Great Summer Activities for Boston Area Kids
The open-ended days of summer can be liberating but tough to fill. No matter how well-prepared you may feel going into June, by the time August rolls around you’re likely to be wondering how you can encourage your kids to do something healthier and more creative than staring at their screens. Here at Camp Walt Whitman we offer the perfect antidote to the lazy summer: a fun-filled slate of athletic and creative pursuits taught by passionate pros. Take some cues from our action-packed schedule to inspire an adventurous summer at home.
Learn to play tennis
Tennis offers numerous physical, mental and even social-emotional benefits. It’s also one of the few sports you can play throughout your life. Find a group class or a coach to teach your child the basics and he or she will be able to rally in no time. At Camp Walt Whitman, we’re lucky to have a legendary coach–USPTA National past president and 11-time national champion, Dave Porter—leading a team of college professionals who instruct our campers on our 11 clay courts. It’s just one of the nearly 20 sports we offer each day.
Go for a hike
The hardest part about a hike is not the hike itself; it’s blocking out the time to actually get in the woods. Once you do arrive at a nearby trail, the natural surroundings turn a simple walk into an act of discovery. Learning to follow the map and trail blazes, admiring the scenery and forest creatures are all part of the fun. You’ll feel better, too: Studies show there are both physical and mental health benefits to taking a walk in the woods, beyond the obvious break it gives kids from their screens. At Walt Whitman, it’s easy for us to get on the trail because they’re all around us. On any given week as part of our outdoor adventure program, campers might hike to the top of a 4,000-foot peak or take a short hike to a beautiful waterfall. Overnights and multiple-day backpacking trips are also a regular part of our adventures.
Get on the water
You probably won’t have to coax your kids to get in the water on a hot summer day. If they are not yet skilled swimmers, group or private lessons at a local pool will give them confidence as they gain the know-how to swim in deeper water. At camp, we have a heated pool as well as a pristine, private lake for swim instruction as part of our aquatics program. The excitement and sense of accomplishment our campers feel when learning to waterski, sail, paddleboard or kayak make our lakefront one of the most popular places at camp to be.
Summer is a perfect time for your child to get into the creative flow of an artistic project or craft. Taking a pottery class, an art workshop, or a woodworking intensive will help flex your child’s imagination and inspire them to create something unique. At Camp Walt Whitman, we have three dedicated studios for creative pursuits: woodworking, ceramics and arts and crafts. Each program gives campers the raw materials, tools, and expert instruction to express themselves in a new medium, and take pride in their work afterward in our camp-wide art show. For theater lovers, there are plays, musicals and improv classes for each age group, and often campers collaborate across our art programs to make and paint sets and props for our theater productions.
Play a team sport
Kids of all athletic abilities benefit from learning how to be a part of a team. One of the most popular sports for boys and girls to gain these valuable teamwork skills is soccer, often offered in summer through local leagues and indoor sports facilities. At Camp Walt Whitman, soccer is just one of the nearly 20 team sports our campers play. Baseball, softball, basketball, lacrosse, volleyball, street hockey and even golf are all part of our athletics program, which gives campers a well-rounded experience of team play and competition in our intercamp games. Each sport is taught by college players and coaches who pass on their passion and expertise to our campers, who can deepen their skills with advanced clinics and intensives.