In the Game All Summer Long

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 Urbana 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.

Photo | Submitted Kids build strength, work on skills and have fun at the Green Valley Y Sports Unlimited Camp.

Photo | Submitted
Kids build strength, work on skills and have fun at the Green Valley Y Sports Unlimited Camp.

Green Valley Y Camps at Urbana Middle School

The Green Valley Y Camps at Urbana Middle School offer a variety of week-long, theme-based camps for kids ages 5 to 16. While all incorporate active play and the outdoors, two are specifically geared toward developing athletes. All camps run 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with before- and after-care available.

Dance Exploration (ages 6 to 12) is taught in collaboration with local professionals and poms and performance art alumnae of the Urbana High School Dance programs. This camp includes a performance and a field trip.

Sports Unlimited (for ages 5 to 9 and ages 10 to 14) offers a great variety of sports—soccer, flag football, basketball,  badminton, yard games like corn hole and ladder golf, capture the flag and more. This camp takes a trip to the pool and to a Frederick Keys game.

For more information on all of the Green Valley Y Camps at Urbana Middle School, visit frederickymca.org/programs/camps/green-valley-y-camps or contact Peter Mannix, camp director, at pmannix@frederickymca.org.

Photo | Niqui Johnson Urbana area children enjoy daily horseback riding lessons as part of the Summer Kids Club at Urbana Riding Club.

Photo | Niqui Johnson
Urbana area children enjoy daily horseback riding lessons as part of the Summer Kids Club at Urbana Riding Club.

Urbana Riding Club

The Urbana Riding Club has a variety of camps geared toward all levels of riders and horse lovers.

For riders just starting out—as well as the more experienced—there’s the popular Summer Kids Club. Open to girls (ages 6 to 15) and boys (ages 6 to 12), this camp offers campers a lesson or one-hour trail ride each day, in addition to an hour of pony games once a week. Campers also swim and pursue other activities like archery, climbing, crafts, field sports and more.

Those most interested in riding are encouraged to enroll in the Ultimate Riders Club (for girls at least 10 years of age) and the Junior Ultimate Riders Club (for girls at least 8 years of age). Campers must be able to walk, trot and canter as a group to enroll in these camps, which offer two hours of riding each day.

For teens interested in becoming counselors in training, there’s the Summer Pit Crew (for campers ages 14 and up who have attended the Summer Kids Club). In addition to an hour of riding each day and swimming, the Pit Crew helps the riding staff in the rings.

The Counselor-in-Training (CIT) program (for campers ages 15 and up who have attended the Summer Kids Club) works with teens to develop leadership skills and abilities. CITs receive a riding lesson each morning and a swim time reserved exclusively for them and the Pit Crew each camp day.

The camp is a “great opportunity to make friends,” said Niqui Johnson, who has owned the Urbana Riding Club for more than
25 years. To learn more about the riding camp, visit www.urbanaridingclub.com/full-day-kids-club.

Frederick County Parks & Recreation Summer Camps

For a great variety of sports camps close to home, you need look no further than Frederick County Parks and Recreation. Sports camps are held at the Urbana District Park, the Urbana Community Park, Centerville Rec Center, Sugarloaf Rec Center and the Urbana Martial Arts Academy.

Partial day camps are offered in baseball, softball, flag football, gymnastics, lacrosse, martial arts, tennis and baseball for a
variety of age groups. Review the 2019 Summer Camp Guide at www.recreater.com/documentcenter/view/3125 for more information.

Bar-T Mountainside Specialty Sports Camps

Located in the Urbana area on Roderick Road, Bar-T Mountainside is an expansive, 115-acre natural oasis with more than a mile of hiking trails, a 700-foot zip line, a 50-foot climbing wall, a pool, ball fields, playground, basketball court, street hockey rink and fishing pond. In addition to day camps, Mountainside offers a number of week-long specialty sports camps, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with before- and after-care available.

New this year, Street Hockey Camp joins camps devoted to baseball, basketball, cheerleading, flag football, lacrosse, riding, soccer and softball. All sports camps are for those ages 7 and up, with the exception of the riding and cheerleading camps that begin accepting campers at the age of 8.

All sports camps work on skills and include daily play with real-time feedback from coaches. Lunch and pool time break up the day. For more information, visit www.bar-t.com/summer/sports-camps/sports or contact Rory Richardson at 301.948.3172 or rrichardson@bar-t.com.

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