Summer is a great time to learn a new sport, improve skill in a longtime pursuit or just get active. There are many great sports camps in the Kentlands/Lakelands area—and the great thing about sports are, well, they’re about a lot more than the game. Kids learn teamwork, sportsmanship, personal responsibility and discipline. Sports have also been shown to improve physical and mental health. So, if you’re thinking about enrolling your child in a sports camp this summer, consider these great, local options.
Quince Orchard Swim & Tennis
For 32 summers, neighborhood kids have made memories and gained confidence in themselves and in their tennis skills at Quince Orchard Swim & Tennis (QOST). Quince Orchard’s camp programs serve both competitive and recreational tennis players, ages 6 through high school, as well as campers interested in enjoying old-fashioned summertime fun with swimming, arts and crafts and tennis.
QOST was the first club in the state of Maryland to offer a 10 and Under Tennis Camp in 2014. With a maximum four-to-one student-to-instructor ratio, these younger campers learn in an environment set up just for them—smaller courts and 36-foot nets—and they play with smaller rackets and compression balls with a slower bounce. The 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. day includes drills on different courts, so the campers never get bored explained Brian Fankhauser, director of tennis who has been with QOST for 25 years. “We take really good care of the kids and come up with new ideas and new drills,” he said. For these youngest tennis players, the instructor-to-student ratio is most often 3 to 1 or 2 to 1, Fankhauser added.
Parents can extend the camp day with before and after care priced at $10 per hour. Kids take breaks in QOST’s air-conditioned lounge and continue with more time on the court.
The 10 and Under Camp is “super popular” and “just tennis exclusively,” said Tim Harvey, QOST executive director.
The Summer Youth Tennis Camp, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for ages 8 through 17, is designed to help campers of all levels improve their games. Directed by the USTA Maryland Pro of the Year and taught by USPTAcertified tennis professionals, QOST’s Summer Youth Tennis Camp also offers a four-to-one student-to-instructor ratio.
Advanced tournament and pretournament players can improve their game with QOST’s High School Preparatory Tennis Camp. Taught by former men’s and women’s ITF professionals and USPTA Tri-State Pro of the Year and Sports Performance psychologist, this camp focuses on technical correction, technique enhancement and specialized fitness.
Players in the tennis camps concentrate on their games, but for those who like to mix it up a bit, QOSTC offers the Summer Children’s Activities Camp. Kids ages 6 to 9 can swim, play tennis, do arts and crafts and more from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Daily swim and tennis lessons are given. Each camp session is limited to a maximum of 12 kids and taught by a senior director, college-age counselor, tennis pro and swim instructors. “I hire predominantly Montgomery County schoolteachers for the summer,” Harvey said.
QOST is a Maryland Certified Youth Camp, meaning that kids are “enormously protected,” Harvey noted. This certification by the Maryland Department of Health includes thorough and surprise inspections, Harvey said. Staff must be well trained in first aid, CPR and special needs.
Harvey has been with QOST since 1985, and he said QOST camps are now family traditions. These days, he sees the children of moms and dads who themselves once attended QOST camps, which makes him very happy.
Pivotal Play Soccer at Lakelands Park
This is the fourth summer that Pivotal Play Soccer will offer soccer camps at Lakelands Park. One-week sessions July 8 through Aug. 30 are open to “Lil’ Soccer Stars” ages 3 to 6 and older soccer players ages 7 to 15.
In the half-day “Lil Soccer Stars” camp, kids work on basic fundamental motor skills—running, jumping, balance, coordination—before incorporating the ball. Morning camp sessions 9 a.m. to noon include fun games and giveaways.
Pivotal Play Soccer Day Camp participants, ages 7 to 15, work on fundamental skills and complex moves, and the group is divided by skill level and age. Each day, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., players work on different aspects of the game like first touch, dribbling/ball skills, passing/receiving, controlling the ball out of the air, attacking and defending, shooting/finishing, agility, psychology of the game, and strength and conditioning.
For Pivotal Play Soccer founder and president Ali Feldman Khrizman, soccer camp is about more than the sport. “Helping to build confidence and self-esteem—that’s our number one goal,” she said.
