Enrollment for Free Summer Camps for City Kids Opens Friday, April 1, 2016

Free Summer Camps for City Youth Ages 5-18

March 30, 2016 | 5 min reading time

ST. LOUIS -- The City of St. Louis and Playtime Recreation announce open registration for free summer camps for City youth ages 5-18. Registration for the themed camps offered at parks and partner locations throughout the City opens April 1, 2016. Due to space limitations, camps will close when they reach capacity.

These 77 camps (multiple camps per category) are funded by Proposition P, a 1/8th sales tax. Parents or guardians can register their children online (www.stlouis-mo.gov/playtime) for one or more sessions of the following camps:

ART: All camps offered through partnership with Yeyo Arts Collective

  • Narratives &Murals: Young creative writers will create a visual display of their personal story and a mural image as a group. The activities include creative writing, collage and painting. For youth ages 7-17.
  • Photography: Youth will learn about the basics of photography, learn to photograph still art and moving targets in addition to learning different photographic styles. For youth ages 7-17.

BASKETBALL: Through partnership with the Demetrious Johnson Charitable Foundation (DJCF), Coach Irons will instruct young boys and girls on offensive and defensive fundamentals. Participants will be grouped based on age and skill level. For youth ages 8-17.

CHEERLEADING: Through partnership with the DJCF, young boys and girls will work on self esteem, cheerleading safety, stunts and spirit exercises. For youth ages 8-17.

COOKING: QUICK, EASY, HEALTHY, CHEAP: Youth learn to compare ingredients, weight, and cost when shopping, discover how to put items found in the kitchen together for a healthy meal, and learn the nutritional value of it, all from Signature Medical Group. For youth ages 11-17.

CREATIVE DEVELOPMENT: All camps offered through partnership with the Urban Artist Alliance for Child Development.

  • Circus Arts: Campers will learn proper technique for warm ups and stretches to increase flexibility and physical conditioning. Each day the staff will teach two to three circus arts, including: juggling, hula hoop, clown, mime, hand and chin balances, rola bola, plate spinning, and stage presentation. For youth ages 6-15.
  • LovePower Teen Theater: Campers write and perform one minute plays over a two-week period with a performance at the end of the experience. Youth will effectively improve their verbal and nonverbal communication skills through the collaborative process of creating a solo piece of theater to be shared with an audience. For teens ages 11-18.
  • Reggae Band Camp: Campers will use instruments including tambourines, tom toms, snare boys, tap taps, handle castanets, wrist bells, cymbals, round tone blocks, triangles, jingle taps, maracas, cow bells, shakers, etc. Youth will do some lyrical analysis of reggae songs and work to create their own song as a group by the last day of the camp. For youth ages 7-18.
  • Rock n Groove Dance:B-boys &B-girls is an arts program that explores several forms of the hip hop art of breakin'. Skilled instructors will teach students specific movements, styles and positions for the purposes of preparing them to dance battle against one another on teams for the final day of camp. For youth ages 8-13.
  • Thump Curators –How to DJ: This camp teaches youth the technical side of deejaying from setting up equipment to music selection. Students in this workshop will learn how to mix songs, scratch, and other turntable techniques, in addition to the cultural history of hip hop deejaying. For youth ages 11-15.
  • VerbQuake Poetry Slam: VerbQuake is a performing arts workshop where students learn how to draft spoken word poems and compete in a poetry slam. Participants will observe local spoken word poets and learn lessons from them throughout the camp. For youth ages 11-18.

ENRICHMENT:All camps offered through partnership with Sylvan Learning.

  • Brain Boosters Math Camp: Brain Boosters Math Camp will encourage your child to become a math whiz and master problem solver through fun, challenging, and kid-friendly math games. For youth ages 9-12.
  • Coding: Campers will learn computer programming skills through hands-on projects that inspire imaginations and bring creativity to life using the technology powered by Tynker©software. For youth ages 7-12.
  • Engineering 101: Campers get a fun, hands-on experience with engineering by using imagination to build exciting, theme based simple machines using LEGO©products. For youth ages 7-11.
  • Robotics 101/201:Youth will build models using LEGO©products and manipulate simple machines such as gears, pulleys, and various sensors. Kids also will learn basic programming skills. Robotics 101 is for youth ages 7-9;201 is offered for youth ages 10-13.

