Summer Camp Roundup

Photo by Anderson Schmig on Unsplash

Summer camps around the country are being flooded with campers. Yet there are still some day camps in the area that parents can check out for their kids.

LCCC SEEK programs

Of the local camps available to Cheyenne grade-school students, Laramie County Community College provides some of the more educational opportunities for the summer.

Many of the classes for the summer camps at LCCC are booked. But the Summer Educational Experience for Kids (SEEK) classes, which run from June 13-17, give students ages 6-12 the opportunity to participate in courses with different educational themes.

From Intro to Theatre, taught by Cheyenne Little Theatre Players veteran Rory Mack, to Human Anatomy 101, kids can participate in fun activities based around different subjects that they enjoy. Different classes appeal to certain age ranges, so pay close attention to what’s involved in the course (for example, Anatomy 101 includes a dissection).

“SEEK is a little bit more of a ‘cafeteria’ type program in the sense that if they want to come all day, they can, or they can come half a day,” said Lisa Trimble, associate vice president of institutional achievement at LCCC. “They can do a different class in the morning and then a different class in the afternoon.”

These week-long classes cost $125. Class slots fill up fast.

LCCC encourages parents to add their kids to a waitlist free of charge, as cancellations are somewhat frequent.

Cheyenne YMCA summer day camps

The Cheyenne YMCA recently joined the Northern Colorado YMCA, leading to an increase in funding that will take greater effect in the coming year. It provides an increase in staff, leading to greater efficiency that allows for staff members, like Cheyenne YMCA Learning Center Director Rhonda Quinn, to develop new programs for the kids.

Right now, they don’t have the staff or funding to run overnight camps or trips out to Curt Gowdy State Park. They do have plans to institute more intensive outdoor experiences in the future.

This summer, they’re offering day camps with a different theme each week. The goal of every day camp is to get the kids outside, keep them busy, and incorporate an educational component to keep their young brains working while they’re cut loose from the classroom.

Activities include a summer movie program, miniature golf, laser tag, pool days and other field trips around the city. Trips to nearby Holliday Park open the opportunity for kickball, basketball and volleyball. In the future, they look to take kids on fishing and hiking trips.

Camps are open for kids ages 6-12. It’s $142 for members and $169 for non-members to enroll in a week of classes. However, most parents have been enrolling their kids for a longer period of time.

Fort Collins, Colorado YMCA camps

Across the border, similar programs are being carried out through the Fort Collins YMCA.

Unlike the Cheyenne YMCA, Fort Collins does have a sleep-away adventure camp that they participate in. The trip is almost completely full. Still, it’s worth checking to see if any slots are left, as the camp provides outdoor experiences at Camp Santa Maria for teens up to 16 years old.

There’s also Camp Elks, which essentially follows the same structure as Cheyenne’s day camp program, though the weekly themes differ from its counterpart.

The camp focuses on providing kids with a diverse range of nature-based knowledge, from identifying native trees to archery practice and learning the principle of “leave no trace” when camping.

“With Camp Elks, we’re trying to harness that energy, but do it in the middle of a town,” said Andra Coberly Webster, director of communications for YMCA of Northern Colorado. “We do some horseback riding, and we partner with a rock climbing gym so those kids can get out and about.

“They can do some outdoor exploration stuff, plus they’ll be doing archery and some of those more traditional summer camp activities that are very classic.”

Camp runs from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday from June 6-July 29. It’s slightly more expensive than our local organization, with the non-member price being $289 per week. Classes are open to kids entering first grade to students entering sixth grade.

Boys and Girls Club of Cheyenne

The most extensive camp to be offered in Cheyenne still has plenty of slots open for kids who are looking to fill their time with an array of activities this summer.

Unlike other camps on this list, the Boys and Girls Club of Cheyenne is offering a 10-week program running from June 6 to Aug. 12. Days run from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and breakfast and lunch are included.

Different Boys and Girls Club locations offer different opportunities based on age ranges. At LCCC, programs cater to teenagers up to senior high school students by focusing on career development. The West Jefferson facility is for elementary school age kids, as is the Cole Elementary location.

Each day begins with more academic focused material. In the afternoon, campers can focus on art, sports and other physical activities they’re interested in.

The website giving the full itinerary for the camps is currently out of order. Guardians can call the Boys and Girls Club front desk phone, 307-778-6674, to learn more about the program and enroll a camper.

The Boys and Girls Club is also working with parents on payment options. The camp is $1,155 total. Parents can also enroll five weeks at a time, if needed.

University of Wyoming camps

For more educational programs, visit the University of Wyoming Summer Program website.

Classes of different difficulties and age levels are available for weeks at a time. Many are for teachers, although some might be of interest to kids.

Will Carpenter is the Wyoming Tribune Eagle’s Arts and Entertainment/Features Reporter. He can be reached by email at wcarpenter@wyomingnews.com or by phone at 307-633-3135. Follow him on Twitter @will_carp_.

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