By Katie Hatcher, Magazine Intern

Have you left planning the kiddos’ summer camps til the last minute? Did you daughter just decide she’s really into robots and wants to spend a week learning about them? Plans to visit the grandparents’ house fall through? Don’t worry: we’ve made a list of local and nearby camps that still have availability to you can maximize your child’s summer fun and learning!

Camp Roosevelt-Firebird

Ages: 8-15

Visit: camprooseveltfirebird.com

Call: 740-269-0137

If overnight adventure is something your child is looking for, you’ll find it an hour and a half west of Pittsburgh in the rolling hills of Ohio at Camp Roosevelt-Firebird. A typical day at camp includes activities like swimming, hiking, canoeing, arts and crafts, challenge ropes course, and more. Joe, the camp director, said that the camp staff works very hard to make sure each camper feels supported so they can grow in autonomy and independence. The first week of camp starts June 17 and the last week is July 29—kids can stay for just one week or all six! Financial aid is available for those who qualify.

James and Rachel Levinson Day Camps

Ages: 3-11

Visit: jccpghdaycamps.com/traditional/jrdaycamps

Call: 412-697-3540

Maybe your kiddo craves outdoor adventure but wants to sleep in his/her own bed every night. Just outside of Pittsburgh, sitting on 100 acres in Monroeville, is the James and Rachel Levinson Camp, where your youngster can swim, climb, shoot archery, play sports, hike the trails, and more. There’s even a shuttle that will take them to and from camp, making it easier on the parents. J&R Day Camps are affiliated with the JCC Pittsburgh, and although they’re influenced by Judaism in their mission and daily activities, you certainly don’t have to be Jewish to attend and have a blast. If your child is a little older, but still wants in on the fun, J&R Day Camps also offer a Counselor-in-Training program.

Gymkhana Khids Kamp and Survivor Camp

Ages: 3-12 (Khids), 6-16 (Survivor)

Visit: gymkhanafun.com

Call: 412-247-4800

Can’t get your wiggle worms to sit still? Send them to one of Gymkhana’s day camps in Point Breeze for a week of jumping, flipping, climbing, and running those wiggles out. There are indoor and outdoor activities for maximum summer fun. Keep in mind that the later weeks of the summer and the Survivor Camp sessions fill up the fastest, so snag your future olympian a spot.

Zoo Camp and Summer Programs at the Pittsburgh Zoo

Ages: 2-17

Visit: pittsburghzoo.org/ZooCamp

Call: 412-365-2528

There are animal-centric activities for all at the Pittsburgh Zoo this summer. From their Story Time and Club Cub for the tiny ones all the way to Kidscience and Zoo U, young animal lovers of all ages can find a program that’s right for them. They’ll learn through animal encounters, arts and crafts, songs, and more.

Pittsburgh Center for the Arts Day Camps

Ages: 4-18

Visit: center.pfpca.org/education/summer-camps

Call: 412-361-0455

It’s the PCA’s 40th year of programming art camps this year, so if your young’un has a flair for the arts, give PCA Camp a try. There are ten weeks of camp with subjects ranging from animation to gardening, from metalwork to architecture. Give your artists a chance to explore their creativity and learn through making.

East End Explorers Day Camp

Ages: Children entering grades PK-3 in 2018-2019

Visit: shadysideacademy.org/summer

Call: 412-477-2230

East End Explorers Day Camp offers fun, age-appropriate activities for kids entering grades PK-3 on Shady Side Academy’s Junior School campus in Point Breeze. Campers enjoy traditional day camp experiences as well as safe, fun adventures in the city. Our convenient East End location allows campers to easily visit trails and museums in the same day. Each week has its own theme, coupled with daily opportunities for educational enrichment. In addition to daily water games and outdoor play, campers will excavate fossils, solve mysteries, make movies and more! One-week sessions begin from June 18-July 27. Free before-care begins at 8 a.m. After-care is $10 per day until 6 p.m. Lunch is included for full- and half-day campers.

Day Camp Discovery

Ages: Children entering grades K-5 in 2018-2019

Visit: shadysideacademy.org/summer

Call: 412-477-2230

Day Camp Discovery offers a complete program of activities for kids entering grades K-5 on Shady Side Academy’s spacious 130-acre Senior School campus in Fox Chapel. With an attentive and well-trained staff, Day Camp Discovery offers opportunities for creativity, autonomy, resilience, empathy and a sense of community. Campers are grouped into co-ed squads by grade and enjoy a full day of activities, from swimming to media arts to outdoor adventure. Special activities include competition days, Friday picnic dance parties and field trips. Lunch is included, and bus transportation from the East End is available. Free before-care begins at 7:30 a.m. After-care is $10 per day until 6 p.m. Lunch is included.

The First Tee Pittsburgh

Ages: 7+

Visit: thefirstteepittsburgh.org

Call: 412-622-0108

The First Tee Pittsburgh believes that its camp will not only make your kids good golfers, but better people. Located at the Bob O’Connor Golf Course, campers will receive golf instruction and on-course play, as well as STEM activities and ways to build healthy habits. The camp runs from July 9th28th and meets four times a week. Options are available for one week, two weeks, three weeks, and four weeks.

(First published in Summer 2018 issue of Squirrel Hill Magazine)