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FAMILY GUIDE Need summer activities for your kids? Your guide to camps of all kinds throughout the region.



SUNDAY, APRIL 22, 2018

Read with your kids this summer By Marissa Orbanek Contributing writer

Research and educators have long suggested that a bit of summer education can go a long way. For example, when children stop reading, they can fall behind significantly when school resumes. “Teachers on average have to spend four to six weeks focusing on those children who didn’t do any reading over the summer," says United Way of Erie County Vice President Laurie Root. “This isn’t something that can be corrected after one year. The summer learning loss is cumulative and this can have a detrimental effect on at-risk and low-income students." The bad news is that children can fall two years behind by fifth grade. Luckily, there is a pretty simple way to beat what is known as the“summer slide.” Research shows that reading six books over the summer can help students maintain the gains they made during the previous school year. "There are certainly a lot of other educational activities that children can engage in other than reading, but reading is the most important,” says Root. "Every child has an interest. It’s just connecting that interest with a book." And reading can take place every day. Scholastic Book Clubs recommends having children read something every day — a comic, a recipe, a website or magazine. The Children’s Literacy Initiative adds 2

Sunday, April 22, 2018


Reading with your kids should be a part of summer activities to help them retain what they learn during the school year. [SHUTTERSTOCK.COM]

to that advice, saying that it’s also about setting goals, whether it’s a book a week or an hour a day, and finding the “just right” book that is not too easy that they get bored or so hard that they give up. So, where can you get some books at a low cost?

United Way of Erie County donated books from the 2018 Summer Slide Book Drive to: • Diehl Elementary • Fairview Elementary • Edison Elementary • Grover Cleveland Elementary • Harding Elementary • Jefferson Elementary

• Joanna Connell Elementary • Lincoln Elementary • McKinley Elementary • Perry Elementary • Pfeiffer-Burleigh Elementary • Clark Elementary • Rolling Ridge Elementary • Northwest Elementary • Springfield Elementary • Wattsburg Area Elementary Center

If your school didn’t make the list, there are other ways you can get your hands on some books. The Imagination Library sends a free book to all children in Erie County from theday of birth until their 5th

birthday. Books begin arriving at your home eight to ten weeks after your completed registration form is received. To register, head to www. imagination/register. United Way’s Reading Buddies program is for parents of preschoolaged children in Erie County. This program provides training, developed by local reading specialists, that offers techniques to make the most of reading time with children. There are various Reading Buddy events throughout the summer months. To find out more information,

visit The Erie County Public Library provides various children’s resources, including events, games and books for all ages. From reading to a therapy dog to learning how to 3D print, to Family Storytime and Blasco Bookworms, the Erie County Public Library system offers various events to build children’s confidence to read out loud and stay engaged in reading activities. Stop in to or call for more information. The Erie County Public Library outlets include:

• Millcreek Branch: 2088 Interchange Road, Suite 280, 451-7084 • Fairview Lincoln Community Center: 1255 Manchester Road, 451-7085 • Iroquois Avenue Branch Library: 4212 Iroquois Ave., 451-7082 • Edinboro Branch Library: 413 W. Plum St. Edinboro, 451-7081 • Raymond M. Blasco, M.D. Memorial Library: 160 E. Front St., 451-6900 There are also six independent libraries in Erie County that offer programs: • Albion Area Public Library: 111 E. Pearl St., Albion, 814-756-5400 • Corry Public Library: 117 W Washington St., Corry, 814-664-7611 • McCord Memorial Library: 32 W. Main St., North East, 725-4057 • Rice Avenue Public Library: 705 Rice Ave., Girard, 774-8286 • Union City Public Library: 2 Stranahan St., Union City, 814-438-3209 • Waterford Public Library: 24 South Park Row, Waterford, 796-4729

If you can’t get to a library, the Bookmobile will be out and about throughout April, May and June. Find out more by emailing bkm@eriecountypa. gov, calling 451-6935 or visiting uploads/2018/04/BKMApril-May-June.pdf for the events calendar. Marissa Orbanek is the public relations manager at the General McLane School District and the girls varsity lacrosse coach at McDowell High School.

Summer activities for all abilities Events, teams, camps provide opportunities to those with special needs

covered by private insurance. That, combined with witnessing their child’s joy making music, is music to parents’ ears. Learn more about music options available locally:

By Jennifer Smith Contributing writer

Summer offers the perfect opportunity to just be a kid. And special needs kids are just that, after all. So why not discover a new way to play, make some music and explore the outdoors? Thanks to a number of community organizations, children with unique physical, medical or emotional needs have a variety of options for developing new skills and friendships this summer. MAKE MUSIC You don’t need a degree to know that music can lift your mood. But there are many other benefits. “Music therapy captivates and maintains one’s attention,” said Kim Dulski, a speechlanguage pathologist with LECOM Health. “It stimulates emotional and reward centers within the brain.”

