by Toni Twitty
OKC Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Expert
Its time to sign up for summer camps in OKC! Like many families, my husband and I have decide to use summer camps as childcare during the summer. We know that the new experiences and opportunities summer camps provide are well worth the money- and who wants to pay for a week of the same ol’ same ol’ at daycare? We always go back and forth on which camps sound like the most fun, are affordable or provide value for the money, and offer a fun activity or solid learning opportunity. This is why I’ve complied for you a list of the summer camps in the OKC metro area that we’ve found to be best-loved by parents and kids, that are affordable, and provide a little something extra when compared to other camps.
Camp DaKaNi is a favorite in our household. In fact, our little likes it so much that after singing camp songs [all. year. long]. she has asked to go to DaKaNi all summer this year! This is the kind of camp we went to as kids- yanno the kind that you’d expect to see in a movie about summer camps (Camp Nowhere, anyone?). A camp counselor and a counselor in training supervise each small group of campers. The groups select and modify their “home in the woods,” which is where they gather, eat, chill, play, cook campfire lunches, and bond. The grounds are extensive and include a few swinging bridges, mud pie kitchen, rock climbing wall, hammock forest, real-life-with-humans foosball, zipline, canoe/kayaking, slinghots, archery, fishing, outdoor cooking, and the camp favorite- Ga-ga Pit. As much as we adore that she comes home from camp blissfully exhausted from a great day in the out-of-doors, my husband and also I love, love, love the personal development portion of Camp DaKaNi as it focuses on teambuilding and leadership skills. We are also huge fans of the no electronics at camp rule- where else can kids commune with nature and interact with other kids without electronics being a staple?!
Camp DaKaNi is $210 per week with before/after care being additional. They provide snacks and lunch; you provide sunscreen and bug spray. Pro-tip: Don’t skimp on the bug spray.
*Extended care from 7am-6pm for an additional $75/week
Oklahoma Children’s Theatre offers pre-school and school-aged children the opportunity to participate in all kinds of cool courses. Each week is a different theme. I know that the Mad Scientist course that’s offered July 24-28 would be a hit for my family. The recitals are on Fridays, and extended care is offered at an additional cost.
Cost: $120-160 depending on the class
Hours: 9am-4pm School-aged
Ages 5-15 are eligible to participate in the Edmond Racquet Club’s Junior Tennis Camps. There are several sessions that vary based on age, skill, and time of day. All new campers get a custom fitted Wilson tennis racquet for FREE. They also get either a visor or a t-shirt depending on which camp they sign up for. Campers are offered the opportunity to swim after camp, and there are no rain-outs for this camp as they have indoor facilities to use in case of rainy or overly hot weather!
Its not all ice skating at Arctic Edges Summer Camp! The kids participate in lacrosse, gymnastics, martial arts, volleyball, soccer, arts and crafts, AND ice skating! Each week of camp is sports themed and parents are invited to watch their child participate in a “bowl game,” at the end of the week. I really like that kids get exposed to a variety of sports and have the chance to show off their talents while learning new things.
Hours: 9am-4pm; includes extended care from 7:30-5:30
Cost: $145/week with a $20/week discount for siblings
Horse camp is open to all children ages 6-12. The hours of camp vary from session one to session two, but the programming remains English and Western horseback riding lessons for all levels (beginner to World Champion), horse grooming, crafts, and swimming. I have to say that Cottonwood is a great place for learning horsemanship; the instructors are patient, kind, and fun and the horses used for lessons and camps are calm and well-trained. If your child is into horses, you cannot go wrong with this camp!
Campers 4-15 can attend camp at the Oklahoma City Zoo this summer! This camp is a bit pricey in my humble opinion, but I also think the cost is likely well worth it as kids get to do crafts, go on exhibit tours, and get up close and personal with animal guests! I also really like that the Zoo offers a half-day option, for the 4 and 5 year-old campers who may not be ready for a full day at camp just yet.
Hours: Vary, but generally 9am-4pm with extended care at $50.week extra
I have good things to say about the YMCA summer camp. Our little has attended YMCA camp several weeks for two summers and has thoroughly enjoyed it. The YMCA offers camp at several locations throughout the metro area, which makes it convenient for most families. It’s very affordable yet offers swimming twice a week and a weekly field trip! Zoe has been to the Zoo, skating, bowling, and she really honed her swimming skills at YMCA camp. Each week has a theme to which crafts, games, and projects are coordinated. Last summer Zoe played flashlight tag, made a really nice 2×2 foot painting, knitted, learned about America, and made a bunch of new friends!
Cost: Non-member $145/week
Hours: 7am-6pm with extended care included
Oklahoma Gold offers a week of summer camp every year- this year’s has yet to be announced. Gold Gymnastic Camp includes all the fun! They offer gymnastics free-play, a zip-line, rock wall, slip ‘n slide, and games galore! Camp is for ages 5-13 and they provide a snack!
The ESC Recreational Camp is recommended for all recreational players U5-U18.
The focus of the camp will be on attacking skills, beating the defender 1v1, and attacking the goal to score. The first 2/3 of the session will focus on skills, with the last 30 minutes set aside for scrimmaging. Players should bring a ball, water, and wear soccer appropriate clothing, including shin guards.
Cage Camp in Edmond
Cage camp is synonymous with basketball here in Oklahoma. They offer programming for kids 5-12 and 5th grade-12th grade. Cage camp is probably the best basketball camp in Oklahoma, and its right in our backyard! The focus is on various skills including shooting, post and inside, and offensive player skills.
Hours: Vary by session
As the President of Guthrie Youth Cheer, I may be a little biased but I believe that this camp is super fun! Guthrie Youth Cheer offers a 2 day cheer camp every summer. This summer they will be holding camp June 2-3rd with a performance of skills learned at noon on the 3rd. This camp is fun for kids aged Pre-K through 6th grade because its short, but they learn a ton. Each group is divided by age; the coach of each group teaches the kids a short routine and a fun cheer to show off to their parents on Saturday at noon. If your child is interested in cheerleading, this is a great camp to give them a taste of what cheer is all about. All participants get a t-shirt and all girls get a bow.
Toni Twitty, M.Ac. is an highly respected expert Acupuncturist located in Edmond, OK. She specializes in resolving pain, treating chronic conditions, performs facial rejuvenation, helps athletes with sports medicine, and has a focus on fertility. www.bewellokc.com