Summer Camp

Whether your child has the need for a creative outlet, outdoor adventure or theatrical performance, there are plenty of summer camp programs available to nurture their interests. Here are a few unique options available, but you have to reserve your spot soon as deadlines are near and spots are filling up fast.

Artistic Expression
Children interested in dance or ballet should consider the International Ballet Academy’s Summer Dance Camps. The Cary studio opened in August 2010 under the artistic direction of Miguel Campaneria and Rossana Gahagan, former professional dancers and internationally recognized teachers.

Weeklong Summer Dance Camps for students ages 3 1/2 to 10 are available with different themes including “Nutcracker Kingdom of Sweets,” “Princesses Dream Come True” and “Shake it Up” jazz dance lessons. The cost is $150 for the week. Evening classes in pre-ballet, technique, pointe and jazz are also available.

“Our school is unique in that not only do we offer preschool ballet, jazz, technique and pointe, we also offer weekly classes in variations and partnering,” said Christina Fanney, the school’s administrative director. “This summer, IBA will be offering a Summer Intensive Program for intermediate to advanced dancers ages 10 and up. Students attending this program will not only have the opportunity to train with Miguel and Rossana, but IBA will also be bringing in more internationally distinguished teachers including Haydee Gutierrez, Roberto Munoz and Melinda Roy.”

For advanced level dancers, the summer intensives are based on auditions. Contact the academy for dates. The cost for Intermediate I Level (which will have classes daily from 11:30 a.m.–4 p.m.) is $500 for two-week sessions and $952 for four-week sessions. For dancers placed in Intermediate II and Advanced Level (which will have daily classes from 9 a.m.–4 p.m.) the cost of a two-week session is $628 and the cost of a four-week session is $1,200.

“Our dancers are working very hard,” Fanney said. “We got accepted to perform at the N.C. Dance Festival at School of the Arts in Winston-Salem and we have eight dancers (ranging in ages from 11 to 16) who are training to attend the World Ballet Competition in Orlando in June of this year.”

For more information and to register, call (919) 303-7200 and visit

Water and Adventure
Are your kids looking for a wild adventure on and off the water? Charlotte is home to the U.S. National Whitewater Rafting Center and offers children and teens all day camps and an overnight survival camp from June to August. Last year, more than 600 kids from 13 states attended USNWC’s Summer Camps, according to Stephen Youngblade, a spokesman for the center.

Kids ages 8–12 can go whitewater rafting, rock climbing, flat water kayaking and learn team-building activities during the Wet n’ Wild Adventure, which costs $275 a week. The Wilderness Voyageurs Adventure Camp offers water adventure in addition to zip lines, wilderness survival techniques, outdoor photography and eco-scavenger hunts. Campers will also learn about local birds of prey through a visit from the Carolina Raptor Center.

“It’s amazing to see the diversity of campers — some of the kids are first-time paddlers and others have Olympic aspirations,” said whitewater kayak instructor Pablo McCandless, a former Olympian and Chilean national slalom canoer.

Kids ages 8–12 can test their ability to survive in the wild during Survival Camp. For $325 per week, campers will develop techniques in shelter-building, wilderness first aid, fire building, lost proofing, map and compass skills. The Rock, Ride and Paddle Camp will build a kid’s basic skills in mountain biking, rock climbing and whitewater kayaking. Each day is split into two unique clinics, focusing on activities and skill enhancements while developing a child’s confidence. Youth and teen camp dates are available for $350 a week

Visit for more information and to register. Deadline to register is May 27.

Pushing Imagination
The Town of Cary’s Schoolz Out full and half-day camps are ramping up for more participants this year with the opening of a new Cary Community Arts Center for visual and performing arts. Programs at this center will be dedicated not only to education, but to imagination, creativity and collaboration.

“This summer, existing programs from Jordan Hall Arts Center and Applause! Cary Youth Theatre will make their debut in the new facility, alongside new programs like hands-on children’s visual art camps, state-of-the-art theatre production camps and expanded ceramics and pottery camps,” said Leda Isenhour, marketing specialist with the Town of Cary Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources.

“I hear almost every day from parents that continue to return to our camps year after year because they feel each camp is unique and provides excellent learning opportunities to their children,” Isenhour added. “Last year, we had 5,922 participants. But the shocking part is that we had 531 additional participants on a wait list. That’s a very good reason to register early since the popular camps and classes fill up quickly!”

One of the more exciting programs is the LEGO Machines and Robotics Mini-Camps at Middle Creek Community Center, where kids get to explore and experiment with programming, controlling and problem solving robotic systems. Cost is $125 for residents and $155 for nonresidents.

“Parents really appreciate the fact that our programs are not centered around keeping the participants busy for the day but actually giving the children something they enjoy that builds self esteem, provides social interaction and makes them want to come back, too,” she said.

Middle School Students have a new Madness Track-Out Camp this year. Isenhour said the camp sizes have increased for most of the year-round track-out camps to accommodate the demand. Half-day camps start at $50, and full-day camps start at $135. Registration has already started; visit or find brochures at participating locations to make your summer camp plans now.

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