While summer 2020 saw a lot of youth programs canceled, 2021 is looking better for families hoping for summer activities for their children.
Several organizations, including Walla Walla Public Schools and the Walla Walla YMCA, have programs planned. And offerings are beginning to take shape elsewhere in the Valley as well. Below are all the summer camps the U-B could find so far.
Students from kindergarten through 12th grade in Walla Walla Public Schools can take part in the district’s Summer Sol program at no cost.
WWPS spokesperson Mark Higgins said the new program is paid for with COVID-19 relief funds to help public schools recover from the pandemic.
Higgins said more than 1,000 youth signed up for Summer Sol, which takes place at their schools and includes educational and recreational activities. Only WWPS students may participate.
Summer Sol includes a morning session from 8:30-10 a.m. for students identified by teachers as needing assistance in reading or math, after spending much of the school year in distance learning.
The next part of the day is open to all WWPS students. From 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., students take part in hands-on activities such as gardening, music, theater and art.
The day then ends for older students. Those in grades K-5, however, have the option of being bused to Sharpstein Elementary School to participate in the YMCA’s Summer Enrichment camp from 12:30-5 p.m.
More information on Summer Sol can be found at summersol.org.
The Walla Walla YMCA has programs planned as well. The organization will be running its summer camps in person this year.
The organization has a preschool camp for children as young as 3, a STEM-based summer enrichment camp for students in grades 1-6 and a field-trip camp for older youth in grades 6-8.
The YMCA camps range in price from $170-$185 per week for a full-day program. A half-day offering of the preschool camp, for children 3 to 5 years old, is also offered for $105 a week.
The YMCA is offering programs in Walla Walla, Milton-Freewater and Athena.
More information can be found at wwymca.org/camps.
Camp Fire Walla Walla Executive Director Janet Adams said the program is offering two summer day camps this year, one in Walla Walla and the other in College Place.
The camp in Walla Walla is at Wildwood Park and is open to children of all families, regardless of their city of residence. As normal, a full-day option is available. But this year, the program is also offering a half-day option.
“With the wonderful opportunity that Walla Walla Public School’s Summer Sol program will provide, Camp Fire will also offer a modified schedule option so that children can attend both Summer Sol in the morning and Camp Fire’s day camp program at Wildwood in the afternoon,” Adams said.
Registration is open now for the full-day program.
“As soon as we finalize logistics, we will open registration for the modified schedule designed to mesh with the Summer Sol schedule,” she said.
Camp Fire is also providing a program in College Place at Kiwanis Park. This camp is partly subsidized by the city of College Place and is only open to College Place residents. Adams said registration is full, but parents can place their children on the wait list.
Both camps run for 10 one-week blocks from June 21 to Aug. 27. Both camps are open to students entering first through sixth grades.
The Walla Walla camp costs $155 a week with a $25 registration fee. The College Place camp costs $35 a week with a $25 registration fee.
More information can be found at wwcampfire.org/programs.
This year, Walla Walla Community College’s summer camps will be online.
The college will have weekly camps from June 7 to Aug. 27 and will offer both morning and afternoon sessions.
The courses will be computer science and digital arts focused. There are several options, and most camps cost between $149-$159.
More information can be found at wwcc.edu/community/online-summer-camps.
Walla Walla Country Club
The Walla Walla Country Club will host a summer camp for four weeks. The program is through KE Camps, which provides summer camps at country clubs across the country.
The camp runs from July 12 to Aug. 6. According to the camp’s website, the first two weeks are sold out, but space remains in the last two weeks.
Activities include golf and tennis lessons, group games and STEM challenges.
The cost is $235 a week for children of club members, and $260 a week for non-members.
More information can be found at kecamps.com/camps/walla-walla-country-club.
Up to 60 Dayton-area youth in grades K-5 will be able to participate in The Club’s summer program.
The decision to hold the summer program comes after The Club was forced to cancel its spring break program amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The program will run for six weeks from June 21 to July 30. This is later than the program would typically start.
“We’re allowing ourselves some time between the end of school and the beginning of our program to prepare for summer,” Director Jim Pearson said.
Enrollment started on May 3 and is on a first-come first-serve basis. The deadline to enroll is June 4.
The program is open to youth in grades K-5. However, Pearson said this includes students who will be in kindergarten at the start of the 2021-22 school year, as well as students who are currently in fifth grade as of the 2020-21 school year.
The cost of the program is $250 per child, but funding is available for families that can’t afford the full cost.
More information can be found at theclubdayton.org/applications.
Local artist Chloe Congleton is hosting Enable Art summer camps this year. She’s offering 10 week’s worth of programs. Each week is a different subject.
Each camp runs Monday through Thursday. Most camps are broken into two ages groups. The “kids” group is for children 5-9 years old, while the “youth” group is for 10 to 15-year-olds.
Weekly themes range from pen and ink, anime, watercolor and more.
The camps run from June 7 to Aug. 9. Each one-week session ranges in price from $115-$170, depending on the course offered that week.
More information can be found at enable-art.com/summer-art-camp-info.
The Blue Mountain Land Trust is hosting its Farm Kids Day Camps this summer. There are three to choose from. Each one is open to children in grades 1-4.
An Abundance of Flora and Insects runs July 12-16 and focuses on plants and their relationship with insects.
Critters on the Farm is July 19-23 and focuses on the food chain and animal life. Participants will feed goats and help with pig chores.
Finally, Farm to Our Table runs July 26-30. This camp focuses on how farms help to feed their communities.
Blue Mountain Land Trust education specialist Katy Rizzuti said she enjoys seeing what the children learn at the day camps.
“I really enjoy seeing kids get outdoors and understand where our food comes from,” Rizzuti said. “In the afternoon, we have a lot of outdoor time in the creek. I remember last year watching the kids playing and thinking, ‘Wow, that’s the childhood I remember as a kid.’”
Each week-long session is $215 per camper.
Find more information at bmlt.org/farm-kids.
Walla Walla Sweets
The Walla Walla Sweets will be holding two youth baseball camps this summer.
First is the Sweet Lou’s Skills Camp for young ball players ages 5-9. The camp is June 15-17 and include three half-days of instruction, a camp t-shirt, a pizza party on the last day and a ticket to a Walla Walla Sweets baseball game.
The camp costs $110 per player.
The Sweets Prospect Camp is for older players and players who want a little deeper instruction. The camp is open to ages 8-14, so there is some overlap with the Sweet Lou’s Skills Camp.
The camp is from July 5-8 and includes four half-days of instruction, games every day, sliding practice, a camp t-shirt, a pizza party on the last day and a ticket to a Walla Walla Sweets baseball game.
The cost is $130 per player.
More information can be found at sweetsbaseballcamps.com/register.cfm.