Spring has officially arrived, but already a little slice of summer is here, too: local summer camp programs are officially taking enrollments for the summer of 2012.
One of those camps, Birds of a Feather Nature Camp, is relatively new to the area: it's celebrating its tenth year this coming summer. "It's still very grassroots," said Kristin Cuomo, who runs the camp along with husband Johnny, a certified elementary school teacher. Both are also enrichment program teachers in the Three Village Central School District.
At Birds of a Feather, campers take a daily hike and enjoy activities like bird watching and ecosystem studies in a different nature setting each day, such as the Stony Brook Mill Pond, Nissequogue's David Weld Sanctuary, the Baiting Hollow Hummingbird Sanctuary, and more. "We try to keep them relaxed and enjoying themselves since they're scheduled and structured for the whole school year," Cuomo said.
Play Groups School also offers a camp with a nature component. "Research shows that children with experiences in the natural world are more imaginative and cooperative in their interactions with peers, are more autonomous and resilient, have more positive feelings about one other and develop a lifelong dedication to conservation and stewardship," said preschool director Kathy Rademacher.
Another local camp, Camp Setauket, has been in business more than 25 years. Denise Locarni, a camp administrator, has sent her own kids to Camp Setauket. In particular, its theater arts camp is very popular among girls, Locarni said. "Right now we're getting a lot of kids signing up," she said. "We're a good value in the area."
Camp Location Price Notes Birds of a Feather Nature Camp $250/session Five 4-day sessions available. Led by certified elementary teacher and musician Johnny Cuomo. Bus service available. Limited to 12 kids per session. Ideal for grades K-6. Camp Setauket $395 per week; $690 for two weeks; $725 for two-week theater arts camp; daily rate $79 per day. Certain discounts available. Indoor/outdoor camp runs from June 5 through Aug. 24. Campers who sign up by April 15 enjoy a 5 percent discount. Programs include a general camp, sports camp, tennis camp and theater arts camp.
Stony Brook University Summer Camps Prices range from $291 for a three-day, one week program to $3,560 for a five-day, eight-week program. Program runs June 25 through Aug. 17. Campers who sign up by March 30 enjoy a 5 percent discount. Program offerings include a general camp, sports camps, and specialty "academies" such as Chess/Science and video game building. Laurel Hill Summer Camp Costs vary depending on number of weeks chosen. Sibling and early registration discounts available. Bus service available. Four-, six-, and eight-week sessions available. Eight programs including sports, theater, discovery, teen program, and more. Facilities include pool, animal farm, garden, and more. Imagination Pre-School $30 per day; 20 percent sibling discount. Two camps offered: a preschool camp for ages 3 to 5 and a girls-only camp for ages 5 to 8. Camp runs July 9 through Aug. 17. Fully air conditioned facilities with a shaded playground. Play Groups School Flexible depending on number of days per week and number of weeks registered, ranging from $145 to $2,005. "Bring a Buddy" discount of 10 percent until March 31. Program focuses on 1/2-acre outdoor classroom with music, art and nature specialists. Campers enjoy visits from Sweetbriar Nature Center, Long Island Aquarium, and more. The Stony Brook School Summer Programs $395 to $810 depending on program and length of session. For students in grades 1 through 12. Programs include sports camps, sailing, nature/adventure, academics; technology; and more. Three 2-week sessions available. Three Village Central School District Various school Facilities Resident half-day program $621; full day $930. Non-resident program half-day $775, full day $1085. Camp runs Monday-Friday between July 5 and Aug. 10. Open to kids entering grades K-6. Registration deadline May 11. Register by mail only.