CharlottesvilleFamily Sum21 Camp

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Picnics, sparklers, locally made food and Virginia bluegrass played live are just a few of the delights you may enjoy with your family all summer long. To make parenting a little bit easier, we’ve gathered 4th of July events, a seasonal recipe and tips to keep your family safe and active this summer!

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Playin’ in the Park Independence Day Celebration

July 2, 6–9:30pm at Booster Park, Orange (0–1 hour drive)

This celebration will feature live music, local food vendors and a fireworks display at dark.


Independence Day Concert & Celebration

July 3, 2–4pm at James Monroe Highland (0–1 hour drive)

Bring a picnic, and enjoy a free concert by the Heifetz International Music Institute. 434-293-8000,

Independence Day Celebration

July 3, 3–9:30pm at Red Hill, Patrick Henry National Memorial (1–2 hour drive)

Celebrate with Patrick Henry. This event will feature interpretations and tours, kids’ games, vendors, live music, fireworks and more.


Independence Day Weekend

July 3–4 at Wintergreen Resort, Nellysford (0–1 hour drive)

Celebrate all weekend with family games, nature walks, live music, chairlift rides, a block party, fireworks and much more. 434-325-2200,

July 4th Events

Crozet Independence Day Parade & Fireworks

July 3, 5pm in Crozet (0–1 hour drive)

Enjoy a parade through downtown Crozet, followed by a celebration and fireworks at Claudius Crozet Park. 434-823-4759,

July 4th Celebration at Colonial Williamsburg

July 4, All day at Colonial Williamsburg (1–2 hour drive)

Celebrate on Duke of Gloucester Street with a full day of patriotic festivities like readings of the Declaration of Independence, hands-on activities, music and more. The day ends with a fireworks display. 888-965-7254,

Independence Day Celebration

July 4, 10am–4pm at Poplar Forest, Lynchburg (1–2 hour drive)

Celebrate with colonial-style entertainment, artisans and craftsmen demos, childrens’ activities and more. 434-525-1806,

July 4th Celebration

July 4, 4–9:15pm at Graves Mountain Lodge, Syria (0–1 hour drive)

Enjoy a fun-filled evening with food, pony rides, music and fireworks. 540-923-4231,

Pre-Fireworks Party

July 4, 5–8pm at DuCard Vineyards, Etlan (1–2 hour drive)

This event will feature live music, a BBQ and more, is kid and pet-friendly and only minutes from the Graves Mountain fireworks display. 540-923-4206,

Stanardsville 4th of July Parade & Celebration

July 4, 5–10pm in Stanardsville (0–1 hour drive)

This free, family-friendly community festival will have a parade, music, activities and more. 434-990-6511,

Happy Birthday, America!

July 4, 6–10pm at Carter Mountain Orchard (0–1 hour drive)

Celebrate America’s birthday with a day of food, games, hayrides, live music and fireworks. 434-977-1833, 33


Be sure to bring sunscreen, towels and swim diapers for the little ones. Call ahead for schedule changes for swim meets and thunder/lightning delays! Also, check websites for season pass information.


Crozet Park Aquatics & Fitness Center


Now managed by ACAC, this eightlane outdoor pool features zero-depth entry, a mushroom waterfall, a baby pool, umbrella-shaded picnic tables, snack bar and a bathhouse. Located in Claudius Crozet Park, it offers year-round aquatic amenities and month-to-month membership options. Cost varies.


The City of Charlottesville offers both indoor and outdoor facilities for gallons of water fun! All pools have lifeguards


on duty, but for safety, children under 8 must be supervised in the water by an adult. Pool hours are subject to change. Call 434-970-3260 for more information.

Onesty Family Aquatic Center


This facility located in Meade Park offers spray features in the pool, a slide, diving board, lazy river and a zero-depth entry area with play structure for younger kids. Cost: ages 3 and under free; city residents $1–$6; nonresidents $2–$11. **Onesty is currently closed due to staffing constraints, but is working to open soon.

