Our summer of kids camps in Michigan

We started looking at the summer calendar in April. I said to my husband “You’re going where? And when? And where right after that?” With a summer full of travel for his job, I knew I needed to start researching summer camps. The kids are old enough that they no longer want to hang out at the daycare where they once played as toddlers and spent time before and after school in early elementary.

A great resource for the Washtenaw County area is the Ann Arbor Mom Blog. She creates a list of camps with links each year and it’s a great place to start.

The first issue I came across was finding a camp that started early enough in June. We live at the edge of a county and I work in another county. The schools in the county I live in all get out earlier than in the county that I work in, so the camps I found did not start during my husband’s first business trip.

I resorted to searching “Michigan summer camps” to expand my reach and finally found one for the dates I needed – and it just happened to be my alma mater. Eastern Michigan University has a summer Fun Camp, run through its Rec Center. The weeks are themed and kids have swim lessons each day and a field trip each week. The kids went to Zap Zone the week that they were there.

Review: The kids were nervous at first but asked to come back again as the week progressed. They also exchanged phone numbers with some new friends.

When I found Kidsport at the University of Michigan, I was excited because it’s a short walk from where I work and the kids could come to and from work with me without additional stops. The camp has a few options – a morning Kidsport that includes swim lessons and general sports, an afternoon session of specific sports and also an explorations morning and afternoon session at the Museum of Natural History.

The kids chose the week with dance and basketball in the afternoon with the Kidsport general session in the morning. On the last day, the parents were invited to watch the basketball tournament and then the dance routine during halftime.

Review: The kids said the morning Kidsport was “boring” although I think they didn’t like having swim lessons and would rather just swim. Also, the week was very hot.

My daughter ended up doing a second week at Kidsport – this time at the museum in the morning and cheerleading in the afternoon. She said the museum was “boring” after the first day but then after they went on a field trip to another museum and saw mummies, she changed her tune.

Only my daughter went to the second Kidsport because my son had Boy Scout Camp at D-bar-A in Metamora.

Review: My husband attending with my son, but they both came back raving about all of the activities – fishing, horseback riding, whittling, human foosball and swimming. They had one rainy day but still did most of the planned activities. My son’s favorite is archery.

It’s been a busy summer so far and we might book one more camp but so far the ones we’ve found have been a perfect fit for my kids.

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