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2017 summer camps

What to do with the kiddos

The Hands On Children’s Museum has a number of camps offered this summer in Olympia. Photo credit: Hands On Children's Museum

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Every child looks forward to the end of the school year. That moment when they can high five each other on the end of another successful school year as they head home to kick off their summer break. After a day or two of sleeping in and lounging outside in the sunshine, children will begin to look for something to do to fill their days.

Many local parks, facilities and schools will be bringing back popular summer camps that have become family favorites through the years. Parents will be thrilled at the various camps offered in the area that include several different themes. There is bound to be a camp for every kid, no matter what his or her interests are. These local summer camps keep kids busy, entertained, safe, and also keeps challenging their minds throughout their summer break from school. Here are just some of the many different camps in the Puget Sound area. Be sure to check the respective websites for additional information regarding registration.

Nature Nurtures Farm Day Camp. Various dates from June-Aug., $275. These camps are perfect for children between the ages of 7-12. Their first-aid and CPR certified staff lead the camps that focus on structured educational activities, games and free play time outdoors. Many of the lessons at this camp are focused on animals, plans and the natural world. For more information, visit

Hands On Children's Museum Summer Camps. Various dates from June-Sept., $80-$370. The HOCM offers several different summer camps with both full and half-day options for participants. The camps include engaging topics focused on science, art, as well as nature. Camp participants will have the opportunity to explore the museum galleries and play outdoors in the Outdoor Discovery Center. For more information, visit

Hello Summer School Summer Programs. June-Aug., various times. The CYSS program will have a fun-filled summer program line-up for your school-aged kids. The Cascade, Lewis North, and McChord School Age Centers will all have different summer programs that the kids will go wild for. Programs include Carnival Week, Fear Factor, Junior Achievement Week, S.T.E.M. Week, Spy Week and Hogwarts Express. For more information, call 253.966.2977 or visit

Zestful Gardens Summer Farm Camps. Various dates from June-Aug., $30-$195.  Kids will absolutely love all the new and fun things to discover each week during Summer Camp on the Farm. Each camp will get camp participants involved in farm chores, enjoy healthy snacks, and have outdoor free play. Each week has a new and unique theme from the previous week. Some of those themes include Survival Skills, Nature Art, Pickle-It and Jam-It. For more information, visit

South Sound YMCA Best Summer Ever Summer Camps. Various dates from June-Sept., $130-$138 for facility and program members. The South Sound YMCA has a multitude of camps being offered to help make this the best summer ever. Some of those camps include Outdoor Discovery Camp, Jedi Training Camp, Space Explorers, Mystery Quest, and Robotics Lab Camp among many more. Locations of the camps vary. Please check their website for additional information at

Olympia Family Theater Summer Camps. Various dates from June-Sept., $55-$195. Early bird discounts for all completed registrations before May 1. Children will have a multitude of camps to choose from at Olympia Family Theater. Many of the camps include performances at the conclusion of the camp. There are multi-student discounts available as well as partial scholarships. For more information, visit

Summer Quarter Classes and Camps at the Lakewood Institute of Theatre. Various dates July-Aug., $200-$600. This year, the Lakewood Institute of Theatre will be hosting four different summer camps. Each camp varies in age group, topic and cost. Each camp will conclude with a multi-date performance. For more information, visit

Leadership, Navigation, and Conservation in the Backcountry. June 18-23, $725. This overnight backpacking trip will take campers to the eastern slope of the North Cascade mountain range. Campers will cross a swinging foot bridge as well as learn how to navigate using a map, compass, GPS and natural orienteering tools. For more information, visit

Multi Media Art Camp. June 26-29, 1:30-4:30 p.m., $99. Arts for Kids School (AFKS) is a well known multimedia fine art program. The program promotes self-esteem along with creative exploration with various materials. Camp participants will use materials like charcoal, pen and ink, and oil pastels, all of which are included in the course fee. For more information, visit

Kid Nature Day Camp. June 26-30, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., $290, if registered before June 5. Campers will enjoy swimming, games and archery during their lunch breaks. During the week, campers will learn about Wild Edible Food Plants, Wilderness Survival, Literal Language of the Birds, and Wild Plants for Medicine among several other programs. All camps are instructed by professionally trained staff and a typical 6 to 1 student/teacher ratio. For more information, visit

Summer Adult and Family Classes. June 26-30 in Puyallup, July 5-7 in Olympia, entire week of classes, $270 or $30 per class. Kids of all ages as well as adults are invited to join the Adult and Family Camp classes. Week-long courses that campers can choose from include Wildlife Safety, Natural Navigation, Old School Fire Making, Backyard Bird Language, and Traditional Animal Hide Crafts among many others. Classes have limited space available, so don't wait to register. To register, visit

The UPS Brass camp helps teens explore their musical talents the end of June. Photo credit: University of Puget Sound

2017 University of Puget Sound Brass Camp. June 26-30, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., $250. This camp is exclusively for those between the ages of 12-19 and with two or more years of playing experience. Students may bring a sack lunch or purchase food from the school cafeteria. The week-long camp will conclude with a free public concert at 12:30 p.m., Friday, June 30. For more information, visit