Smith Aquatic & Fitness Center


Currently closed for renovations but reopening August 1, this 27,000+ sq. ft. indoor facility features a lap pool, diving board, two water slides, zero-depth entry, in-water play structure and lazy river. Cost: ages 3 and under free; city residents $4–$8; nonresidents $5.50–$11.

Washington Park Pool


This lighted outdoor pool includes lap lanes, a toddler wading area, a mushroom fountain, a spiral slide, zerodepth entry and a bathhouse. Cost: ages 3 and under free; city residents $1–$4; nonresidents $2–$6.


These three parks—Chris Greene, Mint Springs and Walnut Creek—have sand beaches for freshwater swimming during the summer months (Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day) with lifeguard protection. Season passes are available. The area also offers two fun swimming holes—Riprap Hollow and Sugar Hollow—alongside popular hiking trails for an old-fashioned dip. (No lifeguards.)


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swim summer FUN GUIDE {resources summer family fun} 35 THERE’S A Y IN EVERY FAMILY BROOKS FAMILY YMCA • Child care during workouts • Family fitness • Swimming • Youth sports & camps • 434-974-9622 2021 Summer Cville 7 x 4.625 final.indd 1 4/30/21 2:35 PM

Chris Greene Lake


With 53 water acres and two beach acres, lifeguard, changing rooms and canoe rentals, Chris Greene Lake is a great place to cool off. Fishing and limited boating are also allowed. Hours: 11 a.m.–7 p.m. Cost: ages 3 and under free; county residents $2–$3; nonresidents $3–$4.50.

Mint Springs Valley Park


Located in Crozet, Mint Springs includes eight water acres and one beach acre for swimming, limited boating and fishing. Lifeguards and restrooms are on-site. Swim season is June 17–August 22. Hours: 11 a.m.–7 p.m. Cost: ages 3 and under free; county residents $2–$3; nonresidents $3–$4.50.

Riprap Hollow

A clear, deep-blue swimming hole is your reward for hiking 1.7 miles from the lower trailhead, off Route 612 near Crimora. Refreshingly shaded, this spot offers glimpses of crayfish and salamanders in the shallows. This area is part of the Shenandoah National Park system. Hours: Dawn to dusk. Cost: Free.

Sugar Hollow

A short drive out of town near White Hall, this cool river swimming hole offers a refreshing break from the Sugar Hollow trail, with clear water and gentle rapids. Swimming in the reservoir is not allowed. Hours: Dawn to dusk.

Cost: Free.

Walnut Creek Park


Walnut Creek offers 45 water acres and two beach acres, lifeguard, shelter, restrooms and canoe rentals. Fishing and limited boating are allowed. Hours: 11 a.m.–7 p.m. Cost: ages 3 and under free; county residents $2–$3; nonresidents $3–$4.50.

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• Leagues for All Youth & Adult Players! • Summer Camp Options, Top Quality Instruction • Visit Us on the Web or Call... Thank you for choosing SOCA! SOCA • 975-5025 Favorite Award Winner CharlottesvilleFamily 2020 Soccer! Thanks for voting for us! {resources summer
} For more swim & summer fun options, visit
family fun


Enjoy water fun on the James River— tubing, canoeing, kayaking and rafting— in part-day, one-day, two-day and overnight trip options. Tubing departure times are limited. Cost varies.

Howardsville Canoe Livery 434-286-3331

James River Reeling & Rafting


James River Runners 434-286-2338,


If swimming isn’t your thing, cool down at a spray ground! Charlottesville Parks & Rec. offers a fun complement to the pools with three city spray grounds, open daily through mid-September. Picnic

shelters and playgrounds are nearby!

Belmont Park Sprayground


Play during park hours, 10 a.m.–8 p.m. Free.

Greenleaf Park Spray Ground


Play during park hours, 10 a.m.–8 p.m. Free.

Forest Hills Park Spray Ground


Play during park hours, 10 a.m.–8 p.m. Free.


