It may seem a bit early to be thinking about summer, with three months of school left, but it will be here before we know it. Then parents are faced with finding something for their children to do for two months. Summer camp can be the answer.
From the sports player to theater lover, to the young naturalist to the baseball player, there are a number of summer camps here on the Vineyard to satisfy children’s passions.
A bit of everything
Some camps offer a bit of everything, for example, the Martha’s Vineyard Boys and Girls Club Camp. The general program runs Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm, and costs $160 (reduced tuition rates are available for those that apply). Children will do everything from fitness and athletics, visual and performance arts, community service, go to the beach, explore science and technology, and play games.
The YMCA of Martha’s Vineyard‘s camp, Camp Blue, also offers an array of activities, from swimming and sports to science, gardening, and arts and crafts, plus adventure activities to farms, horseback riding, and a tall ship. Visit ymcamv.com for more information, including rates.
If a one-day-a-week educational outing is more your child’s speed, the Martha’s Vineyard Museum in Edgartown offers a two-hour program one day a week with different topics weekly, usually inspired by a current exhibit. For more information, call 508-627-4441.
Camp Jabberwocky, based in Vineyard Haven, is a residential vacation camp for people with disabilities. Visit campjabberwocky.org for more information.
For the youngest
There are two Vineyard camps geared specifically towards the preschool aged: Garden Gate Child Development Center and Island Children’s School. Both camps strive to explore new themes and create a comfortable, fun environment for young children. For more information, call Garden Gate at 508-696-9997 or Island Children’s School at 508-693-5815.
Then, there are the arts. Both visual and performance are represented well on the Vineyard.
Featherstone Center for the Arts offers camp programs for ages 3 to teens. Magic Garden Camp is for ages 3 to 6; Meet the Masters for ages 7 to 10, Photography Exploration for 11 to teens, and Video Arts Camp for 12 to teens. Visit featherstoneart.org for a complete syllabus.
The Martha’s Vineyard Arts Association Camp meets at the Old Sculpin Gallery in Edgartown. Children ages 7 to 12 will delve right into art education based on the masters. Past subjects have been DaVinci, Van Gogh, and Frida Kahlo in mediums from watercolor and papermaking to collage and sculpture. Visit oldsculpingallery.org for more information.
Island Theatre Workshop‘s Summer Children’s Theatre Camp is going into its 44th year. Campers meet for two-week sessions at the Sailing Camp Park in Oak Bluffs, which culminate in a performance at the Grange Hall in West Tisbury. Visit itwm.org for more information.
Fly Time: KidsMakeDance Summer Camp is The Yard‘s summer camp, where children partake in week-long choreographic workshops that culminate in family share days on Fridays. Typically for ages 6 to 10, the camp features instruction from dance educator and choreographer Deborah Damast and assisted by graduate students from NYU Steinhardt Dance Education Program. Visit dancetheyard.org for more information.
IMP All Things Theater Camp is for children ages 6 to 18 to learn all aspects of theater, from the page to the stage. Chose between one-week or two-week sessions, or drop in for just a day. Camp is held at the Edgartown School. Visit troubledshores.com for more information.
“Where bare feet and imaginations run free” is a fitting motto for the Sense of Wonder Camp. “We strive to recreate experiences for children that echo the simplicity of life before the lure of television and computers,” the website reads. The outdoor-only camp focuses on theater, art, knitting, puppetry, cooking, storytelling, music, and more. Visit senseofwondercreations.com for more information.
Sassafras Earth Education, based in Aquinnah, is designed for children to explore the natural world of the Vineyard. “In playful ways we explore topics such as being comfortable and safe in the woods, building shelters, edible plants, sneaking and scouting, animal observation and tracking,” the website reads. Sassafras also offers summer overnight adventures. For more information, visit sassafrasmvy.org.
Felix Neck‘s Fern and Feather Natural History Day Camp offers children the opportunity to explore the 350-acres of wildlife at the Mass Audubon property in Edgartown. Call 508-627-4850 or visit massaudubon.org for more information.
The FARM Institute in Edgartown has programs for ages 2 (Wee Farmers) through adult (Farmer for a Day), and run from June 25 through August 31. Find more information and register at farminstitute.org.
Horseback riders take note: there are four horsey summer camps to choose from. Why not try a week at all four? Arrowhead Farm in West Tisbury has 26 years experience in pony camp. The program starts June 11 and includes riding, horse care, games, and crafts. Visit arrowheadfarm.net for more information and a registration form.
Netherfield Farm’s Junior Equestrian Camp invites you to bring your own pony or horse to camp, or ride one of theirs. Limited to eight students per week with two instructors, the camp ensures your child will have enough guidance to gain confidence on horses and even participate in optional horse shows. Visit netherfield.smugmug.com for more information.
Red Pony Farm in West Tisbury offers Summer Pony Club for children ages 4 to 12. Each day includes a full hour of riding in addition to horse knowledge, barn management, grooming, tacking up, and snacks. Visit redponyfarmmv.com for more information
Also in West Tisbury, Pond View Farm‘s camp is “designed to give children of all ages and abilities an opportunity to explore their love of horses…” Visit pondviewfarmmv.com for more information.
Sail Martha’s Vineyard offers programs for all levels of experience on the water, from Messing Around in Boats 1 that focuses on safe, fun, hands-on instruction, and creating enthusiasm for sailing, and racing, taught in Optis, 420s, and Lasers. Visit sailmv.com for more information.
Martha’s Vineyard Skate Camp, which meets Mondays through Fridays at the Skate Park in Oak Bluffs, is for all levels of boarders, ages 7 to 17. Instructors are experienced, safety-certified, and there to make sure all campers have fun. Designed around the needs of each skater, a large emphasis is placed on individual goals, which are usually met by the end of each session. For more information, visit mvskatecamp.com.
For young tennis players, Vineyard Youth Tennis in Oak Bluffs is the place to be. “The Bubble” is free year-round for Vineyard kids, but fees apply for summer residents. Visit vineyardyouthtennis.org or call 508-693-7762 for more information.
Island Gymnastics, the only competitive gymnastics training facility on the Vineyard, offers a summer program for all levels of experience, starting June 25. Call 508-693-8358 or email email@example.com for more information.
In its third summer, Martha’s Vineyard Adventure Camp is for those who love the outdoors. Campers will bike, kayak, fish, swim, hike, boogie board, and more. Find more information at mvadventurecamp.com.
The Oak Bluffs School will play host to the 2012 Summer Sports Camp, from July 2 through August 31, for children in first through eighth grade. Sports offered are tennis, soccer, basketball, capture the flat, ultimate Frisbee, and more. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.