Visit www.pivotalplaysoccer.com for more information.
City of Gaithersburg Sports Camps
When you think of summer in Gaithersburg, you think of Bohrer Park and its Water Park, mini-golf and Skate Park—especially images of those skateboarders flying through the air, popping their boards and turning. Kids think that’s so cool. Parents? Maybe not so much.
Fortunately, there’s the School of Sk8 & BMX Bike Clinics for kids ages 7 to 13. With a combination of group and one-on-one coaching, these week-long summer clinics teach kids to become safer and better skaters and BMX bikers.
Participants are grouped according to experience level, but they progress at their own pace. Clinics begin July 8 and conclude the week of Aug. 12.
Gaithersburg’s Skate Park was the first to open in the area in June 2000, and its skateboarding clinic has had great attendance. Kids experience the thrill of skateboarding, having fun and learning cool moves, and parents know that the skateboarding fundamentals their kids learn at the summer clinic will go a long way toward keeping them safe on their boards year-round.
Other sports camps offered by the city include dance camps and gymnastics clinics. The three-hour dance camps at Casey Community Center June 24 to 28 (9 a.m. to noon for 6- to 8-year-olds; 6 to 9 p.m. for 8- to 15-year-olds) invite students to sample a variety of dance from ballet to tap, modern, hip-hop and international dance. The 1.5-hour gymnastics clinics at the Activity Center at Bohrer Park June 17 to 21 (5:30 to 7 p.m. for 5- to 7-year-olds; 7 to 8:30 p.m. for 8- to 15-year-olds) cover skills on the bars and balance beam, as well as vaulting and tumbling. The clinics focus on building strength, flexibility and confidence.
Sports Camps at Maryland SoccerPlex/Discovery Sports Center
You’ll find a great variety of sports camps at the Maryland SoccerPlex/Discovery Sports Center in Germantown. The state-of-the art facility offers 21 grass and three synthetic turf fields, and the 66,000-square-foot, air-conditioned indoor center offers eight basketball/volleyball courts, two indoor soccer fields, and supports indoor lacrosse, field hockey and baseball.
Below are a few highlights. For a full listing of 2019 camps, visit www.mdsoccerplex.org/camps.
Koa Field Hockey Camp
This camp for girls ages kindergarten through 9th grade fosters a love of field hockey. In one week, July 29 through Aug. 2, campers will build on field hockey skills while learning teamwork and making new friends. The camp is taught by professional field hockey coaches, and hitting, dribbling, dodging and offensive/defensive skills are emphasized. For more information, contact Program Director Kelly Given at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Koa Flag Football Camp
Boys in kindergarten through 8th grade can play flag football all day at this camp offered July 29 through Aug. 2, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Morning involves skills and drills. Then after lunch, campers scrimmage to put what they have learned to the test. For more information, contact Program Director Nick Tolisano at email@example.com.
Fun for All, All for Fun Sports Camp
This camp for boys and girls ages 3 to 13 has it all. In addition to sports like basketball, soccer, flag football, dodgeball and kickball, campers stage a talent show, enjoy scavenger hunts and field trips to the Germantown Splash Park, Mini Golf and Driving Range. Weekly sessions June 17 through Aug. 30 have half-day, full-day and extended care options.
SAM Soccer Camp
Girls and boys ages 5 to 16 can develop soccer skills all summer long in the SAM Soccer Camp weekly camp sessions, June 17 through Aug. 16. Players are grouped by age and ability to improve both individual technique and teamwork. Special attention is paid to sportsmanship and cooperation.
Camp is held outdoors on the Maryland SoccerPlex fields, but during inclement weather, play is moved indoors to the Discovery Sports Center. Campers can select full-day, half-day and extended care.
Gilchrist-Zanni Volleyball Camp
Taught by college and high school coaches and current and former collegiate volleyball players, this training camp is for serious volleyball players. Girls age 13 through high school will focus on refining individual skills and techniques and study offensive/defensive formations as well as game strategies.