These popular camps are going virtual—and that means your kids can get the suburban summer before you make the leap…
Summer in the NYC suburbs means heading to CAMP—and this summer is no exception. Even though the majority of local day camps aren’t planning to open, many have shifted gears and, now, will be offering virtual summer experiences ideal for new and returning campers. If you’re considering suburbia, these are ideal opportunities to get your kids in the mix and encourage them to explore a new community while making new friends. And next summer? They’ll already have a leg up as returning campers.
Challenge Camp, Hartsdale (Westchester)
Typically housed at The Leffell School in Hartsdale, Challenge Camp—a popular day camp for Westchester kids—is going virtual this year. Challenge Camp @Home is designed to mimic the in-person experience and includes plenty of opportunities for your kids to make new friends and get a sense of their could-be community before you make a move.
Like “regular” Challenge Camp, campers in the virtual program will customize their summer based on their interests. Each day includes five periods running from 9:00AM to 3:00PM. Every class is live and interactive, with professional STEM and arts instructors. Opt for all five periods—and five unique classes—or split your day and sign your camper up for two, three or four classes each day.
This summer, Challenge Camp is offering more than 100 STEM and art classes, along with “active” offerings to encourage campers to get up and move. And to facilitate sharing and socializing, the Virtual Camp Cafeteria will be open daily from 12:00PM to 1:00PM, followed by Virtual Recess. Talent Week and dance parties will also be sprinkled throughout the summer for kids who want to get involved even more.
The fun starts June 29th and is open to kids entering preK through 8th grade.
Steffan Nossen School of Dance, White Plains (Westchester)
This popular dance studio is a go-to for young dancers in White Plains, Larchmont, Mamaroneck and beyond. In July, Steffan Nossen will launch its first virtual camp, with an emphasis on hip hop.
Open to student dancers entering second through fifth grade, this week-long virtual camp is perfect for kids who love to bust a move—or kids who just can’t get enough of Kidz Bop music videos. During ongoing daily sessions, campers will perfect their classic hip hop moves—think Popping, Locking, Waving and Break Dancing, as well as New School Styles. Classes will be conducted via live Zoom sessions so kids can ask questions and perfect their moves live with expert instructors. And like many of the other camps, Steffan Nossen will soon reopen its doors to “live” classes in hip hop, ballet, modem, tap, jazz and dedicated boys classes.
The Rye Arts Center Summer Warmup, Rye (Westchester)
Built for the littlest campers—kids ages 3 ½ to 5—Summer Warmup at the Rye Arts Center offers an immersive 90-minute daily program starting June 8. Designed to help preK kids develop their cognitive, social, creative and motor skills, each day is packed with a variety of fun activities including drawing, painting, music and creative movement.
Campers can register for the entire summer or go week-to-week. Each week is a different theme with themes including Dinosaurs, Under the Sea and Zoo Animals.
Looking for a longer “camp” day? Register for both weekly sessions and your kids will get three hours of Warmup fun daily, running from 9:15AM to 12:30PM with a short break in between.
Camp Claynation, Glen Cove (Long Island)
A popular art camp for Roslyn, Sea Cliff, Glen Head and Locust Valley kids, Claynation is still in full swing this summer, with virtual camp sessions starting June 29. Designed for kids 6+, each week is a new theme and new creative undertaking. From building amazing mythical creatures to “cooking” up sweets and treats to celebrating all things beach with fun arts and crafts, your kids can let their inner artist shine all summer long—or opt to mix and match week-long sessions based on your schedule and interest.
So how does it all work? Expect a weekly package with everything you need to get started—no Michaels runs necessary. Throughout the week campers will Zoom with counselors (usually in the AM), getting help as needed and sharing the creations with their fellow artists. And the best part? By the end of summer, you’ll have some cool pieces to display in your new suburban home—plus your kids will have met a few new friends through their Claynation Zoom sessions.
Keep in mind, Claynation operates camps and after school programs year-round so, if your young artist loves it, they can start attending “live” once the studio re-opens.
Great Big Theatre Company Virtual Acting Camp (Long Island)
Have a kid destined for the stage? On Long Island, one of the premier theater camps is going virtual, with Zoom sessions, coaching, games and even playwriting for kids 6 to 14.
