Arts & Entertainment

Summer Camp Round-up; Madison's Local Favorites


MADISON, NJ - Now that the holidays are over and the decorations are more or less put away, many Madison families with young kids have turned their attention to summer, or more specifically, summer camp. Registration for many camps, both day and sleep-away, begin in late January, and if you don’t act fast, early-bird discounts and in some cases even availability, will be gone. Here is a selection of a few popular camps Madison families routinely consider for their kids:


Oasis -- Located at Drew University, Oasis Madison has all the facilities you could possibly want in a summer experience -- sprawling ball fields, tennis courts, an indoor swimming pool, air conditioned gyms and classrooms, and an arboretum complete with nature trails and ponds. Oasis has a program for 3-5 year olds with hours from 9 to 5 (with a shorter day option) and offers a number of programs, including Ready for September, Swim, Movement/Dance, Rest, Sports, and Art. Prices start at $595/week.

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Pingry -- With two locations in Basking Ridge and Short Hills, Pingry’s Big Blue Minis camp is the perfect introduction to camp for boys and girls ages 3 to 5 who will be attending preschool in the fall. Age appropriate activities include circle time, arts & crafts, music, story time, dramatic play, puppet play, sensory activities, manipulative play, water play and swim lessons (Basking Ridge campus only). The hours and prices vary depending upon the program selected.

London Day School -- Located nearby in Florham Park, the London Day School is a premier, private educational and enrichment academy offering a theme-based summer camp for children ages 18 months to 6 years old. They are accepting applications beginning January 25.

Grades 1-6

Madison Area YMCA -- The Madison Area YMCA has a rich history of providing the best possible summer camp experience for children. Each day is filled with new experiences and old traditions. Whether campers are exploring the Liberty Science Center, hiking Mount Tammany or volunteering at America’s Grow-A-Row, one thing is certain: Madison Area YMCA Summer Day Camps provide a memorable experience for all families. There are three different camps for three different age groups: Wantago, KidsQuest, and SummerQuest. Wantago is for kids K through 2 and is located at Kirby, while KidsQuest takes place at the Y. SummerQuest is for kids grades 6-10 and is focused on field trips to fun and exciting places like Dorney Park, the Sussex County Fair, the beach, and the Delaware and Lehigh Rivers. Prices start at $285/week, and members receive better pricing.

Oasis -- At Oasis Madison, camp is more than just a place to go.  It is an adventure to experience.  It is where the values of sharing, integrity, responsibility, and respect are developed and nurtured every day. Oasis Madison is conveniently located at Drew University and includes aquatics, academics, athletics, creative and performing arts, outdoor adventures, and field trips. The hours are 9-3 or 9-5, and prices start at $575/week.

Jockey Hollow -- Located at Morristown National Historical Park, Jockey Hollow Girl Scout Camp features 212 pristine acres for girls to explore. With a large L-shaped swimming pool, low ropes challenge course and zipline, beautiful equestrian center, archery range, playing field, and adventurous hiking trails, the fun is endless! Girls ages 6 to 14 are welcome, the hours are 9 to 3:30, and the prices haven’t been published yet.

Pingry -- Pingry offers a traditional full-day camp, a sports camp, and a high-tech camp at its Basking Ridge and Shorts Hills locations. The full-day camp is for campers ages 5 to 15 and features swim lessons, Hi-tech rotation, sports, arts and crafts, outdoor adventures, theme days, fun with inflatables, and scavenger hunts. The sports camp offers a premier-level soccer camp, golf, basketball or lacrosse coached by highly seasoned, varsity Pingry coaches. The high tech camps are designed to provide students with computer science, engineering and entrepreneurship skills they can use throughout their life. The curriculum is developed with the highest standards. Camp run the entire summer, and prices starts at around $300.

Camp Discovery -- FDU’s Camp Discovery is a traditional camp experience with exciting opportunities for discovery and travel serving kids in grades 1 through 7. Campers will make new friends, discover more about their world, and build self-confidence. Caring counselors and certified teachers will ensure each child feels safe to try new things and make new friends. Camp activities are separated into the following categories: science & nature, games and athletics, art, dance/theater, world discovery, explorer, field trips (movies, Bronx Zoo, Keansburg Amusement Park, New York City for a broadway show). The hours are 9-4, and prices hover around $800/two-week session.

Future Stars -- Located at the College of St. Elizabeth in Madison, Future Stars Camps offers a safe, professional, friendly environment, with engaged counselors, and cutting-edge facilities.  The staff takes pride in knowing campers are learning together in the safest possible care. They welcome the individual talents and interests of each camper and provide an environment that nurtures growth through individual initiative, group challenges, sportsmanship, and fun! It offers four programs: Voyager (ages 4-8), Explorer (ages 9-13), and All Sports (ages 7-13), and Specialty Camps (ages 6-13). Hours are 9-3. Rates start at $325/week.

Dodgers Sports Camp -- Located at Madison High School and taking place for one week only from June 19 to June 23, this camp is run by three Madison High School coaches and offers a wide range of sports and activities to ensure that participants ages 5 to 14 have a fun, active and memorable week. Sports included are soccer, flag football, team handball, ultimate frisbee, tennis, pickleball, and more. The hours are 8:30 to 2:30 and the cost is $295 per camper.

The Presbyterian Church of Madison-  With professional camp staff from Camp Johnsonburg, the day camp experience for Grades K through 8 runs for one week  June 26 through June 30, from 9am to 3pm.  Staff and resources will be available to divide kids into age groups with activities geared to each group.  The cost is $150.00 per child or $300.00 per family maximum.  Camperships are available.  For more information call the church office at 973-377-1600. Address: 19 Green Ave, Madison.

Day camps are also available at downtown businesses including; Healthy-Italia Cooking Camp and Madison Mud Art Camp. Prices Vary.


International Sports Training Camp (ISTC) -- Located in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania, ISTC is a place where campers never stop smiling from the moment they wake up until the moment their heads hit their pillows. This camp combines sports with life lessons and wrap it up in a one-week camp experience that stays with campers long after they leave. There are a number of programs to choose from, including all sports, soccer, and an extreme camp for older kids. Typical camp activities include jet skiing, beach volleyball, archery, a climbing tower, swimming, campfire with s’mores, and lip sync contests. The ages of campers are 8 to 16, and the prices start at $1195/week.

Camp Lou Henry Hoover, a Girl Scout Camp -- Camp Hoover has been helping girls learn and grow since 1953. Located in Middleville, NJ with access to Swartswood Lake, Camp Hoover operates as a residential camp for girls in grades 1 through 10 that provides general and specialty camp programs. General camp programs enable campers to experience a little bit of everything, including waterfront time, ropes course, cooking out, crafts, archery, and more. Specialty camp programs focus on a particular interest combined with traditional camp activities like swimming, boating, hiking, cookouts, crafts, and games. Camp Hoover is a journey into independence — a place where camper and counselor plan weekly adventures together in an environment that is relaxed, tech-free, non-competitive, and fun. Prices begin at $460/week.

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