Myth: “Overnight camp is only for the rich.”
Fact:  The truth is that there is a camp out there to fit every budget. And, if you plan ahead, you can take advantage of early enrollment discounts and financial aid. Applying early, it is possible to get a 20-50% discount off of camp tuition, based on need. Private camps tend to be more expensive, so contact camps run by your local county government or agencies like the Campfire Boys and Girls, the YMCA, Boys Scouts and Girl Scouts, the Jewish Community Center, and the Salvation Army. Lastly, inquire about shorter sessions and discounts for multiple children from one family.
Myth: “Only I know what is best for my child.”
Fact: It is tempting for us (especially if we are former campers) to re-create our own camp experience for our child. While the saying “Mother knows best” is true in most circumstances, soliciting some input from your child is the best approach when choosing a camp. Involving the child in the camp research may produce unexpected results. Maybe you think an all boys camp is the best place for your son, but he may want the opportunity to make friends with girls in a relaxed setting. You may think your daughter wants to be at a camp that specializes in art and drama because that is what she enjoys, but maybe she wants to improve her tennis game this summer. Ask your child: do you want to build on your existing strengths and interests this summer or try something new? Be open to the unexpected!
Myth: “If I send my child to camp with a friend, it will make her more comfortable.”
Fact: What outwardly seems to provide a safety net has its pitfalls. A friend can sometimes act as a barrier to your child’s making new friends. All too often, one of the campers has a difficult time. The other child then feels responsible for the friend, which can be extremely burdensome. In addition, your child may choose his activities based upon his friends’ interests, rather than his own. It is important to weigh the comfort of going with a friend with the possible drawbacks. If going with a friend is the only way your child will try camp, it might be worth it. Just prepare your child with possible scenarios and provide him with the problem-solving strategies.
Myth: “A specialty camp – rather than a traditional camp – is the best place for my child.”
Fact: Specialty sports camps focus on teaching technical skills, not necessarily life skills. A child goes to this type of program to work on the skills for one sport (or for the art form, or for drama, etc.), rather than to be part of a community found in a traditional camp. Parents should not make the mistake of thinking a specialty camp will necessarily provide counselors to take care of a homesick child. The coaches and instructors are there to teach skills, not to help your child to make a friend. Therefore, I usually recommend younger kids attend these programs with a friend.
Myth: “A 1-week session is the best way to ease into an overnight camp experience.”
Fact: Sometimes it is the parent who sets a child up for an overnight camping failure by offering things like “I will pick you up if you are unhappy,” or “Let’s just try this camp for one week to see how it goes.” Kids need a chance to feel homesick and get through it with the help of counselors and individual coping mechanisms to feel successful about a camp experience. One week barely gives a child a chance to find their way around a camp, much less feel the tinge of missing Mom and Dad (or the family dog). A two to four week introductory session allows the child to be immersed in the daily routine of a new and safe place, build friendships that will carry over until the next summer, and feel the success of doing something totally on their own. Do the research right and feel comfortable with letting go!
Myth: “My son plays sports all year long, so I want to give him a break from the routine.”
Fact: While it is a nice break for some kids to fish and hike at camp, others just want to play ball!  I advise parents to look for a camp that can provide the sports that the child likes, plus some new challenges that the parents might want for their child. Summer sports are far different than sports during the school year. There is less of an emphasis on winning. A child who can’t make the select baseball or soccer team at home may shine in a camp environment. There are no “helicopter parents” hovering over their kids or yelling on the sidelines. One camp director told me that at the beginning of each session, the campers focus much more heavily on the sports because this is how they are comfortable socializing. Yet, by the middle to end of the session, the kids are much more comfortable to take risks – both athletically and socially. Whether it is up to bat or on the boat, these camps hire counselors who serve as role models to teach qualities like good sportsmanship, teamwork, and learning to lose gracefully. Eve Eifler is part of Tips on Trips and Camps, one of the oldest and largest camp advisory services. For more information, visit

local camps

Summer is just around the corner! The Toledo area is loaded with fun, interactive, and educational camps to keep your children busy. So, kids, get ready to explore the world around you and the imagination within you!