Lake Erie Music Therapy,

814-746-6672, www., music therapy and lessons, group and individual, adults and children. Kindermusik with Sheryl May, kmwithsm@aol.

Ethan Potocki has been participating in a session with Lake Erie Music Therapy for several years. His mother, Karen, attributes his ability to say his name to the therapy. [CONTRIBUTED PHOTO]

Jamie Matson, center, a former Gannon University soccer player, works with AJ Edwards, left, and Nicky Kuzmin to develop motor skills at Spectrum Soccer.

It can also reach areas of the brain that aren’t accessible to other modalities, she said. “Music therapy has opened many doors for my son to connect and communicate with his family, friends and classmates,” said Hope Jost, whose son Aidan, now 15, started a session with

just developing musical skill. Karen Potocki credits music therapy as the reason her son Ethan, who is on the autism spectrum, began saying his name. No musical ability or experience is required to benefit from music therapy, said Craig Stevens,

Lake Erie Music Therapy two years ago. In just the intake process, Aidan discovered he had perfect pitch. Since then he’s been successful performing in the school chorus and playing the snare drum in the band. But the benefits of music therapy go beyond


founder of Lake Erie Music Therapy. Sessions can be individual or in a group setting, and experiences include singing, playing a variety of instruments, dancing, movement and more. Because LEMT is data-driven and research-based, Stevens added, sessions are often

com, www.sherylmay. Classes for baby, toddler and preschool age children use music as the key to unlocking social, emotional, cognitive, literacy, motor skills, language, and musicality. Cindy Legwaila Music Therapy Services, 607-

435-4516, clegwailamt@ World of Music, 814459-2585, www., private music lessons. PLAY YOUR WAY Sometimes kids just need a little extra time, space and attention in order to be successful. Luckily the lineup of adaptive sports and


Sunday, April 22, 2018


Therapeutic Riding Equestrian Center in Fairview Township offers a variety of options for children and adults with special needs. [FILE PHOTO/ERIE TIMES-NEWS]

sensory friendly opportunities is growing. Spectrum Soccer offers opportunities for positive peer and social interaction, along with the development of soccer and gross motors skills for children with sensory needs, social needs and autism spectrum disorder. The program was started by Jamie Matson, a former Gannon soccer player, special education teacher and soon-to-be mother of four. Sessions run throughout the year on select Saturdays at 3:23 Athletics in Girard, and this summer will include a mini-camp for ages 4-7, 8-12 and 13-16. “It’s all about making it a positive experience, building their 4

Sunday, April 22, 2018


self-esteem and learning to love sports,” said Matson, who offers individualized attention thanks to a core of dedicated volunteers, including Gannon soccer players and current and retired special educators. Get Air, a jump park that opened on East Grandview Boulevard earlier this year, opted to open early each Saturday from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. for special needs hours. In addition to a reduced entry fee, the session allows parents to jump along, and is less crowded and noisy. Once a month, Chuck E. Cheese and the Experience Children’s Museum also open early on Sundays to allow families a calmer,

more sensory-friendly experience. Learn more about sports and active play opportunities available locally: Challenger Little League Teams, age 4-18, or up

to age 22 if still enrolled in high school, to enjoy the game of baseball with adapted rules and equipment. LeBoeuf Little League C h a l l e n g e r , Heather

Johnston, 460-1345 or flbchallengers@yahoo. com. Millcreek (MYAA) Challenger, Kregg Heenan,

450-6364 or

North East Challenger,

Jennifer Smith, 240-8507 or wordsmithcreations@gmail. com.

EASE adaptive sailing boats sit in the marina next to the Bayfront Sheraton Hotel. [FILE PHOTO/ERIE TIMES-NEWS]

Experience Children's Museum, 420 French St.,


Get Air Erie Trampoline Park, 1338 E. Grandview Blvd., opens early on Saturdays for sensory friendly time from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. [FILE PHOTO JACK HANRAHAN/ERIE TIMES-NEWS] Cheer Vibe, 337 W. 12th St., 923-3426, www. Programs offered: Special needs team for ages 4-18 includes assistance from a buddy, a member of Cheer Vibe travel team with a minimum of three years experience, who serves as a personal coach to assist at practice and performances.




Programs offered: Free sensory friendly mornings, held last Sunday of the month, 10 a.m. to noon. Therapist membership enables using the museum for sessions. Tactile wall and many sensory offerings. Classes, camps, exhibits, PEC cards. Erie Gymnastics Center,

7200 Peach St., (814) 864-3100,

4725 Park-Harbor Dr., 898-2936, www.

EASE, Erie Adaptive Sailing Experience, Bayfront

Autism and special needs class.

Maritime Center, 40 Holland St., 456-4077 Programs offered:

Youth with physical and mental disabilities to sail independently on Presque Isle Bay.