Youth Fisheries Academy Day Camps. July 7, Lacey; July 11, Olympia, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., $10 Lacey, $7 Olympia. Kids between the ages of 11 and 15 who love fishing, hiking and camping will love attending this day camp. The camp is led by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and will lead campers in engaging activities like radio telemetry hide and seek, fish dissections, stream sampling, and so much more. For more information, please call Dan Spencer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at 360.753.9589 or visit

Skyhawks Baseball Camp. July 10-July 13, 9 a.m. to noon, $109. This week-long baseball camp will keep kids brushed up on their baseball skills during the summer. The camp will focus on station drills, hitting, defense, as well as games. The four-day camp with also include personal instruction. For more information, visit

Food Truck Camp. July 10-13, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., $269. This fun camp is open to children between the ages of 11 and 18 years old. Participants will enjoy learning how to perfect recipes and learning new cooking techniques while learning what a food truck is all about. For more information, visit

BRICK City Engineers. July 10-July 14, 9 a.m. to noon, $185. This summer camp is open to children between the ages of 5 and 12. This camp focuses on the different types of engineering jobs. Camp participants will use their engineering skills to build city-themed models using LEGO Bricks. They will also be challenged to build a skyscraper taller than their heads. For more information, visit

Camp Fort Nisqually. July 10-14, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., $235. Campers between the ages of 12-14 will enjoy discovering what it was like to live in Puget Sound at the time of the area's first trading post. Campers will learn about the people and events that shaped the fort's history and learn first-hand some 19th-century skills such as fire-starting and candle-making as well as black-smithing. The camp will also include a fun Thursday night sleepover with dinner and breakfast. For more information, visit

Camp Cascadia. July 11-13, overnight camp, $299. This memory-making summer camp will be held on the beautiful Elbow Lake. Camp activities will include swimming, hiking, team games, sports, campfires, and so much more. Campers will stay in the Lakeside Lodge along with camp staff. The registration fees include transportation, meals, use of equipment, lodging and snacks. Registration is limited. Visit

British Youth Soccer Camp. July 17-21, 9 a.m. to noon or 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., $140-$198. Challenger Sports Corp will be bringing this amazing international camp experience to JBLM. They are proud to have coaches from Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and USA. The camp will focus on the player's development and creating a positive experience. Both half and full-day camp options are available. Camp takes place at CYSS Athletic Fields. Visit

High-speed, fun camp brings pre-teens a week of cars and racing at the LeMay – America’s Car Museum. Photo credit: America's Car Museum

Fundamentals of Car Design and Engineering Camp. July 24-28, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., $300-$350. Kids who are in 7th, 8th, or 9th grades will be thrilled with the opportunity to design their very own car. America's Car Museum proudly offers children the chance to discover the world of automotive design with this fun summer camp. Kids will create a 3D design for a 3D printer and learn vector designs. Registration is limited and some scholarships are available for families with financial need. For more information, visit

History Through the Arts Camp. July 25-28, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., $150. Campers that are between the ages of 9-11 will enjoy participating in 19th-century activities including crafts, music and games, and learning about the many different cultures that were a part of Fort Nisqually. Snacks are provided and campers will enjoy a provided lunch on Friday. For more information, visit

Wildlife Safari/Animal Tracking and Photography Camp. July 30-Aug. 4, $725. This epic overnight camping trip takes place near Seattle and then traveling over the North Cascades alpine meadows. Campers will take in the natural beauty of the landscape while also focusing on animal tracking, wildlife photography, nature journaling, navigation and so much more. For more information, visit

Galaxy Far Away. Inspired by LEGO Star Wars, July 31-Aug. 4, $185. Children will love attending this galactically awesome camp. Participants will create historic NASA Space Program vehicles and ships inspired by Star Wars. For more information, visit

Acting for Film. July 31-Aug. 10, $289. Children who are 9 years old and older will love acting like a movie star with this camp held at Stadium High School. Camp participants will work as actors to create short films that will be written and directed by fellow students. For more information, visit

High Speed Fun Camp. Aug. 7-11, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., $300-$350. Kids who are in 4th, 5th and 6th grades will have a blast starting their engines for some high-speed fun. Campers will practice their racing skills on America's Car Museum's CXC Racing Simulators and slot car track. They will also get tips from local race-car drivers. Campers will be able to test their skills each day and face new challenges. Registration is limited and some scholarships are available for families with financial need. For more information, visit

Volcanic Adventure Boys. Aug. 8-10, overnight camp, $199. This awesome overnight camping trip brings campers to Mt. Saint Helens. During this three-day trip, campers will explore Ape Cave, take a swim in the Yale Reservoir, and camp at Cougar Camp. Registration is limited. For more information, visit

Cheerleading Camp. Aug. 21-24, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., $79. This camp is open to children between the ages of 5-11 and will focus on introducing the basics of cheerleading. The camp will include the proper hand and body movements, jumping and stretching techniques. A dance performance will be presented by the camp participants at the end of the camp. For more information, visit

Mining and Crafting. Building in the World of Minecraft, Aug. 28-Sept. 1, 9 a.m. to noon, $185. Camp participants will enjoy experiencing the World of Minecraft by using LEGO Bricks. Kids will create their own shelters, critters and mobs while facing new challenges each day. Campers should bring a sack lunch. For more information, visit

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