Great Big Theatre Company’s weekly camp sessions include two 75-minute participatory sessions, every day Monday through Friday. During these interactive sessions, coaches will take students through a variety of activities to help flex their dramatic muscles and hone their performance skills. There will also be plenty of opportunities for campers to work one-on-one or in small groups with each other, helping kids engage and make new local friends online.
Campers will work with the same expert instructor for the entire week. During “break-out room” periods, each camper will have the opportunity to meet with other campers in smaller groups to create their own dramatic improvisations and engage in theatre games—and they’ll even have the opportunity to share their work with the entire camp. Each week wraps with a live online show for parents and friends.
Blue Sky Kids, Basking Ridge (New Jersey)
Blue Sky Kids is letting New Jersey campers create their perfect summer, with unique and fully customizable camp programs and sessions starting in June. Their signature Blue Sky Morning Camp is an hour-long private or semi-private (four campers max) Zoom happening daily, Monday through Friday, for two weeks at a time. Each session is customized to your camper(s) and intended to move at their pace—and focus solely on their interests. Choose from a variety of camp themes including coding, cooking, yoga, comedy/improv, arts and crafts, game/app development, chess and calligraphy.
Alternatively, kids can opt for the afternoon version of Blue Sky Camp, with added themes such as magic and juggling, medicine/anatomy and video editing and production. If you’re looking for something more immersive, register your campers for both the morning and afternoon sessions, in either the same or different electives.
Center for Contemporary Art Virtual Camp, Bedminster (New Jersey)
Running from June 22 through August 28, the Center for Contemporary Art’s weekly art camps are going virtual. Programs are broken down by age group, with options for kids from five to 15 as well as special needs options.
Sessions take place via Zoom with projects and mediums changing out week to week. Throughout the summer, campers will develop important artistic techniques and learn about the principles of visual art, historical periods and famous artists. All art supplies are included with registration.
Morning sessions are open to campers 11 and under, and run from 9:30AM to 12:30PM, Monday through Friday. Young artists will focus on two-dimensional projects with painting, drawing, mixed media, sculpture, mold-making and carving. Teens in the morning sessions will explore a single medium in depth.
In the afternoon sessions—which run from 1:30PM to 4:30PM and are reserved for tween and teen campers only—kids can go deeper into more niche creative pursuits, including Graffiti, Cartooning, iPad Drawing, 3D Design & Printing, Chinese Brush Painting and much more.
Camp Kinda-Like-A (Connecticut)
For Scouts—or kids ready to join BSA or Cub Scouts—the Connecticut Rivers Council is offering a very cool 10-week virtual summer camp experience starting June 15. Join Camp Kinda-Like-A for the entire summer or pick the week or weeks that suit your camper, and get ready for the full Connecticut camp experience…from home.
Each day kicks off with an opening flag ceremony followed by a jam-packed day of woodcarving, art, fitness, photography and more. Depending on their electives, scouts can earn up to three merit badges per week, from a lengthy list of options. All badges, souvenir items, instruction and access to counselors and the virtual platform are included with registration (which starts at just $50 per week for Cubs).
To recreate the full camp experience, Camp Kinda-Like-A has even built out a virtual trading post and virtual campfire gatherings so campers can engage and make new friends—ideal if you’re making a move to Connecticut in the not-too-distant future.
Girls With Impact, Greenwich (Connecticut)
Ideal for girls who are big on ambition, Girls With Impact is a social impact and entrepreneurship-centric camp. This summer, the Greenwich-based camp will go virtual, welcoming girls 12+.
Working with a team of two to three, campers will create a business or venture that, specifically, makes an impact on the world. Know other girls interested in making an impact? Register your daughter and her pals together and they’ll spend five weeks diving into all things entrepreneurial, together. Rather she make some new friends this summer? Request your camper be paired with a group of local students, and she’ll have a few familiar faces when school starts again.
Starting June 8, Girls With Impact runs for five weeks, including an orientation week. Live classes run twice per week for four weeks, plus expect a weekly collaboration hour in weeks two and three, and a daily collaboration hour in weeks four and five.
Exploring suburbia via virtual camp is just the beginning. Contact our Suburban Jungle Strategists to start or continue refining your suburbs strategy, and to find the right town to call “home.”