Programs offered:

Get Air, 1338 E. Grandview Blvd., (814) 377-0232, Programs offered:



on |

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Saturdays for sensory friendly time, 8-10 a.m. Gliding Stars of Erie, P.O. Box 11304, 825-5555 or Programs offered: adaptive ice skating. Meca, 1611 Peach St.,

454-9113, Programs offered: Adaptive baseball. Spectrum


814-434-3350, Saturday session and summer minicamp. Special needs child paired with a buddy. TOP Basketball at Penn

State Behrend, 814-8986398, Dave Niland, head coach. Programs offered: Special needs child is paired with a buddy. TOP Soccer at Penn State


Sunday, April 22, 2018


Behrend, 814-8986296. Dan Perritano, coach. Programs offered: Special needs child is paired with a buddy. EXPLORE NATURE, SCIENCE Astronaut Academy, 3D Video Game Design, Cake Wars, EcoExplorer, Digging into Art, Jurassic Journey and Rainforest Expedition are just a few of the cool topics kids can explore at Asbury Woods, College for Kids, Erie Zoo, Experience Children’s Museum and Presque Isle State Park. Over the years, these providers have been willing to make modifications that will enable a child to be more comfortable and successful. Examples include allowing for quiet time and providing sensory items

to help with attention, and welcoming a child’s aide to attend with the child. Kelley Lang, director of education and community programs at Asbury Woods, encourages parents to call and discuss their child’s particular needs and the camp’s curriculum to ensure that it’s a good fit. To learn more about animals, nature and science: Asbury Woods, 4105

Asbury Road, 814835-5356, www.

Programs offered:

Nature programs and camps. Blended Spirits Ranch, 7401 McCray Road, Fairview, 449-5657, www. blendedspirits Programs offered:

Equine Assisted Learning for Individuals on the

autistic spectrum. EcoExplorer, Nate Millet, Programs offered: Camp July 23-27 at Presque Isle. Register by June 30. Erie Zoo, 423 W. 38th

St., 864-4901, www.

Programs offered:

Classes, camps, PEC cards. Accommodations can be made for special needs. Aides may attend with child. Penn State Behrend,

5451 Merwin Lane, 8986871, Programs offered:College for Kids, parent or aide may attend with child. Therapeutic Riding Equestrian Center (TREC),

8342 Platz Road, Fairview, 323-2156 Programs offered: New

riding class for grades 1-8 on the autism spectrum features activities based on the seven essential learning domains of the Framework for Independent Living curriculum. SPECIALIZED CAMPS AND ACTIVITIES

Camps offered at the Barber National Institute and the Achievement Center incorporate structured activities, outdoor games and offsite field trips in the community, all with the aim of improving social and coping skills for children with ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, intellectual or physical disabilities. The Autism Society of Northwestern Pennsylvania also sponsors a number of opportunities for children and families to get together, including monthly outings and

the Friends & Pals Club, a group for middle and high school students that offers opportunities for making friends, sharing experiences and having fun. Achievement Center,

4950 W. 23rd St. 459-2755, www. Programs offered: ADHD Summer Therapeutic Activities Program, EmergingLanguageCamp, bike camp, Babygarten, Camp Read-A-Lot, Leap Ahead,tutoringandtherapeutic recreation. Autism Society, 1062 Brown Ave., 455-3540 Programs offered:

Asbury Woods Nature Center, 4105 Asbury Road, offers education and community programs and suggests parents call ahead to discuss a child’s particular needs. [FILE PHOTO LINDSEY POISSON/ERIE TIMES-NEWS]

Monthly family sensory/ social outings, Friends & Pals Teen Club, Next Step Guide, a reference guide to support and services for families.

Barber National Institute,

136 East Ave., 453-7661, www.barberinstitute. org Programs offered: Camp Shamrock, recre-

ational camp for those ages 5-21 with autism, intellectual or physical disabilities. Attend one to six weeks. June 25–Aug. 3. Contact Expanding Social Opportunities, summer camp for

those ages 18 and older with an intellectual disability. Attend one to six weeks. June 25–Aug. 3. Contact Connections Camp, builds social skills for those ages 5-14 with high functioning autism. June 27-Aug. 7, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Penn State Behrend campus. Free before and after care. Contact Connectionscamp@

Learn to Ride Bike Camp,

helps children develop skills to ride their bikes independently. It is structured to meet the needs of children and young adults with autism, Down syndrome or other special needs. It is open to any youngster able to pedal but who still uses training wheels. Contact EKidzCare, 16269 Conneaut Lake Road, Suite 104, Meadville 814-8071162, www.ekidzcare. com Pediatria Healthc a r e Fo r K i d s , 1600

Peninsula Drive, Suite 19, 833-0221, www. Jennifer Smith is a freelance writer and mom living in Erie.


