Summer is approaching, lightning bugs will soon fill our backyards, and that means camps for the kids. Three years into the pandemic, camp options have increased extensively for 2023. Whether your child wants to participate in a sport, academic, or art camp, Lexington has what you need. Here is a sampling of summer camp options for kids of all ages throughout the Lexington area.
Join Asbury this summer for one (or two) residential high school camps that focus on a variety of content areas. Students choose one subject area to study for the entire week and enjoy academic sessions led by experienced faculty and talented college students multiple times each day. Students will get a five-day, college-like experience that includes all food, lodging, supplies, evening activities and hands-on exploration of an academic area in the context of a Christian community.
Bluegrass Youth Ballet
Children ages 4-8 can enjoy a week of art, dance, acting, and music during one of Bluegrass Youth Ballet’s Kids Fun Arts Camps. Classes are 9 am until noon for three weekly sessions:
- June 12-16, The Little Mermaid
- June 19-23, Little Red Riding Hood
- June 26-30, Summer Safari
Visit bluegrassyouthballet.org to register.
Camp Kesem is a child’s friend through and beyond a parent’s cancer. Throughout the school year, the Kesem team raises funds to send children ages 6-18 who are affected by a parent’s cancer to a free week-long summer camp. This is a student-run organization that welcomes members from all backgrounds.
Camp Kesem holds a special place in HJ’s heart, as our late designer, Kellee Edwards, was fortunate to send her daughter Kate there to make special memories in the summer of 2017.
Kellee wrote at the time, “Kate calls it cancer camp. It’s Camp Kesem for kids whose parents have cancer. After 10,021 hugs and 27 pep talks (some to Kate, some to me), she’s off, and I’m really gonna miss her. We’ve practiced taking showers and getting the shampoo rinsed out of her hair for three weeks now, and I’ve been assured someone will help her comb it. I bought two of everything on the camp list (maybe three bug sprays if you count the one that rolls on). I bought her all new underwear and socks, and I have enough matching shorts and T-shirts for three weeks. I let her pick a twin comforter and sheets to be known as ‘camp bedding.’ It’s minty and navy, very Kate. No pink for miles; sequins approved. We have a shower organizer, product containers, new toothbrushes (in case one gets lost) and fresh strawberry kids’ toothpaste from Lucky’s. We’ve pulled out all the stops. The list said she could bring a musical instrument. Kate has three: a Mexican drum, a maraca and a recorder. She was allowed to bring a disposable camera. I sent two, plus one for underwater. I sent maze books and stickers and a journal and different colored pens. Thank God the camp prohibits taking snacks. I don’t know how John would’ve carried the mini-fridge up that hill.
“But I offer no apologies for my overdone behavior. This could be my life’s equivalent of sending my daughter off to college, so it was a really big deal. We’ve never been away from each other for this long; we’ve barely ever been away from each other at all. I suspect she’ll come back older and wiser. I suspect this is good for both of us. She was so excited. She will be just fine. After all, it’s only a week. Me? I suspect I’ll be chained to the front porch by Wednesday to curb my compulsion to go get her.”
Camp Carnegie is a series of six educational, half-day camps for rising sixth through eighth grade students at the Carnegie Center. Experienced, passionate instructors lead fun, hands-on activities at the Carnegie Center while field trips and visits with community leaders deepen learning experiences. Camps encourage summer learning and teach life skills or introduce campers to fascinating fields that could lead to future careers. Visit carnegiecenterlex.org for more information.
“The Domain” is located one and a half hours southeast of Lexington, KY. It covers 800 acres in the mountains of Lee County and is adjacent to the Daniel Boone National Forest.
The Cathedral Domain is accredited by the American Camp Association. Being an ACA-Accredited® camp means the Cathedral Domain meets up to 300 national standards for health, safety, and program quality.
Camp programs include athletics, hiking, caving, arts and crafts, dancing, fishing, rappelling, archery, rock climbing and more.
The Cathedral Domain recognizes that more than 1 in 4 children in Kentucky are living in poverty. The Cathedral Domain does provide scholarships to campers in financial need, and it is their policy that NO camper is turned away due to financial hardship.
For many years, expenses have been subsidized by the Cathedral Domain and the Episcopal Diocese of Lexington. Tiered pricing is well below the national average, and the quality of the camper experience remains high.
