Summer camps offer something for everyone

Whatever your child’s interest - or age - there’s a summer camp for them.

Whether it is sports, education, science, camping - whatever - there’s a summer camp somewhere in the La Jolla area to fulfill children’s mental or physical needs, as well as keep them occupied.

La Jolla YMCA summer youth camps

A good place to start your search for an appropriate summer camp for your child is the La Jolla YMCA at 8355 Cliffridge Ave., which offers a plethora of summer camps to fill every conceivable youth niche.

“Camps go through the end of August and are for ages 3 to 15,” noted Kaysi Howington of YMCA member services, “everything from sports camps to specialty camps to traditional camps. There’s really everything.”

YMCA camps are held weekdays summerlong from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weeklong camp prices range from about $100 to $400 or $500. “Most camps include field trips locally,” added Howington, “and there are other caravan camps where they are away from the YMCA for the entire week.”

All of the more than 100 YMCA camp counselors are certified.

Mission Bay Youth Water Sports Camp

For those aquatically inclined in La Jolla and surrounding areas, Mission Bay Youth Water Sports Camp at 1001 Santa Clara Point is the place for youth summer camp search to begin and end.

“We have full-day and half-day camps available for kids,” said Kevin Waldick, Youth Water Sports Camp program manager. “They can choose an activity, either surfing, sailing, kayaking, windsurfing or wakeboarding. There is group instruction in the morning period, and recreation in the afternoon period, where kids actually go sailing, surfing, snorkeling, kayaking or sailing.”

Waldick said full-day, weeklong aquatic camps range in price from $280 to $365. Half-day camps charge $200 to $250. There is financial aid available for families in need.

Camp times range from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and span ages 6 to 17. Camps run through Aug. 29

For more information call 858-539-2003.

Mad Science camps

One of the more educational, and entertaining, summer camp alternatives available for kids is Mad Science Camps which are held at the La Jolla Rec Center at 615 Prospect St., the La Jolla YMCA at 8355 Cliffridge Ave. and Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center at 4126 Executive Drive and The Children’s School at 2225 Torrey Pines Lane.

“All the camps are designed to be real hands-on,” noted Heather Gaona, director of marketing for Mad Science of San Diego. “All the kids get to make and take home a science project as part of their camp day.”

Seven different Mad Science day camps are offered this summer, including: Backyard Explorers, Jr. Detective Camp, Mad Science All-Stars, My First Lab, NASA Space Academy, Robots & Reactions and Checkmate Chess Camp.

Backyard Explorers, appropriate for ages 5-10 allows kids to put their safari hats on and walk on the wild side, getting up close with creepy, crawly creatures and build bug houses to continue exploring the world of insects in their own backyard.

The brand new Checkmate Chess Camp makes the classic game fun by bringing pieces to life using creative personalities. Kids play on a giant chess set and learn all of the popular game’s rules, strategies and tactics.

Another new Mad Science camp is Jr. Detective, wherein kids take a fascinating journey into the world of detection, forensics and classified information, learning code language to send secret messages as part of their mission.

In Mad Science All-Stars, kids learn about famous scientists and inventors who were all-stars in their field of expertise.

In My First Lab, preschoolers explore their sense of sight, sound, smell, taste and touch.

NASA Space Academy gives kids their chance to be a rocket scientist. The use teamwork to complete an important space mission and build a model space station. Robots and Reactions allows kids to learn about balance and center of gravity as they build their very own rolling robot.

Summer camp Birch Aquarium sleepover

Birch Aquarium at Scripps at 2300 Expedition Way in La Jolla offers a unique summer camp experience: an overnight slumber party at the aquarium.

On Friday and Saturday, Aug. 29-30, from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m., the aquarium hosts “Asleep in the Deep: Pirates,” an overnight high seas adventure. Before crawling into their sleeping bags amongst the aquarium’s inhabitants, participants ages 6 and older and their guardians will take part in a variety of special activities designed to inspire “pirates” to protect the seas. Explore the aquarium and uncover bountiful marine treasures during this sell-out program.

Asleep in the Deep: Pirates is $60 per person. Each pirate receives an evening snack, breakfast and a souvenir treasure bag.

Reservations are required. Call 858-534-7336.

SDSU Summer Teen Academy Camps

For those willing to travel further, SDSU Offers Summer Teen Academy Camps July 14-18 and July 21-25. In two of several camp offerings, youths can tour San Diego Superior Court and witness a mock trial or be conducted on a behind-the-scenes tour at XETV Channel 6 or Sony Online Entertainment.

All of these opportunities, and more, will be available during the first Summer Teen Academy through SDSU’s College of Extended Studies the weeks of July 14-18 and July 21-25. Each individual camp is one week long.

Price is $299 per camp. Extracurricular activities include a campus tour and bowling and games.

For more information, call (619) 594-7078, e-mail