Surrounded by the majestic mountains of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, kids fish, sing songs over campfires and pull the covers over their eyes at bedtime.
Little has changed over the years in the way kids and others have fun at YMCA Camp Sequoia Lake, which in 1914 started tent camping on property at Sequoia Lake on the field between the current Gaines and Redwood camps.
Now, the camp is preparing to celebrate its 100th year of camping.
YMCA Camp Sequoia Lake is one of many options available for kids to keep engaged and entertained during the summer break from school.
The Bee asked organizers of summer programs to provide information about activities and events for 2014, and they responded with offerings for all ages. Some are free; others have a fee. The Bee again has compiled them into the list in today's paper.
YMCA Camp Sequoia Lake, about an hour's drive by vehicle from Fresno, traditionally kicks off its new season on Memorial Day weekend.
On May 23 and 24, volunteers will spruce up the site.
On May 25, 100th anniversary activities begin with the opening of a time capsule from about 35 to 40 years ago.
On May 26, which is Memorial Day, a Memorial Wall Dedication allows people to donate to the camp in memory of a loved one.
Throughout the summer, a variety of camps — family, music, youth, skateboard, scouts and church — will be offered.
The programs are designed to provide children with the opportunity to play and grow in a safe and beautiful setting. Campers also are given an opportunity to meet new friends, take part in activities and gain an increased sense of confidence and pride.
The camp has set a goal to raise $120,000 to send 1,000 kids to camp this summer — free of charge.
"The camping experience for people to connect with each other and the outdoors in a real way is extremely relevant in our time today," says David Hembree, executive director of YMCA Camp Sequoia Lake. "That is what we want to focus on for the next 100 years.
"As opposed to walking around with your phones and not looking up, looking across a campfire into the eyes of someone —those are real connections. They last a lifetime and they change us for the better. Every kid ought to have a chance to go to camp at least once. If they do, they'll go for the rest of their lives."
For more information on the camp, go to www.campsequoialake.org.
Here is The Bee list of 2014 summer programs:
Bluff View Private Preschool's 6-week summer camp, Themed weeks will include The Great Outdoors, Water Works , Masters of Art, On the Farm, Creative Chefs and Around the World, Ages 2.5-6, cost varies based on schedule chosen, June 24-Aug. 1 (6-week session), Full & Half Day Programs Available 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., 7805 N. Palm Ave., register by May 30, 431-5437, www.bluffviewschool.com.
Cullinan Education Center Inc., Summer programs in reading, writing and math. K-9 grades. $159 per session, early-bird fee is $149, if paid two weeks in advance. Monday-Friday, 2 hours each day, call for times. Workshop dates are June 23- 27; July 7-11; July 14-18; July 21-25. 8485 N. Fresno St., Suite 104 in Fresno, 435-3276, www.cullinaneducation.com/.
Encourage Tomorrow, A variety of mixed media and STEM activities will encourage imagination and exploration. Readers Theater Camp Campers will explore theater art through literature. Enjoy social interactive reading with expression as well as role playing, props, puppets and costumes. Ages 4-6, $250, Imagination Exploration Camp. June 23-27. Fresno State; register by June 6. 233-2880.
Math Sense LLC, Summer Math Programs. 2nd grade-High School, monthly and hourly rates, 2-6 p.m. Mondays-Thursday and 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday and Saturday 10 a.m.-1 p.m. June 16-Aug. 16. 6021 N. Palm Ave. in Fresno, register by May 31, 449-0104.
Mudfence creations Classroom, Classes in creative cooking, crafts, or beginning sewing, on rotating basis all summer. Ages 8 and up, some exceptions made. Cooking $35, Crafts $30, Sewing $40, all supplies included in fee. Creative Cooking - June 16-20, July 14-18, July 28-Aug. 1, Aug. 4-8, Crafts - June 23-26 or July 21-24. Beginning Sewing - Two weeks long June 30-July 10 (not July 4th) machines provided. 1327 Draper St., downtown Kingsburg, register Friday before class starts, 970-4072.
