In connection with the Baltimore’s Child Virtual Summer Camps and Activities Fair, we’re introducing you to some of the many summer camp participants. Today, you’ll meet UMBC Summer Day Camps. Designed for children ages 6-13, the UMBC Summer Day Camp curriculum has been created to offer a variety of programs to meet the interests, abilities and needs of campers and is aimed at delivering both fun and learning opportunities for kids. Learn more about summer camp programming from Gary Wohlstetter at UMBC.
Contact: UMBC Summer Day Camp | 1000 Hilltop Circle, RAC 252, Baltimore, MD 21250
BC: Can you describe some of the highlights of your summer camp?
Gary Wohlstetter: For summer 2021, the Retriever Activities Center, the home of the UMBC Summer Day Camp, has been completely renovated. Campers will continue to enjoy swimming twice daily, air-conditioned facilities and a variety of specialty activities that include fitness and yoga, dance, martial arts, tennis and arts and crafts.
The UMBC Summer Day camp offers many highlights throughout the summer based around our themed weeks. Themes such as Under the Big Top features a carnival with inflatables, games, and prizes. At The Beach Week includes fun activities such as tie-dyeing, a water balloon toss and a pool party that has inflatables and snow cones. Other activities in various weeks include a talent show, a superhero day where campers and counselors are encouraged to dress up as their favorite heroes, an art show and many more fun activities!
BC: What aspects of the summer camp experience do parents comment about the most?
GW: Parents love that their children get to swim twice a day; it is something that not many other camps can offer. In addition, we offer other specialty activities regularly each week such as dance, arts and crafts, martial arts, and tennis that parents always rave about. We have been fortunate year after year to find the best group of young adults for counselors that UMBC and other local schools have to offer to give campers the best camp experience possible. We take great pride in that.
BC: What aspects do kids like the most about your summer camp program?
GW: The kids love free swim and those specialty days. Every week usually has one big special event or activity that relates to the week’s theme, so of which are mentioned above.
BC: How did your organization respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of summer camps last year?
GW: The campus made a decision to close for the safety of all. Given we are a state university with many summer programs and activities, we did not run any camps on campus last summer. To stay connected with our camp community, we reached out to our camp staff, as well as the varsity coaching staff, to provide Summer Camp At Home videos on our UMBCrecTV YouTube page. Videos ranged from arts and crafts projects, sporting instructional videos, science experiments and baking. We are all very excited to have camp in 2021.
BC: What steps are you taking this year to keep campers safe and healthy?
GW: For summer 2021, we will be following the guidelines put in place by UMBC, the CDC, the state of Maryland and the American Camp Association. Our goal is to provide a safe environment for our campers, their families and our staff, just as we always have.
BC: What would you say are the benefits of summer camps for children?
GW: Summer camps are a great experience for children to keep a structured environment throughout the summer, while also having the most fun possible that creates memories that will last a lifetime. Friendships made in this camp often extend into the school year and often long after that. UMBC’s top-tier facilities help provide an experience that children cannot get anywhere else in this area at any other camp.