Facilities include a recreational pavilion, playground, activity field, pool, archery range, nature center, rock climbing and repelling stations, hiking, fishing, and much more.
HOOP DREAMS BASKETBALL ACADEMY
Hoop Dreams at 2414 Palumbo Drive is committed to growing and developing youth basketball players in the Lexington area. They offer summer camps and clinics for players of every skill level, along with travel teams and youth leagues. Your child’s first skills training class is always free. For more information, call 859-300-9225 or visit hoopdreamers.com.
Experience Asbury through residential academic camps for high school students.
Students choose one subject area to study for the entire week and enjoy academic sessions led by experienced faculty and talented college students multiple times each day. Students will get a five-day, college-like experience that includes all food, lodging, supplies, evening activities and hands-on exploration of an academic area in the context of a Christian community. Subjects include Acting, Film, Forensic Science, Equine, Sales and Marketing, Education, Coding, and Choral Camp.
LEXINGTON CHILDREN’S THEATRE SUMMER CAMP SCHOOL
Lexington Children’s Theatre is offering a comprehensive program of Summer Theatre School opportunities for ages 4-18. Some of the week-long class options include Harry Potter, Bluey, Sophia The First, Gravity Falls, High School Musical, and much more! The program runs from May 30-August 11. Learn more at https://www.lctonstage.org/theatre-school/classes-workshops/
PARKS AND REC
Lexington Parks & Recreation offers a wide variety of summer camps each year, including:
- ArtKids Camp at Tates Creek Ballroom
- Camp Kearney at Jacobson Park
- Activities planned include sports, arts and crafts, archery, canoeing, team building and more. All campers must be dropped off and picked up at Jacobson Park each day. Campers may register for one session only. Campers must be in the age range as of Aug. 1, 2023. For questions about this camp, contact Anthony Jackson at 859.288-2953.
- Camp Kearney CIT (Counselor in Training), Jacobson Park
- Camp Kearney’s CIT (Counselor in Training) program is designed to help develop leadership skills in teens interested in working with children (ages 6 – 11). CIT’s will work with the CIT Coordinator to learn the basics of child development, programming, and supervision procedures and policies. CIT’s will also work with staff to develop and co-lead informal and formal activities with campers. All CIT’s must be dropped off and picked up at Jacobson Park each day and may register for up to three sessions only. CIT’s must be in the age range as of Aug. 1, 2023. For questions or help with registration for this camp, contact Anthony Jackson at 859.288-2953.
- Castlewood Community Center Camp
- Community Summer Teen Retreat at Dunbar Community Center
- Community Summer Teen Retreat at Tates Creek Community Center
- Dance Babies at Tates Creek Ballroom
- Dance Kids Camp at Tates Creek Ballroom
- Equestrian Camp at Masterson Station Park
- Golf and Recreation Camp
- Play Golf Lex Junior Golf Camps are both fun and educational, focusing on athletic and golf-skill development. With programming designed by PGA Professionals, campers are taught the basics of golf throughout the entire week. Instructors also utilize obstacle courses, throwing exercises, and other non-golf activities to promote the development of athletic ability. Campers must provide their own lunch, snacks and beverages (snacks and drinks available for purchase on-site). Please note: Camp the week of June 20 – 23 is four days due to the Juneteenth city holiday on June 19.
- Tennis and Swim Camp
- Bluegrass Tennis Association (BTA) is partnering with Lexington Parks & Recreation to run a Tennis & Swim Camp for junior tennis players ages 6 – 18. Each session will include foundational tennis skills as well as educational components that will build character and confidence. The camp utilizes the sport of tennis to promote health and wellness, and social and emotional skill development. In combination with tennis programs, children learn teamwork, problem-solving, and decision-making. Lessons are designed to engage children in meaningful and fun tennis activities that translate both on and off the tennis court.
SUMMIT AT ASBURY
What if you could engage in thoughtful conversations, worship, and experience Christ in a deeper way, all while forming new friendships? That’s exactly what high schoolers can enjoy at Asbury University’s Summit Summer Camp, June 19-23.
This article appears on pages 8-13 of the April 2023 issue of HJ. To subscribe, click here.