Patty's ART Party, Painting, printmaking, sculpture, felt animals and more. Ages 6-12, $100-$200/week, 8:30-11:30 a.m., 12:30-3:30 p.m. and 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Monday-Friday June 16-20 (All Kinds of ART), June 23-27 (Animals in ART), July 7-11 (Sculpture), July 14-18 (Felt Animals), July 21-25 (Printmaking), Aug. 4-8 (Faces), August 11-15 (Crafts). 1898 E. Gettysburg Ave. in Fresno. 779-0344.
The Artist In Me, Weekly art camps. Ages 5-80, $125, 9 a.m.-noon, June 16-Aug. 25, Monday-Friday. 1085 E Herndon Ave., #108 in Fresno. 367-2084, www.theartistinme.us/classes.
California Arts Academy/Severance Ballet School, Intermediate/Advanced ballet, pointe, modern, jazz, ethnic dance, percussive dance, character, partnering, stage movement, conditioning, injury prevention, nutrition, kinesiology, yoga, pilates, acting, or alternative training. Special lectures, master classes, and private lessons will also be available. Ages 9-15, $300-$350 per session Session 1: June 23-July 3. Session 2: July 7-18. Session 3: July 28-Aug. 8. 1-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, (no classes on July 4 (session 1). Make-up for that day will be Saturday, June 28. California Arts Academy - Severance, 1401 N. Wishon Ave. in Fresno, register by June 23, 222-6539.
The Dancing School, Ballet, jazz, hip hop, break dance, gymnastics and a special flexibility class. Ages 31/2-adult, $52-$85 for 5 week session, June 16-July 17. The Dancing School, 2013 2nd St. in Selma, register by June 16, 891-0388, www.facebook.com/TheDancingSchoolOfSelma.
Fairmont Private School, Photography, art studio, journalism, games of strategy, math for enjoyment, reading for enjoyment, acting, jazz and hip hop, martial arts, puppetry, international cooking, mad Science, dinosaurs, Star Wars, Gardening. Preschool-4th grades, $76-$210 7 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday June 16-July 25. 435 W. Fairmont Ave. in Fresno, register by June 15, 226-2347.
Friends of Camp El-O-Win, HE & ME! Girls, bring a favorite man in your life (dad, grandpa, uncle, or other male adult). Follow a trail, do a craft project, help at a lunch cookout and play games. Share the fun of exploring and learning together. We provide lunch. K-5th grades, $15 per person, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., June 14, Camp El-O-Win near Dinkey Creek. register by June 2, 320-5439.
Kids Kare Schools, For your grade school and kindergarten kids, incoming demonstrations, cheer and dance competitions, dress up days and daily arts and crafts activities. Ages 5-12, cost varies based on number of days attending, June 9-Aug. 22. Kids Kare Schools, Fresno Clovis and Madera. 275-1169, www.kidskare.net.
San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust, Swimming in the river, learning canoe skills, playing games, singing songs and creating arts and crafts. Entering 1-8 grades. $220 per week. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. June 16-20, June 23-27, July 7-11, July 14-18, July 21-25, July 28-Aug. 1, Aug. 4-8, Aug. 11-15. Scout Island, 7695 N. Van Ness Ave. in Fresno, register by June 16. 248-8480.
San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust Inc, Science Girls of the San Joaquin this summer at Owl Hollow. Girls entering 6-8 grades. $100. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. June 23-27, Owl Hollow, near River Center at 11605 Old Friant Road, register by June 16. 248-8480.
Bach Children's Choir, Enriching music and art related activities, such as singing, dancing, and playing rhythm instruments, emphasizing musical progress and encouraging group participation. Entering 1-8 grades. Early registration $75, after June 25, $100. 9 a.m.-12:15 p.m. July 14-18 with staggered pick up by grade level. North Fresno Church 5724 N. Fresno St. in Fresno, register by July 14. 226-6500
Fresno Pacific University, Winds/brass, strings, vocal, piano, contemporary worship, and musical theater programs are offered. There are also electives available in jazz, chamber ensembles, music composition, and musical theater. The camp also features aural skills and music theory on all levels, along with guided recreational activities. Ages 11-19 as of Sept. 1, 2014. $515 resident camper (tuition, room, board, insurance) and $320 day camper (tuition, insurance). 8:35 a.m.-5 p.m. for day campers June 22-27. Fresno Pacific University, 1717 S. Chestnut Ave. in Fresno, register by June 1. 453-2012
YMCA, YMCA Music Camp offers an orchestra, wind ensemble and jazz experience. Ages 11-17. $633. July 26-Aug. 2, Sequoia Lake in Miramonte, register by June 30. 627-3183.
