the farthest reaches of the universe by launching your very own rocket! During the week, campers will build their very own rocket and mars rover!
Rocket Fins: The High Flyer flies at over 70 miles per hour, how does it keep going straight? Campers investigate how fins stabilize a rocket in mid-flight.
Parachutes: What goes up, must come down! Campers explore air resistance and experiment with parachutes before attaching a streamer and fins to their model rocket.
Recovery System: Parachutes are crucial to a safe landing, but how is the parachute deployed at just the right time? Campers learn about air pressure while testing spud rockets!
Launch!: It’s time for liftoff! On launch day, campers put their rocket knowledge to the test and launch their High Flyer Rockets! These rockets can exceed speeds of 70mph and climb up to 300 ft!
Surface Science: Going to Mars is awesome, but the science instruments we take there are what help us uncover its secrets. Campers build an anemometer for their rover and use it to investigate wind speeds at the site.
Wheels on Mars: Only since 1997 have robots on Mars had the mobility to traverse its surface. Campers place 6 wheels on their rovers and discover the role mobility plays in exploring Mars.
Red Planet Rover: Campers complete their rover and carefully plan a traverse of the surface. What discoveries might a robot make as it drives slowly across the plains?
At the end of Space and Rocketry, your child will be transformed into an expert astronaut


Camp Fair Oaks: This is a Recreation and Park District camp. I like the price at $125 per week. 9-4 pm. They have different themed weeks. This camp goes for 10 weeks during the summer, so I might fill in with a week here or there, in between other things.

Next Stop … Funville:  Bouncetown/Pool

Game On!:  Sunrise Fun Center/Pool

The Bone Zone: Discovery Museum/Pool

Stars & Stripes:  Sunsplash

Animal Kingdom:  Folsom Zoo/Pool

Strike Out: Strikes Bowling/Pool

Funology: Adventureland/Pool

 Now Starring…:   Movies/Pool

Splashtacular: Marine World(optional)**/Pool

Bounce Out: Carnival Party/Pool


Sacramento Theatre Company Summer Camp Act, Dance, Sing!: This sounds awesome, but Lucas is lukewarm on this one. It’s a two-week camp 9 to 2 pm with aftercare available. June 29-July 10. $450 for two weeks.


CSU Aquatic Center Guppy Camp: Offered for 11 weeks, this one sounds awesome too, but is very pricey at $290 per week. 9-4 pm. They do sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, kayaking, and boating safety. We might do this during the dog days of August. It’s the only offering that extends into late August.


Skimming effortlessly across the water in an afternoon breeze is an enjoyable sensation that is

becoming more and more popular every year. Each student will learn the principles of sailing,

water safety, sailing knots and how to operate their sailboat.


This thrilling sport is rapidly becoming one of the most popular aquatic sports today. Students

will be applying their acquired skills along with windsurfing fundamentals toward practical experience on the water. Water play and games are a big part of the windsurfing day.


This day of camp will give students the skills needed to navigate a canoe across the lake safely and effectively. We will teach: paddling, strokes, balance, safety and rescue. The serenity of Lake Natoma provides an excellent setting for this enjoyable sport.


Kayaking is one of the fastest growing sports! This day exposes campers to the fundamentals of flat-water kayaking with adventures to Blackberry Island or The Camp “Prison.” Maneuvering these little boats is a real challenge and a lot of fun. This sport is very popular with our campers.





2 Responses to “TMI About Summer Camps”

  • lunagirl35
    April 25, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    Awesome choices!
    STC camp is a pretty intense and expensive camp for most little ones. It’s a long day as well.

    Em has done CSUS camp and loved it! The kids are pretty well supervised.

    She’s also done Sci Adventures and loved it as well. They usually have plenty take home items with that one.

    As for Parks and Rec camps, our experience is that they are more ‘day care’ than anything. They are very loosly structured, staff are not too motovated as they are teens etc.

    If you are looking for acting camp I would recommend Magic Circle in Roseville. We’ve known several kids who have gone there and were satisfied. Em used to go to the Sacactors Summer camp but they aren’t having a program for the Summer. Oh! and B street theater has a good Summer Acting Camp as well.


  • sarabellae
    April 27, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    Thanks for your opinion. I wish he were more interested in the STC camp, as some of his buddies are doing it.

    Day care is, unfortunately, kind of what I need. So many of the great offerings are for part-days only and I need some solid work weeks in there. What’s stupid is you can’t register for Camp Fair Oaks online. Lame.


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