377 East Woodside, Holland
Director:  Elaine Sneider
Camp Locations:  Monclova, Holland & Perrysburg
Theatre Workshops:  Musical Theatre for Young Beginners and A Crazy Fairy Tale
Scouting Workshops:  Brownie Try-It and Junior Girl Scout Badge Workshops
Performance Workshops:  Broadway Stars of Tomorrow and The Doo Wop Girls
Summer Camps:  American Girl Adventures, Magic School Bus and Winnie the Pooh and His Animal Friends

Sensational Kids Daycare and Learning Center
6060 Merger Dr., Holland
Sensational Kids Daycare and Learning Center offers a variety of summer camps.  Come spend the summer with us and we will help your child have a full adventure while working on skills that he or she has learned throughout the school year.  Our trained staff will work on goals from your child’s IEP, outside therapist, or sharpen skills they already have.  Sensational Kids will work on fine and gross motor skills, social skills, and creative outlets as well. 

Notre Dame Academy
3535 W. Sylvania Ave., Toledo
419-475-9359 ext. 3136
Notre Dame Academy earned the City League All Sports Award six times in a row.  Girls in grades five to nine can soar with the Eagles with sports and fun summer camps. Sport camps include basketball, softball, soccer, lacrosse, and volleyball. Various fun camps have something for everyone play, sing, dance, act, bake and craft.  Visit or call 419-475-9359 for camp information.

Bowling Green State University Summer Music Institute
Selected as one of the “best” summer programs for aspiring musicians by the Center for Talented Youth at John Hopkins University, the BGSU summer music camps are designed for junior and high school students, grades 7-12. Camps are offered in brass, strings, recording, percussion, piano, double-reed making, music theater, voice and saxophone. A new Honor String Quartet is being offered as part of the string camp.


Toledo Christian School
2303 Brookford Dr., Toledo
Camp Invention is a week-long adventure in creativity hosted by Toledo Christian School June 14-18 for children entering grades one through six.  It provides a unique opportunity for children to experience hands-on learning through FUN activities.  Sign up at or call 800-968-4332.  Contact Jeanne Segler – 419-478-5964 for more information.

Sunshine Inc.
7223 Maumee Western Rd., Maumee
Diane Wollter, 419-794-8643
Sunshine’s Therapeutic Horseback riding class has proven to be an effective therapy for children with autism and other developmental disabilities. Sessions are typically one day a week for six weeks, with options of afternoon, evening and Saturdays. We’re conveniently located within minutes of I-23 and Rt.24 at 7223 Maumee Western Road in Maumee. For information, call Diane Wollter at 419-794-8643.


Children’s Discovery Center
Franklin Park 
3839 Talmadge Road, 419-474-8303
11090 Avenue Road, 419-874-8203
7033 Lighthouse Way, 419-872-4510
2303 Cheyenne Boulevard, 419-865-8191
8011 Dutch Road, 419-878-8689
1640 Timberwolf Drive, 419-861-1060
Camp Discovery is a unique opportunity for your school-age child to enjoy a summer filled with adventure, learning and fun.
Our project-based curriculum will enhance your child’s summer with enriching learning experiences, weekly Bible lessons, and fun activities. As a secret agent, your child will be sent on covert missions to explore teamwork, communications, gadgets, physical training, world cultures, code-cracking, and clue tracking.
Plus, participants will receive a special award for completing each level of agent training.
Campers will be invited to participate in kids’ choice clubs including: writing, fitness, art, science, cooking, drama, and film-making.
Each week will be filled with trips like swimming, bowling, and skating, horseback riding, wall climbing, as well as visiting local parks and libraries.

