Resources Help with Summer Camp Planning

Summertime seems a long way off in the middle of winter. February is time to think about wintertime fun, gearing up for spring sports, continuing to support school success and Valentine’s Day. Wondering what your kids will do next June, July and August may not be at the top of your mind. But if camps are part of your kids’ summer schedule, it’s time to start planning. Many camp registrations open in February, or even before, with spots filling fast in popular programs.

To help Triangle parents get a jump on summer plans, check out our ever-popular directory of day camps in the area (starting on page 39). With more than 200 programs organized by geographic area, our day camp directory helps you sort through available options. You can also search by program type in the online directory at

You may know what type of camps your kids would enjoy based on previous experience. But you also might want to encourage a child to try something different. Exposing kids to new ideas and opportunities helps them reach their full potential. You never know what might click. It may be acting or singing or drawing. Or it could be a new sport he or she has never tried.

Several organizations offer programs that include physical activity, an ideal way to keep kids moving during the summer to maintain or improve health. Some incorporate general sports and active games while other focus on a specific sport or skills training. Find out what to expect from different types of sports camps to find a match for your children (page 31) as well as what to do to prevent sports injuries (page 26), and diagnose and treat a serious injury that is getting more attention in youth sports programs: concussion (page 24).

Safety is always a big consideration when looking at programs for kids. You may also wonder whether a program is appropriate based on your child’s abilities. See page 34 to find out about some North Carolina camp options and opportunities for children with special needs.

Listings and articles provide basic information, but you will also want to find out more specifics. One fun and easy way to get your questions answered and meet camp staff is to attend our Camp & Education Fair at Cary Academy Saturday, Feb. 19, noon-4 p.m. Representatives from day camps, track-out programs, residential camps and schools will be there to answer questions and talk to your children about what to expect. Also enter to win door prizes, including a $1,000 credit toward any program offered at the Camp & Education Fair, and contests to win a backpack or tent. (See page 28 for details.)

Even though it is time to start thinking about summer activities for kids, there is much to do in and around the Triangle during the winter. Take time to enjoy some outdoor or indoor wintertime fun. Check our updated overview ofskiing, snowboarding and tubing options within a five-hour drive in our online article. (Go to and select “Things to Do” and “Seasonal” for a link.) Get ideas for celebrating Valentine’s Day in our Valentine’s Family Fun Guide online. Maybe dust off your china or funky mugs and plan a tea party with your kids. (Find ideas and recipes on page 17 and online.) And look through our calendar of events (page 73 and online) for family-friendly activities every day this month, as well as ongoing exhibits and special events.

Share your favorite ideas for cool-weather fun. Email with your family’s favorite things to do around the Triangle, especially when it’s cold outside. Attach a photo with permission to print/post the image online, and you may find your kids’ faces in the magazine or on our website!

Crickett Gibbons