Sunday, April 22, 2018


DAY CAMPS TEACH JUST ABOUT ANYTHING Animation, science, computers, arts and more are offered to area students By Marissa Orbanek Contributing writer

Day camps provide ways for children to remain enriched and engaged throughout the summer months. There are a variety of options in the Erie area that provide a number of physical, social and academic activities to foster creativity, independence and critical thinking. The best part? There’s probably one to capture everyone’s interest. Here are some of the summer options available in the Erie area. YMCA of Greater Erie YMCA of Greater Erie offers a variety of summer day camps at various branch locations and YMCA affiliate programs. Kindergarten Readiness Camp introduces children entering kindergarten to the basic skills needed for the transition. This program will be offered in June only at Eastside Family and at the Downtown Y. Y Kindercamp offers kids at the pre-K and kindergarten levels the opportunity to join a fun, character building and adventure-filled summer camp. Y Day Camp is available


Sunday, April 22, 2018


to children in first through sixth grades. It offers indoor and outdoor experiences in a wide variety of topics and activities that incorporate healthy living. Y Teen Camp is available to teens between the ages of 13 and 17 and offers leadership opportunities, competitive games, social activities, team-building activities and volunteer work. Y Themed Camp is open to children in kindergarten through sixth grades and provides children a chance to explore new and exciting adventures. Themes include Cooking Camp, Let’s Explore Dinosaurs, Wizards/Knights/Jedis, Superheroes, Photography, Creativity, and Mad Science/Grossology. This camp is located at the Eastside Family Y or Harborcreek Township Building.

Reading is part of one of the many YMCA camps. [TAMMY ROCHE/CONTRIBUTED PHOTO]

Girl Scouts of Western PA Greater Erie Area Day Camp at Hawthorne Ridge offers a summer day camp experience full of adventure and imagination. Information: Contact Camp Sherwin at 800-248-3355, e-mail hawthorneridge@ or visit www.

Students use brushes to uncover pottery during Archeology Camps at the Experience Children Museum in Erie. [FILE PHOTO/ERIE TIMES-NEWS]

Fishing is something kids can learn at a variety of camps. [CONTRIBUTED PHOTO]

Boy Scouts of America: French Creek Council Oliver Perry District offers a camp for Tiger Cubs, Cub Scouts, Wolves, Bears and Webelos. Scouts learn various outdoor skills that are built upon in Boy Scouts. The 2018 Cub Scout Day Camp takes place June 18-22 at Erie County Tech School. Information: Visit www. Camp Invention The nationallyacclaimed program challenges elementary and middle school students to reinvent themselves in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). This year’s program is called Fast Forward, and students will have the opportunity to create their own robotic pets for the construction of a new dog park attraction, design their own futuristic smart homes, launch into the future with their own small self-driving bot, and use collaboration, discovery and invention prototyping to solve realworld issues. This year’s program is offered at two sites:

James W. Parker Middle School, June 11-15 For children entering grades 1 through 6 8:30 a.m.- 3 p.m. Cost: $225 Conneaut Middle School, June 4-8 For children entering grades K through 6 9:00 a.m-3:30 p.m., with extended camp hours offered for an additional cost. Cost: $225 Information:

Edinboro Univesity's during these weeklong Digital Media Zooventure programs, Academy which are available to children ages 4 to 17. When: June 10-12 (overnight) Cost: $25 per student; registration required by May 12 Students entering grades 10-12 will enjoy intensive work sessions in the department's media studios and computer labs. Interactive activities will be focused on audio, video, print and web. Information: Contact Ronald Raymond at

Edinboro Univesity's Xavier and Tina Williams Summer Youth Business Academy When: June 10-14 (Sunday-Thursday) Cost: Through the generosity of a benefactor, scholarships will be available to cover the cost for each student selected for participation in the academy. The Xavier and Tina Williams Summer Youth Business Academy will immerse students entering grades 9, 10 and 11 into seminars focused on team building, business strategy, management, finance, marketing and problemsolving, as well as financial planning for college. They also meet with faculty from the EU School of Business and regional business leaders, tour a local company, and engage in team-building activities. Information: www. businessacademy

Nature Art Camp is available for students in kindergarten through fourth grades. Junior Zookeeper Program Pollywog Camp is availis a weeklong camp available for children who are 4 able to kids between 11 or 5 years old. and 17. Jr. Naturalist Camp is Advanced Junior Zooavailable to students in kinkeeper Program is a dergarten through fourth weeklong experience grades. This year’s campavailable to teens between ers have the opportunity to 15 and 17 who have comtry three outdoor explorapleted at least one year of tions: Eco-lab, Splash Zone Junior Zookeeper. and Back to the Future. When: Programs are Mixed Media Mania and available in June, July and Digital Photography Camp August. is open to students in Information: Contact the grades 5 through 8 who zoo office at 864-4091 or will work with multiple visit media and nature. When: 10 weekly sessions Corella Productions: are available, June 11 to Children’s Theatre August 17. Academy Information: Visit www. to view S t u d e n t s e n t e r i n g the full schedule.

