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Patch Asks: What Are the Best Summer Camps?

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Each week in Moms Talk, our Moms Council of experts and smart moms take your questions, give advice and share solutions.

Have a question you would like to share, or just want to provide your opinion on the question of the week? Head over to the comments section to do just that.

So grab a cup of coffee and settle in as we start the conversation today with a question from your very own Patch Moms Council: What kinds of summer camps are available for children of all ages, and what kinds of activities can they participate in during those months?

Jane McElroy March 23, 2011 at 05:10 PM
This is a bit of info for the time when camp is over and there are still a few weeks of summer left. Monday Morning Inc would consider placing your child on a short time basis IF there is availability. The number is 908-668-6840 or email SueW@MondayAM.com Good Luck ...summer will be here before we know ot:o)
Justin Salton March 23, 2011 at 06:12 PM
Hoops Camps AT Watchung Hills www.hoopatwatchunghills.com
Jacquie Zeiman March 23, 2011 at 06:36 PM
My daughter has been going to the JCC Camp on Talimini Road in Bridgewater since she was 3 (she's not almost 11) and she loves it! We've had a great expereince there each summer. They offer 4, 6 and 8 week programs for kids 2-13. Best of all there's free door to door busing! You don't need to be Jewish to attend - in fact,she's not, and many others aren't either. It's a great program that keeps the children very busy and active with lots of outdoor time,electives, swimming lessons, and opportunities for travel and short stay sleepways as they get older. Cost is very reasonable comapred to other camps in the area or sleepaway camps. For more info go to www.ssbjcc.org.
Toni March 23, 2011 at 07:36 PM
Milltown School's Ms. Marchand and Mrs. Hoffman offer three one-week summer camps for children aged 1st through 5th grade through Bridgewater/Raritan's Council of Schools Summer Enrichment. Each camp runs from 9 am to 2 pm. They are called Broadway Kids Kamp, Hollywood Kids Kamp, and TV Kids Kamp. Campers star in a production for which they also create scenery, costumes, and choreography. Each camper receives a keepsake DVD of the finished product. Camps are held in the art and music rooms at B/R high school. For more information see the Council of Schools brochure found on the Bridgewater/Raritan School District's website or at: http://www.brrsd.k12.nj.us/files/filesystem/2011%20Summer%20Enrichment%20Program.pdf.
Dan Adams March 24, 2011 at 12:16 PM
Bridgewater Soccer Association is hosting a summer soccer camp. July 18th-21st. Mon-Thu (Friday rain day) 9-1pm. $99 per player. 6 to 14 year olds. Register at www.bridgewatersoccer.com or email bsadevelopmentacademy@gmail.com
Thionil March 24, 2011 at 02:05 PM
We belong to Healthquest in Flemington and they have a great Recreation Program 1/2 day with swim once a week that is very reasonable. Also they have full day programs. We love it there!!!!!!! Also Bridgewater has the Recreation Playground Program from Preschool on up.
Tracie W. March 24, 2011 at 03:23 PM
My daughter has been going to the Somerset Valley YMCA - Hillsborough Branch for 3yrs and loves it. With swimming twice a day (one instructional and one recreational) and being outside with so many different activities going. She comes home exhausted and excited to tell me about her day. This year she wants to try a few weeks with the Girl Scouts at Camp DeWitt and the rest at the YMCA (the YMCA also offers several specialty camps) .
Patricia Zohn March 24, 2011 at 03:52 PM
The options for a family considering summer camp are nearly endless. While you can find a camp with almost any combination of activities, the most important feature of the camp we chose for our son was the opportunity for growth of character, values, independence, teamwork and self-discovery. For us, the right choice was an all-boys wilderness camp with both in-camp wilderness activities and multi-day or multi-week canoe trips into the wilderness. He spends a month there and the relationships he has formed and the personal development we see are amazing and life changing. He loves it. Also, when thinking about camp, don't be quick to discard sleep-away as an option because of cost. There are many fine camps that are very reasonable and will work with you on cost and payment. My son's sleep-away camp is no more expensive than the local day camp.
