Ramping Up Summer Camps

This time of year, kids are happy to be getting out of school, but their parents are left to ponder summer camps. Photo by Eldon Graham


Andy Williams’ classic Christmas song, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” will no doubt be heard being sung by Philadelphia schoolchildren as they prepare to go on summer vacation. However, parents will be singing that same tune come September. Until then, students on summer vacation must occupy their time with something constructive during the summer.

South Philadelphia has several options this summer when it comes to children’s activities and camps. At 500 Kenilworth Street, just south of Bainbridge Street, is the InMovement Summer Camp.

InMovement’s owner, Sara Trindade, holds a master of fine arts. She began her journey of increasing the possibilities of bodily movement in 2008. Since then, Trindade and her staff have created an environment where students don’t feel judged but rather encouraged to believe in themselves and learn at their own pace in a safe and patient setting.

Its summer camp sessions are overseen by Manager Todd Mansman. What they have to offer is a great experience for children in gymnastics. Ages for children to participate in the program range from 5-12. If your child loves to run, jump and do cartwheels all day long, then this might be the place for them.

Gymnastics, Mansman says, is “a big part of the summer camp,” but not the only part. Fridays during the summer are relaxing days when some of the older kids can go to the pool and do water games while younger children can play at a nearby park. As soon as the swimming pool construction has been completed, children are encouraged and invited to use it everyday. InMovement encourages walks to the park so children aren’t cooped up inside all day and can enjoy some fresh air. Arts and crafts play a part in the camps activities as well. It helps bring out the artist in the child. “What they do there is a blast,” Mansman said.

It’s not easy to get into, though. “We have been booked up for a while actually,” Mansman lightheartedly says. The program is maxed out at 240 kids. InMovement serves another 40 kids who partake of intensive gymnastics. The girl’s team coach trains young girls and hardcore gymnasts two to three times a week during the camp sessions.

All the counselors have CPR and first-aid training. They are also accredited by the United States Gymnastics Association. The camp employs five coaches/counselors for everyday activities.

Another option in South Philadelphia worthy of checking out is Filmtech’s 2017 Summer Camps in Film Production & Acting at 2019 S. Juniper Street, off Broad Street and Snyder Avenue. Dominick DeFino runs the camp sessions. “We offer the two-week camps in video production,” DeFino said. “It’s all hands-on training. We teach them camera, lighting and audio and editing.” The editing software the camp uses is Final Cut Pro. They shoot video on Canon XF 100 cameras.

The camp emphasizes working behind or in front of a camera. There are four camp sessions, all in small classes, about five to 10 kids per class. Each session is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and all are taught by DeFino. The camp costs $995 for two weeks. It starts in late June for 12-to-14-year-olds and 15-to-17-year-olds. Campers get to work in a professional 3,000-square-foot studio and outside in the surrounding neighborhood.

This camp hopes to mold kids who have an interest in digital production. One thing DeFino highlights about the camp: “A lot of the kids with their smartphones can take a video with their phone, but with us they can up their skills and be more professional.”

Campers in the Filmtech summer camp are encouraged to develop their scriptwriting skills as well for inside and outside studio settings and to have fun.

DeFino is a graduate of Lehigh University and Seattle Film School, from which he received his graduate degree in video production. In addition to serving as executive director of the Filmtech camp/school, he is the founder of Intercut Studios.

For theatre junkies, the City of Philadelphia’s Intro to the Performing Arts Camp, at Hawthorne Cultural Center, located at 12th and Carpenter streets, is designed for those children with an expressed interest in the performing arts. Campers will have the opportunity to take classes in creative movement, drama and music production using the best studio headphones under $300. The campers will also perform in a presentation at the end of the six-week camp.
A fee of $250 for the six-week camp includes lunch and a snack. An aftercare service is available until 5 p.m. for an additional fee of $30 per week or $150 in advance for all six weeks.
For more information, please contact Bill Powell, Performing Arts Coordinator at 215-685-2245 or william.powell@phila.gov.

The City of Philadelphia is also offering a summer skateboarding camp. For skateboarders out there, you know what this means. You need to gear up and visit Free Skateshop. Parks and Recreation, through their Outdoor Experience Program, is hosting Skateboard Camp 2017. Alain Joinville, a Philadelphia Parks & Recreation employee, said, “This summer camp is unique because there isn’t another camp in the city that focuses exclusively on skateboarding. The camp provides participants the opportunity to learn from qualified instructors. It is an opportunity for children who have interest in skateboarding to do something they love in a fun and safe environment with adult supervision.”

Those who do attend will be instructed by professionals. “Our lead instructor is a former professional skater,” Joinville said. “All our youth counselors are skateboarders and have competed in the annual Philly Cup skateboard challenge over the past several years.” Cost is $50 per camper per session. Campers who attend are expected to get to and from the Rizzo Rink, located at 1001 South Front Street, by their own means. Also, participants are expected to bring their own lunch without the need of a refrigerator.

Coming to this sort of camp would be great for any type of skater. “They should choose our camp because it is an opportunity for novices and more advanced skaters to learn new skills and techniques or to refine them” Joinville said.

For additional information, email or call Katie Wimsey at: Katie.a.wimsey@phila.gov or (215) 685-0487.

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