grades 5 through 12 will learn acting, singing and Penn State dancing to produce “Les Behrend’s College Miserables” to expose for Kids them to live theatre. Cost: $260 Penn State Behrend When: June 18-22, 10 College for Kids is a sixa.m.–4 p.m. week summer enrichment Information: Email Patty program offering a diverse Corella at corellaprods@ selection of one-week classes, based on age, for students between 6 and 14 Erie Playhouse years old. Expect to see courses Erie Playhouse You- on a variety of topics and theatre Summer Camp is themes, including fishavailable to students ages ing, edible science, slime 5 to 16. testing and making, Summer Youtheatre rewriting the ending to Camp is led by profes- classic children tales, sional theater staff. square dancing, video aniS t u d e n t s w i l l l e a r n mation, acting, robotics, acting, dancing, singing engineering homemade and much more. cars, creative writing, and When: June 18-23 and June participating in escape 25–June 30 room challenges.

criminal investigators camp, a theatre camp, journalism, Model UN, near-space exploration, women’s college prep and other camps.

Model UN Camp, July 30 to August 3. Teens between 14 and 18 discover the field of international relations and make new friends as they explore the world during this five-day camp. Summer School of Excellence, July 9 to 13. This program helps teens learn how to deal with science and environmental health issues in the lab and at Gannon's research vessel, the Environaut. Information: Visit www.

WLD Ranch Camp WLD Ranch offers a Wrangler Weeks camp and adventure camps for kids from kindergarten to 12th grade. Camps include those for the horse lover, target sports and the adventurer. Information: www. summer_camp

Experience Children’s Museum Discovery Day Camps Day camps are available to children between the ages of 4-6 and 5-9. Camps include hands-on investigation and discovery of science, art, health and the surrounding world.

When: 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., various days/week during Encore! Camp is open to When: June 11 through June, July and August. students who have spent July 27 (no classes July 4) Cost: $150 per at least two summers at Information: For additional member/$175 per Erie Zoo Youtheatre Camp. information, please connon-member. When: July 9 to 14 tact the College for Kids Kiddie Camp. Mondays Which animals make Information: www.erioffice at 814-898-6871 or 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m., June good pets? What do an email 4, July 30 and August 20. New this year, this camp is onion and rainforest have camps, or call 454-2852. in common? Do modern Gannon University designed for the youngest day dinosaurs exist? Asbury Woods campers. Children will disLearn all of this and more Nature Center The school offers a cover the power of playing

to learn through structure free play, story time, song art and more. Aspiring Artists (formerly Creativity Camp). July 9-13. Children will engage in various art forms including story writing, dancing, music and photography. Local artists will visit to help with student projects and the week ends with their own art show. School for Superheroes Camp. August 6-10. Campers will recognize everyday heroes and create their own alter ego to fight evil and stand for good. Kids in the Kitchen. July 23-27. Campers will turn into junior chefs as they learn the fundamentals of cooking though experimental and collaborative kitchen adventures. Mad Scientist. June 25-29. Through STEM challenges, campers will explore chemistry, coding and kinetics. Astronaut Academy Camp. June 18-22. Through this one-of-a- kind space adventure, Experience Explorers 5 to 9 years old will travel the earth, solar system, universe and beyond in this new summer camp. Campers will build and test a stomp rocket, design and control a Mars rover, and much more. Amazing Race Camp. July 16-20. New this year, campers will work together to solve cultural STEAM challenges while fostering teamwork and fun. Little Einstein Experience Day Camp. June 11, July 2 and August 13. Little campers can experience the camp atmosphere without the entire week commitment. Campers will participate in STEAM activities, literature and music. Cost: three-day session cost: members, $110, non-members, $140; single camp day cost: members, $40, non-members, $50.


Sunday, April 22, 2018



Sunday, April 22, 2018



Sunday, April 22, 2018


Pinterest Perfect at Light in the Woods (Edinboro) Camperswillgetawhole weekofPinterestKidsFun. Art activities will include recycled design and construction incorporating a light component,painting, repousse and fiber art. When: 9:30-11:30 a.m., July 9-13 Cost: $120, early bird by July 1 is $100 Information: Call 814-464-7646.

Students practice their bridge moves during a schoolage tumbling class at the County YMCA in Washington Township. [FILE PHOTO CHRISTOPHER MILLETTE/ERIE TIMES-NEWS]

Information: Contact Nate Millet at 814-440-3953 or nmillet@environmenterie. Explore Presque Isle org.

ECO Explorer Camp

in a completely different way. Campers will take part in hiking, canoeing, swimming, biking, fishing, water quality testing, and be a part of a service learning project that will benefit Presque Isle's unique habitat. When: July 23-27 Cost: $50


Sunday, April 22, 2018


Camp Notre Dame Kids KAMP Day Camping Campers ages 4-8 will be introduced to resident camping through daytime camping, with hiking, storytelling, arts and crafts, swimming and more.

When: June 25–29, July 2– July 6, July 9–July 13, July 16–July 20, July 23–July 27, July 30–August 3, August 6–August 10 Information: Call 814-474-5001.

Marissa Orbanek is the public relations manager at the General McLane School District and the girls varsity lacrosse coach at McDowell High School.


