Summer Camps at CAC

Summer Camps at CAC

Ah spring, the days grow longer, the temperatures start to rise (maybe?) and you can finally turn your attention to not just getting through winter but planning for the coming months. Maybe a garden, maybe a spring trip, perhaps a weekday round of golf, and of course your families’ plans for the summer.

However, summer, while lots of fun, can be a trial for a lot of families as well. With no school or sports scheduled, it can be challenging to find activities that not only allow parents time to work, but also provide important physical and mental engagement for children. While there are many options to combat days of video games and TV time, one you may want to consider is a week or two (or three or four!) of camp at CAC.

CAC Camps are a great way for children to spend their summer, and provide a number of key elements to healthy growth and stimulation in the following months, including the following:

Peer engagement:

Camps provide a platform for social interaction between children from different communities, schools, ages, and groups, all under the engaging and watchful eyes of Program staff and supervisors. This interaction builds social skills and helps develop friendships and experiences that are so important to childhood experience and development.

Physical activity:

The CDC recommends children of all ages engage in a minimum of 60 minutes of physical activity a day. At CAC camps, kids will get much more than that, in a wide variety of formats including free play, organized sports, swimming, and even specialty activities like tennis, golf, hiking, and more.

Mental stimulation:

CAC camps are learning environments where children engage in a variety of artistic and problem-saving scenarios. It’s the perfect balance between learning and fun, and can serve as an academic bridge between the school year.

As you plan your summer months consider Camps at CAC for your little ones. Camps are available for children age 4-12 at all CAC facilities, and more information can be found by contacting the Programs Department at your Club. We hope to see you and your family this summer!

Check out our 2019 selection of Summer Camps here.

Camps, Classes and Programs for Your Kids

Camps, classes and programs are an opportunity for growth for all ages! CAC participants experience new adventures, opportunities and challenged both mentally and physically. Our programs include games, both indoors and out, obstacle courses, team-building, arts and crafts, science experiments, family fun nights, swimming, tennis, golfing and much, much more. All departments strive to offer a wide variety of programming to meet the needs of our members and non-members within our community.

Columbia Athletic Clubs provides a gateway for participants to unplug from technology. Kids and adults engage and contribute in real world interactions, build friendships through physical activity and share goals, while leaving the tablets, phones, and computers at home.

Need a creative outlet? Our summer camps offer experiences to design, build, and decorate their own projects using blocks, Popsicle sticks, rubber bands, and other household items. Camps offer participants an opportunity to be unique, and be creative all the while engaging with one another and working together. We do everything from building Minecraft worlds with cardboard boxes, making friendship bracelets made with yarn or training like Star Wars Jedi’s.

Everyone has an open door to learn something new. Whether it’s a new game (Geezer ball, anyone?) a dance like hula and Tahitian dancing, an exercise class like boot camp, or a science experiment during summer camps, swimming lessons, all CAC Programs help develop lifelong skills. We are dedicated to creating a learning environment for adults and youths to learn how to play tennis, swim, golf, take a fitness class and basketball.

We encourage kids and parents to participate, move and learn together! Family fun nights are a great way to interact with your kids and enjoy playing a game like dodgeball, pickle ball, badminton, or swim and watch a movie in the pool. Every month we change the activity, our most popular family fun night is Nerf Wars!

For information about our summer camps, classes and programs, please check out our Summer Camp Page. We look forward to seeing you and your family!

-Bari Dockens, Program Director, CAC-Silver Lake, barid@columbiaathletic.com.

Hiking with Kids

Enjoy the longer Spring and Summer days with your kids enjoying all the beautiful scenery our Pacific Northwest has to offer. There are so many kid friendly hikes in our area that are breathtaking and would be perfect for an adventure with the whole family. We reviewed some websites, blogs and recommendations from local families for a list of favorite hikes. Most are day trips but some are under three hours and right here in our backyards. This is a great opportunity to teach your kids about nature while getting some activity and setting foundations for an active and healthy lifestyle.

