Nonprofits hosting summer camps
The dog days of summer are upon us, and parents everywhere are looking for enriching opportunities for their children to help fill the time until school starts up again. Luckily, several Valley nonprofits offer summer day camps aimed at almost all interests, from pollinators to performance to pets to patriotism.
From the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma Valley to the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, local nonprofits find that summer camps are not only a rich pathway to connect with the community, they also add some much-needed financial richness to their bottom lines. Beginning this week and running throughout the summer, camps will be held at the Sonoma Community Center, Pets Lifeline and the Sonoma Ecology Center as well.
At the Boys & Girls Club, each week offers a different experience, reaching kids in grades one through five with a wide variety of interests. Running from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday, the camps include activities at the Maxwell Village clubhouse as well as field trips related to the theme of each week.
Themes include a Wild West week with stories, plays and crafts dedicated to the old West, highlighted by a trip to the Sonoma-Marin Fair, and Got Talent, a week of singing, dancing and drama complete with a trip to the theater. The general day camps cost $60 a week.
The club also offers specialty camps with a dedicated focus meant for older club members, including rock climbing on the new climbing wall; cooking and baking; science and outdoor adventures; and sports such as soccer, volleyball and basketball. These camps are $100 a week and many are repeated throughout the summer.
In addition to the camps, working parents can find childcare at the club. Camp participants can receive child care before camp from 7 to 9 a.m. In the afternoons, from 1 to 7 p.m., the club is open to all members with a full spectrum of activities, including sports, gardening, environmental education, art classes and cooking and nutrition. The cost of becoming a club member is $60 for the summer or $120 for a year-round membership. Learn more by contacting 938-8544 or visiting www.bgcsonoma.org. The Maxwell Clubhouse is at 100 Verano Ave.
At the Sonoma Ecology Center, the June camps are all about getting kids, ages 6 through 12, hands-on with nature. The camps kicked off this week with Pollinator Planet, exploring the important roles pollinators such as bees have in the ecosystem. Next week's camp is Farming Fun, running June 20 to 24 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Sonoma Garden Park, where participants will learn about growing and harvesting their own food. The cost is $110 for members, $125 for non-members. To register, contact firstname.lastname@example.org at 996-0712, ext. 107. The Sonoma Garden Park is at 9996 Seventh St. E.
Moving over to Pets Lifeline, the summer goes to the dogs, with a few cats, reptiles and a camel or two thrown in for good measure. The popular Humane Education camps run every week from June 13 through Aug. 15, with camps set from 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday. In addition to learning about the animals at the Valley's only animal shelter, kids can have up-close encounters with critters cared for by exotic animal groups such as Lyon's Ranch and Reptile Rescue. The cost is $110 a week, with family discounts available. To register, contact Mary Green at 996-4577, ext. 109. Camps take place at Pets Lifeline, 19686 Eighth St. E.
And at the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, the camps are, you guessed it, all about art. In its newly redesigned classroom space, a flight of art instructors will offer three day camps for younger kids each morning, with sessions for older youths planned each afternoon through the beginning of August. In conjunction with the exhibit, "Six Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: Original Etchings by David Hockney," many of the summer programs will deal with literary arts, with topics such as Graphic Illustration, Papier-Mâché Sculpture: Fables, Fairytales and Fantasy and Books as Art.
Each three-session workshop is $60 for ages 6 to 8; or $75 for older students. Morning sessions start at 9 a.m., afternoon workshops begin at 1 p.m. Registration information can be found at www.svma.org/classes. The museum is located at 551 Broadway.
The Sonoma Community Center is offering a whole summer of programs for various ages. For youths ages 6 to 11, there is a new camp every week, covering creative subjects like "Super Sketching" and "Storytelling and Music" as well as getting hands on in the kitchen with "Secret Recipes." Campers can take part from 9 a.m. to noon, or stay for all the fun from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The weekly cost is $175 for half-day camps ($162 for SCC members) or $300 for full day camps ($270 for SCC members), with financial assistance available.
Older students, ages 11 to 13, can sign up for an international culinary experience. "Cooking Around the World," set from June 20 to 24, teaches participants how to make dishes from around the world, including the pastas of Italy, sushi from Japan, spring rolls from Vietnam, quiches from France and wontons from China. This camp takes place from 9 a.m. to noon and costs $240, or $216 for SCC members.
All camps take place at the community center, 276 E. Napa St. To see a full schedule of classes or register, visit www.sonomacommunitycenter.org or call 938-4626, ext. 1.
In addition to the nonprofits, many other Valley groups offer summer day camps.
At the Sebastiani Theatre, Rhoten Production's again offers its popular Performing Arts Camp, led by Roger and Diana Rhoten, where students learn about acting, singing, dancing, stilt-walking, magic tricks and more. Sonoma Treasure Artist Kate Kennedy returns with Camp Shakespeare, teaching kids the fun and challenges of the world's greatest playwright. Director Cat Austin brings her Theater Arts Camp to the Sebastiani as well, offering instruction on the art of commanding a stage. All camps take place at the Sebastiani Theatre, 276 First St. E. For details on these camps, visit www.sebastianitheatre.com, call 931-0481 or email email@example.com.
The Sonoma Academy of Dance and Arts, now operating out of the Sonoma Valley Veterans Memorial Building, has a full summer of day camps. Learn more at www.sonomadance.com or call 933-9933. The Sonoma Ballet Conservatory also offers summer dance programs out of its location at 561 Broadway, Suite B. Learn more by contacting 938-1424 or www.sonomaballet.com.