CAMPING FOR KIDS, MINUS BUG JUICE

20120615-142059.jpgInto acting out? Try the Two River Summer Theater Camp. (Click to enlarge)

By STACIE FANELLI

Family time sure is valuable when the warm weather hits, but so is kids’ developing well-roundedness. While there’s plenty of tanning, relaxing and idle walking along the beach to do when you live at the Jersey Shore, all parents long for activities that enhance their children’s minds.And if the parents can get a few days of peace out it, too, well, win-win.

Here are some local camps and summer programs to get those little muscles working hard and the gears in their brains cranking up again.

SPORTS AND EXERCISE
Bulldog Basketball Camp is sponsored by Rumson Fair Haven Regional High School, but held at Forrestdale School for grades 2-8. Coaches from both schools will give feedback to players on their game and develop new skills.

Rumson Summer Sports Camps (July 30 to August 3) is the town’s answer to kids’ limitless energy. Run by the US Sports Institute, campers will learn the basics of fifteen sports played around the world, from old favorites like soccer and tennis to touch rugby, cricket and pilo polo. For ages 3-14, the programs range from full-day to one hour.

My Gym Summer Camp (June 19 to August 31), for ages two and a half and up, is run by My Gym Children’s Fitness Center in Shrewsbury. The theme is “fun and exercise,” including gymnastics and beginning sports skills, but there will also be arts and crafts and story time.

Fair Haven Sailing Club, also known as the River Rats, offers youth instruction at all levels in two sessions, one starting June 21, the other July 19th. Children between 9 and 16 will learn to maneuver small boats and experienced sailors will work on racing skills.

Junior and Tween Summer Yoga (mid-July) at Fair Haven Yoga plans to “improve fitness, improve focus, instill confidence and manage stress” during its sessions. Choose from one, two or four week camps. Games will be incorporated to practice breathing and introduce poses.

THE ARTS
Disney Princess week (July 9-13) is one of a dozen summer classes and workshops run by the Count Basie Theater, including Dialogues and Accents week and the summer-long favorite, RockIt! band camp. Girls ages 4 and 5 will sing, act, dance and do creative crafts related to favorite animated classics.

Two River Summer Theater Camp (July 23 to August 10) is an experience for all kids through high school aspiring to be actors or work behind-the-scenes in a play. Campers will play theater games and do hands-on activities related to acting and design, and the stage will host older participants in a performance of their own.

Guitar and Piano Camp (first session starting August 6) is a weeklong introductory program held at Fair Haven’s Academy of Music and Drama for all ages. They also offer a one-day show choir, “Glee club for a day,” for the youngest fans of the TV show, “Glee;” a songwriting camp and a general music and drama camp for 4 and 5-year-olds.

The Visual and Performing Arts Academy (July 9 to August 10) at Red Bank Regional is holding its annual summer academy for students entering grades six through nine. Performing arts instruction includes dance, drama, piano and vocal music. Visual arts campers will learn about crafts, creative writing, photography and other fine arts.

QUIRKY HOBBIES
Rumson Chess Camp is a borough-approved program for children of all skill levels that boasts benefits like raising IQ scores, challenging gifted kids, enhancing social skills and improving math and reading abilities.

Library Wii Parties (July 9) are winding down for the summer, but video game lovers 5 and older can catch one lastround of pantomimed batting, rolling, hitting, kicking, riding and reeling in at the Red Bank Public Library with Wii Sports and other games.

Lego Club, a children’s program at the Oceanic Free Library in Rumson, is held the third Tuesday of every month this summer, for the sanity of parents whose every move in their own homes threatens the livelihood of the imaginary citizens of tiny plastic block cities.

Cooking Camp (throughout July) offered by Taste and Technique Cooking Studio in Fair Haven, lets kids work with simple and fresh ingredients to concoct recipes they’ll want to eat. And with the motivation of enjoying their own creations, their palates will expand to include cuisine finer than chicken nuggets and Fruit Roll-ups. Course selections include “Dynamite Desserts,” “Best of the Food Network Stars,” “Pastry 101,” “Foodie Movies” and “Around the World in 5 Days.”