Here are some tips when hiking with kids:

  1. Bring a backpack: Having a backpack with you is crucial. Find something lightweight that an adult or older child could carry. You will want it to have straps that cross your chest for good support. It’s also a good place to store all those treasures they might find.
  2. Pack snacks and water: Make sure to fill a water bottle or two to bring along on your adventure. You will also want some snacks; mixed nuts, raisins, granola bars, trail mix, and energy bars are great to take along.
  3. Wear the right shoes: If you’re hiking near water, you want shoes that are sturdy, but can get wet. If you are hiking near mud or on a long hike, you’ll want to wear socks with a good pair of hiking shoes. Another great idea is to bring a second pair of shoes to leave in the car and change into when you’re done hiking.
  4. Find a good stick: You’ll be finding a lot of fun things on a hike, but a good stick is of utmost importance! It can be used for so many things – as a walking stick, for sword fighting, for poking at plants, pointing at things far away, and more!
  5. Keep a look out: There are so many treasures to search for on a hike. We love to keep our eyes out for the following fun things:
    Plants – Ferns, flowers, and trees make for a diverse forest in Washington State, a great teaching opportunity for young ones
    Bugs – Spider webs and creepy crawling things are all over. Make sure to spot them on your hike.
    Holes – There seems to be a lot of holes from trail to trail. We like to find them and guess what might live inside!
    Critters – Keep your eye out for animals on the trail. We’ll often see squirrels and keep our ears open for the sound of birds.
  6. Watch for things on your path: It’s fun to look for the roots that pop up all over the pathway. When you’re on a hike with lots of trees, you’ll be sure to see the tree roots pop up. Make sure you look out for them and try not to get tripped.
  7. Talk about what to do if you see berries or poisonous plants: Get familiar with common poisonous plants. Make sure to point them out and talk to your kids about NOT picking any berries or leaves off trees and bushes.
  8. Look for the unexpected: It’s the best on a hike when you come upon fallen trees or other unusual sights.
  9. Make sure you bring camera: There are always good photo opportunities on a hike. Take a picture at the top to show your view or even create a few fun photos of your own, like pretending to be a bear on a log!
  10. And last but not least, have fun in NATURE! If you come prepared with the above items and hiking ideas, you’ll be on your way to a fun family hike.

-Camila Bomfim, Programs Director CAC - Pine Lake

Keeping your Teen Healthy and Active

Keeping your teen healthy and active can be a challenge for most of us parents. Many teens would prefer to sit down to a video game, their smart phone or favorite TV show rather than be physically active. The challenge, as a parent, is to find activities outside of the house that they enjoy and be around people that they like. It’s a huge added bonus when they realize that the rules of these sports can be applied to their everyday life.

Here are some ideas for your teen to stay healthy and active while potentially learning many life lessons in the meantime:

Swimming: There are many health benefits to swimming. It’s never too late to take swim lessons if your teen has not yet learned how to swim. There are many health benefits, aside from lowering the risk of drowning, from swimming. It provides increased cardio vascular health, an increase in stamina, flexibility, strength and calorie burning. It is a good social activity as well as a sport. Unlike many other sports there are many fewer injuries associated with it than others and can be enjoyed for a lifetime. Many people that have disabilities or medical conditions that prevents them from doing other sports can enjoy the sport of swimming.

Tennis: Tennis has many benefits for a teenager. It is a great way to spend time with friends and create a healthy competitive spirit. It is also a fantastic opportunity to stay fit by increasing your Cardio Vascular health, improving flexibility, bone density and muscle strength; all of which will aid in reducing risk of heart disease and obesity. Playing tennis helps improve coordination and balance. It provides a good workout for your brain function as well. Tennis requires planning, coordination of different body parts and tactical thinking and etiquette.

Golf: Did you know that walking an 18 hole round of golf is roughly the equivalent of a 5 mile walk? Did you know that you can burn up to 2000 calories if you carry your clubs during the round? Golf also helps develop coordination, balance and muscle strength. It is a great way to socialize with close friends and enjoy the beauty of nature at the same time. Learning the rules of the game will help your teen to learn things like Humility, Respect, Punctuality, and Honor. For the most part it is a self-governed game so Honesty and Gratitude is a huge part of the game as well.

