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Summer Programs for Children in Northampton, MA

by Sarah Bourque

As summer break approaches, children often look forward to three months of sleeping in, lounging around, and lots of screen time. After a week, this gets old. Boredom has set in. Keep your child happy, engaged, and on a structured schedule with one of the many summer programs offered in Northampton, Massachusetts. Northampton is an arts and culture hub, with many colleges and organizations offering children's summer activities from sports to speaking to arts..

Girls-Only Programs

Summer Out Loud! (womensvoicesworldwide.org) is a community-based speaking program for girls, which gives girls the opportunity to develop confidence in public speaking, which is a life skill that they will be sure to appreciate. The program offers one-on-one mentoring and small groups that are fun and inspiring. Smith College (smithpioneers.com) is a women's liberal arts college with an acclaimed sports program, and has several sports for your young lady to try out in the summer. Options include lacrosse overnight camp, swimming and diving classes, overnight field hockey camp, and basketball day camp.

Northampton Summer Horizons Program

The Northampton Community College Summer Horizons for Youth Program (northampton.edu) offers an abundance of choices for your child. All summer, kids can take part in classes that are set in one or two week blocks. Just a few titles from the extensive list include Space Fun, Under the Big Top, Safari Days, Nature Crafts, American Girls Get Together, Spanish, Detective Club, Chess Club, Drawing and Painting Disney, Gross Anatomy, Just Dance, and Kids Cooking.

Nature-Focused Camp

Your little tree hugger will love Out Place Summercamp (biocitizen.org) where they get to explore forests, rivers and streams, farms and mountains. The camp lasts 5 days. You can pick up and drop off your child at the Forbes Library in Northampton. Young explorers head out in a van to various nature locations. The camp agenda includes spotting and learning about creatures, learning map-reading skills, talking about ecology, and gaining the lasting knowledge of flora and fauna identification.

Fun Activity Camps

For an active child who just wants to get up and get moving, Northampton has many choices. Oasis in Northampton (oasischildren.com) lets kids participate in sports, arts, and field trips. Activities include indoor crafts and play, swimming, canoeing, door track, and rock climbing. The City of Northampton (northamptonma.gov) offers Camp KidZone, where your child will participate in sports, arts, games, swimming theater shows, and field trips. The program runs all summer, with a different theme focus each week.

About the Author

Sarah Bourque has been a freelance writer since 2006 and is based in the Pacific Northwest. She writes and edits for the local publisher, Pacific Crest Imprint and has written for several online content sites. Her work recently appeared in "The Goldendale Tourism and Economic Development Magazine" and "Sail the Gorge!" magazine. She attended Portland Community College where she studied psychology.

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