Open to children entering 1st – 6th grades in Fall 2020, JCYS Jon Vegosen Champ Camp offers summer afternoons full of tennis, swimming, and cooking lessons. This summer camp will run Monday, June 15 – Friday, July 17, 12:15 – 3:30 pm. Champ Camp particularly focuses on serving children from the District 112 community who might not otherwise have an affordable summer sports program in their neighborhood.
Guided by the JCYS mission statement, Champ Camp puts education and recreation side by side: campers learn new skills and healthy habits while soaking up the joy and magic of summer at camp. Our counselors inspire children to try new sports and explore new foods that they might not be familiar with, while helping them build self-confidence. With one counselor to every 6 campers, children get plenty of individual attention and support while they take advantage of everything available at the JCYS Lillian L. Lutz Recreation Center (the Lil’).
Facilities at the Lil’ include a Gaga pit, tennis courts, a state-of-the-art swimming pool, and a pool lodge for days when the weather doesn’t cooperate. And campers take advantage of it all: daily activities include USTA tennis lessons led by our tennis coach, Red Cross swimming lessons, cooking classes led by our nutrition specialist, arts and crafts, theater, dance, and more. Special camp-wide events like athletic competitions, Color Wars, and Talent Show build camp spirit as campers make new friends and discover their inner athlete. Each week, Friday Fun Days end the week with a burst of energy as campers enjoy activities like Halloween in the Summer and Wild Wild West Day.
Tennis lessons at Champ Camp are fun and accessible to all our campers, whether they’re old hands at the net or just learning to pick up a racket. Champ Camp counselors use Ten and Under Tennis, the United States Tennis Association’s preferred method of beginner tennis instruction. Ten and Under Tennis emphasizes kid-sized rackets, modified tennis balls, a reduced court size, and a shorter net to make the game accessible for children of all ages and abilities. With help and support from our enthusiastic counselors, campers develop a foundation of tennis skills without feeling intimidated or overwhelmed.
The pool at the Lil’ is a perfect teaching pool for swimmers of every level, with two shallow ends that let campers ease into the water at their own pace.
At daily swimming lessons, our Red Cross certified lifeguards introduce campers to new swimming skills. Each day, campers also enjoy free swim and fun in the water with their friends. After last summer, over 95% of parents said that their child’s swimming skills improved as a result of Champ Camp, with one parent noting that the swimming lessons were “my favorite part about camp.” Over the years, we’ve seen campers grow from being afraid of the water to being competitive swimmers!
Children at Champ Camp enjoy fun and tasty hands-on cooking lessons with our nutrition specialist, Era Green. Campers make colorful, kid-friendly recipes that highlight fresh fruits and vegetables – and then share their new creations with their parents. Last year, campers at Champ Camp made vegetable smoothies, homemade salsa, rainbow fruit kabobs, vegetable wraps, yogurt parfaits, and more. Classes also include games that make nutrition education fun. By the end of the summer, campers are ready to whip up new recipes for the whole family to share!