Charlottesville Swans Synchronized Swimming

*Brooks Family YMCA


See ad page 35

Jefferson Swim League

Virginia Gators

434-218-2487, 37

Fourth of July Safety Tips Grill Safely

Each year, thousands of children under the age of 19 are treated in U.S. emergency rooms for injuries involving fireworks.

Fireworks, including sparklers and flares, can cause serious burns as well as blast injuries that can permanently impair vision and hearing. It’s advised to teach your children what to do if their clothing catches on fire—‘stop, drop and roll’—and how to call 911 in an emergency.

Where permitted by law, fireworks should be handled and used in strict accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and all warning labels. In addition, here are some recommendations for adults using fireworks:

• Light fireworks only on smooth, flat

surfaces, and aim them away from buildings, dry leaves, flammable materials and spectators.

• Do not try to relight fireworks that malfunction.

• Do not carry fireworks in your pocket or hold them close to your face.

• Visit to make sure the pyrotechnic devices you are using are not subject to any safety recalls. Do not modify fireworks or use homemade fireworks.

• Keep a phone handy, and know first aid for burns. Also, keep a fire extinguisher handy and know how to use it.

Finally, keep all children under active supervision—in sight and in reach at all times with your undivided attention.

Among all accidental injuries, fires/burns remain as one of the top causes of death for young children—in part because young children cannot recognize heatrelated hazards quickly enough to react appropriately. A child will suffer a fullthickness burn (third-degree burn) after just three seconds of exposure to 140-degree water and will need surgery and skin grafts. Here are some tips on how to keep kids safe around the grill this summer:

• Keep children away from the grill area while preheating and cooking, and as the grill is cooling.

• Keep matches, candles, gasoline, lighters and all other flammable materials locked away and out of children’s reach.

Summer is here, and Bumble is helping make summer planning easy! Explore his Summer Adventures Fair at and find summer camp options, daytrip destinations and more to make this your family’s best summer ever.

• Browse the Online Exhibit Hall, where you’ll find program options, photos, videos and more from local vendors.

• Giveaways! Enter to win a family adventure package worth $250 in local attraction tickets. Enter once to be eligible to win all summer long!

A big THANK YOU to our sponsors!

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{resources summer family fun}

A Festive White Chocolate Strawberry Tart Recipe


• 1 ready-to-bake pie crust

• 24 strawberries, sliced (depending on size you may need a few more or less)

• 1 8 oz. package cream cheese (softened)

• 1 cup whipping cream

• 1/2 cup white chocolate chips (add more or less depending on your desired sweetness)

• 1 teaspoon vanilla


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Very lightly grease your tart pan(s). I used two mini pans, but you could use one large pan if you prefer. If using two pans, unroll dough and divide dough in half. Place dough on the pans and bake for about 10 minutes or until lightly golden. Once cooked, set aside to cool.

2. Using a handheld mixer, blend the cream cheese and vanilla until smooth and well combined. Place white chocolate chips

in a bowl and microwave in 30-second intervals until melted, and be sure to stir before each heating. Once melted, combine with the cream cheese and vanilla, and then set aside.

3. With the whisk attachment of your mixer, whip the whipping cream until thick and creamy. This takes several minutes, but you’ll know you are done when you pull the whisk attachment out and it creates a small peak. Using a rubber spatula, fold in about half of the whipping cream to the cream cheese mixture. Once that is well combined, gently fold in the rest. Try not to over mix this, or you’ll lose all the air and fluff.

4. Spoon white chocolate cream mixture into cooled tart shell (you must make sure it’s cool, or the heat will mess up the consistency). Place sliced berries on top in a circular pattern and step back to admire your creation!

