Like many parents in Marin and the Bay Area, I'm always looking for summer activities for my children that are not only fun but educational as well. This summer, my eight-year-old son attended Camp Galileo day camp at their Marin location at the beautiful Marin Country Day School in Corte Madera. Camp Galileo offers campers hands-on art, science and outdoor activities as well as fun camp traditions like dress-up day, water day, and the rubber chicken cheer. Furthermore, Camp Galileo boasts impressive curriculum partners, including the de Young Museum, the Tech Museum, and Klutz.
My son was a member of Camp Galileo's Supernovas group—comprising children entering third, fourth, and fifth grades. The camp theme during the week he attended was Detective in Paris: Impressionism & the Science of Sleuthing. In this adventure centered around a fictitious 19th-century art theft, campers explored Impressionist art and used science to try to find the culprit behind the heist. Camp Galileo offers a unique approach that teaches children to be innovators. Campers learn to innovate, collaborate, identify their goals and audiences, generate ideas, and be creative.
Marinwood Summer Camp has added an all-new camp this summer for parents and new campers. On August 1, 3, and 5 from 9:30 am–12:30 pm, Marinwood will be hosting Parent Tot Camp, especially for three-year-olds and a parent. Fun activities at Parent Tot Camp include playing games, making crafts, singing songs, and swimming in the Marinwood tot pool. It is a perfect way to introduce little ones to camp.
To sign up for Marinwood's Parent Tot Camp, visit www.marinwood.org or call the Marinwood Community Center at (415) 479-0775. Marinwood Community Center is located at 775 Miller Creek Road (near Lucas Valley Road) in the Marinwood area of San Rafael.
Golf is one of those sports that you have to try at least once, so you learn how to swing the clubs properly and understand the game. A number of Marin County summer camp programs offer golf lessons for kids starting at pre-K. Here are some of the choices:
Marinwood Community Center in San Rafael offers a Junior Golf Summer Camp for ages 7–16. There are 9 sessions starting on June 13, Monday–Friday from 9 am–noon or 1–4 pm. The Junior Golf Camp takes place at the McInnis Park Golf Academy in San Rafael. The camp focuses on building the confidence of young athletes through training in proper technique and foundational skills. The cost is $325 per session. Visit their website to sign up or more info.
McInnis Park Golf Club Summer Camp in San Rafael offers weekly camps for ages 7 and up Monday–Friday with morning and afternoon sessions. Their golf camps cover all aspects of the game with a low student-to-teacher ratio. Camp ends with a graduation BBQ and presentation of graduation certificates. The price is $325 and includes a daily snacks. For more info, call (415) 492-1800 or go to their website.
Still looking for fun kids' activities and camps for summer? There's still time to sign up for one of the many classes and programs offered by local parks and recreation departments and other organizations. Find your local recreation resource on our list below. We've also included links to the summer camps offered by the Marin YMCA and the Osher Jewish Community Center.
Guest contributor Barbara McVeigh shares some great resources for summer sailing and nautical fun for kids and families.
The America’s Cup sailing race is yet two years away, but the excitement in the maritime communities is beginning to build just like the wind before a full blown gale.
There are lots of family fun sailing events planned this summer with activities promising to please the youngest of sailors to the crustiest of old salts. Treasure hunts, model boat building, schooner sails and pirates in Vallejo are just some of the teasers to lure a landlubber into the magical world of sailing.
Youth sailing camps start in June. The sport encourages teamwork and develops self reliance and confidence unlike any other activity. For a child, this can be the beginning of lifelong knowledge of the sport and art of sailing, as well as a connection to the natural elements of sea and wind. Kids laugh and have fun sailing!
Marin Mommies presents a guest article from the staff at Camp Edmo and Camp Edtech on the dangers of summer learning loss and what you can do about it.
Summer is coming and it can be hard to choose the right camp for your child. The choice often depends on the age of the camper and the types of activities. You can choose a general camp, an academic camp, a specialty camp, or a hybrid. If you have a younger child, the choice is up to the parent, of course. Why not choose a camp that provides balance, introduces them to a variety of activities and helps put them on a fun path to learning at an early age?
The Education Foundation states “Informal activities at camps or with families cultivate such things as reading for pleasure and experimenting out of sheer curiosity”.1 Additionally, studies by John Hopkins University have found all young people experience learning losses when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer. Researchers note that children across the socio-economic spectrum lose an average of over two months’ learning from the previous school year in math, science and reading. Cumulatively, from kindergarten through twelfth grade, this counts for three academic years lost!2
Marin Mommies is pleased to present a guest article by Ally Kushin, Camp Director for Coastal Camp at Headlands Institute. She discusses the increasing problem of nature deficit disorder and highlights local opportunities to connect children to the natural world. Ally has worked in the field of environmental education for the past 9 years as a naturalist, park ranger, and camp director.
In 2005 the book Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv popularized the term “nature deficit disorder.” In it, he refers to the trend of children spending less time outdoors, resulting in a wide range of behavioral, social, and medical problems. Louv claims that causes for the phenomenon include parental fears, restricted access to natural areas, and the “lure of the screen,” referring to increasing electronic media consumption.
Children who spend more time in nature are known to develop increased concentration, memory, and self discipline. The latest research has established amazing connections between the amount of time spent in nature to everything from better grades to increased immunity to germs to stronger bones.
Gymnastics is not only great for coordination and balance, but it's a lot of fun, too, which may explain why it's a popular summer camp activity. Pyramid in Corte Madera, Marin's oldest gymnastics club,offers weekly morning and afternoon intensive summer camp sessions for boys and girls starting June 13. The Pyramid summer camps introduce kids to real gymnastics, where they'll receive instruction on the six Olympic events for men and the four Olympic events for women. Campers have plenty of opportunities to develop their coordination, strength, flexibility, and balance in a safe and fun environment.
Pyramid offers morning and afternoon sessions, depending on age. The morning summer camps offers five weekly sessions that run Monday–Thursday from 10 am–noon for children six year of age and older. The cost for the morning summer camps are $120 per session. The afternoon summer camps are for children in pre-k through sixth grade and are held Monday–Friday; pre-k and kindergarten camps are from 2:45–3:30 pm, kindergarten–second grade from 3:30–4:15 pm, first–fourth grade from 4:15–5:15 pm, and third–sixth grade from 5:15-6:15 pm. The cost is $65–$75 per session.