Summer camp is a rite of passage for many kids. Whether it is a day camp or a sleep away camp, it is a great chance for kids to make friends, try something new and stay active. Facing a long summer home with an active five year old, I started looking into camp options early. I wanted to give K a mix of a few different types of camps as well as some down time of lazy summer days. My goal: camp every other week and home in between.
When RDV Sportsplex in Maitland invited K to attend its Mini Camp (ages 3-6) I was jealous that I couldn’t go with her! Years ago when I lived on that side of town, I worked out at the RDV regularly and I have always heard wonderful things about its kids programs. I signed her up the same day.
I had hoped a couple of her friends would be able to join her at camp, but alas they had other plans. So when I talked to K about the fun camp I signed her up for, I carefully told her about the new friends she would make. I was worried how she would feel about going to camp without the safety net of friends, but she surprised me by being excited about the idea. For weeks we talked about RDV camp and how excited she was to go.
The night before camp arrived, and suddenly K had a change of heart. (First day of camp jitters and all.) By the time we arrived at camp the first day, there were tears hanging in her eyes. Promising her lots of fun, I left my teary girl at camp.
Had I done the right thing?
When she bound into the room at pick up that afternoon I knew that I had.
“I had the best day ever mommy!”
Summer camp at the RDV was a hit — just like I knew it would be.
Throughout the week K grew more and more excited about all the fun she was having. She even came home singing classic camp songs. And every day I pried for information about what she did at camp that was so much fun. Here are some of the highlights she shared:
- Crafts (a whole pile of them came home at the end of the week)
- Tennis (K’s first time!)
- Swimming (more on that in a bit)
- Indoor Bounce House
- And several activities that I am still not 100% sure what she was talking about, but they sounded fun!
For me one of the biggest draws of the RDV camp was the swimming. When it comes to the pool, K is timid, and I hoped that camp time in the water would encourage her to come out of her shell a bit. I am THRILLED to say that it did.
At the beginning of camp the kids are given a swim test, if they can swim across the pool, they don’t need a life vest. Those who can’t must wear one in the pool (yeay for safety!). The first day K reported playing on the steps only – refusing to get in the pool even with a life vest. But by the end of the week she was jumping in the pool with a life vest and goggles. Huge progress for her. HUGE.
I can’t say enough about the RDV facilities. If you have never been there, you will be impressed from the moment you walk in. I have never been to a cleaner, more state-of-the-art gym than the RDV and that goes for the kids areas as well as the adults.
One of the problems about summer camp in Florida is that fun time is often interrupted by rain. At the RDV nearly everything (except tennis) is indoors. Tropical Storm Andrea arrived mid camp week, but it never stopped the fun because swimming, bouncing, crafts — it was all inside.
For many campers, camp staff can make or break camp. This is especially true for K. The RDV receives a gold star for their counselors. Lots of smiles, plenty of high fives and an all-around happy staff helped make camp special. From funny counselors who were quick with a joke to patient counselors who sat with K on the steps in the pool, I heard nothing but good things from K. And from what I observed at pick up and drop off, the other kids felt the same.
The RDV offers 11 weeks of camp during the summer with a variety of activities for kids ages 3 – 18. For the bigger kids (ages 6+) camps are sports themed with a general Kid’s Sports Camp, Tennis Camps, Swim Camps and more. For the mini campers like K (ages 3-6), camp is dedicated to the following themes:
- Bugs & Garden
- Carnival/ Circus
- Once Upon A Time
- Daily Sports
- Food & Science
- Around The World
- Under The Sea
More details about all of the summer camps offered by the RDV and how to register can be found on RDV’s website. The best part is that camp registration remains open until Friday before camp begins — as long as there is still space available. So you can still register your kid today for next week’s camp!
K had a GREAT week at camp. So great that when I picked her up from camp on the last day, there were tears because I didn’t sign her up for camp the next week! Looks like we will be going back later this summer.
Thanks for an all around great week RDV.
K was invited to attend a week of camp to facilitate this review, however, all thoughts and opinions are our own.