Mommy, Me and Teddy makes Three at Camp El-O-Win, Bring a special woman in your life (mom, grandma, aunt, or other female adult) AND your favorite bear (or stuffed animal) for a weekend of summer fun. Arts & crafts, hiking, campfire and singing. Participants will sleep in cabins or tents. Saturday lunch & dinner and Sunday breakfast will be provided. Girls 2-4 grades. $60 per person. 9 a.m. July 5 - 11 a.m. July 6, Camp El-O-Win near Dinkey Creek, register by June 23. 320-5439.
Iron Chef at Camp El-O-Win, Test your culinary skills. You and your team will compete for top honors of "Cuisine Supreme" under the trees! Must attend with adult chaperones. Girls 4-7 grades. $95 per person. July 18-July 20. Camp El-O-Win near Dinkey Creek, register by July 7. 320-5439.
Friends of Camp El-O-Win, Relax and enjoy the fun of camping without the hassle of cooking. Come as a family or a group of friends. You can fish, hike to the cave, learn about birds, letterbox, get crafty, play games, make s'mores, sing around the campfire or just relax and do nothing at all. All ages. $90/person & under 5 free. Aug. 29-Aug. 31. Camp El-O-Win near Dinkey Creek, register by Aug. 18. 320-5439.
Golden State YMCA, Youth camp, teen camp, skate camp, music camp and family camp at YMCA Camp Sequoia Lake. Sailing, high ropes course, biking, rock climbing, archery, swimming, out post camping, fishing, visit to the national park, painting, crafts, soccer, basketball and campfires. 3-12 grades. Fees starting at $549 per week. Various dates visit www.campsequoialake.org for more information. YMCA Camp Sequoia Lake. 627-3183.
River Way Ranch Camp, There will be lots of activities, including horseback riding, water-skiing, ropes course, performing arts, laser tag, paintball and so much more. Devoted counselors guide campers through new adventures and challenges. Ages 7-16. 1 week session $1,795, 2 week session $3,395. Sessions are June 15–June 28; June 15–June 21 (1 Week Session); June 29–July 12; July 13–July 26; July 27–August 9; Aug. 10–Aug. 16 (1 Week Session). 6450 Elwood Road in Sanger. www.riverwayranchcamp.com or 787-2551.
Break the Barriers. Inc., Students will experience gymnastics, art projects, music, dance, martial arts, tennis and basketball. Ages 5-12. 9 a.m.-noon Monday-Friday. $115 per week. Sessions: June 16-20; June 23-27; July 7-11; July 14-18 and July 21-25. Break the Barriers, 8555 N. Cedar Ave. in Fresno, www.breakthebarriers.org/#!__day-camp, 432-6292.
CART, Will be holding the following classes lemonade stand business, kitchen science, builder's workshop, digital story-telling, lego robotics and video game design. Entering 4-6 grades. $150. 8-11:30 a.m., June 16-20. The Center for Advanced Research and Technology (CART), 2555 Clovis Ave. in Clovis, register by June 6, 248-7400.
Princess Camp, Enjoy a week of magical fun making wands and crowns, storytelling and playing princess games. Don your princess attire on Friday for photos and a tea party with Alice and her princess friends in the Shinzen Gardens. Ages 5-10. $60 plus $10 for T-shirt. 8 a.m.-noon June 23 - 27. Woodward Park Group Activity Area next to the Shinzen Gardens, register by June 23 if space is available. 621-7529.
Pixie Dust Camp, Magical week of pixie dust and fairy fun playing games and creating all the things that fairies love most. Create your own fairy attire (wings, wand, crown & tutu) for a tea party and photos with Tinkerbelle. Lots of fun and new exciting projects. Ages 5-10. $60 plus $10 for t-shirt. July 7-11; Monday-Friday; 8 a.m.-noon, Woodward Park Group Activity Area next to the Shinzen Gardens, register by July 7 if space is available. 621-7529.