Toledo Area Humane Society “Animal Tails Camps”
Campers tour the facility, become a “pet detective” in the scavenger hunt, make crafts, play games, hear presentations from guest speakers and more! All campers receive a T-shirt and get a light snack! For information go to or call 419-482-7106.

St. John’s Jesuit High School & Academy
5901 Airport Hwy., Toledo
Ten different sport camps from baseball to strength training. Enrichment camps covering building an arcade game, climbing a wall at adventure camp, or learning to create a Lego robot. Also academic summer school. St. John’s Jesuit offers camps for students from 5th through 8th grades. See

Imagination Station
One Discovery Way, Toledo
Attending Imagination Station’s Summer Day Camp is an exciting alternative to the usual summertime experience. This year’s theme is Catapults, Coasters and Imagination Station Cars, which focuses on engineering, inventions and exploration. Each day campers will have the opportunity to explore the science center, participate in hands-on workshops and really dig into science! Campers will explore The Big Dig: Fossils to Footprints, our coming summer exhibition; Energy Factory, our exciting new learning world, as well as the over 250 hands-on exhibits that making learning about science – FUN!  Sign up by May 1 to receive a 15% discount.  Visit for detailed information.

St. George Equestrian Center
11200 Neapolis-Waterville Rd.,
Gallop into summer fun!  Learn to ride with our experienced instructor, Stacey Colvin.  Each day campers receive an hour of mounted lessons, plus hands-on instruction of grooming and horse care.  Riders demonstrate their new skills at our Horse Show on Friday.  Enrolling beginner and intermediate riders ages 8 and up.  Cost is $185 per session.

Dance Expressions
7343 International Dr., Toledo
Dance Stars will be shining brightly all summer at Dance Expressions!
Day Camp Stars will enjoy: Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Cheer/Hip Hop & optional “Splash Dance”! Night Dance Stars choose one week classes to try something NEW or to work on cleaning technique! All summer camps and classes include a FUN “Summer Dance Stars” tank top!!

Cornerstone Church
1520 S. Reynolds Rd., Maumee
Cornerstone Church’s Skills Camp ‘10 is the best camp value in town.  Offering Baseball, Basketball, Martial Arts,Football, Dance, Vocal and many more ensures that there is something for everyone!  At $25 per camper, these camps are sure to fit any budget.  Register by contacting Cornerstone via phone or internet, deadline is  June 20th.

Toledo Zoo
2700 Broadway St., Toledo
419-385-5721 ext. 2042
The Toledo Zoo’s Summer Safari Camps keep kids’ brains going all summer long!  Young people can experience the wonders of the natural world through fun, interactive adventures that fit any age and budget.  For a complete schedule of Summer camps, visit or call 419-385-5721, ext 2042.

Harbor Behavioral Healthcare
If you have concerns about the way your child is developing, Children’s Safe Harbor has a program that can diagnose and treat developmental delays and handicaps. Our developmental pediatricians and clinical staff have highly-specialized training to address conditions such as
Attention Deficit Disorder & ADHD
Autism Spectrum Disorders
Mental Retardation
Developmental delays of all kinds
Genetic disorders
Language disorders
Learning disabilities
Our developmental pediatricians and clinical staff work together with your family doctor and area medical specialists to ensure the best possible care for your child.

Julie’s Dance Studio
1234 N. Main St., Bowling Green
Julie’s Dance Studio offers Summer classes in a number of different categories, you’re sure to find one that will be perfect for your child!  This is the perfect way to introduce your little one(s) to the wonderful world of Dance.  Offering everything from Musical Theatre to a “Mom and Me” class Julie’s is the place for dance.

Early Education and Afterschool Care
YMCA and JCC of Greater Toledo
YMCA and JCC of Greater Toledo is the largest provider of child care in the area, serving more than 2,000 children each day at 31 locations. Care is offered for children ages 6 weeks to 12 years through early education, school-age, 2nd shift and summer programs.  Care is also provided on non school days.  Early education provides a Creative Curriculum with enriching activities to encourage physical, social/emotional, cognitive, and language development.  School-age programs provide a Healthy Kids Curriculum with activities that help children grow physically, emotionally and intellectually.  The YMCA/JCC provides flexible care and rates to meet your family’s needs.