Group Exercise: Group exercise is a very popular way to get your teen to participate in an exercise program. Many studies show that working out with one or more people net more results than if they exercise on their own. There are many different options for all exercise levels. If your teen is just beginning there are introductory classes that teach the basics and allow them to feel more comfortable until they move on to a regular class. Your teen may be more likely to stay interested due to the social environment and the music choices of the class. There is a feeling of acceptance and accountability once they’re accustomed to the class and attend on a regular basis.

Teen years can be challenging on many levels but can also be an amazing opportunity to for them to find an interest or a lifestyle that can last a lifetime.  Introduce them to something outside of their normal routine. They may thank you for it.

Looking to keep your Teens active this summer?

Columbia Athletic Clubs offers Summer Camps for teens as well as younger ages all summer long.

Each week will offer theme-based activities (indoors or outdoors) that typically include arts, science, sports, swimming, and games. We will have all of your kids favorite camps, plus ones thrown into the mix. No matter what the activity, your child will have a great time.

Click here for more information

Good After-school Activities for Kids

Keeping your child occupied in the time between school and bedtime can be one of the biggest challenges facing a parent during the week. As parents, we want our kids to stay positive and active after school and at the same time have peace of mind that they’re in a safe environment. Many working parents rely on programs outside of the home to keep their children safe and active, while stay at home parents are challenged to keep their children free from boredom.

Here are a few ideas to keep them occupied:

Organized Sports: There are many nationally organized sports for kids. Check with your local community for signups for Little League Baseball, AYSO Soccer, AYF and Pop Warner Football, ASA and NSA Softball, AYBA and YBOA for Basketball… and these are just a few of the organizations out there. Many more sports are offered on a more regional basis such as Lacrosse, Hockey, Tennis, Golf and Swimming. Each of these sports will have seasons so your kids can play more than one sport during the course of the year.

Playing sports is a fun activity for your kids but some of the health benefits can be surprising. Did you know that kids that play outdoor sports are less likely to have vision problems? Your kids will also be less likely to develop obesity and be more likely to develop better social skills. Success as an individual and as a team member builds confidence and self-esteem, and failures build character and coping skills. Additionally, many lifelong friendships are started as teammates in sports.

Health and Athletic Clubs: Many health and athletic clubs have programs for kids for most ages. At an Athletic club your kids can be active while being supervised. Many have activities such as Group Exercise classes, recreation rooms with board games, ping pong and foosball. Many have dance classes and will offer lessons for sports like Basketball, Tennis and other racquet sports, swimming and Golf. A number of facilities also offer areas of the club to do homework as well.

Creative projects: Many children love to be creative with just a little bit of direction. Tell them a story and then give them a paper and pen or a piece of sidewalk chalk. Recycle an ordinary item, such as a light cardboard box, and have them transform it into something that flies or maybe a mask. Have them take that item and have them think about how it was made, how it was used and its main purpose. Stage a scavenger hunt within your home or neighborhood with your child and a small group of their friends. Use the found items to make a project.

Field Trips: Although it’s impossible for most of us to do field trips on a regular basis, an occasional one can go a long way. Kids love to learn about new things. A trip to a museum or zoo may have them talking about it for weeks or longer. If your child is used to just a few people around take them to an event with a large crowd. If they’re used to a bunch of people around in their everyday life then go take a walk or hike on a nature trail. A visit away from their everyday life can teach them life lessons about empathy as well. Talk to them about the environment they’re visiting and how their life would be different if this were their day to day environment. Talk about the people you encounter and the things you have in common with them as well as the differences.

While you’re navigating through your child’s younger and teen years just remember that your child craves knowledge and activity and it’s important that we, as parents, direct them toward healthy and safe choices. Remember what was important to you as a child and don’t forget that this isn’t the same world we grew up in. Teach them what your world was like but be mindful that their environment is different. Open up their world to endless possibilities.