Editor’s Note: In preparation for this year’s Baltimore’s Child Virtual Summer Camps and Activities Fair, we’re introducing you to some summer camp experiences in our area. Learn more about summer camps for your child by registering for our Virtual Summer Camps and Activities Fair, Feb. 26-28.
There’s no more exciting place to be than at Columbia Academy’s “The World Around Us” 2021 summer camp. Campers can explore engaging weekly themes that spark imagination and provide healthy exercise for kids. This one-of-a-kind summer experience promises to deliver great fun while promoting positive social skills and the opportunity to meet and make lifelong friends.
We spoke with Gina Driscoll, director of marketing and communications, to learn more about Columbia Academy’s 2021 summer camp programming.
Q: Can you describe some of the highlights of your preschool, elementary and middle-school camps?
A: Every year, Columbia Academy’s summer camps keep children interested, engaged and excited about learning, both inside and outside the classroom. Through weekly themes centered on dozens of fun and interesting topics, students participate in hands-on experiments, activities and field experiences. Our programs have provided unique educational opportunities and timeless memories for children for 30 years.
Q: What features of Columbia Academy’s summer camp experiences do parents comment about the most?
A: While our summer camp looks a bit different during COVID, parents love our weekly themes, opportunities for students to engage in academics, splash days and virtual field trips—and kids love them too!
In our preschool camp, monthly hands-on curriculum themes make learning fun. From splash days to virtual field trips and so much in between, parents can be sure it will be a truly memorable summer.
In our elementary and middle school camp, campers are always very engaged in the STEM activities and our field experiences. Presentations in physics and chemistry, opportunities to explore space through the planetarium, an on-campus video game truck and a visit from the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, where students interact with live animals, are among some of the activities parents and students rave about.
Q: How did Columbia Academy respond to the COVID-19 pandemic during last year’s summer camp?
A: In spring 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down schools across the country and world, Columbia Academy took swift action to ensure immediate compliance with all CDC guidelines. We implemented hand-sanitizing stations at the entrances to all of our schools, daily temperature checks and health screenings upon arrival of all students and staff. We also implemented social distancing and cohorting of groups, frequent hand washing throughout the day, halted in-person tours and presenters, limited entrance into our buildings for campers and staff only, mandated face masks by all adults and school-age children, enhanced sanitation procedures with a focus on high-touch areas, and limited interactions with people outside each cohort. These guidelines remained in place during last year’s summer camp and during the current school year. We will continue to follow the guidelines set forth by the Maryland Department of Health and the CDC.
Q: How is Columbia Academy ensuring the health and safety for camp participants this year?
A: To ensure the health and safety of all campers this year, we will continue to follow the recommendations from the CDC and the Maryland Department of Health. We will continue utilizing assigned cohorts, limiting transitions and participating in virtual or in-person enrichment programs as is recommended by the Maryland Department of Health.
Q: What would you say are the benefits of summer camp for children?
A: There are so many ways children benefit from a robust summer camp program. With our preschool summer camp program, one of the biggest benefits is continuing the routines the children are accustomed to while enhancing the day-to-day routines with hands-on science investigations. For our elementary and middle school summer camp, students thrive with exciting, hands-on, educational activities that are both engaging and fun. Campers can take a more intricate, hands-on approach to exploring STEM areas through related camp activities, integrating math and science into meaningful learning experiences.
Visit Columbia Academy’s website to apply online or call 301-683-5352.
Special Note: Photos shown here were taken during the 2020 summer camp season. Infants, toddlers and preschool-age children were not required to wear masks. Last summer, school-age children (those 5 and older) were not required to wear masks.