Toledo Ballet
5001 Monroe St., Toledo
Summer is the perfect time for your little fairy to develop an interest in dance during a week full of fun enrichment. Dancing Fairies Ballet Camp includes ballet classes, age appropriate classical ballet story time, arts and crafts and a mini-performance opportunity.

Maumee Valley Country Day School
1715 S. Reynolds Rd., Toledo
Maumee Valley Country Day School’s SummerTime program is designed to complement your summer schedule and offers a broad range of camps/classes, including sports, drama, science, aikido and more. Children work and play in small groups where everyone gets the full attention of an excellent instructor. Call 419-381-1313 or visit

Hunter’s Run
9241 Secor Rd., Temperance, MI
Learn how to ride and care for horses in a fun and safe environment. Games, crafts, mock horse show every week. Open to all levels of riding, ages 4 and up. Call us at 734-856-2404 or visit for more information.

West Side Montessori Center
2105 N. McCord Rd., Toledo
Spend your summer at West Side with Camp Explorer, Adventure and Challenger. Full day and 3-hour half day morning or afternoon allow children to fully explore and experience the activities in the class. Experienced professionals lead all programs and dynamic high school and college age counselors assist all camp teachers. Come see what summer at West Side is like — they offer a perfect balance of learning and summer fun!

YWCA Child Care Resource & Referral
2105 N. McCord Rd., Toledo
Among the best in Ohio! Step Up To Quality was created to help parents like you identify early care and education programs that go beyond the minimum standards of licensing. Star rated programs voluntarily meet higher levels of care and early learning. Find a star rated program today!


Lucas County Educational Service Center
World of Words: This foreign language summer camp is for students in grades 1-3 and 4-6 who want to learn Spanish or Chinese. July 21-25, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. $100
Challenger Learning Center: Explore robotics, astronomy, aviation, rocketry and space flight simulation! Week long camps from June through August. Kindergarten through adult, $80-$195. 419-698-1501/
B.A.S.E. Summer Camps: Connect fun and learning with this camp from June through August for ages 5-12. Monday – Friday, 6:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. at Holland Elementary School and Ottawa Hills Elementary School.

Mary Immaculate School3835 Secor Rd., Toledo
Since 1960, Mary Immaculate School is the only Catholic school in the area that specializes in the education of academically struggling students and students with disabilities.  We know that all children can be successful.  MIS educates the whole child by providing a strong standards-based curriculum through lessons that address each child’s learning style and ability.   Weekly sensory integration and social skills classes help build confidence and self-esteem.  Students participate in art, music, technology, and physical education classes.  For more information, contact the school at or visit our website  MIS is sponsored by the Sisters of Notre Dame.

Japan Karate Academy
2219 W. Laskey Rd., Toledo
Attention parents and grandparents, are you looking for a way to keep your child focused this summer?  We are offering a six week summer program that teaches the basic movements, pattern work and sparring of martial arts.  Master A. K. Geelani is a seventh degree black belt specializing in traditional Japanesse style karate.  Summer classes are forming now.  Please call 419-473-7777 for information.


The Toledo Repertoire Theatre
16 10th Street, Toledo
The Toledo Repertoire Theatre offers fun and educational summer theatre camps for children ages 6 to 16.  The camps take place at the University of Toledo’s Department of Theatre and Film on June 21-June 25 and July 26 – July 30 from 9 am to 3 pm each day.  Cost for camp is $100 per week.  For more information please call 419-243-9277 or visit the website at

Mercy College’s Camp Scrubs
2213 Cherry St., Toledo
Camp Scrubs I from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, June 7, through Friday, June 11. Camp Scrubs II, with a focus on forensic science investigation, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, June 21, through Friday, June 25
Call 419-251-1799 for more information!  To apply, visit