New options offer non-traditional summer camps for children

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PITTSBORO, Ind.– Inside Pittsboro Primary School, you’ll find a stockpile of old cans, bottles and other materials. They’re donated items that will soon become hands-on fun for campers.

“They’re going to be able to create and invent ways to learn more about their earth and the environment,” said Megan Hobaugh, a second-grade teacher at Pittsboro Primary and the director of the school’s Camp Invention.

Camp Invention has locations across the country. The program focuses on creative thinking with an emphasis on the environment. Hobaugh said children see it as a fun way to spend the day, but it can also set them up for success in the future.

“It helps students prepare for the workplace,”  Hobaugh said. “The jobs now want that creativity, that outside of the box thinker, ‘How can you take this and turn it into that to meet needs?'”

There are still plenty of classic summer camp options for splashing and running around. The YMCA of Greater Indianapolis offers 30 area locations for week-long day camp sessions.

“We have what we call traditional camps. We also offer a variety of different sports camps, enrichment camps where we have outside vendors come in and teach exciting stuff, technical stuff with a little more involved curriculum,” said Brian Shelley, program director at the YMCA.

Sessions start at $134 per week for members. There is also a special temporary membership option. Shelley said the YMCA strives to help families find a safe, fun place for kids to spend their time during the summer so financial aid is available.

“We have an active day planned, we keep them engaged all day long….We follow the American Camping Association so all of our camps are ACA accredited,” Shelley said.

The Indy Parks and Rec Department also offers a variety of summer day camps with limited financial aid available.

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