Guide: Camps

March 10, 2010 

Whatever the interest of your child — art, science, sports — there is probably a summer camp available. There are also track-out camps for students in year-round schools, sleep-away camps, church-based camps and more.

Local museums and art galleries offer special camp programs, including:

N.C. Museum of History
N.C. Museum of Art
Art Space
Museum of Natural Sciences

Local skating and sports facilities offer summer camps, including:

Jelly Beans Super Skate Center
The Ice House
Dream Sports Center
Triangle SportsPlex

State Licensing

According to the N.C. Division of Child Development, “Summer Day Camps are exempt from being licensed because they operate as a recreational program for fewer than four consecutive months. Many Summer Day Camps choose to become licensed. By being licensed, they are able to access funding through the subsidized Child Care Program. Summer Day Camps are operated by a variety of providers: parks and recs, 4H, school systems, Ys or private groups. You can search for Summer Day Camps through the Division’s facility search site.”

N.C. child care search

Local Camp Programs

The City of Raleigh has an extensive summer camp program, as do surrounding towns and cities. Check your town or city Web site and search for parks and recreation information.
Raleigh Parks and Recreation
Town of Cary
Town of Apex
Chapel Hill parks
Town of Wake Forest
Smithfield Parks and Recreation
City of Durham

My children are on a year-round schedule. Are there camp programs available?

Yes.In fact since more schools are switching to a year-round schedule, several towns have created programs specially for these students. Check with your town parks and recreation department. Also, check with your local YMCA for available programs. Your child’s school may also be able to provide you with information on track-out programs.

My children want to attend a summer camp. When do we need to sign up?

Summer camps are popular in our area, and registrations often take place several months before summer starts. One good resource is Triangle Parent magazine, which publishes an annual summer camp guide each winter. The magazine also hosts an annual camp fair in Cary around February of each year.
Carolina Parent

I would like to send my children to camp but can’t afford it. Is there financial aid available?

Check with the program you are interested in. Organizations often have some type of assistance for families who need it. Something helpful to read: “Eight ways to afford summer camp.”

My child has special needs. What camps are available for him/her?

There are several camps offered in North Carolina for children with special needs.

Camp Carefree is for children with chronic illnesses and disabilities. Camp Sky Ranch is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and offers a fun-filled camping experience for people with disabilities. Camp Timberwolf offers programs specifically designed for boys and girls ages 6 through 12 with ADD, ADHD, learning disabilities and similar behavioral challenges. Talisman Summer Camps specializes in creating camps that offer adventure and learning experiences for children and teenagers with learning disabilities, ADHD, Asperger’s syndrome and high-functioning autism. For more information on camps for children with special needs check visit Family Village Reacreation & Leisure Center. Another helpful resource for families looking for camps for a special-needs child is the Family Support Network of N.C.

Other resources:

My Summer Camps
North Carolina Summer Camp
YMCA of the Triangle

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