Jennifer, a Southern gal with an unquenchable thirst for all things creative, wears many hats—a photographer, blogger, designer and home entertainer. From cooking to decorating, no matter what she is doing, she is committed to celebrating everyday life. Visit 39 Voted Best South of the Border Restaurant! Four Locations! 29 North 395 Greenbrier Dr | 434-978-4313 UVA Area 2206 Fontaine Ave | 434-979-2424 Downtown 806 East Market St | 434-977-2676 Pantops 108 Town Country Ln | 434-293-3538 Locally Family-Owned & Operated since 1988 Favorite Award Winner CharlottesvilleFamily 2020
40 Summer 2021 {resources camp}

When I Went to Camp

The Importance of Expanding Your Horizon & Braving a New Environment

The first time my parents dropped me off at camp, I was a quiet 8-year-old who liked to get to know someone before opening up. Once comfortable, I never shut up, but getting me to that point could be difficult for those who didn’t know me well. Despite my outward shyness, I begged my parents to take me to camp and made the bold decision to go without a friend. Looking back, I have no idea what made me tell my mom that no, I did not want my long-time best friend to come, too, but 14 years later I consider this decision to be one that was well beyond the wisdom of a typical 8-year-old.

Upon arrival, after choosing my bunk, I looked around my cabin and had a realization: almost every girl in the room came with a friend, and almost all of them were planning on signing up for activities in groups. I started to worry I had gotten in over my head, watching girls who already knew each other sit in pairs and discuss things they did together back home. The prospect of talking to girls who seemingly all knew each other was terrifying. Then I worried that everyone, even kids not in my cabin, in all my activities would probably be signing up together. Just as I was about to totally freak out, the curly-haired girl in the bunk above me leaned over, looked at me and said, “I’m Lauren. Do you want an Oreo?”

Lauren invited me up to her bunk, and we split her pack of Oreos. She was from Houston, and as we watched other girls come to check in, I learned that her aunt

was the camp nurse and she didn’t know a single girl in our cabin, either. Lauren ended up meeting every girl in the room with her Oreos, calling down to any and every person who passed, offering a snack and asking where they were from. Lauren was loud, and funny, and immediately made me feel like we’d known each other for years. We became fast friends, signing up for some of our activities together and sitting next to each other at meals all week.

When the week was over, Lauren and I exchanged emails. We ended up going to camp together for three years, regularly sending updates on our lives via rainbowcolored, cross-country emails. Sometime between the fourth and fifth grade, Lauren moved out further west and stopped going to camp. We lost touch. I have no idea what her last name is or where she is now, but for three summers, she was my best 41


Bright Beginnings Preschool

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Covenant School, The

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Frost Montessori School

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Light House Studio

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North Branch School

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Piedmont Family YMCA

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Playful Learners Preschool

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St. Anne’s-Belfield School

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STEAM Discovery Academy

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Triple C Camp

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Virginia Discovery Museum

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friend. Lauren was outgoing and never failed to make a new friend everywhere she went, simply by just going up and talking to people as if it was no big deal. Lauren’s way of moving through her life taught me how easy it is to meet someone, showing how most of the people around me wanted to make friends, too, if I just started a conversation.

The summer after fifth grade, I went to camp alone again, but because of Lauren I knew to bring a snack as a conversation starter. I befriended the girl in the bunk next to me by offering her some sour gummy worms and asking where she was from. By the end of the week, I had made more friends in that cabin than I had any summer before—some of them I never saw at camp again, and a few are people I still consider some of my closest friends even 11 years later as I prepare to graduate college. As each of us has gotten older, we have all acknowledged that camp not only made us find lifelong friendships, but it made each of us more outgoing, confident people.

The lessons I learned at camp about confidence and finding a friend in any situation have carried over far beyond finding a partner to go tubing with or a friend who wants to try rock climbing together. Becoming accustomed to the almost overly friendly environment of camp made me expect this everywhere I went. I began to find myself talking to kids my own age in every aspect of my life in an effort to maintain the friendliness I expected from others. Whether I was befriending a girl in the neighboring town at a local tennis tournament or making conversation with new students at school, I was nearly constantly talking to someone, somewhere—a marked difference between the quiet 8-year-old my parents had dropped off in 2006.

