‘Y' Did You Wait So Long? Last Minute Camp Ideas

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Y-nots Camp Staffers. Courtesy of South Mountain YMCA.

Y-nots Camp Staffers. Courtesy of South Mountain YMCA.

If you’re like my neighbor — or, let’s be honest, if you’re like me — you may have left it up to the last minute to register your child for summer camp.

Never fear, a number of affordable and fun options exist right here in our two towns. And there’s still some space available for some of the programs.

At the South Mountain YMCA, the camps run from Monday, June 3o, through Friday, August 29. Yes, it’s a working parent’s dream! The Y even offers before and after camp care, starting at 7 a.m. and ending at 7 p.m.

The Y provides traditional day camps for kids of all age groups, including mini Y-Knots for tiny tots ages 2-1/2 to 4 (9 a.m. to noon) and Y-Knots-1 starting at age 3-1/2 and up (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) The camps go all the way up to Teen Adventure Camp for those entering grades 7 to 9 and Counselor-in-Training camp for those entering grades 9 and 10.

All camps beside mini Y-Knots and Y-Knot-1 run from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The Y also offers specialty camps in drama, sports, global arts, environmental awareness, and golf. Visit here for the registration form, or call 973-762-4145 to ask about availability or have a brochure mailed to you.

The Maplewood Recreation Department continues to tout its summer camps (I received a reminder email just five days ago). The popular Kids Camp runs six weeks from June 30 to August 8. A great thing about this camp is that you can sign up for each week independently. Children must be ages Kindergarten-5th grade. The camp includes structured games, free time at the playground, arts and crafts activities, pool trips, and fields trips. You can choose a half day (8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.) or whole day (8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.).

Complete your online registration here or do it in person at the Recreation Department at 574 Valley Street, Maplewood. If you have any questions, call (973) 763-4202.

The Rec Dept. also offers Camp Maple, a 6-week program for children with special needs. Other camps include Ultimate Frisbee; Budding Learning Readers Camp; Budding Learners Writers Camp; Budding Learners Math Camp; Drills, Thrills and Skills Basketball Camp; and a Summer Tennis Program. Registration and more information for all can be found here.

For questions on the tennis camps or lessons, contact tennis pro John Trinity @johnt@maplewoodtennis.com or visit www.maplewoodtennis.com for more information.

The South Orange-Maplewood Adult School offers excellent and extensive summer classes and day camps running June 30 through July 25. Many programs take place at the South Orange Middle School (my daughter will enjoy cupcake decorating and soapmaking classes), with sports camps hosted at fields throughout the towns (my son can’t wait for Coach Lisa Morgan’s Track Camp at Underhill Field — I registered him just last week). Find the online catalog here and the registration form here.

The Baird in South Orange has an amazing array of summer programs including the ACTivate Theater Workshop for grades 9-12, Cool Rocket Science Summer Camp for grades 1-6, Funky Fun Art Summer Camp for grades 1-6, Ballet I for girls ages 5-6, and much, much more. Find descriptions and online registration here.


Do you know of a summer camp in the area that is still taking registrants? Email mary@historynusantara.com and I’ll get it posted!

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