Survivor Camp, Boost your camper's confidence and independence playing and competing in the Woodward Park Survivor Challenges. Our games center on teamwork and learning how to take care of yourself. Teams compete against each other to gain points. Based on the television series "Survivor" - Outwit - Outplay - Outlast. A variety of sports, games, contests and crafts will take place each day. Ages 8-12. $60 plus $10 for T-shirt. 8 a.m.-noon July 21-25. Woodward Park Group Activity Area next to the Shinzen Gardens, register by July 21 if space is available. 621-7529.
Adventure Camp, Your adventures will include Pirate Day, Wild Wild West Day, Outer Space Day, Harry Potter Day, and Sports Day. Activities are based on the themes of the day and include sports, games, crafts, science, and lots more. Ages 8-12. $60 plus $10 for t-shirt. 8 a.m.-noon June 23-27. Woodward Park Group Activity Area next to the Shinzen Gardens, register by June 23 if space is available. 621-7529.
Adventure Camp II, Adventures include: Science Day, Animal Planet Day, Fear Factor Day, Water Day, and Amazing Race Day. Activities are based on the themes of the day and include sports, games, crafts, science, and lots more. Ages 5-10. $60 plus $10 for T-shirt. 8 a.m.-noon July 7-11. Woodward Park Group Activity Area next to the Shinzen Gardens, register by July 7 if space is available. 621-7529.
Healthy Lifestyle Fitness Camp, This camp provides a fun-filled summer fitness program that promotes weight loss, building a positive self image and embracing a healthy lifestyle. Participate in this weight loss program disguised as fun through fitness, sports, workouts, dancing, recreation and games. Ages 10-14. Free. 8 a.m.-noon June 23-Aug. 1. Ted C. Wills Community Center; 770 N. San Pablo in Fresno, register by May 30. Sara.Hamilton@fresno.gov or 621-7529.
I Love Horses Day Camp, Campers will be taught basic horse skills, create a related horse craft, and participate in a horse related activity. The schedule will include "Horse Spa Day," and a "Pool Noodle Horse Show." Snacks, drinks, and materials are included in the camping fee. Ages 6 and over. $250 per session. 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. two sessions June 9-13 and July 7-11. Painted Trails Farm, 12517 13th Ave. in Hanford, register by June 6 for first week and July 4 for second week. 904-7100.
Fun on the Farm, Campers will learn about different areas of agriculture and livestock. Each day will focus on a different area: chickens (fowl), farming/gardening, goats and other ruminants, and horses (2 days). Along with learning about livestock and farming, campers will also create a craft related to that day's experience and participate in a related activity. The schedule includes milking a goat, harvesting garden vegetables, and pictures on the (small) tractor. Snacks, drinks, and materials are included in the camping fee. 3 (with parent/guardian)-10. $250. 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. June 23-27. Painted Trails Farm, 12517 13th Ave. in Hanford, register by June 20. 904-7100.
San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust, Young children thrive with unhurried time in a natural setting. Young explorers will spend time looking for signs of wildlife, exploring the river's habitats, and learning about the plants and animals that make the San Joaquin River their home. Each day we'll focus on a theme and your camper will participate in singing, arts and crafts, dramatic play, and other hands on activities led by our experienced staff of River Camp counselors.Parents and grandparents are welcome to stay and join in the fun. Ages 3 1/2-entering Kindergarten. $90 per week. June 17-19, June 24-26, July 8-10, July 15-17, July 22-24, July 29-31, Aug. 5-7, Aug. 12-14 all sessions are 9 a.m.-noon. Scout Island. Complete details will be sent with confirmation, register by June 17. 248-8480.
Westminster Presbyterian Church, Wilderness Escape: Where God Guides and Protects experienced through drama, music, crafts, games, etc. Ages 4-6 grade. $15 per child; $25 for family of two; $40 for family of three or more. 8:30 a.m.-noon July 28-Aug. 1. 50 E. Santa Ana Ave. (at Thorne) in Fresno, register by July 25. 434-4421.
Wild Water Adventure Camp, Offers kid's basic Lifesaving skills, team building exercises and other fun water park activities. Ages 7-12. $150-$175. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. July 7-11 or July 14-18. Wild Water Adventure Park, 11413 E. Shaw Ave. in Clovis, register by July 4. 297-2740.