My dad often tells me how nervous

he and my mom were dropping me off at camp 14 years ago and how relieved they were when they came back to get me.

“We pulled out and I remember thinking, ‘Wow, we’re really just leaving her here. All week. We’re just going to drive off,’” my dad says, “And we show back up and you just run out with all these friends.” The older I get, the more I begin to realize just how worried my parents must have been driving off that first time with their little girl sitting alone on her bunk while everyone around her sat with friends.

One thing I wish I could have told my 8-year-old self, and something I think all parents should tell their shy children going to camp for the first time, is that almost everyone in that cabin wants to make friends just as much as you do. Even campers who come with a friend want to make new ones! The environment of camp is inherently structured to help children meet people and make friends: games often require partners, cabin activities actively encourage campers to talk to one another, and learning new skills usually requires kids to interact with one another. Not to mention the addition of staff into the cabin, who look out for shy campers and help them connect with others.

Another thing I wish I could have told myself in 2006: bring a snack. You’d be surprised what even a bag of pretzels can accomplish, especially among children. One Oreo changed me and helped me make a friend who I would keep in touch with for three years, who taught me important lessons about confidence by example. If your child isn’t sure what to say next after offering another camper a snack, tell them to ask what activities they’re going to take. Odds are they have at least one similar interest (you’re both at camp)! And no matter whether you

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42 Summer 2021
Just as I was about to totally freak out, the curly-haired girl in the bunk above me leaned over, looked at me and said, “I’m Lauren. Do you want an Oreo?”

have a mutual love of arts and crafts, horseback riding or swimming, you’ll have something in common that will carry you through the summer.

Looking back on the 10 years I spent at camp, both as a camper and eventually as a counselor, I do not think it would be a stretch at all to say camp made me the person I am today. The way that other campers and the overall environment of camp encouraged me to try new things, talk to new people and make every day count instilled in me a lifelong love of expanding my horizons and taking initiative. Every morning at camp, our camp director used to yell, “IF IT’S TO BE,” and the entire camp would respond, “IT’S UP TO ME!” before running off to our first activities. This mantra, though simple, sums up an important lesson I learned at camp that would help me in college: you can walk into a cabin or room full of girls you’ve never met, and you can either sit and start to freak out, or you can turn to the girl next to you and ask her name. Odds are she was freaking out a little bit, too, and remember that your reaction to a situation is entirely up to you.

In the fall of 2016, I was once again sitting alone. This time it was in the dining hall at the University of Virginia during my freshman year of college. I was an out-of-state student who showed up to school knowing absolutely no one, and quickly found out that most people tended to sit with their high school friends at meals. While I didn’t mind eating alone or having to ask to sit with a group of students who looked nice, it felt eerily similar to those first few moments at camp ten years earlier. I was about to call my mom to have something to do and someone to talk to when I looked up and saw another girl eating alone two tables away; we kept looking at each other, and I knew I recognized her but I couldn’t place from where. Finally, she said, “I’m so sorry, I know I know you, I just can’t seem to place it.” We went back and forth trying to figure it out. It wasn’t from the freshman drama club or from living in the same dorm. When she mentioned she was from Atlanta, it hit me like a brick. I was talking to the girl who slept on the bunk next to mine in Cabin 4 the summer after fifth grade.

I had befriended her through a neoncolored bag of sour gummy worms. And here we were, 500 miles from the lake where we met, both eight years older and still looking to make new friends in a place where we knew no one.

“Oh my gosh, Emily, Cabin 4,” I exclaimed upon realizing it. She laughed and replied, “Oh, you’re kidding. Mary Allen, I didn’t recognize you without the braces!”

Mary Allen is a UVA graduate and interned at Ivy Life & Style Media. In her free time, she enjoys reading, spending time with friends and exploring.

For a list of summer camp options, activities and more, visit Bumble’s Summer Adventures Fair at summer-adventure-fair/ 43
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