Sunday, April 22, 2018


Sleep-away camps offer life lessons

Students of all ages participate in Cadet Camp. [CONTRIBUTED PHOTO]

Bonding at camp in the outdoors is a great experience for participants at Camp Onyshsa. [CONTRIBUTED PHOTO]

Campers at Camp Onyshsa participate in teen and overnight camp. [CONTRIBUTED PHOTO]

Kid can learn about themselves while picking up new skills By Heather Cass Contributing writer

Sleepaway camp is a right of passage for teens. Hilarious pranks, ghost stories told by flashlight, campfire songs, gigantic cabin spiders and young summer crushes are the things lifelong memories are made of. Fun mixed with a little adventure and freedom is the perfect recipe for mental and emotional growth for kids taking their first steps toward independence. Every child is different, so it's hard to say at what age kids 14

Sunday, April 22, 2018


are ready for their first sleepaway experience. Some children may be ready as young as 8 or 10; others may not be ready until their tweens or teens. If you’re sending your child to overnight camp this year, here are a few tips to help them prepare and to decide if they're really ready for a resident camp experience. Do a trial run: If your child has never slept away from home, start by having them sleep at a friend or relative's house for a weekend first. Go small: Sign up for

a single overnight or a two- or three-day camp experience first. Get a preview: Most resident camps offer an open house in the spring. Go together and check it out. Camp together: Many camps offer a childand-parent weekend or overnight experience. Get them involved: Let kids help pack and purchase items needed for camp. Prepare kids to unplug: Electronics, including cell phones, are not permitted at most camps. Some camps allow kids to bring cell phones but restrict usage or require they be left in the camp office. Make sure kids know the rules so they aren't surprised when they arrive. Send e-mail from home:

Many camps offer oneway e-mail service. You can write to kids, and counselors will print and deliver e-mails to campers daily. Be aware that few camps allow kids to e-mail you back. Recruit a friend: Kids feel better when they have a friend attend camp with them. Most camps offer requests for bunkmates. Homesickness help: Camp counselors are trained and experienced in dealing with homesickness and providing the support and comfort children need to work through the adjustment.

College, 520 N. Main St., Meadville Contact: 814-332-5351,, http://sites.allegheny. edu/creekconnections/ creek-camp When: Two sessions are offered, June 24-29 or July 8-13 Weeklong, hands-on, field-based study of freshwater ecology for high school sophomores and juniors who must apply for admission. Taught by college professors and environmental experts. Cost: $1,500


Where: Allegheny College, 520 N. Main St., Meadville Contact: 814-898-1641,,

Creek Camp Where: Allegheny

Camp Cadet

When: June 17-22 Weeklong camp for teens ages 13-16 designed to give students a taste of the Pennsylvania State Police training program. Cadets are required to learn military courtesy. Students must apply (by April 30) for an opportunity to be chosen. Cost: Free, but students are required to participate in a fundraiser.

Criminal Investigator's Camp Where: Gannon University, 109 University Square Contact: 871-5378,, http://camps.gannon. edu When: July 22-27 Teens ages 15-18 can

learn surveillance, CSI tactics, how to analyze evidence and more during this weeklong camp taught by several law-enforcement officials including former special agents from the FBI, DEA, NCIS, and ATF. Participation is limited to 30 students. Cost: $699

Gannon Theater Experience Where: Gannon University, Schuster Theater When: July 16-21 Contact: Shawn Clerkin 871-7493, clerkin001@ Is there an actor in the house? Teens ages 13-18 can get their theater groove on with performance classes, playwriting and theater criticism, scenic design, stage lighting and puppetry. Camp concludes with an

all-original performance by the campers. Cost: $325

Camp EMS (EmergyCare, Erie) Where: Allegheny College, 520 N. Main St., Meadville Contact: 870-1040, jkifer@, www. When: June 24-29 Weeklong camp for teens ages 14-17 who are interested in careers in emergency medical services or medicine. The camp is coordinated by EmergyCare. Students must apply online (or contact the office for a brochure/registration materials). Applications are due by May 25. Participation is limited to 50 teens. Cost: $100

Camp Fitch YMCA 12600 Abels Road, North

Springfield Contact: 877-863-4824,, Offering week-long camps for kids from ages 6 to 17 Special offerings: Focused camps include tech camp, equestrian, competitive swimming and leadership. Special camps for kids with diabetes and epilepsy, too. Average cost: $655 for 7-day camps (financial aid is available for those who qualify)

Camp Hawthorne Ridge (Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania) Where: 7755 Hawthorne Ridge Road, Girard Contact: 800-248-3355, hawthorneridge@gswp. org, When: All summer long Variety of one- to five-day camps for girls in grades K-12. Girls do not have to

be Girl Scouts to attend camp. Special offerings: Themed camps include Harry Potter sessions, Kamp Katniss, Science Sampler, Pony Party, and some awesome travel camps including Fun at the Lagoons and Water Slides and Theme Park Rides, where girls travel to attractions/sites in Erie. Average cost: $25-$350, depending on type of camp and duration.

