5 things to know about preparing for summer camps in Nashville

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1. Explore all options

With more than 70 summer camp offerings in Nashville, wouldn’t it be great to explore all options in one place? Mark your calendar for a summer camp fair Feb. 16 at Cool Spring Galleria. In addition to YMCA camps, Ensworth, Harding Academy, Lipscomb and other private schools in Green Hills and Belle Meade will showcase summer offerings. Adventure Science Center, Topgolf and Nashville Children’s Theatre will also be onsite. The event takes place 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at 1800 Galleria Blvd.

2. Take a tour

Visiting a camp before you enroll your child is a great way to ask questions and get a feel for the environment. For example, the YMCA’s Camp Widjiwagan invites parents and families to visit the camp site, located on 324 acres off Smith Springs Road in Antioch. Families can schedule private tours or attend one of four open houses, which will be held on Sundays in February.

3. Register early

Registration for Cheekwood’s summer camps opens to the general public on Feb. 18. However, Cheekwood members can begin registering on Feb. 4. Membership costs vary, ranging from $55 for an individual to $750 for the Boxwood Society. “That is one perk of being a Cheekwood member. You get two weeks ahead of everyone else,” said Caroline Jeronimus, Communications Manager at Cheekwood.

4. Possibilities seem endless

Cheekwood’s popular Clay Camps, Adventure Cheekwood, and Comic Book Camps are returning. Creative Writing and Storybook Illustrations Camps will also tie in to Cheekwood’s summertime garden exhibition, Storybook Houses. Offerings at other camps include sports (basketball, hockey, baseball, softball, cross country and soccer); art (theatre, music and visual art); academics (STEM, engineering and math) and more.

“The unique thing about Cheekwood is that we’re able to spend so much time in the gardens and really focusing on science and the STEAM- based camps, which is really special and unique to be able to get out in the gardens and walk around and be in nature as well as tie it in with art and education,” said Jeronimus.

5. Ask about slower weeks

Some camp sessions may have lower attendance than others. For example, the week of July 4 at Camp Widjiwagan is a good one to book, as many families travel that week.

“It’s kind of a little bit of a secret but if you want your kid to get a little extra attention or some more rides on the zip line, Session 6 is the week to come,” said Reuben Smith, Day Camp Director at Camp Widjiwagan.

On July 4, parents can come to camp with their kids and participate in morning activities.

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