Cool summer camps for active kids.
The practices, the after-school games, the end-of-season performances—your young athletes did it all but still crave more. Summer camp is an ideal outlet for kids who just can’t get enough of their favorite sport during the school year. Luckily the North Shore is home to a collection of highly regarded camps sure to satisfy your workweek schedule and their boundless enthusiasm and emerging focus.
Boston Soccer Academy
U.K.-born Ralph Ferrigno coached the men’s soccer team at Tufts for 20 years before launching Boston Soccer Academy (BSA) as a full-time, year-round venture. Held at convenient locations in Boston and on the North Shore, the academy’s popular summer programs offer something for every skill level.
“Oftentimes, a club or town league is geared towards preparing teams for play and there’s not as much time to focus on technique,” notes Ferrigno (or “Coach Ralph,” as the young kids call him). “BSA’s sessions are longer than in-season practices and ideal for improving specific skills.”
Every summer, BSA runs full- and half-day clinics four days a week. The co-ed “junior” program, for grades 1–4, tackles the basics, including ball handling and shooting technique. “It is structured and instructional but still fun!” says Ferrigno. For grades 5–9, the co-ed “advanced” program emphasizes not only technical skills but also game tactics.
BSA’s overnight camps are geared towards older players in grades 10–12 looking for more intensive training to prepare for varsity or even college play. This year, for the first time ever, the residential camps will be held on the North Shore at Governor’s Academy in Byfield. 617-797-6619; bostonsocceracademy.com
Boston Red Sox Summer Camps
It sounds like a dream: meeting a Red Sox player, touring Fenway Park, snagging an autographed baseball, seeing a World Series ring or trophy up close. But the Boston Red Sox Summer Camps make it all happen and more on top of rigorous baseball instruction.
Girls and boys ages 5–13 can participate in either one- or two-week sessions held throughout the summer at different locations in Greater Boston and on the North Shore. The “World Series” and “Grand Slam” packages are each five days long; the “Hall of Fame” package runs for 10 consecutive business days and includes a hitting video analysis. Players are separated into groups based on their rising grade, physical strength, and ability.
Each camp’s rigorous curriculum is comprised of short, intensive drill intervals coupled with discussion and practice games. The highly structured instruction style compresses the learning of fundamentals so that more is achieved in less time. 617-279-0921; redsox.com/camps
Boston Ballet School
The Boston Ballet School’s summer Children’s Program introduces children to dance in a creative and fun learning environment. The program is open to dancers of all levels and runs for two weeks at all three Boston Ballet School studios: Boston, Newton, and North Shore.
Now in its fifth year, the North Shore campus in Marblehead “just keeps on growing,” says studio principal Jessica Kreyer. “This year we’ve introduced a partnership with the YMCA to offer bundled programs, which combine ballet study with other creative components such as theater and voice.”
Held two days a week, “Ballet Stories” is for kids ages 3–4. “The students listen to stories, they dance, they draw pictures—they take journeys through movement, “ says Kreyer. For kids ages 5–7, “Ballet Journeys” is held four days a week. “Besides ballet class, the students choreograph their own dances; they learn about opera and musical theater. There’s a real creative component to this camp.”
For older kids ages 8-14, the school offers a three-week-long dance workshop that concentrates on ballet training but also the wider world of dance, including study of famous repertoires and the Boston Ballet’s upcoming performances. 617-456-6333; bostonballet.org/school