Camp Onyshsa YMCA Where: 5411 E Lake Rd, Dewittville, N.Y. Contact: 800-563-6115 ext. 238,, Offering week-long residential camps for kids from ages 7 to 17 Special offerings: Horseback riding, teen camp, leader-in-training for older teens.

Average cost: $505 to $605 for week-long camps, $245 for mini-camps (Financial aid available for those who qualify)

Special offerings: Traditional, archeology, arts, engineering, team sports. New this year: Water adventure camp and leadership training for older teens. Average cost: $370-$450 for weeklong programs, $200 for minicamps

FAITH-AFFILIATED CAMPS Note: Campers need not be a member of these faiths to attend camp. All are welcome. Parents should be advised, however, that most camps include faith-based activities and worship. Many of these camps offer a day camp option as well.

Camp Notre Dame Where: 400 Eaton Road, Fairview Contact: 474-5001, office@, www.campnotredame. com Offering seven weeks of overnight camp (Sundays to Fridays) for children ages 7-17. Special offerings: Older teen, challenge course, archery, and counselorin-training for 17-year olds. The camp also offers father-and-son and mother-and-daughter weekends. Average cost: $310

Camp Judson Where: 398 Holliday Road, North Springfield Contact: 814-922-3834,, Offering three-day minicamps and weeklong camps for students entering grades 2-12.


Sunday, April 22, 2018


program for students in grades 2-12. Special offerings: Night Owl Club (nocturnal adventure camp), model rocketry, musical theater, horse camp, adventure camp, young scientist camp. Average cost: $450-$700 for weeklong camps.

Edinboro Conference Grounds Where: 12940 Fry Road, Edinboro Contact: 814-882-9816, edinborocamp@gmail. com, www.edinborocamp. com Offering weeklong residence camps and weekend camps for children ages 6 to 18, including adventurebased camps for teens. Special offerings: Adventure camp (rock climbing, rappelling, canoeing), horseback riding. Average cost: $240 to $320 for weeklong camps.

Wesley Woods Where: 1001 Fiddlersgreen Road, Grand Valley Contact: 814-436-7802,, Offering a wide variety of three- to six-night camps for children ages 6 to 17, including camps for mentally- and physicallychallenged students. Special offerings: Arts, horsemanship, gymnastics, swim, astronomy and rockets, singing, acting, and survival skills camps. Average cost: $300 to $585, depending on length

Lutherlyn Where: 500 Lutherlyn Lane, Butler Contact: 724-865-2161,, Offering more than 20 half-week and full-week


Sunday, April 22, 2018


and specialty.

WLD Ranch Where: 7351 Woolsey Road, Girard Contact: 474-3414, info@, www. Offering two- and ďŹ venight camps for students in grades K-12. Special offerings: Horses (30 horses on site), challenge/ropes course, adventure camps, target sports camps. Family camp weekends are also offered. Average cost: $334 for most ďŹ ve-night programs.

Heather Cass is the publications manager in the Office of Strategic Communications at Penn State Behrend and the mother of two teenagers who are definitely going to a few sleepaway camps this summer. Freedom!


Camps that teach soccer skills are available for all ages of boys and girls at numerous places.

Kids’ sports camps are available all summer By Steve Orbanek Contributing writer

Teamwork and patience. They’re two skills that are invaluable for a person as he or she moves through life. But they’re also skills that don’t come overnight. A person needs to actually work with others to learn how to successfully function as a team. One of the first opportunities to do that is in youth sports, and one of the best ways to introduce young people to sports is through summer camps. Locally, Penn State Behrend, Edinboro University, Gannon University, Erie Premier Sports and the YMCA offer camps for children across several different ages and skill levels. For instance, at Penn State Behrend, there’s a Little Dribblers camp, which can be

offered to children as young as four. It’s perfect for any child who might not have yet even picked up a basketball. But there are also camps available for students in either middle or high school, who already have an athletic background. One of the best aspects of the local collegiate sports camps is that they’re taught by collegiate coaches with assistance from studentathletes. So not only do participants gain expert instruction, but they also learn from older peers who know the firsthand benefits that come from competing in sports. For those in search of a more broad-based summer sports camp, YMCA Camp Sherwin offers an eight-week Sporties for Shorties program where kids between the ages of 3-6 try several sports

throughout the summer. The hope is that the end of the eight weeks, each participant might know what sport he or she would like to explore further. For older children, Erie Premier Sports’ Summer Day Camp is a multi-sport summer camp for ages 5-12. It’s a bit more competitive than Sporties for Shorties, but it’s still a great way to gain exposure to the wide variety of sports available.