Armenian Evangelical Union of North America, Daily biblical speakers, worship time, games and free time. Grades 4-5 July 13-19; Grades 6-8 July 20-26; Grades 9-12 July 27-Aug. 2. $275-$325. July 13-19, 1701 Darling Ave. in Frazier Park, register by June 27. 237-6638.
Camp Keola, Owned and operated by the Pacific Southwest Mennonite Retreat Ministries, we offer fun-filled weeks of Christ-centered programming. Our hope is to help students learn more about who God created them to be while inviting them to dive into the abundant life that Jesus died to give them. With activities such as hiking, crafts, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, and much more you are certain to have the best week of your summer. Grades 4-12. $330 half off for first time campers. Grades 4-8 July 13-19 and Grades 9-12 July 20-26. Huntington Lake, 69054 Huntington Lodge Road in Lakeshore, register by July 1. 637-8826.
Clovis West Boys Soccer, Soccer skill building camp taught by the Clovis West coaching staff and varsity players. Ages under 6 to under 12. $70, 2nd family member $65. 6-8 p.m. July 21-25. Keith Tice Park, 8695 N. Millbrook Ave. in Fresno, register by July 14. 203-5166.
All Girls Wrestling, Female athletes will be provided with an all day developmental technique clinic hosted by the Fresno City College coaching staff and athletes. Ages 8-18. $25. June 21. Fresno City College Gym, 1101 E. University Ave. in Fresno, register by June 21. 908-5111.
LPGA Professional Patti Liscio camp, Have fun with other kids learning how to putt, chip, pitch, play from the sand and hit full shots. Lunch is included. Ages 7-12. $150. 8:30 a.m.-noon July 7-10 or July 28-31. Riverbend Golf Club, register by July 3 and July 24. 423-3020
Nike Golf Camp, Instructional half-day camps for junior golfers of all ability levels, capped with a playing tournament on the last day and pizza party. Ages 7-15. $195. 9 a.m.-noon June 16-19; June 23-16; July 7-10; July 21-24; Aug. 4-7. River Park Golf Center, 41445 Avenue 9 in Fresno, register by June 10. 448-9467.
Summer Wrestling Camp, Developmental wrestling technique and instruction. Ages 7-18. $150. June 18-20. Fresno City College Gym, 1101 E. University Ave. in Fresno, register by June 18. 908-5111.
BARK Rec Sports Camp, The BARK Rec Sports Camp is designed to provide campers with a wide variety of fun activities where they can master new skills, be creative, foster new friendships, and enjoy a positive experience in a safe environment. Ages 6-12. $200. 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday extended care available for an extra $30. Sessions June 16-20; June 23-27; July 7-11; July 14-18; July 21-25. 5010 N. Woodrow Ave. in Fresno. 347-3800.
California Arts Academy, The Summer Talent Team (ages 7-13) will take classes in art, dance, acting, gymnastics, singing, music, & etiquette. Then, their skills will be put to immediate use in creating a staged drama with sets, props, and sound effects. Each two-week session will culminate in a performance for family and friends. Ages 3-6 classes teach movement and expression. We stress good manners and polite behavior. Campers will have a morning of activities that include creative dance, art, crafts, gym, music, singing, and etiquette. Preschoolers will also perform for family and friends at the session's conclusion. Ages 3-6 and 7-13. $225-$250 per 2-week session. 8:30 a.m.-noon. Sessions are June 16-June 27; July 7-July 18; July 28-Aug. 8. California Arts Academy, 4750 N. Blackstone Ave. in Fresno, register by June 16. 222-6539.
Camp SHINE: An all-day camp created by the Central Valley's leader in educational theater. We provide students with a comprehensive approach to all aspects of theater: acting, singing, dance, speech, movement and stage craft. Ages 4-7 and 8-17. $225-$300. June 16-27 (8 a.m.-noon) and (8 a.m.-3 p.m.) August 4-15 (8 a.m.-noon) and (8 a.m.-3 p.m.). Liddell Elementary (June 2014) 5455 W. Alluvial Ave. in Fresno and Wesley United Methodist Church (August 2014) 1343 E. Barstow Ave. in Fresno. (559) 549-4741.