Category: Camps

Specialty Camps

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Spend one, two, or three weeks in East Texas filled with friendly competition and all the activities a kid could ask for. Learn the ins and outs of sports broadcasting. And for children and teens dreaming of the big screen, take the first steps in starting an acting or filmmaking career. These are just a few unique camp ideas to help your camper’s summer extra special.


YMCA Camps

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YMCA summer camps are all about fun and discovery. Kids and teens can explore nature, try new activities, and meet new friends at three properties in the DFW area. The Y offers outdoor onsite camps ranging from a few days to a few weeks, with day or overnight options. Campers have the chance to unplug from technology and forge meaningful memories with days full of outdoor activities.


Area Schools Camps

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Dallas area schools don’t close their doors when classes end. In fact, their doors are wide open and ready for a summer of fun with little ones as young as three years old, and kids all the way up to high school seniors.

Art, sports, and adventure camps are among the most popular options. The studious can also get a head start with courses for school credit during the summer. Here is a quick guide to a few area schools ready to make your child’s summer exciting.


Student leader hones skills at Camp 43

At Camp 43, teens take personality tests, study leadership and meet potential mentors from government and industry.
(Courtesy Bobbi Gruner) 0
At Camp 43, teens take personality tests, study leadership and meet potential mentors from government and industry. (Courtesy Bobbi Gruner)

Hannah Wimberly, 17, likes to take charge at two high school campuses, so attending a camp focused on leadership seemed like the logical thing to do.

The senior takes her classes at Jack E. Singley Academy and serves as Junior ROTC logistics officer for the Cardinal Battalion at MacArthur High School in Irving.

Last year, she attended Camp 43: Leader of One, Leader of Many at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum at SMU. She recently answered questions about her experiences at that camp.

Why did you decide to apply?

I decided to apply because I have always had a proclivity for leadership. I wanted to learn more about the art thereof. I am known for habitually taking charge in most situations presented to me. I wanted to improve my efficiency and capabilities. My AP U.S. History teacher is a docent at the Bush Library, and told me, and my class about Camp 43. He thought I would greatly benefit from the knowledge gleaned during my attendance. I also love history so getting to spend three days in a museum fascinated, and excited me.


Camp 43 Focuses on Leadership

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Teens roleplay a national crisis simulation during Camp 43.

Don’t count on meeting George W. Bush during Camp 43. Don’t count it out either.

The former president puts the free day camp for older teens on his schedule and likes to surprise participants if it works out, Sharon Brannon, education specialist for the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, said.

While there’s no guarantee of a presidential encounter, camp participants can count on meeting government and industry leaders, working on leadership skills, and role-playing top decision makers during a national crisis simulation, she said.

“We want to help create informed citizens who are doing more and may evolve into government officials we can put our trust in,” Brannon said.


Explore Camps Close to Home

Club SciKidz sponsors multiple science-focused camps. (Photo courtesy Club SciKidz) 0
Club SciKidz sponsors multiple science-focused camps. (Photo courtesy Club SciKidz)

Sometimes camp is about getting away for the summer — but sometimes it’s just as great to stay close to home. If you have a little scientist, engineer, or adventurer on your hands and you’re looking for a camp that doesn’t require leaving the city, Dallas has plenty of answers. Club SciKidz is a one-stop shop for all things science, offering a variety of camps that show how science works in the real world through fun-filled experiments and activities. For the tech-savvy or robot-obsessed, UT Dallas offers computer programming and coding camps for students K-12. For animal lovers, summer camps at the Dallas Zoo give students the chance to explore their wild side with furry friends in the animal kingdom.


The Future of Robotics Starts at Summer Camp

St. Mark's sophomore Kyle Smith will run his own robotics camp for local third- and fourth-graders during the first two weeks of August. (Courtesy Photo) 0
St. Mark's sophomore Kyle Smith will run his own robotics camp for local third- and fourth-graders during the first two weeks of August. (Courtesy Photo)

Kyle Smith has been in the world of robotics his entire life. After all, his father has a doctorate in artificial intelligence and has won multiple international flying robot competitions. But it wasn’t until Kyle was in the fourth grade that he developed a real fascination and joy for science.

Now, as an incoming sophomore at St. Mark’s School of Texas, the 15-year-old is looking forward to sparking that same interest in local third- and fourth-graders at KyleCamp, his electronics and robotics camp.

The camp will run the first two weeks in August, with a three-hour session in the morning and one in the afternoon. Smith will host the camp in his father’s lab and aims to cover simple circuitry and building a simple calculator or an AM radio transmitter.


New Creative Space Sparks Interest

SPARK is open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
at 1409 S. Lamar Street, Suite #4. 0
SPARK is open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 1409 S. Lamar Street, Suite #4.

In a converted Sears distribution center in the Southside on Lamar building, families can now visit the creative learning wonderland called SPARK on Saturdays.

For the past year, SPARK’s 11,000 square-foot facility — with its indoor playground, arts and crafts studios, giant Lite-Brite, music studios, stage, and Lego creation area — has been open only for scheduled field trips, events, workshops, and summer camps, co-founder and CEO of SPARK Beverly Davis said.

The aim: to foster future generations of arts and culture “appreciators and patrons” by teaching the creative process in a fun and interactive way.

“There’s a lot of perceived risk in here,” Davis said. “After this play … after pushing themselves and overcoming fears, we bring them together for their classes and we push them in developing their creativity. … It’s really cool to watch.”


A Camp Run By Kids For Kids

Brothers Ryan and Blake Lieberman founded the sports camp as an alternative summer job. (Photo Courtesy  Camp Spark) 0
Brothers Ryan and Blake Lieberman founded the sports camp as an alternative summer job. (Photo Courtesy Camp Spark)

When it comes to a kid-run business, the lemonade stand and neighborhood car wash markets are covered. However, when brothers Ryan and Blake Lieberman concocted the business venture of a sports summer camp as a junior and sophomore, respectively, at Greenhill, they decided to push the status quo.

Now in its fifth year of operation, Camp SPARK was born from the Liebermans’ idea of a sports camp “for kids, by kids.” Now, both honors business students at the University of Texas at Austin, they have passed the torch to a younger generation to keep the camp’s motto alive.

Campers have already begun signing up for the week of June 6 for the sports day-camp. Each day, boys and girls will meet separately to participate in skills training and sports competition with their counselors.

Camp SPARK includes a variety of sports for kids to participate in, from basketball to swimming to wiffleball to cheerleading. Around 14 high school counselors, called city partners, will lead approximately 60 campers in exercises at Episcopal School of Dallas this year. In the past, the camp has been held in the Liebermans’ back yard and at the Jewish Community Center of Dallas.

“Parents can sign their kids up now, all the way up to the day of the specific camp day they want to attend,” Blake said. “We found it best to set it up that way. Some kids only come for one day, and some kids only sign up for one day to begin with and end up signing up for the rest of the week, too.”