Baseball camps for girls and boys of all ages are available at a varitey of locations throughout the Erie area. [PENN STATE BEHREND/ CONTRIBUTED



Kids can learn to swim at a variety of pools. [PENN

Men’s and Women’s High School Soccer Team Camp When: July 11-14 or July 18-21 Who: Designed for high school teams Cost: $335


ABOVE: Summer sports camps for kids are available throughout the Erie area. [SHUTTERSTOCK.COM]


Sunday, April 22, 2018


Football Prospect Camp

Village Cross Country Camp

When: May 20 Who: Student-athletes entering grades 9-12; college coaches from Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio and West Virginia will be represented Cost: $50 if registered in advance; $60 day of the camp

When: July 8-12 Who: Students entering grades 9-12 Cost: $360

Track and Field (Pole Vault, Horizontal Jump) When: June 30 Who: Students entering grades 9-12 Cost: $50

Edinboro Distance

Swimming Workout Camp When: June 17-21 or June 24-28 Who: Ages 12 and up Cost: $315 for resident; $250 for commuter

Swimming Stroke Camp When: June 17-21 or June 24-28 Who: All ages

Cost: $315 for resident; $250 for commuter

Volleyball Individual and Team Camp When: July 20-22 Who: High school volleyball players and teams Cost: $235 for resident; $210 for commuter GANNON UNIVERSITY (HTTP://CAMPS. GANNON.EDU)

Novice Youth Wrestling When: June 18-22 Who: Ages 6-12, boys and girls Cost: $75

Baseball Tools Development When: June 11-13 Who: Ages 6-12 Cost: $80

Boys and Girls Soccer When: June 18-22 Who: Ages 5-14 Cost: Full day $145; half day $95

Boys Basketball When: July 9-13 Who: Ages 7-15 Cost: $160

Girls Basketball Elite

Men’s Soccer College Prep When: July 8-11 Who: Ages 14-18 Cost: Overnight camp $400

Women's Soccer College Prep When: July 8-11 Who: Ages 15-18 Cost: Overnight camp $400 PENN STATE BEHREND (WWW.PSBLIONS.COM/ CAMPS)


Girls Basketball Individual Skills

Boys Basketball

When: June 18-21 Who: Ages 11-18 Cost: $85

Girls Basketball Team Shootout When: June 15-16 Who: Teams of girls, ages 14-18 Cost: One session $250, two sessions $400, three sessions $625

Girls Volleyball All-skills When: July 16-19 Who: Ages 12-18 Cost: Day camp $180, overnight camp $330

Girls Volleyball Beginners |

When: August 11 Who: Grades 9-12 Cost: $50

When: July 30-August 3 Who: Boys, ages 7-15 Cost: $200

Girls Basketball Shooting

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Men’s Basketball College Experience

When: August 4 Who: Ages 14-18 Cost: $60

When: June 11-14 Who: Ages 8-14 Cost: $150


Cost: $50

When: July 19-20 Who: Ages 7-12

When: June 18-22 or July 23-27 Who: Ages 6-15 Cost: $160

Boys Basketball Grandview Residents Camp When: June 24-27 Who: Boys, grades 5-12 Cost: $280; $265 sibling rate

Girls Basketball When: July 9-13 or July 30-August 3 Who: Ages 7-15 Cost: $160

Little Dribblers When: July 16-19 Who: Boys and girls, ages 4-8 Cost: $65

Track and Field When: June 11-15 Who: Boys and girls, ages 7-15 Cost: $110

Who: Girls, ages 7-15 Cost: $160

day); $90 per week (half day)


Premier Soccer Residential Camp

When: June 25-29 or July 16-20 Who: Boys and girls, ages 7-15 Cost: $160


Basketball camps for girls and boys of all ages are available at a variety of locations throughout the Erie area. [SHUTTERSTOCK.COM]

Soccer When: June 11-15 or June 25-29 Who: Boys and girls, ages 5-13 Cost: $170

Softball When: July 16-20

When: June 11-13 or July 6-8 or July 30-August 1 Who: First session, ages 6-14; second session, ages 6-17; third session, ages 6-17 Cost: $150 ERIE PREMIER SPORTS (ERIEPREMIERSPORTS. COM)

Summer Day MultiSport Camp When: 10 weeks, beginning June 11; ďŹ nal week begins August 13 Who: Boys and girls, ages 5-12 Cost: $150 per week (full

When: July 15-19 Who: Boys and girls, ages 10-16 Cost: $395 residents; $295 commuters YMCA CAMP SHERWIN (WWW.YMCAERIE.ORG/ CAMP/SCHEDULES)

Sporties for Shorties What: Eight-week class that offers an introduction to sports When: Mondays, June 11-July 30, 3:15 to 5 p.m. Who: Boys and girls, ages 3-6 Cost: $20 members, $85 non-members

Steve Orbanek is a marketing communication specialist at Penn State Behrend.

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Sunday, April 22, 2018



Sunday, April 22, 2018


Profile for ErieTimesNews

Family Guide 2018  

The 2018 Family Guide as produced by the Erie Times-News.

Family Guide 2018  

The 2018 Family Guide as produced by the Erie Times-News.