Having Fun While Learning All Summer Long
Photo by Jon Keeling
School is out for the summer and The Children’s Home of Cincinnati’s Camp-I-Can is in full swing!
For campers ages 5 to 12, that means everything from visits to the Cincinnati Zoo, Coney Island and the Armeleder Memorial Spraygound at Sawyer Point to art projects, soccer clinics and a host of other exciting in-house activities and community service projects. For campers’ parents, it means their workdays are filled with the peace of mind that comes from knowing their children are in trusted care while having a great summer.
“Parents are happy because they know their kids are more than entertained, they’re engaged in a variety of activities, interacting with other kids in a safe, structured environment,” says Kaitlyn Rinear, School Age Quality program coordinator at The Children’s Home. “It’s an enriching environment for kids to be in, both physically and academically, over the summer.”
The 10-week camp – conducted Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. – is located on the 40-acre Children’s Home Madison Road main campus, which includes a
swimming pool, gym, playground and walking trails. Camp-I-Can activities enhance children’s creativity, leadership and social skills while celebrating culture and diversity.
In addition to field trips and physical activities like daily warm-ups and stretching, swimming and outdoor play, campers also spend time reading, journaling and participating in age-appropriate math challenges. Weekly activities are linked to the Ohio Department of Education’s Core Content Standards. The camp is licensed to serve a total of 150 children daily.
“We have campers from a wide range of ages,” Rinear continues. “For kindergartners, those first few days of camp are mostly about getting to know their group and learning how to work well with each other. We’ve started a new program this summer – Book Buddies – for younger and older kids, where they read together, offering the older kids an opportunity to develop leadership skills. Older kids also help with snacks. Because we have a lot of families who come to camp, we have older and younger siblings, so that helps encourage interaction as well.”
Camp-I-Can opens about one week after Cincinnati Public Schools close for the summer. Young campers who might be a tad shy or reluctant to participate in activities at the beginning of camp are sad to see it end in early August, Rinear notes. “Parents of the younger kids tell me how their kids talk about Camp-I-Can all school year and how they miss their friends from camp.”
The last day of camp, though bittersweet, is celebrated first with a giant talent show, full of campers dancing, singing, performing gymnastics and sharing a myriad of other abilities they’ve mastered, followed by a picnic.
“Camp-I-Can is about making great memories,” says Rinear. “It’s a lot of fun for everyone involved.”
The Children’s Home of Cincinnati’s mission is to create lasting results that strengthen families and the surrounding community by guiding individuals from infancy to independence, through comprehensive education, behavioral and health services. The private, nonprofit organization, providing services and programs that transform the lives of children and their families since 1864, is funded through program fees, government and granted funds, donations and investment revenue.
The Children’s Home of Cincinnati is located at 5050 Madison Road, Cincinnati, OH 45227. For more information, visit www.thechildrenshomecinti.org.