2015 Guide to Summer Camps in Tenleytown

Happy by David Robert Bliwas

photo credit: David Robert Bliwas

“Summer camp? Gimme a break – it’s barely spring. Heck, I’m still figuring out plans for spring break.” That’s what you are saying to yourself, right? But as much as we might be in denial, the end of the school year is not far over the horizon.

While the nostalgic idea of turning the kids loose in the neighborhood to roam free during lazy, hazy summer days might sound idyllic, for parents whose schedules take them away from home during the day it’s not always possible to pursue a fully unstructured summer. Or parents may want to expose their children to other activities or experiences they can’t get during the academic year. And then there are those of us who see summer camps as a chance for a parental break. Whatever the reason, camps seem to be a staple of life in the District. And they fill up quickly, with some selling out just after the new year.

Don’t panic, though. One of the benefits of living in a metropolitan area is the wealth and diversity of programs available to children of all ages. While we don’t have an exhaustive list of D.C.-area camps, we have pulled together a solid set of options right in and around Tenleytown to help with your summer planning. One disclaimer: we have had direct experience with some, but not all of the listed camps, and it goes without saying that parents should do their own research to find the best fit for their children. With that out of the way, here are some camps to consider: 

  • CommuniKids preschool offers a Spanish language immersion camp for children 2 1/2 to 8 years old. Week-long camps run from July 13 through August 21, with full and half-day camps available. Taught by CommuniKids teachers, all of whom are native Spanish speakers, camps combine language immersion with a traditional camp experience, including arts, crafts, music, outdoor play, and more. Each session is limited to 14 children. CommuniKids is located at 4719 Wisconsin Avenue, NW.
  • The Alice Deal Middle School Athletic Department will offer a Deal Sport & Fitness Summer Camp for rising Deal 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. Campers will participate in a variety of sports, athletic skill development, water play, nutritional instruction, and field trips. The four weekly sessions will run from July 6 through July 31, with partial and full day options.
  • The professional coaching staff of FourSoccer, led by DC Stoddert U8/9/10 Academy Director Ben Mortimer, instruct players through fun and age appropriate games to help develop their technical and tactical abilities, from finishing to passing. Campers play on the Bermuda grass soccer field at 4500 Massachusetts Avenue (behind Turtle Park), and have the opportunity to cool off in American University’s indoor pool in the afternoon. Camps are available from June 22 through July 31.
  • Georgetown Day School offers a variety of exciting summer programs for children and youth ages 5 to 18. Each camp is fun, educational, and collaborative, designed to take learning beyond the classroom. Campers may choose from options ranging from traditional day camp to specialty camps in the performing arts, computer programming, science and innovation, and more. Camps run from June 8 through August 21, and take place at the school’s Tenleytown and MacArthur Boulevard campuses. Use code Tenleytown15 for a $20 discount on your camp registration.
  • Home Run Baseball is back for its 22nd year in the neighborhood, relocating to Ft. Reno Park this year while Friendship Park is under renovation. The co-educational baseball camp for kids 4 to 12 years of age focuses on skill building through volume repetition, offering campers literally hundreds of opportunities to bat and field balls each day, as well as through twice-daily intra-camp ball games. Coach Mac also emphasizes leadership development, personal responsibility, and community service. Twelve one-week sessions, starting June 8th and ending August 28th, will be offered. Home Run Baseball offers a daily, drop-in option, as well, for those who need an activity on the fly.
  • Wilson High School track coach Desmond Dunham brings the Kids Elite, Inc. Sports Camp back to Wilson for a second year. Kids Elite Sports, Inc. is a youth development organization that aspires to foster character and self-awareness through an emphasis on athletics. Campers participate in a range of recreational and competitive sports, including basketball, soccer, kickball, badminton, tug-of-war, flag football, wiffle ball, swimming, board games, and more. Full and half day camps for kids ages 4 to 12 years are available from June 22 through July 31. If you register by April 15, you can receive a 10% early bird discount on registration fees.
  • RDUTennis, LLC is a leader in tennis instruction in North Carolina. The organization is the largest tennis management service in the Tarheel State, offering both youth and adult programs year-round. Now they are expanding north, partnering with American and Trinity Washington Universities this summer. Both venues will offer tennis instruction from RDUTennis staff members, all of whom possess tremendous background and knowledge of the game. The American University camp will operate for two consecutive weeks, July 27-30 and August 3-6, as a half-day camp option from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, with Friday as a rain make-up day.
  • Sidwell Summer offers an array of programs for children of all ages at both the Wisconsin Avenue and Bethesda campuses. Just south of Tenleytown, the upper school campus at 3825 Wisconsin Avenue will be home to traditional day camps (preschool to grade 9), a counselor-in-training program (grades 9-10), sports camps, and specialty arts and STEM camps. Camps are available throughout the summer, with specific dates for each camp category.
  • The Summer Horizons Camp at National Presbyterian School offers a wide array of programs for kids in pre-school through tenth grade, including a traditional day camp (age 3 – grade 4), counselor-in-training leadership program (grades 7-10), soccer camp (ages 4-5), and project-based STEM programs, Camp Invention and DC Adventures (grades 1-6). This summer, the adventure runs from June 22 to August 28 in the air-conditioned and newly renovated classrooms of National Presbyterian School (4121 Nebraska Avenue), as well as the school’s outdoor play areas.

Also keep an eye out for the Metro Sketchers camp. While camp organizer Jane Malhotra has not yet confirmed the dates for this on-the-go art camp, indications are that she may bring it back this summer.  UPDATE: Malhotra just let us know that Metro Sketchers is on hiatus this year, but you can wistfully read about the 2014 program here.


Do your children have a favorite camp in our area that didn’t make this list? Send us the details at tenleytowndc@gmail.com and we’ll be sure to add it.