FISHING: Through partnership with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, youth will learn the basics of fishing, including casting, which lure to use, knot tying and fish identification. Kids have the opportunity to catch and release fish. Parents and guardians are welcome to attend but will not be allowed to use the youth equipment. For youth ages 7-15.

FOOTBALL: Through partnership with DJCF, children will be taught the teamwork, communication, sportsmanship and the importance of education. Camps are non-contact and designed to improve skills of all positions on offense and defense. Participants will be grouped based on age and skill level. For youth ages 7-15.

GEOCACHING: This real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game uses GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find a geocache container hidden at that location. While on the hunt for hidden caches, students also will gain experience using citizen science apps. For youth ages 7-15.

GOLF: Through partnership with Missouri Golf Foundation, youth will be taught the fundamentals of the game including rules, putting, chipping, irons and driving. Youth will be divided into instruction groups after the first week of camp based on skill level. For youth ages 8-17.

KARATE: Through partnership with Robinson's Karate, campers will learn the fundamentals and basics of karate, discipline, respect, focus, and self-confidence. For youth ages 5-12.

PICKELBALL: In partnership with Ann and Michael Chapin, United States Pickleball Association (USAPA) Ambassadors and developers of StLouisPickleball.com, campers will learn a combination of tennis, badminton and ping pong that is known as Pickelball. All age groups and skill levels can enjoy one of the fastest growing sports in America. For youth ages 10-17. 

POETRY: Through partnership with the St. Louis Poetry Center, students will learn to make poetry a creative tool for their own thoughts, feelings, dreams and ambitions. The goal of this camp is to introduce students to poetry and poets for their own personal growth. For youth ages 8-13.

SOCCER: Through partnership with Midwest Soccer Academy, participants will be grouped based on skill level. The focus of this camp is for kids to have fun while working towards a team concept through consistent soccer instruction. For youth ages 7-15.

SWIMMING: All camps offered in partnership with the Gateway City Aquatic Club.

  • Swimming - Intro to Competitive Swimming: Youth will be taught the basics of competitive swimming, how to improve swim strokes, increase endurance and learn race strategies. Novice youth must be able to swim the length of the pool and back with out stopping. THIS IS NOT A CAMP FOR BEGINNERS. For youth ages 8-17.
  • Swimming - Splish Splash Water Games: Children will learn and play different water games each day like water baseball, water volleyball, inner-tube water polo, relays and more. Participants must have basic swimming proficiency to sign up for this camp and be able to tread water. For youth ages 7-14.
  • Swimming - Yes I Can! Learn to Swim: Camp is designed to include supervised instruction, training, basic water safety and recreational games for beginners. Swimmers of all skill levels are invited to participate in this camp. For youth ages 7-14.

TENNIS: In partnership with Just Us Tennis Foundation, this is a seven-week summer camp full of skill building and tennis games. Children are invited to learn and improve on skills, such as forehand strokes, backhand strokes and serving. Tennis racquets and balls will be available on site. For youth ages 7-15.

THEATRE: Through partnership with Stray Dog Theatre, youth participate in a two-week camp, which integrates the dynamic aspects of theatre (reading, writing, performing and designing) through age and ability appropriate activities to promote total development. Each camp will conclude with a staged production for family and friends. For youth ages 8-15.

TRACK: Through partnership with Young Life, youth learn track conditioning and will be exposed to an array of track and field events. Youth will learn fundamentals of hurdles, long jump, high jump, relay and much more. For youth ages 8-17.

Parents can register their children by visiting www.stlouis-mo.gov/playtime or by calling (314) 289-5367. For questions send an e-mail to playtimerecreation@stlouis-mo.gov.

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