When school lets out for summer, it tends to be a more exciting time for the kids than it is for their parents. There is sadly no seasonal reprieve for adulting. Summer break means hours that need to be filled with engaging entertainment and plans to be coordinated before whines of “I’m bored” ring through the house. And for parents who work, figuring out what to do with the youngsters during the weekdays can be an especially daunting task.
Summer’s wonderful, but how do you make sure your kids are continuing to learn outside of school while still having fun? Look no further! We’ve compiled a list of different area summer camps that appeal to different ages, interests, and price ranges. Below you’ll find information about a few great summer camps in eastern North Carolina to help you make this the best summer yet!
Ecological Marine Adventures
- 106 North Topsail Drive, Surf City NC 28445
- (910) 515-9701
At Ecological Marine Adventures (EMA) children and families are encouraged to learn about the ocean. EMA wants to inspire campers and their families to preserve, protect, and enjoy our environment. For the past eight years this camp has been promoting conservation education through their Surf City summer camps.
Campers are divided into small groups of no more than 15 based on their age. Most of the time spent at the camp is outside where they explore and learn about the environment on and beyond our coasts. Children ages 3 to 17 can be dropped off for the 3-hour classes that are offered Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. EMA also offers adventures where everyone in the family is invited.
Throughout the summer different camps are offered through EMA that focus on a different and fascinating aspect of the ocean. Campers learn about sharks, surfing, marine biology and so much more. Multiday camps cost about $135 and campers can take part in astronomy classes and ghost crabs hunts held at night throughout the summer. Free community classes are also available in June.
In recent years EMA has been revamped to bring more awareness about the environment to its campers. Their enthusiasm to bring hands-on learning to their campers makes them a great place for children’s curiosity about marine biology to flourish!
- 3131 Randall Pkwy, Wilmington NC 28403
- (910) 202-4595
Camp Impact takes place at the Impact Church in Wilmington. For the past seven years this camp has been a place of joyful play and learning for the 75 campers it hosts weekly. Camp Impact is open to children between the ages of 4 and 11 (preschool to sixth grade) and only costs about $160 a week.
At Camp Impact, campers can take part is sports such as basketball, dodgeball, karate and more. Other activities include archery, Legos, and magic. There are many different interests for children to explore during their time here. Campers are encouraged to build friendships with all those they meet at camp and to learn about the love of Christ through fun and sports.
Despite the affiliation with Impact Church, Camp Impact is open to people of all religious beliefs, genders, and ethnicities. This camp is focused on bringing individuals and families in their community closer together and all the trained camp counselors have huge hearts for children who join them each year.
- 2015 Camp Kirkwood Rd, Watha NC 28478
- (336) 409-7938
Located on 195 acres in Watha, NC, Camp Kirkwood is a YMCA camp that provides different day and overnight camps for children age 5 to 15. There are no shortage of fun events going on at this camp. Not only is there a pool and lake for swimming and woods to hike and explore, but Camp Kirkwood offers zip lines, archery, and many more fun activities.
Different camp experiences are available for the campers’ age ranges. The camp is open Sunday to Friday with different overnight, adventure, and leadership that span those six days. A mini overnight camp is also available for the homesick prone campers. Day camps are also available Monday through Friday which provide meals and transportation to and from Watha.
The Camp Kirkwood philosophy is aimed at helping camper’s reach their full potential. There are about 80 overnight campers each week and 50 day campers. At this camp friendships are created, and campers learn the importance of team building while having fun on this amazing camp in Pender County. Camp scholarships are also available for families in need of financial assistance.
- 15660 US Hwy 17 N, Hampstead NC 28443
- (910) 231-6775
Since 2012, Puddle Jumpers, a local preschool in Hampstead, has sought to remind children of the joys of playing outside. Available for children ages 3 to 8, this camp is an engaging way to get your kids away from the screen and show them all the fun they can have playing in nature.
Puddle Jumpers is located on 5 acres in Hampstead that include daily trips to the water slide on the property. The camp is full at 24 campers and staffed by 6 camp counselors, so children get ample individual attention while climbing trees, building forts, and making mud pies.
Summer camps begin June 10, 2019 and end August 16, 2019. Day camps are available in two-, three-, or five-day groupings, last for four hours, and are available Monday through Friday. Camps costs about $40 a day and require a registration fee and a 4-week minimum camp enrollment. Encourage your children to have an unplugged summer at this nature focused summer camp.
- 101 Beaufort Drive Sneads Ferry, NC 28460
- (910) 741-1988
- 312 Brynn Marr Rd Jacksonville, NC 28546
- 928 Henderson Drive Jacksonville, NC 28540
The Childcare Network Adventure Summer Camp has been making summer exciting for children in Jacksonville for over ten years. Childcare Network is the fourth largest private provider of childcare and often refer to themselves as “the working parent’s best friend.” A third camp in Sneads Ferry has also and discounts are available for military families at these three locations.
Summer camp programs are available for children age infant to 12 years old. Campers enjoy field trips, group projects, and playing to learn. The curriculum at Childcare Network emphasizes STEAM and hopes to inspire both curiosity and creativity in their campers.
Each week campers meet a storybook character who has found themselves in a new, unfamiliar setting. Activities center around this story theme as campers are encouraged to imagine traveling to these same faraway lands to help bring the character home.
Classes are usually comprised of 15 or more campers. For more information about Childcare Network’s summer camps, the best option is to email the organization from www.childcarenetwork.com or call 866-521-5437.
Know of a great camp that isn’t on this list? Write and let us know about it. We’d love to include more great local summer camps so that parents have even more options to make this summer their children’s best ever!