Summer Camp Review



Back in February I attended the Kids VT Camp & School Fair.  My son Aden was turning 5 in April and my husband and I thought that some summer camps would be a good way to prep him for Kindergarten this year.

At the fair I perused the many, many schools and programs and came home with a bag full of flyers.  We poured over those flyers for an entire weekend and narrowed it down to a handful.  In the end we came up with 3 camps we felt Aden would fit into well.  Today I’d like to share my thoughts on all three of those camps.


#1:  YMCA Summer Day Camp:

Aden did 3 weeks at the Downtown YMCA Summer Camp program.  We chose the Y for several reasons.  Here are a few:

  • Aden had already been to the Y preschool so his familiarity with the place was a draw
  • Early drop offs and late pick ups
  • Educational field trips
  • Swim time almost every day either at the pool or at the beach
  • Lunch and snack provided
  • Indoor / Outdoor time every day
  • Responsible caring adults

We chose this program for those reasons and it did not disappoint.  This was Aden’s first foray into an all-day setting and to say I was nervous was an understatement.  The first day I dropped him off at 8:30am and picked him up at 3:45.  They were in the pool and Aden told me to come back later.  After that we adjusted his pick up time to 4:30 and he was fine.  They kept him busy with so many fun things that he hardly noticed how long he was gone.  Isn’t that the mark of a really great program?


#2:  Fusion Tae Kwon Do Summer Camp:

A few months ago I introduced you to Fusion TKD with this personal review.  If you haven’t checked them out yet…do it!  Because Aden takes classes there we decided that we’d sign him up for their one week summer camp at the end of July.  His Dragons class (ages 4-6) is only 30 minutes 3 times a week, what on earth were they going to do for 5 days, 6 hours a day?

At the end of the week they put on a demonstration and I was so surprised at what they were learning.   All the kids, like 50, lined up in perfect rows and did their daily warm up for their audience.  They broke up into their groups and performed skits they’d been working on that played out the tenets of TKD (integrity, perseverance, indomitable spirit, self-control, and courtesy).  Then, in their groups, they performed choreographed tae kwon do.  Something else I really loved about this program was that Master’s St. Pierre and Alisa recruited the help of all their black belts.  Some of those kids were older and some were younger and it was just amazing to see these kids step up and be positive role models and leaders for the younger kids.  In a world where there are some questionable role models it’s just so refreshing to see kids stepping up to be there for a younger generation.


#3:  Leddy Park Cool Camp:

This camp was through the Burlington Parks and Rec.  Here’s why we chose it:

  • Daily swim lessons in the lake at Leddy Beach
  • Daily skating lessons at Leddy Arena
  • Picnic lunch outside every day

Aden had never done skating before so this was a total crap shoot.  And we won!  He’d start the day with a picnic lunch under the trees.  Then off to skating lessons for 2 hours, then swim lessons for 2 hours.  Every day I’d ask him “what was your favorite part of the day?” and everyday he’d surprise me and say “skating!” I thought for sure it would be the swimming and he loved the skating.  On the last day, after spending 2 weeks in the camp, I was able to stay during the skating portion and watch what he’d learned.  His teacher took him through all his new skills and it was amazing!  I’m always amazed when kids learn something.  It’s so remarkable and gratifying!  Of course I thought he was a genius and on his way to being a skating phenom.  The only downside to this program was that it was only from 12-5pm every day.  So if you’re in need of an all-day program it may not work for you.

So here are my recommendations for you.  When next year’s Kids VT Camp Fair rolls around GO.TO.IT!  And if you think any of the above programs might be a fit for your kids I really can’t recommend them enough.

So Moms, what camps did your kids go to this summer?  What recommendations can you make for our readers?  


  1. My 13 year old daughter went with UMARMY, which is a youth outreach program with the United Methodist Church. It stands for United Methodist Action Reach-Out Mission by Youth.

    She went with a large group of youth to Bradford, VT for a week to help low income and elderly Vermonters with work that needed to be done. My daughter spent the first three days of the week digging out a mountain of trash under a person’s porch so that it could finally be removed. She also helped on a farm to remove underbrush in the pasture area. It may have been a work camp, but she loves helping others and had a blast.

    She also volunteered at the assisted living home that I work at. She asked to go with me one day and then came every week. Now that the summer is over, she’s going to come in a couple Saturdays a month with me.

    • Erika…

      I love that your daughter is already cultivating a servants heart. That sounds like an awesome camp! Good for her for all of her hard work, and good for you for setting such a wonderful example with the work you do. Thanks!



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