iD Tech Camps March 24, 2011 at 05:22 PM
Just to offer some advice on your summer camp search, online summer camp directories and eCamp sites are great resources for locating a summer camp in a specific geographic location or one that specializes in a particular activity (sports, technology, etc.). To find a good eCamp site, go to Google and search “summer camps Warren” or even a larger city or state. I actually work for iD Tech Camps where we run summer tech programs across the nation. Kids and teens can learn video game design, iPhone app development, website creation and much more. And while we don't have any day or overnight locations in Warren, we do hold camps at Princeton University and Seton Hall University. http://www.internaldrive.com/locations/nj-summer-camps-new-jersey-computer-camps/. Just wanted to pass along the information, but if you have any specific questions feel free to call 1-888-709-TECH (8324) or email info@internalDrive.com. Good luck with your summer camp search!
Sue M March 24, 2011 at 06:05 PM
I'm still a SAHM so I'm home with the kids. So I like inexpensive alternatives to traditional camp (no paycheck for me means no money for camp!). If your personal beliefs allow for it, there are a ton of low cost or even free vacation bible schools around. I'm biased since I'm co-director of the one at Montgomery United Methodist (http://www.mumcvbs.org), but I sent my kids to Faith Lutheran Church's VBS across from the Hillsborough Library last summer and they loved it too! 9 AM - Noon for 5 days for only $25 per kid. If you're concerned, I wouldn't call either our program MUMC or Faith Lutheran's to be super "evangelical" or anything. I have friends who rave about the one at Neshanic Reformed, but it's a little more expensive (I think it was $45 per kid last year) so I didn't send mine. VBS is just a way for the kids to have fun with a little bit of Christian themes thrown in. I can't afford to send the kids to regular day camp, so programs like these are a great alternative for me.
Thionil March 24, 2011 at 06:08 PM
I agree my kids are gone and they love it everytime!!!!!!
Thionil March 24, 2011 at 06:09 PM
I agree my kids have gone and they love it everytime!!!!!!!!!!
Kristina Smith January 17, 2013 at 03:45 PM
We are moving to Bridgewater in June. Both my husband and I work, so we need a full day (before and after care) camp for the whole summer. Our son is in 2nd grade. Does anyone have any suggestions? Since we are new to the area, I really wanted my son in a camp in Bridgewater where he could meet some kids who may go to his school. Thanks!
Manasee May 06, 2013 at 05:46 PM
I have the same situation as Kristina's. We will be moving there in June. My daughter will be in 3rd Grade. Me and my husband both work, so we need a full day camp. We would love to have more suggestions. Thanks!
Jacqueline Zeiman May 06, 2013 at 06:24 PM
Both my son (5) and daughter (13) attend Camp Ruach at the JCC in Bridgewater.Every year they can't wait for camp to start - they're already counting the days! 3rd grade is a great age for this camp. (visit www.ssbjjc.org, click on camp - there are videos). They swim every day with instruction every other. They're outside all day, with plenty of shelter. They keep the kids very busy and active - they come home pooped! My daughter has been going there for about ten years now and she won't consider anyplace else. We've been very happy with it and the staff is fantastic. It's ideal for people who need full time care because: 1. they offer both early drop-off and late stay options and 2. they provide transportaiton that picks up the kids right at your driveway. It's not cheap but less expensive than many other "full time" day camps in the area. My kids both love it and have made many great, long-standing friendships. Other options to consider; Camp Riverbend (Warren), Camp Hamony (Warren) , and Jeff Lakes ((too far away for my taste - it's a very long comute) - but I have friends who've sent their kids to these places and were pleased. If your child is very "outdoorsy" and wants activities like canoeing and hiking look at Riverbend or Jeff Lakes. For most girls especially, I'd go with the JCC - it's the best value - and don't feel that you have to be Jewish --many of my daughter's friends who attend aren't Jewish (minimal emphashis on religion). Good luck!
Michele Griffin June 15, 2013 at 02:24 PM
You did not mention the name of the camp?

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